With growing classroom stressors like budget cuts, standardized testing, and students with emotional challenges, teachers may be thinking about how to prepare for the demands of the coming school year.
One way to effectively manage the effects of these stressors is by practicing mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness simply means being aware of what is going on in the present moment without judging the experience. Mindfulness can help us find peace in chaotic moments; as well as create the headspace needed to stop and think before we react. We can practice mindfulness by taking time to purposely focus on our breathing, the sounds in our environment, or the physical sensations in our bodies.
Here’s a list of 3 ways mindfulness can help teachers manage stress, as cited by the University of California at Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center:
1. Mindfulness helps teachers better understand their emotions
From instruction to lesson planning to grading papers, there’s a lot that goes into the daily life of a teacher. It’s easy to rush through the day on autopilot without stopping to tune into how you’re feeling. When we’re not aware of our emotions, stress and anxiety can creep in. Practicing mindfulness can help you notice when you need to pause, take a breath, and check in with yourself.
2. Mindfulness helps teachers manage students with behavior challenges
It’s difficult to manage disruptive students, period. With mindfulness, we can notice our emotions as they’re arising and make the choice to respond consciously to students, rather than reacting impulsively.
3. Mindfulness helps strengthen a teacher’s relationships with students
Research on classroom management cites positive teacher-student relationships as an essential part of a healthy classroom environment. By integrating mindfulness into the classroom culture, we are sending students the message that their mental and emotional needs are just as important as academic material. When students feel cared for in the classroom, they are more likely to trust and respect their teacher.
Calm Classroom techniques allow you to enjoy the everyday benefits of mindfulness in your classroom. Our 3-minute scripted breathing, stretching, focusing and relaxation techniques can help you and your students build self-awareness, focus and emotional balance throughout the school day.