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Alshattuck40

Mindfulness for Teachers

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I am SO EXCITED to introduce mindfulness practices to teachers in the local school district I work for as a physical therapist! They are so very stressed with the demands of curriculum and student behaviors. I am looking for creative ideas to get teachers to “buy in” to the evidenced based mindfulness strategies without them feeling like this is ONE more thing they have to do.  

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@Alshattuck40 - This is a timely post as I too will be soon working with teachers and staff at a local school! My plan is to make the sessions experiential, so rather than telling them why mindfulness and meditation are so effective, I want to show them. I'm a yoga teacher as well, so I will be leading 30 mins yoga before 30 mins meditation or mindfulness practice. During that second half, I will definitely be including a bit of a lesson aspect to it, so though it will be experiential, they will be well guided through it.

Let me know what you have been planning or thinking 🙂

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I am woking with one school on a year-long project. I offer teachers two sessions per month. One is strictly a yoga experience. The other is some discussion around the book "Real Happiness at Work" by Sharon Salzberg. Each month we focus on one of the "pillars" that the author writes about. The discussion is topically relevant to what's going on in school and we also do QiGong for health and wellness. It is incredibly rewarding for me to do this work. As a former teacher (health equation) and Principal in Middle school, I have a deep appreciation for the challenges teachers and principals face and am committed to offering mindfulness strategies to reengineer their response to stress through increased self-awareness and by cultivating self-compassion.

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On January 6 I enjoyed working with the amazing staff at St. Peter's Episcopal School in Chattanooga for 90 minutes during a professional development day. We practiced Mindful Movement (Mostly QiGong) to relax our minds and bodies. Afterwards one teacher reported she was just getting ready to go home in fear of an oncoming migraine, but after our Mindful Movement session, she felt well again. Another noticed tension in her neck and shoulders that relaxed. We practiced mindfulness meditation to bring self-compassion into our present moment experience. Teachers reported feeling "brighter" and "more balanced" afterwards. My belief is that, relaxed and more self-aware, teachers can do their best work for children, and are more likely to practice self-care. I am appreciative of the Principal for allowing that much time on a professional development day. She had joined her staff for a three day "Teacher Restorative" I facilitated last summer. She sees the benefit of this work and for that I am grateful. 🙂

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@Mike Goins - That all sounds so restorative and equally invigorating. It really speaks to the truth that we actually gain energy from taking rest and prioritizing slowness and stillness. All in balance of course, but it comes as no surprised that people felt both relaxed and brighter.

I had a similar start to the year - just held my first back-to-back sessions with two groups of teachers and staff at a school here in Stockholm. It was an introduction class, so I talked a bit about meditation, the difference between mindfulness and meditation, and led them through a slow yoga practice and then a meditation of various techniques. Someone told me it was their first yoga class and they loved it... which is always a lovely thing to hear!

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