Mindfulness is defined as purposefully paying non-judgemental attention to what one is experiencing in the current moment (Melbourne Academic Mindfulness Interest Group, 2006). While the mind has a tendency to focus on future worries or past disappointments, mindfulness involves focusing on current sensory experiences. The objective of mindfulness is to welcome and accept your current state including any emotions, thoughts, and perceptions.
Geelong Grammar discusses mindfulness and its benefits as part of its Positive Education Program. Here, they share a meta-analysis of 16 studies of mindfulness therapies in children and youths (age ranging from 6 to 18 years), where mindfulness programs were found to have a beneficial impact on physical health (e.g., cardiovascular functioning), mental health (e.g., symptoms of anxiety), and behavioural outcomes (e.g., social skills, attention, problematic school behaviours) with moderate effect sizes across all outcome variables (Black et al., 2009). To get the full ARTICLE on Mindfulness or more research from Geelong Grammar check out these profound and concise ARTICLES.
Needless to say, we are hearing more and more about the benefits of mindfulness for children – But what about teachers?
In a hectic and usually stressful day, teachers focus on helping students learn in the best possible way as well as promoting their wellbeing. It is little wonder why they have little energy left to think about their own wellbeing.
And yet teachers’ wellbeing and resilience is a crucial element for a caring, compassionate classroom – and a thriving learning environment. Thankfully the Varyana Institute has put together a FREE Ebook on TEACHER MINDFULNESS that you can download here.
Using mindfulness to increase teacher resilience and decrease burnout is certainly one way we can support ourselves and support each other. With between 25 to 40 per cent of teachers leaving the profession within five years of starting, and increasing reports of teacher dissatisfaction, it si great to know that teacher wellbeing is moving to the forefront of education.
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If you have any other ideas to promote teacher wellbeing, I would love to hear from you.