This study seeks to better understand the lived experience of teachers who participate in mindfulness training and its effects on their classrooms by evaluating a mindfulness-based teacher professional development curriculum.
Eighty teachers and other school staff completed an 8-week mindfulness training program; pre- and post-test scales were administered, along with individual exit interviews and focus groups. This study focuses mainly on the qualitative findings and one subset of the quantitative findings (the Time Management Stress Subscale in the Teacher Stress Inventory).
Teachers described their experience of slowing, pausing, and stopping as a key component of greater social-emotional competence in the classroom. The findings add to what we already know about how mindfulness skills empower teachers to respond to classroom pressures in ways that improve classroom culture for the benefit of both educators and students.
Cultivating present-moment awareness through mindfulness training may improve the social-emotional competence of educators and support the prosocial classroom. More research is needed to determine if helping educators change their relationship to time may be an important key to accessing greater levels of awareness that allow for the development of mind states that form the basis of the prosocial classroom.