Summer break is a great time for teachers to create a new self-care routine that will prepare them for the stressors of the coming school year. Over time, stress can lead to burnout. Without coping strategies for dealing with classroom challenges, teachers are less likely to be able to handle stressful events and manage their classrooms effectively.
One way of developing emotional resiliency and social-emotional skills is through mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is a technique that involves purposely bringing your attention to thoughts, physical sensations and external stimuli as a way of cultivating self-awareness.
If you’ve ever thought about learning how to meditate but couldn’t find the time or a good enough reason to, check out this study done on mindfulness and its impact on teacher stress.
A 2013 study conducted by the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds put a group of 18 teachers through an 8-week mindfulness course in order to study its effect on their ability to deal with stress in the classroom. Teachers were asked to practice a guided meditation at home for at least 15 minutes each day, and also learned mindful strategies for dealing with classroom stressors.
Teachers who completed the training experienced a decrease in anxiety, depression and burnout, in addition to an increased sense of self-compassion and improvements in classroom organization. Teachers in the control group, however, experienced increased feelings of stress and burnout.
Mindfulness teaches us to become more aware of our thought patterns without the need to label them as good or bad. This allows us to become more compassionate not only towards ourselves but also towards our students.
We can’t control our students’ behavior, but we can choose how we respond to it.
Calm Classroom makes mindfulness a part of the classroom culture. Our 3-minute scripted breathing, stretching, focusing and relaxation techniques can help you and your students access a sense of calm, focus and emotional balance throughout the school day.