Mindfulness In Education
The Every Child Thrives Fund brings mindfulness and other mind-body practices to children.
Mindfulness for Teachers – classes offered for teachers, sign up on individual or group basis at the mindfulness center
Mindful Teacher Retreat – weekend of mindfulness for teachers to learn mindfulness techniques
Mindful Inservice – The mindfulness center professionals will come to your school to train your teachers during an inservice or professional day.
Mindful Students - The mindfulness center will come to you school to provide mindfulness classes or training to your students
Free 5 min guided meditation recording – download the free recording to use in your classroom
Why mindfulness for teachers?
Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet but it is also one of the most stressful. Teachers are not only responsible for the planning, execution and evaluation of their own work, they are also held accountable for the quality, performance, and successful quantitative outcomes of student learning.
The demands of the classroom and the redefined role of the 21 st century teacher are such that pressures/stressors are enormous and ever-present. Educators face significant levels of stress as they try to find the time during the school day to balance teaching, counseling, emails, grading, discipline, staff planning, collaborative planning, meetings, parent communication, etc.
Overtime teacher stress can lead to:
- Teacher burnout
- Emotional exhaustion
- Increase in stress related illnesses
- Anxiety and depression
- Ineffective teacher performance
- Poor student relationships
- High teacher turnover
The mindful teacher bridges the gap between the passion that drives one to teach with the experience necessary to pursue a grounded, emotionally and intellectually vibrant experience amidst the challenges of the technology-driven, globally connected classrooms of today and tomorrow. The mindful teacher is less reactionary and more curious and inquisitive during stressful or intrusive classroom experiences. This in turn, creates and promotes more positive, less confrontational interactions with students as well as a more calm and peaceful classroom environment. Mindful teachers are able to motivate and inspire their students, meet and exceed expectations in the classroom, and are more likely to implement significant and lasting change that optimizes teaching and learning. They make an indisputable difference on productivity and creativity in the lives of their students. Mindful teachers are also better prepared to handle the ever-present challenges of daily occupational stress and classroom management.
Potential results of mindful teachers:
- Self awareness and self care
- Positive coping strategies and resilience
- Higher quality of instruction, engagement and learning
- Increase in teacher emotional well-being and flexibility
- Less reactive discipline and classroom management
- Faster classroom and teacher recovery from stressful/distressing interactions
- More supportive classroom environment
- Improved listening and observation skills
- Increased cooperation and atmosphere of working together teacher to teacher and teacher to student
- Improvement in student behavior as a result of positive teacher engagement
- Positive academic/social/emotional platforms in order to address individual student needs
- Improved personal approaches to curricular planning/implementation
- More effective communication with students, parents and school wide community
Roeser, R., Schonert-Reichl, K., Jha, A., Cullen, M., Wallace, L., Wilensky, R., & ... Harrison, J. (2013). Mindfulness Training and Reductions in Teacher Stress and Burnout: Results from Two Randomized, Waitlist- Control Field Trials. Journal Of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 787- 804.
Shapiro, S., Rechtschaffen, D., & de Sousa, S. (2016). Mindfulness training for teachers. In K. A. Schonert-Reichl, R. W. Roeser, K. A. Schonert-Reichl, R. W. Roeser (Eds.) , Handbook of mindfulness in education: Integrating theory and research into practice (pp. 83-97). New York, NY, US: Springer-Verlag Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-1- 4939-3506- 2_6
Skinner, E., & Beers, J. (2016). Mindfulness and teachers' coping in the classroom: A developmental model of teacher stress, coping, and everyday resilience. In K. A. Schonert-Reichl, R. W. Roeser, K. A. Schonert-Reichl, R. W. Roeser (Eds.) , Handbook of mindfulness in education: Integrating theory and research into practice (pp. 99-118). New York, NY, US: Springer-Verlag Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-1- 4939-3506- 2_7
The Mindfulness Center is currently working with Montgomery County Public Schools and other schools throughout the region to empower children with mindfulness skills. Mindfulness practices have proven to improve social skills, emotional well-being, physical health, and academic achievement, along with mental health, quality of life, leadership skills, and general overall well-being. This Fund was established to support children/students to thrive in all circumstances of life. Funds support mind-body programs such as meditation, yoga, retreats and one-on-one services for children in crisis. Programs are offered at The Mindfulness Center, in schools, hospitals and to families, including:
- Montgomery County Public Schools after-school meditation and yoga programs for students.
- Children's National Medical Center clinical trial evaluating fast-acting mind-body interventions for treating children in pain.
Mindfulness Retreats providing professional development for Montgomery County Public School faculty, staff and administrators to learn mindfulness techniques.
One example of our program in action is at Damascus High School where over 65 students, from a community plagued by student heroin and opiate addiction, participated in Yoga and Meditation classes provided by The Mindfulness Center to promote student empowerment and addiction prevention.