Mindfulness for Teachers

I’m reading Patricia Jennings’ book Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom. The content is important every day of the school year, but as we approach the last nine days at my school I find it even more meaningful. The only thing I can truly control is myself, and if I can show up for my students and colleagues in a way that shows I am 100% present, I truly believe this can be the best end of the year yet!

I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Every single day we can and do make incredibly valuable contributions to the lives of individual students and to society as a whole.”

“Positive emotions enhance cognitive abilities and promote strong and enduring social relationships, good health, longevity, resistance to illness, agency, and efficacy.”

“Mindful awareness and mindful behavior help us maintain composure, compassion, and sensitivity to our students’ needs and interests while helping us build the resilience required to maintain our well-being in a highly demanding work environment.”

“Mindfulness can help us recognize and appreciate others’ values and perspectives. It helps us suspend our tendency to judge so that we can be more helpful and caring.”

“Respond in a way that supports the relationship [with students]… Practicing mindful listening is key.”

In conclusion here are some intentions I’m setting for the end of the year:

  • Continue to start each day with a mindfulness meditation.
  • Set an intention every day to be fully present, to observe and listen with all my heart and focus.
  • I will soak in the positive moments, the moments of joy with students and colleagues. I will pause to reflect on how I feel in these moments and observe how others are doing.
  • I will practice gratitude, even in the hard moments. They are teaching me something.
  • I will breathe.
  • I will try to step away from my computer and enjoy my lunch, outside if possible.
  • I will smile at my students and colleagues and I will let them know that they are the reason I come to work every day.
  • When I find myself judging myself or others, I will step back and observe with objectivity.
  • I will remind myself that for all of us, this is a time of year with many emotions. If a student is having a difficult time, I will strive to understand their experience and support them with love.