For educators in the Middle Country Central School District, the academics of students are always a top priority, and the resources and programs the District provides are designed to augment student instruction. Part of a well-rounded academic experience includes taking care of one’s mental health. To that end, Melanie Maiorca, an orchestra teacher at Selden Middle School in the District has made a point of incorporating mindful practices into her daily lessons, giving her students a safe space to articulate their feelings.
“Mrs. Maiorca is a credit to this profession, and her students are fortunate to have such an incredible teacher who has created a safe space for them to share their feelings and be entirely themselves,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools. “The Middle Country School District is proud to incorporate activities such as Mindful Moments to help supplement the daily learning happening inside the classroom.”
Mrs. Maiorca began Mindful Moments in September of 2019 when her students began expressing their desire to have an outlet to express and explore their feelings. At the end of every class, Mrs. Maiorca would turn on calming music and guide her students through a guided meditation practice. From there, the program expanded where she would ask students guided questions to help them address their feelings about how it feels to wake up early for school or what mental and social baggage they are carrying that they’d like to put down. When the pandemic started, Mrs. Maiorca recognized students’ need to have Mindful Moments more than ever and adapted the program for Google Meet. At any given time, over fifty students joined her for guided meditations and discussions. The program has allowed students to feel more confident and be more outspoken about their emotions and the unique experiences they’re each going through.
“As educators, the well-being and success of our students is why we come into work every day. We want to see our students thrive and reach their full potential and by incorporating Mindful Moments into the daily curriculum, I’ve noticed an unbelievable change in my students,” said Mrs. Maiorca. “This space has become one of healing and honesty for my students and I’m so happy to be able to provide that for them.”
For more information regarding the Middle Country Central School District and its students’ many achievements, please visit the district’s website: https://www.mccsd.net/.