• Mindfulness for educators: fostering awareness and resilience in the classroom

      Bursiel, Morgan R.; Vinlove, Amy; Healy, Joanne; McIntosh, Susan (2014-08)
      Teaching in the public schools is demanding work, and addressing teacher stress in the classroom remains a significant challenge in education. Increasing numbers of children come to school unprepared and often at risk of mental health and behavioral concerns, yet teachers are expected to provide emotionally responsive support to all students, manage larger classroom sizes, and meet the growing academic demands imposed by standardized testing. Despite these high expectations, teachers rarely receive training to address and skillfully handle the social-emotional challenges of their profession. A current examination of teacher educational and in-service professional development activities indicates that little professional development specifically targets these competencies. Over the last decade, mindfulness--the intentional cultivation of focused attention and awareness--has grown from its initial western applications in medicine to other disciplines, including education. Studies have shown that even a few weeks of practicing mindfulness can bring a variety of physical, emotional, and social benefits to teachers and students alike. This project aims to introduce mindfulness training to teachers to bolster positive qualities of mind and enhance responsive, compassionate teaching.
    • Promoting resiliency: a strength-based approach curriculum for high school students

      Madore, Anne; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie; Simpson, Joni (2017-05)
      In this paper, literature was examined in order to identify how to meet the needs of adolescents through the recognition of their emotions and personal strengths, allowing them to build resiliency skills and promote positive mental health. The strength-based curriculum developed as the result of this literature review, includes several mental health approaches supported by counseling theories that can help high school students achieve success academically, psychologically, and socially. The path to success can potentially be accomplished when adolescents have found their identities and have learned ways to respond to challenges. The implementation of the person-centered and solution-focused therapeutic interventions can result in positive ways to deal with difficulties, by developing personal relationships with others and providing encouragement, motivation, and stability in adolescents' lives. Furthermore, with additional skills, such as coping techniques, self-talk, stress management, mindfulness, and additional resources, resiliency and positive mental health can develop when youth have acquired a sense of empowerment and a confident attitude. It is important not to forget the assistance of a team approach, as well as the support and cooperation of young people's environment.