Mindfulness Meditation for Teachers

The Meditation Tree (Sandy Orkin) will also travel onsite to schools to teach a 6 week series of classes including an Intro Class to garner and determine interest from those who wish to pursue the practice of Mindfulness Meditation.  The classes may be conducted at your facility or I can offer my facility to conduct classes at an arranged time conducive to everyone’s schedule. (usually weekends)

Normally, classes at my facility are 90 minutes, but can reduce to an hour at your facility if better suited to your staff’s availability. I would be happy to arrange a meeting with you to further discuss options available. 

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Solid scientific evidence suggests that mindfulness interventions improve attention, self-control, emotional resilience, memory and immune response. 

Since stress and anxiety accompany many teachers’ work settings and arise from a variety of sources, we look for ways to reduce that stress. Mindfulness programs provide one source of relief for work related stress and, for some, an avenue for self and other exploration. (Univ of Colorado)

While there are still many questions about how mindfulness works and how best to measure its effects, current research suggests that practicing mindfulness on a regular basis could benefit teachers in the following areas.

Stress reduction

  1. Health and immune function

  2. Focus and attention

  3. Handling difficult emotions

  4. Care for self and others

Teaching can be stressful, and as members of a service profession, teachers often put the needs of others before their own. As a result, they might find it difficult to take proper care of themselves, both physically and emotionally. Over time this can lead to burnout and depression. Taking time to practice and develop the qualities of mindfulness can help teachers renew their energy, motivation, and sense of well-being. 

Teachers who practice mindfulness may find that they are less stressed and more attentive, and as a result, their students may have more positive learning experience. And if a teacher decides to share these skills with their students, they can develop these qualities for themselves. 

Scientists now understand that stress has a significant impact on academic performance. The human brain is a powerful learning machine, and the parts of the brain most involved in acquiring new cognitive skills also demand the most energy. As stress levels increase, the brain begins to shut down these learning regions to save energy for a “fight or flight” response.

While mindfulness practice doesn’t eliminate stress completely, it gives both teachers students a powerful tool to help them regulate their response to stress and other emotional challenges. Given these benefits, we believe that mindfulness training could significantly enhance learning and behavior in the classroom.

Of course, stress reduction is not the only benefit. Mindfulness can help students pay attention in class and improve their ability to concentrate and focus. It can also help students develop more empathy and compassion for their peers, enabling them to resolve conflicts more constructively. 

The challenge of mindfulness is the discipline of setting aside time each day to practice, and then remembering to apply this practice throughout the day, particularly in times of difficulty and stress.

Mindfulness is a skill that benefits from ongoing, repeated use and encouragement. While mindfulness can be applied to any and all contexts throughout the school day, it doesn’t require large blocks of time to be taught and practiced effectively.

Mindfulness can be practiced in very short time increments, such as the first minute of a class period, or while students are lining up for lunch, or at a moment when the class has been disrupted and lost focus. If students and teachers both understand the practice, they can find the moments during the school day when applying these skills can have the greatest impact.

Mindfulness is an experiential skill. The directions are very simple and basic, but the real challenge (and where expertise is required) is in the actual practice and application, which can be very subtle and nuanced. For this reason, it’s not enough to know how to teach a class on mindfulness. It’s necessary for the instructor to be an actual practitioner so they can see for themselves how it works. (Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, LSP)

For further discussion or to set up an appointment…..

Email: sandy@themeditationtree.com or call (818) 429-9299