Interview with Ms. Newton, Principal of Dr. Frank J Hayden Secondary School (Year 2013 – 2015)
Interviewer: Shulin from “Life De-Stress for Youth Class — Free (Sahaja) Yoga Meditation”
I’m Jackie Newton and I was appointed to begin a journey here at this school. And definitely, inner peace days are a part of, well it’s not only for students but for staff and probably for the entire community. So, it’s, we’re a new community up here. It used to be a farm and so a lot of people don’t really connect well or know how to interact with others and so by allowing us to be part of an inner peace day both in our first year and our second, so a repeat, I think it gave us a lot of opportunity to pause, do some reflective thinking and, most importantly, to really have a purpose with each other and with ourselves.
-Were you listening at the broadcast that’s been played at the Inner Peace Day?
-How did you feel personally?
Very moved. It resonated with me on a number of fronts but really about staying true to yourself and about taking the time to really understand how you relate and interconnect with the world and with each other.
-Were you able to feel this cool sensation in your hands while listening to the broadcast?
I was and I was blown away because that’s something, I’m not good about letting my mind just go, and by experiencing that, it really felt like there was a sensation that was reaching out to me.
-And how do you think that meditation can help students?
That’s a big thing. In terms of, I think, right now the government has moved towards mental wellness and mental health and part of that, obviously, is meditation. And also a part of it is a real push right now for teachers to understand the mindsets and being mindful. And I think meditation fills in with that so looking at students as what are their strengths and how they can help students find their strengths and their hope and come to be. And I think meditation will have a really key piece of that and I know a number of schools where they are starting to even have moments in their day structured for that. And I think just the practice of doing that in your own curriculum, I think will, instead of being a separate identity, like Inner Peace Day, which is a great launch but making it a part of your routine day in a school structure and then hopefully that would spill over to your home life as well.
-And this year is the tenth year of Sahaja yoga meditation in Halton. Is there anything that you’d like to say to this organization that has come a few times to school to provide inner peace workshops?
Yeah, very appreciative for sure. and I really like their way of becoming part of our school community. So, very harmonious, not aggressive and very inviting.
-How do you think this would help the teachers in their teaching?
Very much so Shulin, and I really want to tank you because here at the school, this school in particular was built on the idea that students build their school their way. And this is one aspect of allowing students to build it and then for teachers to say, okay, we will follow students and their interests and so this is a classic example, Shulin, you walk the talk every day, people look to you, you’re an inspiration for us and for your roots and where you’re feet have landed and where you hope to fly, our staff really resonate with that. And not just you but other students as well and collectively together I think you’ve done an amazing, amazing piece of work here in really teaching teachers and the principle that get out of your way, get out of students’ way and let them build their school their way and I think that’s why this culture here will be sustained and there’ll be a sense of oneness.
-Thank you very much.
You’re welcome. That’s awesome and I hope you’ll have a great, great experience and journey. Hope it really goes well.