What benefits and challenges have you encountered when using mindful approaches in teaching?

In this month's discussion, we invite all visitors to this website to share your experiences and perspectives answering the following question:  What benefits and challenges have you encountered when using mindful approaches in teaching?

- February 2014


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I teach in a post-secondary techical institute where we focus on job-related skills. In bringing mindfulness practices to my students, I face two challenges. First, if I don't carefully make a case that the mindfulness practices lead directly to better job skills, the students won't buy in. Second, I have to be very careful to make the point that mindfulness practices are not religious practices (although they are incorporated into all of the world's great religions). I sometimes feel like I have to tippy-toe around to sneak in practices that I know are likely to be more beneficial to students than anthing else I do in the classroom.


Hi, I am a middle School Adjustment Counselor who is training 25 members of my staff in mindfulness (voluntarily). We have just met once but what I chose to share in the beginning is the brain implications of mindfulness and meditation. I hope it will help allow them to see and understand why these practices work.


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I'm not sure where you're getting your info, but good topic.
I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
Thanks for great information I was looking for this info for my

Skillful Means

Frieda, I would like to thank you for using skillful means to bring mindful practices to your students. Perhaps mindful teaching involves tippy-toeing as part of a new and beautiful choreography in our instructional repertoire.

Mindful Approaches benefit from having critical friends

One key challenge of mindful teaching is figuring out if there are other ways of teaching even better. Although there is always assessment of student learning during/after the lesson that can inform us about the effectiveness of our lesson, when colleagues and experts come in as critical friends, our understanding of how effective our pedagogical approaches are improves tremendously. This is especially so when you have colleagues with a variety of experiences.


Thank you for this insightful, comment, Kenneth, inviting us to practice open-mindedness in our own experiences as educators. I have seen this in action in your leadership of Hillgrove Secondary School in Singapore. Let's keep visiting our different schools in which we are working and learning from each other!

Matching Energy

A few years ago, I had the good fortune of taking a class offered in my district called Mindful Teacher. This gave me a group of teachers with whom I could practice mindfulness, which helped me to stay on the path. I find that when I leave it to myself to practice, without a peer group, I often let other things take its place.
In using the practices with my students, I find it difficult to find the right balance with my active 6/7 year old students. Just a few seconds of quiet feels like a lifetime for them, but I do find that when I make the time, they seem to really love it and benefit from that time, just to be quiet.
This is to say that finding a group to practice with is what helps to make mindfulness reach it fullest potential, for the teacher and students.

A Community of Practice

Thank you for your posting, Katie! It is very important for all of us to find colleagues who can support us in the contemplative practices that benefit our students. Sometimes this can be sponsored by our district, as it was in your case, but more often we find that there are ways to start our own independent networks.

Mindfulness in Education in Barcelona

Dear Friends,
There is a fabulous conference coming up in Barcelona on Mindfulness in Education which looks like a wonderful opportunity for those who can leave their teaching for a while to attend. Here is the URL: https://www.facebook.com/events/459878867471565/. I will be in Berlin at the time, preparing a new anthology on the 100th anniversary of John Dewey's Democracy and Education with colleagues from the Freudenberg Foundation. Here is their URL: http://www.freudenberg.com/en/Responsibility/Socialresponsibility/Pages/...