Mindfulness in Schools, Smiling Mind Ambassador, Teachers 4 minute read

3 surprising effects mindfulness has on teachers

Mindfulness is a skill for life.

Mindfulness can calm the mind, focus our attention and help us make the most out of any situation.  

Mindfulness is about focusing attention on the here and now, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Good mental health is grounded in being mindful.

Bringing mindfulness in to your school and being a role model for students, sets your young people up for the future and their career.
 

Meet Anna, a Mindful Teacher.

Screen Shot 2019-03-21 at 11.16.24 am

She uses Smiling Mind in her school to support continuing to be a mindful teacher, colleague, friend and fellow human being.

This is her story where she discusses her experience with mindfulness in education and her top 3 surprising effects of mindfulness for teachers.

I am a perfectionist, and it can be a curse.

The idea of meditation in schools and mindful learning used to slightly intimidate me. Like others when they are beginning to explore mindfulness, I once held the misconception that I wasn’t doing it right if thoughts interrupted me.

We live in a society where we experience instant gratification and have learnt to expect it. As a result, we are less patient. This makes mindfulness in schools so important, and something we need to be aware of is that it will take time and perseverance to really feel the benefits.
 

Finding mindfulness

My own mindfulness journey began after moving from the green hills of Tasmania to the busy streets of London. I caught the ‘rushing syndrome’, and that, combined with a teaching career at a school which held an incredible demand for achieving ‘perfection’, caused my overstimulated brain to lose its connection with my purpose.

Smiling Mind-5637-1

However, the more I practiced mindfulness, the more I found that my actions and thoughts better reflected my values, bringing more joy into my life.

Many of us are blessed to have someone in our lives who is an influential and calming presence. For me, it was my dad. Being on the other side of the world though, meant I had to build those regulation skills within myself.

I quickly realised that we are the only ones who have control over our wellbeing; if we want to be that grounded person for others, and ourselves, it can only be done through our own practice. 

 
Mindfulness, meditation and the Eiffel Tower

I was fortunate to have identified the need to incorporate mindfulness practice in my lifestyle, and learnt some brilliant tools and philosophies from Zen Master Thich Nhat Tan in France.

Upon returning to Australia though, my days meditating and being mindful or at least living in a more mindful state seemed to fade into the background. I began to feel the rising pressures of working at a new school. Thankfully, a colleague introduced me to Smiling Mind, and I immediately loved the ease with which I could fit it into my day in the classroom. I was back on track thanks to this incredible app.

image-from-rawpixel-id-99863-jpeg

Mindfulness for the whole school

When I thought about how I was going to implement mindfulness across my school, it was overwhelming, but trusting in my personal experience and the support from Smiling Mind I knew just how right it was for my students, my school and myself.

Using Smiling Mind as a mindfulness tool in an education setting is not just about teaching meditation to the children. In order to teach wellbeing, you must first have the skills I alluded to above; discipline, self regulation and acceptance. 
 

image-from-rawpixel-id-378622-jpeg

Mindfulness for teachers

I have found Smiling Mind to be a brilliant tool that first and foremost educates teachers on how to be more aware and grounded, whilst forming the habit to share the practice with their students. As a result, it assists in developing self awareness in recognising the physical symptoms of an overloaded brain for our teachers.

Teaching can be a fast-paced and sometimes overwhelming career.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 53% of people who hold a teaching degree do not currently work in education. That's the majority!

Some level of anxiety is normal; however at many schools, we are seeing it to the point where students and teachers alike are finding it hard to switch off. Some devices and social media are designed to be addictive, and brains are being stimulated more than ever before. It is imperative to instil the most important mindfulness skills, in both teachers and students, being awareness and compassion for themselves and others.
 

Key to successfully implementing mindfulness in your school

The key to success of using Smiling Mind as a wellbeing tool in my own workplace is also largely due to all three stakeholders being part of the process: teachers, students and parents.

My view of mindfulness has opened up beyond focused breathing exercises. I have noticed a shift in my interactions with people; a genuine hello to the tram driver, combined with a smile and eye contact, listening completely to a conversation on the phone (without trying to multitask!), and resisting the urge to reach for my phone while waiting for someone.

Mindfulness practices for teachers, helps immensely to peel back the layers that can mask our purpose. It allows us to quieten our often over-stimulated brains, and when we focus on being present, we feel authentic, lighter and more balanced.
 

