What is Mindfulness?
- Mindfulness is generally defined as bringing attention to the present moment, and doing so with curiosity, with kindness towards ourselves, and without judgment.
- Mindfulness involves the practice of intentionally shifting attention to our immediate experience, often to sensory experiences, thoughts or feelings.
- Studies show when we shift attention to present moment experience (particularly sensory experience), there can be a corresponding physiological shift towards decreased stress and greater self-regulation.
- Mindfulness fosters self awareness, focus, self-regulation, kindness and compassion.
Mindful Teaching Begins With the Adults
“Before we try to push mindfulness on our students, we can join the thousands of teachers who are on their own introspective journeys, becoming leading lights of presence and compassion. Often, after taking a mindfulness training, teachers will say that they find an amazing transformation in their classrooms, not from teaching their kids anything, but from showing up as a mindful teacher. It is like dropping an ice cube in a cup of hot water and feeling it cool down.” -Daniel Rechtschaffen, The Mindful Education Workbook
Our Exploration in Mindfulness
Mamaroneck Schools are committed to:
- exposing staff and students to mindful principles and practices.
- providing professional development to those staff members who would like to further their personal practice in mindfulness.
- providing professional development to those staff members who would like to branch their personal mindfulness practice into classroom practices.
- providing resources for parents who would like to bring mindful practices into their homes.
- an evolving and ongoing District inquiry.
The Impact of Mindfulness Training:
In The Mindful Education Workbook, Daniel Rechtschaffen quotes a few recent studies:
- IN TEACHERS: Mindfulness reduces stress and improves focus and happiness (Roeser et al., 2013; Journal of Educational Psychology)
- IN STUDENTS: Improvement is noted in self-regulation, focus and learning. Classrooms are described as more peaceful, with less conflict and more positive feelings amongst students. (Study by S. Zoogman et al., 2014; Mindfulness)
- IN ADULTS IN GENERAL - Changes are noted in brain structure, immunity, happiness and possibly even gene expression (Tang et al, 2015; Nature Reviews Neuroscience)