Congratulations to our new Mindfulness Mentors. For the past 3 months we have been meeting weekly and practicing the many components of our "What is mindfulness" orientation to support our outreach goals. I am excited about the impact this group will have on our community. A few mentors were unable to make the last meeting and we will post a complete group shot in the fall. I am grateful for their effort and dedication.
Julian gives a great explanation of how we can become better listeners. He also makes the point that listening should be taught in schools. Listening is a way of paying attention on purpose and is an important tool that will help us connect and problem solve.
Teachers are the heartbeat of public schools.
AMP. A collaboration with Mindful Harlem and JCC Harlem.
Most people will agree that teaching is stressful and that classroom management and student relations requires far more skill and understanding than meets the eye. Teachers are frequently underpaid and suffer from burnout to an alarming degree and many drop out of the profession a few years in. This fact is tragic. Teachers have one of the most important jobs in our society and generally begin their profession with optimism, dedication and a desire to serve. It is an urgent imperative to offer these men and women the support and development they need to manage the stress and challenges inherent in the job in ways that cultivate joy for teaching, learning and growing strong in the school organization. There is an urgent need for a school based culture of mindfulness and the place to begin is with the very people engaged in the day to day learning with the children. The place to begin is with a deep appreciation of this profession and an acknowledgement that support and development is a necessity and not an add on or one time workshop. It is only then that children will benefit.
Patricia Jennings PhD, a researcher and teacher of mindfulness with ‘CARE’, says in her report in ‘Greater Good’ newsletter that
“.....teachers stress is not only a problem for teachers; it can also be a problem for students. Stressed teachers impact students’ stress level through a contagion effect, and since students’ stress impacts learning, this can hurt the quality of education in the classroom. “
Dr. Jennings goes on to say after her study with 224 teachers, that the evidence shows that mindfulness training helps teachers and increases academic performance in their classrooms.
Makes sense, right? When teachers feel better; feel supported and valued; are able to manage their emotions and reactions in positive, self caring ways~ this benefits everyone! Mindfulness may not change the huge economic, psychological and social stressors and demands on the organization (yet). It is not meant to justify the inequity and urgent need for reform. It is a first and most important step for support and development on the front lines.
Mindfulness requires personal attention and you cannot command someone to be mindful.
It can not be a mandated practice!
Jamie Bristow, Director of The Mindfulness Initiative in the UK, found that training staff has many benefits in its own right, and may impact teaching quality. Daniel Goleman, a famous psychologist in the field of education and mindfulness in education, shows us in his important research that self regulation capabilities are the biggest single determinant of life outcomes.
Mindfulness is a practice that cultivates self regulation. AMP supports the cultivation of life skills that build these capacities.
Please support our non profit organization to help us help whole school organizations.
Please support the teachers who are helping raise our children.
Jayne Gumpel LCSW