Narrator Spotlight: Chasmin Moses on Using Mindfulness at a High-Trauma School

Inner Explorer Narrator, Chasmin Moses, was first introduced to mindfulness as a first-year teacher and a first-year mother. While working for Teach for America in the Bay Area, Ms. Moses was experiencing extreme stress while working with a high-trauma population; many of the students at her school were dealing with serious challenges outside the classroom – homelessness, food scarcity, and abuse, to name a few. At the same time, she was juggling being a single mother to her then 9-month-old daughter.

“I felt like I was doing it all alone,” she recalls. “When I was introduced to mindfulness, it changed my approach to life entirely.”

At the time, Laurie Grossman, now the Director of Social Justice and Educational Equity at Inner Explorer, would come to the school to offer free mindfulness sessions. During the first session Ms. Moses attended, she fell in love with the practice and began doing mindfulness exercises three times a day.

“Personally, I noticed a huge shift in my patience, ability to focus during teaching, and also my ability to focus when I went home to be a mom,” she shares. Once Ms. Moses learned about Inner Explorer, she began incorporating it into her daily mindfulness routine. (NOT SURE WHERE THIS GOES, BUT SOMEWHERE).

It wasn’t long before Ms. Moses began sharing mindfulness with her classes. She would practice with her students first thing in the morning, plus after recess and lunch.
By her third year of teaching, her students were getting the highest test scores in the school; and by her fifth year of teaching, it had become part of the school culture, with school staff and students practicing mindfulness at assemblies and back-to-school nights.

Ms. Moses tells one of her favorite stories of a student who transformed through mindfulness: “In the beginning, he had unpredictable behaviors and would lash out – he had a reputation at school. When I first introduced mindfulness, he resisted it, but over time, I began to notice that he would close his eyes during practice and participate. His test scores started improving, but he was still having behavior problems at recess. One recess, I observed his behavior and was able to have a conversation with him about it. I shared that he can use mindfulness as a tool outside of the classroom when he gets angry or frustrated. Connecting the dots between what he learned through mindfulness and using it outside of the classroom was life-changing for him. He no longer had fights, and in fifth grade, he became a student leader who led daily mindfulness practices for his peers.”

This powerful story serves as a reminder that when students are given the tools to manage their mental health and well-being, they can make positive changes in their lives. On behalf of the Inner Explorer team, thank you, Ms. Moses for your dedication to this work and empowering students to live up to their potential. We are honored to have you as a narrator!