Teachers Unite Mindfully

Stress is being felt by teachers worldwide.

This is because teachers work in an environment where there are:

  • too many things to do and not enough time
  • feelings of pressure to teach a certain way
  • increased student demands
  • feelings of low self-confidence and low self-efficacy
  • perceptions of teaching against children’s best interests
  • feelings of lack of control

 

Fortunately, helpful practices once considered fringe by educators are now being embraced and openly recognized as integral elements in running a successful classroom. One strategy receiving mainstream acceptance around the world is MINDFULNESS. It’s actually an inherent trait; we all possess it.  But over time we’re ‘trained out of it’ by our fast-paced and outcome-driven lives.

Commonly practiced through meditation, it’s a little known fact that mindfulness is actually cultivated through activities such as gardening, eating, walking, and such as class work. To be mindful means participating in each of life’s moments from a state of equilibrium, whereby one is more peaceful and less attached to an outcome. In the realm of classroom teaching this powerful tool can be used to increase student engagement and academic performance, and transform the way everyone in the classroom connects and communicates. In fact, even if one classroom is more mindful the overall social climate of the entire school improves.

To effectively teach mindfulness in the classroom, teachers must learn how to embody and practice mindfulness in their own lives. Such classes (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, MBCT) concentrate on nurturing compassion, empathy, and forgiveness, and focus on mindful breathing, body awareness, meditation and movement in 2½ hour sessions over a period of 8 weeks.

After completing the training – and once the practice is integrated into the classroom – teachers often feel they:

  • can say ‘no’ without feeling guilty
  • have improved self-esteem
  • have improved problem-solving skills
  • teach in a less fragmented way
  • concentrate on the process rather than the outcome
  • feel less overwhelmed by the curriculum
  • feel more awareness around their emotions and actions
  • can effectively manage time with reduced anxiety
  • can pick up on the tone of the classroom more easily
  • allow for students to gain a deeper level of engagement in the learning process

 

Albrecht, N. J., Albrecht, P. M., & Cohen, M. (2012). Mindfully Teaching in the Classroom: a Literature Review. Australian Journal of Teacher E

Want to learn more about Mindfulness in Schools? 
Contact me for MBCT classes, 1:1 sessions and PD Day Presentations.

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