Inaugural Discussion: What does mindful teaching and learning mean to you?

In this opening discussion, we invite all visitors to this website to share your experiences and your perspectives on what mindful teaching and learning means to you. What do you find inviting about the concept of mindful teaching? How would you recognize it if you were observing a teacher enacting mindful teaching?

- December 2013

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the present moment is a teaching moment

Mindful teaching is mindful living. It is being in the present moment fully to be available to oneself and one's student completely. Every good teacher must be a good listener and must take his/her student where he/she is and work from there. This is only attainable to those who can shed themselves of inhabiting the past or anticipating the future and simply work in the moment to be both available and responsive to the situation as it truly is.

the role of a teacher

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."

~Albert Einstein

Mindful Attention

To me, mindful teaching has to do with a shift of focus so that we pay attention to the whole student, not only the grades. It also means that we give time to the students who are on the periphery of our awareness. Finding time for quiet in the classroom helps cultivate this spirit of mindfulness.

Remembering what is most important in the classroom

The easy to follow meditation practices on this wonderful new site (a veritable one-stop shop for anyone in education interested in learning more about the benefits of mindfulness) will help teachers briefly pause and remember daily what the true center of the classroom is: the student and their learning.

Mindful Teaching

The attention mindful teaching demands through genuine concerted action, attention to the ethics of process, regard for the development of self-understandings in relation to other(s), and cognizance of contextually sensitive practices, characterizes mind understood as a verb. As a teacher educator I am invested in “moving minds” (Bresler, 2004). This movement of thinking is at the heart of what it means to educate. Thus, attention to this movement is the mindfulness I seek within educative settings of all kinds.

Mindful learning

The real challenge is for students to learn how to be mindful in their dealings with each other and their teachers.


Mindful teaching for me is often no more than sitting down at my desk during recess and noticing one or two of my breaths with nothing in my hands.

Mindful Teaching

Mindful teaching allows space for students to enter in. Sometimes I get so caught up with "teaching" that I forget to really interact with them. It's nice to quiet my mind and listen. Amazing what I hear and learn.

The Way of the Teacher

When reading Musashi's Book of Five Rings during my teacher training I saw a number of ways that the samurai's mindfulness could apply to my practice.

The way is in training. Practice of particular actions allows them to be used without thought, freeing the mind to assess any situation.

Do not be attached. The swordsman’s focus must be cutting the enemy. The teacher’s focus must be the student’s learning. Too much commitment to some particular style, equipment, or other matter creates a distraction and inhibits flexibility.

Cross at the ford. As the strategist knows himself and his enemy he attacks the weak point, the teacher knowing self and student works in the advantageous place.

Become the enemy /student. Considering the situation from the other’s point-of-view can inform the proper attitude and reveal the effective course of action.

I'm not sure yet. I'm just

I'm not sure yet. I'm just starting to explore what mindful teaching might be. I am grateful for the support this site is providing.


Thank you for your comment and we are glad that you are enjoying this site! Mindful teaching is a journey and we hope that you continue to explore and share with our community.

Mindfulness involves

not just being present to oneself but also present to:
- the level of involvement of the learners
- the affective state of the learners
- the subject matter being learned, so that how it is presented engages the learners (as opposed to teaches them). It is through engagement that inspired learning will happen
- to the energy movements in the class that tell "us" that we need to continue, change tack, etc
- to the energy movements in oneself, telling us that we need to put more attention here, or there; or possibly less attention somewhere else
- to the aims that we have set ourselves ( not the learners) for the class
- and so on!

Great point!

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for your comment. Great point! Mindfulness is not simply an internal practice, but should involve students and their learning, especially in the classroom context. Take care!

Mindful teaching and learning

Mindful teaching and learning allows both students and teachers to ask the questions that matter to them. It involves doing the work of learning with and for a purpose, providing and receiving meaningful feedback, and understanding that nothing is ever fully and finally learned, but that we are continually spiraling to new places in our growth and understanding, and skills.