'Mindfulness ... has the potential to transform your life, the lives of your students, and the life of the school itself.' J. Kabat-Zinn
'MBSR for School Staff' - teachers, ancillary & governors
School & teachers are becoming increasingly pressured to be even more outwardly focused, driven by the directives that dominate within Education at this time. The aim to develop an educated, and presumably creative & effective workforce for the world and the future, is laudable. But at what cost? Before any good teaching and learning can happen we need to cultivate environments where students and teachers feel safe and can relax and a systemic change may be needed to create environments within schools that directly & indirectly infuse students in being mindful.
Both adult & childhood stress & anxiety on the rise in the UK it becomes increasing important for the school community to support students (and staff) in cultivating self-awareness, developing ways to calm the 'busy mind' in the face of stress of all kinds and as an antidote the pressures to to perform, to be a certain way, to fit in. Research shows that being able to recognise and then manage emotions has a tremendous impact on our students' ability to chose their behaviour. Studies also suggest that self-regulation seems to have a stronger association with academic achievement than IQ or entry level scores.
We cannot do this work alone. There is a need for a multi-faceted approach to integrating mindfulness into schools & education. Resources and time are often an obstacle for schools. Finding a way to offer mindfulness training to students & staff in an economically accessible form is an important concern and may require flexibility and effort but the benefits speak for themselves.