The Way of Mindful Education
Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students
W.W. Norton and C 2000
Time and resources are scarce for many teachers. Often times, these same teachers are under immense pressure to produce higher test scores and severely constrained with the actions they can take in their own classrooms. What are the consequences of working under conditions in which you have increasing responsibilities without sufficiently corresponding support and professional autonomy? Teachers may only prioritize the content that appears on standardized assessments and rarely address other worthwhile knowledge and skills. They may also work excessively long hours, ultimately undermining their personal well-being and their professional effectiveness. What if teachers were instead incentivized to model mindfulness and teach practices to students? Could we avoid more situations like the ones described above? In The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students (W. W. Norton and Company, 2014) and The Mindful Education Workbook: Lessons for Teaching Mindfulness to Students (W. W. Norton and Company, 2016), Daniel Rechtschaffen provides a definition for mindfulness that clearly distinguishes it from other similar or related ideas and articulates its unique benefits for teachers and students by drawing on classroom dilemmas and corresponding practices.
During our conversation, he also recommended the following books:
Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens, and Families by Susan Kaiser Greenland
The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate by Susan Kaiser Greenland
Building Emotional Intelligence: Techniques to Cultivate Inner Strength in Children by Linda Lantieri
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Illness, and Pain by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment and Your Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Trevor Mattea is an educational consultant and speaker. His areas of expertise include deeper learning, parent involvement, project-based learning, and technology integration. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @tsmattea.