MBSR E-12 Teachers & Administrators

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for
E-12 Teachers & Administrators


K-12 teachers face an array of stressors, yet are provided with few resources with which to alleviate them.  Mindfulness programs for K-12 teachers and administrators provide educators with additional resources for stress reduction, job satisfaction, and emotional development and competence.  (Meiklejohn, Phillips, Freedman, Griffin, Biegel, Roach, Frank, Saltzman, 2012).


NEW 8-week MBSR Course Beginning January 4, 2017

Details & Registration: 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mindfulness-based-stress-reduction-8-week-course-tickets-29196996001


Benefits of MBSR training for E-12 teachers and administrators:
  • decreased burnout and compassion fatigue
  • decreased occupational stress
  • increased work satisfaction
  • increased retention of teachers (+5 years)
  • increased empathy and effective communication
  • increased social/ emotional competence
  • increased classroom management (power vs force)
  • enhanced classroom environment

The program cultivates the skills necessary for E-12 educators and administrators to: 

  • become aware of and regulate their thoughts, emotions and behavior
  • more effectively manage stress and improve health and well-being
  • to reclaim a sense of wholeness and happiness in one’s personal life and relationships
  • to rekindle one’s motivation to teach
  • improve classroom instructional quality
Resources:
Flook, L. (January, 2014). The Oasis Within: Mindfulness Practice for Teachers. Edutopia. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/oasis-within-mindfulness-practice-         teachers-lisa-flook
Meiklejohn, J., Phillips, C., Freedman, M. L., Griffin, M. L., Biegel, G., Roach, A., Frank, J., … Saltzman, A. (December 01, 2012). Integrating Mindfulness Training       into K-12 Education: Fostering the Resilience of Teachers and Students. Mindfulness, 3, 4, 291-307.
Saltzman, A. (2014). A still quiet place: A mindfulness program for teaching children and adolescents to ease stress and difficult emotions. Oakland, CA : New     Harbinger

Benefits of teaching mindfulness in E-12 classrooms

 

meditationinschools

Mindfulness as a Foundation for Learning
By: Dr. Amy Saltzman

Students are being diagnosed with depression, anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, cutting, addictions and other self-destructive behaviors at epidemic rates. Cruelty, bullying and violence are on the rise.  Most, if not all, children could benefit from learning to focus their attention, to become less reactive, and to be more compassionate with themselves and others.

Fortunately, science is now documenting the negative impact that stress is having on learning everyday, in classrooms across the country. The neurological processes that explain this interaction are collectively called executive function, which includes—
•    goal-directed behavior
•    planning
•    organized search
•    impulse control

Not surprisingly the research proves executive function correlates with working memory, emotional regulation, and resilience. The data shows that stress and poverty result in lower executive function and working memory in kids. Studies by Soniya Luthar at Columbia University Teachers College show that affluent teens are as stressed, depressed and anxious as their low-income peers. Over 30 years of research with adults has shown that Mindfulness decreases stress, depression, anxiety, and hostility, and enhances executive function, compassion and empathy.  Related studies have shown that self-compassion has academic benefits, especially when dealing with perceived failure.

Saltzman, A. (2014). A still quiet place: A mindfulness program for teaching children and adolescents to ease stress and difficult emotions. Oakland, CA : New     Harbinger


Rationale for Offering Mindfulness Training to E-12 Students

25 Jul 2012 --- Two boys sitting cross legged on steps meditating --- Image by © Marc Fluri/Corbis

25 Jul 2012 — Two boys sitting cross legged on steps meditating — Image by © Marc Fluri/Corbis

The application of mindfulness-based approaches with children and adolescents is a newly evolving field, with current evidence suggesting these approaches are acceptable and feasible with youth. To date, current research stems largely from a clinical perspective, mirroring research trends with adults.  Specifically, it is suggested that mindfulness training can enhance students’ capacities in self-regulation of attention and emotions, and buffer the developing brain from the deleterious effects of excessive stress.

