Teaching is a stressful job.
We lost half of the eighth-grade teachers at my last school year. I spent the year walking the track at lunch to re-calibrate my own nervous system. I decided I needed to do something.
The best way I know how to create community is through practicing mindfulness, so I’ve created a space for colleagues to sit together two mornings a week before school starts.
Being mindful of our own needs for self-care as educators is a top priority for me this year. A new administrator at our site admitted that as a teacher, self-care typically landed at the bottom of her list, beneath lesson planning and grading and parent conferences and on and on. I told her nothing gets in the way of teacher self-care.
In that spirit another source of community I’m tapping into this year is the Mindful Educator yearlong program offered by Mindful Schools. The program requires participants to dedicate at least twenty minutes a day to formally practice mindfulness. I am adding to those minutes by taking mindful breaths throughout the day with my students. Instead of setting aside one day a week for our practice, such as “Mindful Mondays,” I’m attempting to embody the practice in the classroom moment to moment.
The program requires participants to dedicate at least twenty minutes a day to formally practice mindfulness.