Mindfulness in Schools: Benefits for Teachers and Students

The practice of All the attention or Mindfulness, more than a set of techniques to be in the present moment, it’s an attitude towards life. It is a coping style that stimulates personal strengths and, in the classroom, brings benefits to students and teachers.

The goal of mindfulness in the educational context is that participants acquire a state of awareness and calm which helps them to self-regulate their behavior and to get to know themselves better, In addition to creating an environment conducive to learning.

Teaching with mindfulness fosters the educational community, in which students thrive academically, emotionally and socially; and in which teachers make the most of the climate created in this educational environment. Mindfulness is a conscious and intentional way of listening to what is going on in and around us, and allows us to unmask automatisms and promote holistic development.

Mindfulness is increasingly popular in schools

Mindfulness became popular in the West thanks to Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn of the University of Massachusetts, who in 1978 began using mindfulness with patients suffering from chronic stress. Since then, mindfulness has been applied in different fields, such as clinic, work or sport.

Scientific studies show that Regular Full Care practitioners have more neuronal density, more well-being, are more efficient in their work and are less likely to suffer depression or anxiety. In recent years, Google has trained its employees in mindfulness with the Search Inside Yourself program, and many leading companies have followed in its footsteps.

In the educational context, mindfulness has also been implemented in many schools and institutes. In Spain, several autonomous communities are participating in the development of this practice. The government of the Canary Islands has introduced for the first time a compulsory subject called Emotional Education, which includes total attention in its curriculum. In Andalusia, trainer and researcher in the field of mindfulness and emotional intelligence, Olivia Recondo, gives courses on emotional intelligence through mindfulness for trainers in collaboration with the board of directors of Andalusia. In Aragon, the Happy Classrooms program is implemented, in Catalonia the Treva program and in the Valencian Community the conscious schools program.

Only a conscious educator can consciously educate

Teachers are people who play a key role in society because they are responsible for the important role of educating future generations. Its task is not only to teach theoretical knowledge, but they are also responsible for promoting a range of values ​​and skills in students for their development within society.

Being a teacher is not always an easy task, and the high demands of being a teacher can lead to chronic stress, emotional fatigue, and relationship problems with students. Mindfulness has proven to work in these situations. For example, reduce teaching stress, sick leave, depression, anxiety or Burnout.

Regular mindfulness practice provides teachers with tools to deal with problematic situations and help improve their quality of life and well-being. This, in turn, impacts their performance and their relationship with their students, leading to an optimal educational environment for learning.

Benefits of Mindfulness in Teachers

Some of the benefits that mindfulness brings to teachers are:

  • Improves attentional concentration and awareness
  • Increases responsiveness to student needs
  • It promotes emotional balance
  • Supports stress management and reduction
  • It promotes healthy personal relationships at work
  • It improves the classroom climate and promotes an optimal environment for learning
  • It promotes general well-being and self-esteem

Benefits of Mindfulness in Students

The ability to reflect on one’s own inner world, and one’s own emotions and thoughts with a compassionate attitude towards oneself brings benefits to the well-being of students and is an essential part of mindfulness training.

A 2011 meta-analysis by Joseph Durlak, in which 270,000 students from all academic stages participated, concluded that students who completed socio-emotional education programs in primary school, not only showed significant improvements as adolescents. less violent), but they also obtained an improvement in their academic results compared to those who did not receive this training.

But not only is emotional regulation an essential part of mindfulness training, and many studies have provided scientific evidence for the positive influence of mindfulness on so-called executive functions of the brain, Such as attention, memory or mental flexibility, all of which are essential for good personal and academic performance.

Regular mindfulness practice benefits students for many reasons. Here are the benefits that mindfulness brings to students:

  • Improves academic performance
  • Improves self-concept
  • Reduces aggression and violence
  • Increase creativity
  • Improves classroom participation by promoting impulse control
  • Improve memory
  • Improves concentration and attention
  • Reduces exam anxiety
  • It encourages the will to learn
  • It encourages self-reflection and self-healing
  • Promote empathy and understanding towards others
  • Encourages prosocial behaviors and healthy interpersonal relationships
  • Improves social and emotional learning
  • Improve overall health

Bibliographical references:

  • Durlak, JA, Weissberg, RP, Dymnicki, AB, Taylor, RD and Schellinger, KB (2011). The impact of improving student social and emotional learning: a meta-analysis of universal school-based interventions. Child Development, 82 (1): 405-432.
  • Frank J. et al. (2015): “The effectiveness of stress reduction based on stress management and the well-being of educators: results of a pilot study”. Mindfulness 6, 208-216.
  • Hassed Craig and Chambers, Richard (2014). Mindful Learning: Reduces stress and improves brain performance for effective learning. Existing publication.

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