Abundant child development research now highlights the effects of stress, as well as genetics and environment, upon whether children’s lives get off to a promising or troubled start. The science of child development informs us that the brain is built over time and that excessive stress damages the architecture of the developing brain leading to vulnerability
to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and overall health.

For K-12 students, as for adults, mindful awareness emerges when they intentionally focus attention on their present moment experience while maintaining receptive attitudes of acceptance, kindly curiosity, and non-judgment (Bishop et al.2004; Shapiro et al. 2006). The practice of mindful awareness allows students to relate to their internal and external experiences in ways that are present-centered, objective, and responsive, rather than in ways that are past or future-focused, subjective, or reactive. Short but regular formal mindfulness training exercises, combined with informal mindfulness awareness practices, can strengthen their innate capacities for being mindful, and therefore their capacities to relate to any experience — whether pleasurable, neutral, stressful, or difficult — in ways that are responsive rather than reactive and reflexive.

Meiklejohn, J., Phillips, C., Freedman, M. L., Griffin, M. L., Biegel, G., Roach, A., Frank, J., … Saltzman, A. (December 01, 2012). Integrating Mindfulness Training       into K-12 Education: Fostering the Resilience of Teachers and Students. Mindfulness, 3, 4, 291-307.


Words from the Children 
(From: Saltzman, A. (2014). A still quiet place: A mindfulness program for teaching children and adolescents to ease stress and difficult emotions.)

Children who completed a mindfulness course were asked to write a letter to a friend briefly explaining what they’d experienced during the course.  The comments below are taken verbatim from the children’s notes, misspellings and all.

 

  • I think mindfulness has truly helped me become more aware of focusing. I learned to bring my attention back when it wandered which helped me with hard or confusing tests.
  • It feels sort of strange but peaceful. I can’t really tell how I use mindfulness at home, but I do know it helps me when I am mad at my brother.
  • It helps you concentrate. I use it every time I have a hard test.  It brings my attention back to the test and the problem.
  • When I am sad or kind of in a bad mood I take about 10 breaths and I get relaxed. I also forget about my worries.  I learned this from mindfulness. I enjoy coming here because I forget about my troubles and I forget about all the things in my life that is sad. My sadness just fades.
  • Dear Keith, I am doing this thing called mindfulness. It is a way of understanding and being aware of feelings. One thing you do is go to the Still Quiet Place. It feels relaxing to be there. Mindfulness has helped me before homework because it relaxes me so I do a good job with my homework.
  • Still quiet place has given me a lot of stress relief. I use mindfulness when I’m upset or stressed out. Mindfulness Rocks! Thank you Dr. Saltzman for introducing this wonderful program to me.
  • Dear Friend, Mindfulness is a class I am taking at school. It is a time when we breathe and think about our thoughts, about NOW, not the past or the future. When we settle in breathing we go to our “still quiet place”. It feels calming in the “still quiet place”. I use mindfulness when I am nervous about something.
  • Dear Invisible Bob, Resting in the Still Quiet Place is very relaxing. It helps you get in touch with your inner self.  And find out how you are actually feeling.
  • Mindfulness is a great class because you can chill out, and relax. It will cool you down and make you less stressed. You should try it if you are mad or sad or just want to feel better. That’s what I do. Try it!

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program includes:

  • 8-weeks of instructor-led classes
  • Instruction in mindfulness meditation practices including sitting, walking, and eating
  • Body-scan relaxation
  • Group discussions
  • Gentle yoga and Qi gong
  • Relaxation and meditation methods for calming the body and mind
  • Effective communication and stress reduction strategies
  • Pain management
  • Methods for overcoming challenging emotions (e.g. anger, anxiety, depression) 
  • Daily “homework”
  • Individual, tailored instruction
  • CD’s and workbook
  • CEU’s are available and approved (30 contact hours)