How do you already practice mindful teaching in your classroom?

Mindful teaching can take many different forms in the classroom. These include being reflective, practicing meditation, stopping and paying attention, and exploring multiple perspectives on an issue. You may already be using some of these mindful teaching practices regularly without calling it "mindful teaching." Assume for a moment that you already are practicing mindful teaching. How would you describe it to a friend, colleague, or student?  

- May 2014


Mindful Curricular Enactment

Mindful teaching entails seeing/acting within curricular enactment, understood as heightened attention to the responsible/responsive movement of thinking at the heart of making meaning for all involved. My attention to this movement of thinking, from within the movement itself, surfaces interrelated mindful modes of being. These include making meaning's elemental connectedness to being human, making meaning's embracing of the given within all situations, making meaning's need of others, making meaning's spatial/temporal agency, and making meaning's interdependence with imagination, instilling embodied understandings. Collectively, these mindful modes of being prompt the much needed theorizing for educators to see and act within the fecundity of educative experiences. Educators’ (and their students) ongoing practice with the needed reciprocity across all modes of being is key.

Mindful Modes of Being

Thank you for your insight here Margaret that mindfulness cannot just be a teaching strategy or even a stance but much more relates to a way of being in the world. Our students are looking to us for insight not only into what to know or do, but also how to be in the world in harmony with others.

Mindfulness in Teaching - Some Specific Examples

I teach Psychology at Central New Mexico Community College. I do serveral things in my classroom. A couple times during the semester, I will require students to sign the Attendance Sheet using their non-dominant hand. While waiting for other students to finish a test, students are invited to do an eating meditation. When students arrange chairs to sit in a group, I have them notice the change in energy and feeling of inclusion/exclusion depending on how well they arrange their desks/chairs. I never tell the class that they are getting out early today. If you do that, they are energetically out the door with anticipation of class ending at any moment. These are just a few examples.

Giving Attention to Nuance

Thank you Kristin for helping your students to give attention to small and subtle differences in acting and interacting that influence how we perceive events. Your posting reminds us that just slight alterations in how we organize our classroom climate can make great differences in how students and teachers experience educational encounters with one another.

Change in the Energy and Feeling of Inclusion/Exclusion

I think there is great value in Kristen's comments about classroom climate. There are often shifts in the classroom's "energy" and mood that go unnoticed. Highlighting these moments for students and giving them an opportunity to process and acknowledge these changes allows them to approach the classroom community and academic content with intention. Thank you for sharing!

Mindful teacher, mindful students

I think mindful teaching involves being aware that learning is taking process. Although some conversations and lessons come naturally, it's always a good practice to recap to see what we learned and how it applies to life. Hopefully when that student actually lives that lesson, they're mindful that their depth of knowledge in that area came from the classroom.

It can be challenging to make

It can be challenging to make space for that process. It usually requires patience and the understanding that anything worth developing takes time.