Growth and Disruption

Being Mindful of Change

The week before the corona virus disrupted everything, my school was on spring break. I am thankful I had time to visit with friends and family and we were able to enjoy ourselves with food and drink and experience something new together. Reflecting on those times of pleasurable company and activity helps me feel positive they will happen again in the future.

I had the rest of the week off working as a special education para to rest, reflect, get outside, and read a good book. I read “Saratoga Trunk” by Edna Ferber for my book club and it was a fascinating, challenging read with a strong female lead character; think Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind” in New Orleans instead of Georgia with strong French influences and an “only child” personality who can charm any man and has the clever wits to manipulate the world to suit her desires. Her partner in crime is a true Texan gentleman with the hat and the gun to complete the terribly rough and strong cowboy with a heart of liquid gold.

Mindful Intentions

During the weeks leading up to spring break, I intentionally reminded my students they would soon be in the next grade. My thought was to set them up for success by informing them of what lay ahead and what would be expected in the next grade. To do this, I pointed out positive behavior I thought would help them as they grew into their next grade level. At the elementary school where I work, my schedule has students from grades Kindergarten, fourth and fifth.


For my kindergartners, I would tell them when they were acting like first graders, by doing their work without prompting, being a problem solver when they had a disagreement with a peer, and cleaning up after themselves by hanging their coat and backpack up on the hook and clearing paper scraps and tools from their table tops.

Fourth Grade

My fourth graders need to learn when they get to 5th grade, the writing and math standards will be more challenging. I pushed them to learn independently and to prioritize mastering the basics, on writing a good sentence, on being quick about adding and subtracting numbers, on using resources available to them to answer a question like a dictionary or a peer.

Fifth Grade

The fifth graders will graduate from elementary to middle school and leave our reliable and comfortable community. They will face all kinds of variants in teaching styles, classrooms, and peer groups, so much more than they experience as a fifth grader where they have one main teacher and one main classroom. It is hard to prepare them for that big of a change and I found the best way to help them was by being honest about my experiences in times of change and growth and to be super positive about their creative hobbies, skills, and strengths.

Summer Rush

The time between spring break and summer break does go by fast. There are many days towards the end of the school year dedicated to cleaning and socializing, then it will seem like a rush to the end of the school year and to the freedom of summer break.

As paras, we do the best we can with the time we have. Even though we care so much about our students as people, we hope they will outgrow us and be more independent students. Then we will have done our job.

It has been a stressful adjustment to not working as a para during this pandemic. There is plenty of work to do to keep me busy, like learning new skills, growing physical endurance and strength, exploring subjects that light up my curiosity, volunteering for my community, and my days are filled with joy in this new, strange time. My identity being an educator, a healer, a storyteller to the children is in the back seat, for now, and she was driving the car for three years.

Being mindful of those moments with my students, the ones where I enjoyed being around them, the ones where we laughed, where I saw them grow, where we played together, has helped me through these times, too, because I can reflect on when I was truly present with them, and I assure you, the children are truly present all of the time.

These are strategies I use on a daily basis:


  • Can be done anywhere it is quiet and comfortable and in any position that is comfortable; sitting in a chair, on the couch, or laying down on the floor or bed.
  • Can be done while driving, brushing your teeth, drinking and eating, walking and standing.
  • Is being aware of your breathing, the simplest way to practice is to repeat in your mind, “I am breathing in, I am breathing out,” as you breathe in deeply and slowly let out your breath.
  • Is being aware of tenseness in your body and allowing yourself to relax in those areas by imagining your energy is a moving, flowing source of healing and can be directed where needed.
  • Mindfulness for Monday is an idea to start the week with a mindfulness exercise to welcome in a new week, a new intention for the week, and a new self.
  • This week, recite the phrase “I am breathing in health, I am breathing out sickness” as you breath in through your nose and expand your belly and let our your breath slowly out your mouth.

April Full Moon

This week, the full moon lands on Wednesday and starting today, Sunday, the path of growth will be at its strongest. The three days before a full moon are the peak time to accept and encourage growth and change and is when the moon’s power is strongest. This April, we have a super moon to look forward to and it is the strongest super moon this year, which means it will be the closest to the Earth.

Thank you for reading! Please leave a few words in the comments. Subscribe with your email to get updates when I post, which will be every full moon.

Peace, love, and health,

Eliza Crane

Follow my Instagram account @Eliza_Crane_Poetry for more!

Photo Credit to Jeffrey Kraker

3 thoughts on “Growth and Disruption

  1. Love your strategies for mindfulness. We are living in anxious times. I’m a “moon watcher” and look forward to reading your blog each month.

    Liked by 1 person

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