How can we influence student success in ways that go beyond academic preparation? Students reflect the nervous systems of the teachers around them. To complement academic preparation, mindfulness meditation tools enhance students’ mental and emotional focus, contributing to a supportive learning environment.
University of Minnesota students named the stressors in their lives:
- Attempted suicide
- Mental or physical illness
- Credit card debt
- Failing class
- Fired or laid off
- Getting married
- Issues related to sexual orientation
- Lack of health care
- Parental conflict1
Teachers’ stressors may differ from those of students, but the effect on health and well-being is similar. We need to master the skills that we wish for our students to learn.
A growing body of research suggests that mindfulness meditation is a skill that can facilitate learning by preparing the mind to listen. It is the art of being present. The practice benefits everyone—teachers and students.
As a teacher and qualified meditation instructor, I provide:
- Tailored exercises
- A ladder from guided sessions to self-directed practice
- Hands-on demonstrations that require no previous experience
- Train-the-trainer approach designed for teachers
- Situational/intervention training
- Scheduled and as-needed consultation
When you feel ready and identify the appropriate situation, proceed to teach students mindfulness techniques. The research is in: mindfulness meditation delivers benefits to learning and memory, the brain and nervous system, and adds to a sense of happiness.
Meetings and workshops available:
|· Basic Mindfulness Meditation Instruction (1-2 hours)
· Consultation, Goal-Setting, and Mindfulness Meditation Instruction (2-4 hours) with follow-up
· Conference Break-Out Session (1 hour)
· Keynote Address: Why Mindfulness Matters (1 hour)
Related Research and Articles:
- A Harvard University study shows that meditation reduces stress and changes the brain.
- The University of Wisconsin Madison has created the Center for Healthy Minds. Rooted in neuroscience, their research attempts to answer the question: What constitutes a healthy mind?
- The Garrison Institute is a leader in research and application of mindfulness-based activities designed specifically for teachers. Emotional regulation, stress reduction, and self-care training helps teachers create improved teacher-student relationships and effective learning environments.
- Having a qualified instructor is important if one wants to learn to meditate. Having instructions handy is also helpful. This New York Times article covers the basics.
- Need a little help to get in the meditation groove? There are several apps available to help you remember basic meditation instructions. One of the most popular is Headspace.
- The Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota offers Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction training and many other wellness classes, public talks, and related activities.
(1) Minnesota Daily, April 17, 2017: Minnesota Ranked Least Stressed State. Author: Olivia Johnson