This study qualitatively examined the relationship between home practice and reperceiving for teachers who participated in the CARE program. We used distress tolerance, mindfulness, burnout, efficacy, compassion, and self-care as proxies for (or direct representations of) underlying components of reperceiving—awareness, emotion regulation, and compassion.
From a larger study of 224 elementary teachers in a large urban district, 16 teachers were purposively selected for semi-structured interviews. Selected teachers fit one of three profiles: no adopted mindfulness practice; no practice at baseline but practice at post and follow-up; practice at baseline, post, and follow-up. Four coders employed a directed content analysis to (1) investigate the outcomes discretely, examining their prevalence within the three practice groups; (2) analyze the relationships between outcomes and whether these differed across practice groups; and (3) examine teachers’ descriptions of how they used the practices.
There were no differences between practice groups in teachers’ reported amounts of stress, but differences were found across outcomes, specifically mindfulness and efficacy. The no practice group engaged in more suppression and felt less capable of handling their stressors. Teachers who adopted practice described an emerging awareness of their negative emotions, more facility to let go of their stressors, and greater affirmation of the importance of self-care and use of strategies to promote it. Compassion lacked prevalence across practice groups.
Adoption of mindfulness practice may impact teachers’ capacity to reperceive through emotional awareness and self-regulation, but additional research is required to examine the role of compassion.