We can now offer a Mindfulness workshop to all school staff as a 90 minute twilight session or inset workshop; it is suitable for primary and secondary staff.
A happy, well-motivated staff is an essential ingredient in a high functioning school. The Health and Safety Executive have cited teaching as being among the top 5 occupations affected by work-related stress with 70% of teachers saying their health has suffered because of their job.
An increased ability to deal with the stress and emotional intensity of the job can improve teacher/student relationships as well as the teacher's personal well-being.
Mindfulness and meditation practice can help school staff to change the way they think and feel about their experiences – especially stressful experiences. Through mindfulness exercises, we allow ourselves freedom to pay attention to the present moment, using techniques centred on meditation and breathing.
Recent research from the University of Oxford shows that people who regularly practise mindfulness or meditation can achieve reductions of nearly 60% in their anxiety levels and 40% in their overall stress. Additionally, research explicitly carried out on teaching staff who have adopted a mindfulness practice has indicated a reduction in ‘burn-out’ and an improvement in classroom performance.
This introductory workshop aims to provide a brief overview of the theory behind mindfulness/meditation and an opportunity to sample some of the techniques that form part of a regular practice.
This largely experiential workshop is aimed at all primary and secondary school staff to include TAs, pastoral staff, heads of year as well as teachers.
Attendees will participate in practices which they can take away and use at home and at school; in time they may even wish to share them with their students.
In response to schools wanting additional sessions after experiencing the Introduction to Mindfulness detailed above, we have started deliveries with the following themes:
Sleep – healthy sleep has more to do with quality of rest than quantity of hours. Sleep meditations help created the inner conditions needed for a truly restful night: when we settle the mind, we rest the body and it is that restfulness that makes it easier to wind down and drift off.
Compassion - looking at this not only for others but for self. To include themes of kindness, our inner-critic, our experience of dealing with ‘difficult’ people.
Staying present - the how and why of staying fully engaged in what is happening right now; to include focus, staying with feelings rather than pushing them away and a need for a constant appreciation of fluidity and an acceptance that everything changes.
"Doing the stress test made me realise that I need to reduce it!"
"I think the session provides great support in managing the stresses and strains of teaching/working in a school. We would be interested in having a session for our Year 6 children and developing a regular meditation group."
"Brilliant session which opened my eyes to ways I can reduce stress which I may not have been exposed to before"