3 surprising effects of mindfulness for teachers

Here's how mindfulness helps you be a better teacher, friend, human.

  1. Improved sleep
    Assessments piling up for marking keeping you awake at night? Practising mindfulness of an evening can greatly increase your quantity and quality of sleep.

  2. Enhanced student & parent engagement
    Mindfulness can help you connect and relate more easily with students and parents alike, thereby increasing engagement levels across the board.

  3. More workplace satisfaction
    If the thought of going into work is a hard one, mindfulness can help. You can find great satisfaction in any workplace by practising mindfulness, through deeper connections with colleagues, feeling less stressed and more grateful. Smiling Mind has found by incorporating their curriculum an increase in teacher job satisfaction overall. 

Not only will teachers minds benefit from mindfulness practices, however their classroom environment, social lives and personal lives may also benefit.

Teachers who practice mindfulness sleep better, are less stressed and have improved student relationships.

Now try telling me you don't want more of that!

Everything Smiling Mind does with the app is backed by evidence, which is why they have published research to support the beautiful effects of mindfulness for teachers here and have published Evidence Based Guidelines for Mindfulness in Schools here.

It is an absolute pleasure to share all of this with my students through an innovative tool like Smiling Mind.
 

Watch Anna's story here.

See this story come to life as she walks us through her day below.

mindful-learning-mindfulness-for-teachers


  

Smiling Mind Team

Written by Smiling Mind Team

Latest

5 minutes with Lucy Barrat

Meet Lucy, Lucy is a teacher at Methodist Ladies College in Mallacoota and spoke to us about how she uses mindfulness in...

Mindfulness for Children, Childhood Anxiety, Schools 5 minute read

5 simple ways to get your kids into mindfulness

Mindfulness has many benefits for your mental health, which is equally as important as your physical health. 

Mindfulness for Children, Family 4 minute read

Returning to the ‘new normal’ - keeping kids calm in the classroom

The past year has been one of the most unusual and unprecedented in our lives. For little ones it can be hard to underst...

Teachers, Students, Anxiety, COVID19 2 minute read

5 tips for transitioning back to the classroom

The time has come for many parents around the country and globe to send their little ones back to school after what has ...

5 minute read
Quote of the week
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.”
Pema Chödrön

At home

How mindfulness can help during Coronavirus

We are living through an unprecedented and uncertain time, requiring each of us to navigate our way, as best we can, thr...

Children, Family, Parents, Anxiety 6 minute read

Dealing with the bushfire crisis at home

With images of distraught families fleeing bushfires, blackened homes, dead animals and smoke-filled skies, it's hard no...

Children, Family, Parents, Anxiety 2 minute read

4 ways to encourage mindful learning in schools

The classroom where students learn (and play) is crucial in shaping their physical, mental and social health. The facts ...

Mindfulness in Schools, Mindfulness for Children, Children, Teachers, Students, Schools 3 minute read

At Work

Staying mentally healthy when you're working from home

Working from home for an extended period of time will be new to many of us. We've compiled these some tips to make this ...

Mindfulness in the Workplace, "Workplace Mental Health, COVID19 2 minute read

6 ways to avoid burnout

Recently you may have noticed there’s been a heap of news about burnout so we thought we'd pull together a list of tips ...

Mindfulness in the Workplace, "Workplace Mental Health 4 minute read

How mindfulness helps me meet and exceed my sales targets

Today we're all under an increasing amount of stress, none more so than sales teams trying to reach targets before the e...

Mindfulness in the Workplace 3 minute read

At school

5 minutes with Lucy Barrat

Meet Lucy, Lucy is a teacher at Methodist Ladies College in Mallacoota and spoke to us about how she uses mindfulness in...

Mindfulness for Children, Childhood Anxiety, Schools 5 minute read

Why mindfulness is a journey, not a destination

Mindfulness can be a rewarding journey for both teachers and students. But like most journeys, the benefits are greater ...

Mindfulness in Schools, Teachers, Schools 3 minute read

What is the Mindfulness Curriculum and how do I teach it?

It can be tough as a teacher in the primary years to know how to teach everything in an effective and purposeful way - n...

Mindfulness in Schools, Teachers, Schools 3 minute read
Recent initiatives
Screen Shot 2020-11-16 at 3.30.05 pm

NAIDOC Week with Jack Charles