Healthier Teachers, Better Schools

What’s Core to Schools?

The core of our school buildings is the teachers who interact with children on a daily basis. When we teachers feel good about ourselves and what we’re accomplishing with our students, school is a better place to be and students are more successful socially and academically. Mindfulness is one of the proven strategies for effecting teacher stress levels that is within out control.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the simple, but not so easy process of paying attention and then letting go of our present thoughts and emotions without judgements. Living in the moment happily, if you will.

Andy Puddicombe describes mindfulness in this TED Talk. “We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it.”

Here are some ways you can start being more mindful:

  • Download a mindfulness app on your phone and listen during a break or before bed. Here are several that are also applicable to students in a classroom setting.
  • Be aware of your breath for one minute. This is especially helpful if you find yourself upset by something in your environment. (Maybe a student conflict or the tenth time you’re repeating a procedure during the first week.)
  • Learn to meditate. Spend 10 minutes sitting cross legged visualizing your breath as you breath in and out through your nose. (Finding time at lunch for this is a great energizer for the afternoon classes. I like to climb up on the round table in my room to do meditate in my classroom.)
  • Take a free online course to learn meditation techniques. Palouse Mindfulness offers one here.
  • Attend a weekend retreat for meditation and mindfulness. I went to an open house at Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, MS yesterday and they host weekend as well as 5 day retreats for visitors. Magnolia Grove Meditation Hall

I’d love to hear how mindfulness has helped you slow down and appreciate the space between life’s events and your reactions to them.