Stress is ubiquitous.
It is everywhere and it affects everyone. Stress is an essential part of healthy development. Toxic stress is not healthy and is becoming epidemic. Toxic stress is when the demands of life are consistently
greater than our coping skills.
Let’s take an honest look at what life is like for youth these days. Our kids are growing up in a fast paced, high pressure world. We find ourselves in uncharted territory with students who are expected to learn and thrive while being bombarded with more stimuli and fewer resources.
Chronic stress is becoming the norm in the majority of youth. Brain science has taught us that we cannot learn when our nervous system is stressed. Educators are challenged to teach core curriculum leaving little opportunity to support youth in learning how to learn.
Mindfulness can help decrease or reverse the symptoms of toxic stress for both teachers and students.
"I can be an emotional wreck when I’m going through a hard time. Thank you for teaching me how to be with my feelings and for giving me mindful tools that I can use the rest of my life." ~ Jazz 8th grade
"My mindfulness helps me when I am sad, stressed and excited. Mindfulness is a way to help me be focused and calm. I personally love mindfulness because it helps me and the people around me to be mindful of their actions." ~ Haley (grade 4)
Toxic stress experienced by teachers leads to disconnection with students and coworkers, and disconnection leads to burnout. 50% of teachers are exiting their field by year five and 20% leave the profession annually. Teachers who remain in the field have more demands and less resources each year. Mindfulness training can decrease burnout and toxic stress and increase the wellness and productivity of the teachers.
"My favorite thing to learn in your class was how to calm myself down when I am stressed out. I also have skills to know when I am being my Best Self and how to find my way back when I am not." ~ Jeffry – 8 th grade
"My opinion on mindfulness is that it can be used to calm you down. Also, mindfulness is a form of generosity because it is generosity to yourself!" ~ Jay (grade 3)
An Introduction to Mindfulness for Teachers is a 2 hour professional development program created for teachers and administrators. For those ready to take next steps, Sally is available to teach mindfulness in the classroom 2x/week for 8 weeks. This 16 lesson course has resulted in dramatic changes in students capacity to decease stress and increase focus, attention, and emotional regulation. Sally also offers a mentorship program where she partners with Mindful Schools in Oakland for the online training segment and then works with teachers, or whole schools, to integrate a sustainable mindfulness program. This program was piloted in 2015 and the original school continues to be a practicing mindful school.