By Steve Williams, Executive Director One of the things I’ve always loved about being a…
Weilenmann School of Discovery is pleased to be among the Park City schools piloting a Mindfulness program for teachers and students, using the Mindful Schools curriculum. A small group of WSD teachers, representing all grade levels, are learning simple, effective mindfulness practices that can be integrated and adapted into the school day. When applied to the classroom, this research-based curriculum has shown strong improvements in students’ emotional regulation, focus, and engagement. It has also been shown to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, while increasing kindness and compassion — for self and others.
Heather Prete, a Mindful Schools instructor, explains that the practice can be an excellent tool for self-care in many aspects of life. Described as a “moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, sensations and surrounding environment,” it also intentionally nurtures “positive mind states.” For teachers, it can lead to reduced stress and burnout, greater job satisfaction, an improved connection with students, and a more emotionally supportive classroom. For students, studies show an improvement in cognitive outcomes, better social-emotional skills, more engagement, and increased feelings of well being.
“The journey of mindfulness can’t really be known and mapped out in advance,” explains Heather. “It’s full of surprises and discovery.” WSD teachers hope to discover that by teaching students to slow down, let go, and pay attention to the here and now, they will see a meaningful shift in students’ relationships to learning, to others, and above all, to themselves. “Sometimes,” Heather continues, “as we begin to investigate the present moment with an open curiosity, a new world is revealed. We never know what we may find. All we need to do is meet it. A gentle, loving approach will aid us in the journey.”
For more information, visit http://www.mindfulschools.org