Educating Educators - Mindfulness and Self-Care for Teachers
I was blessed to be able to spend Friday at Nature’s Salt Cave in Cranford with a bunch of wonderful educators from Bayonne High School. I provided them with professional development hours that focused on self-care for restorative rest and mindfulness in the classroom and everyday life through my business, Mindful Life On Demand.
My background, which consists of ten years as a high school educator and a couple of years teaching elementary school, allows me to have the unique perspective of knowing what it’s like to be on the front lines everyday in the classroom. Although I’m out of the public school classroom now with my mindfulness and yoga business, I am an educator at heart and will always want to teach and share what has had a powerful benefit to me.
Every career has stressors and each adds value in a unique way, but I feel that teachers have an extra special job of working with our young people to provide them with important content and to give help them develop their social skills and to help them grow a positive attitude about learning in general.
There are tons of unpredictable things that happen in the classroom that make the lesson plans tough to get through, so it’s extremely important that a teacher is grounded and centered. That’s why I love providing professional development experiences for teachers that focus on practical mindfulness that can be used in the classroom and in everyday life.
I feel privileged to educate educators on using their breath and awareness to see notice what they are thinking and feeling before they react. Seeing where our awareness is provides us with more options and choices in everything that we do.
I saw these benefits personally in the classroom as I started to incorporate what I was learning in my yoga teacher training to my classroom teaching and eventually started teaching some of these mindful practices to my students as we were creating art each day.
I was able to teach some of Bayonne’s best teachers last week how to use guided meditation, breathwork, and sound healing with singing bowls as tools to get themselves recentered and restored so that they can provide their best energy to their students. I also gave them practical tips to check in on their awareness in and out of the classroom and to develop a true practice of noticing that will be part of a lifelong journey to increased mindfulness. This path leads to increased productivity (working smarter, not harder), less stress, increased communication tools, and a more positive attitude in the classroom.
We were lucky to have the salt cave as a beautiful space to work in last week and receive salt therapy during our session. I also provide professional development to educators in the comfort of their schools and am looking forward to heading back to the Bayonne schools to provide in-house mindfulness training later this year.
So honored to share what I have learned with educators because I know that it filters down to the students in their classes, their work with parents, and their interactions with administrators and staff.