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The last decade has seen a large increase in the study of mindfulness, a state of active, open attention on the present (Psychology Today, 2015). While the first wave of mindfulness-based programs were for adults, recent efforts have targeted the well-being of school age children and adolescents. Now, it appears the focus has once again shifted so that we are again looking at effective ways to support adults within a variety of institutions through the study of mindfulness. Mindfulness programs in schools are becoming more and more widespread, and in my current school we are looking at the effectiveness of school-based mindfulness programs for adults and students.
In early October, I embarked upon a year-long program with nineteen of my colleagues (faculty, staff, and administrators). The overarching goal is to “learn and implement mindfulness-based practices in the classroom” (Catlett, 2015). Yet, another essential component of the program is our ability to utilize the skills that we’ll gain through the course of the year “to enhance the work environment for faculty, and offer students and colleagues mindfulness-based wellness practices for stress-reduction” (Catlett, 2015).
While I recognize there are schools that are not ready to explore mindfulness-based practices, I am excited to share my thoughts and (more importantly) any resources with individuals and schools interested in learning more about mindfulness and its impact in schools. Here is the first resource (discovered last year) that I’d like to share: The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students by Daniel Rechtschaffen. tlb