The benefits of mindfulness for teachers and young people

10 Jun 2020

In both of my books there has been chapters on the nature and benefits of a meditation habit. It is something I am hugely passionate about, and has had a real impact on my own stress levels over the past five years. In this chapter from ‘A Quiet Education’, Tackling Teacher Burn Out, I argued that it is one way in which we can prevent ourselves from becoming overwhelmed by the various demands that teaching places on us. For me, it has become an essential way to manage feelings of stress and anxiety, something that sets me up for the start of the day. Given the current situation and the demands that teachers will face in the new academic year, I feel that it could be a hugely helpful skill for more teachers to learn and practise.

Given this meditation background, and profound belief that it can have real benefits for others, I was absolutely delighted that Richard Burnett, who is the director of The Mindfullness in Schools project, gave into my pestering and has come on to the podcast. Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) is a national, not-for-profit charity for young people and schools. Their aim is to improve the lives of a generation of children and young people by making a genuine, positive difference to their mental health and wellbeing. They are doing amazing work, and have an aspiration to reach a million children in the next five years.

In our conversation we explore some of the misconceptions about mindfulness, and why some people have been put off from poorly delivered staff training, or exaggerated claims about the impact it can have. We then look at the beneifts of developing a mindfulness habit for teachers, and how you might go about starting a habit. We then delve into some of the superb work that the mindfulness in schools project is doing with young people, and the hugely positive impact of that work.

Richard is a hugely passionate and knowledgable guest, so I hope you enjoy our conversation.

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Jamie Thom

English teacher, host of @TES English teaching podcast. Author of 'Slow Teaching.' MEd in Practitioner Enquiry, doctorate student #StrathEdD. Runner.

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