Here in the Mindful office, a couple of us have fantasized out loud, wondering when mindfulness might be seen as commonplace, so normal, so American—and with their emphasis on self-reliance and compassion, mindful ideals really are American ideals—that “Mindful Angels” begin to appear. Well, on Hallowe’en, at least.
After all, you know you’ve made it, and are no mere flash in the pan, when kids start dressing up like you. Sure, the adults will go out as whoever’s “hot” at the moment; we can expect, some say, to see lots of glasses and black turtlenecks worn in homage to Steve Jobs this Hallowe'en. But kids often go for classics. There are and ghosts, zombies, and vampires, of course, but you’ll also see virtues and values embodied. Little angels, faeries, soldiers, and firefighters are unlikely to stop coming to our doors any time soon. Or, wizards; the loyal and sensitive Harry Potter is a great example of the kind of positive character kids love to emulate.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) involves the development of the fundamental skills required to understand and manage oneself, and one’s relationships. Supported by research and theory in a variety of fields including education, positive and developmental psychology, cognitive behavioral theory, systems theory, and neuroscience, the SEL framework can be viewed as a comprehensive element of school improvement (see CASEL for more information).Read more »
As a novice teacher, one of my greatest challenges was dealing with the constant and incessant demands of my kindergarten students. Like a Greek chorus, the children called out: “Ms. Jennings, I can’t find my pencil.” “Suzie took my eraser!” “Teacher, I don’t understand this stuff. I need help.”
This cacophony was so irritating because I had no skills to deal with the problem or with my frustration. Bothered by the unending demands, I would lose patience. Knowing it wasn’t appropriate to snap at my tender young students, I suppressed my feelings and quietly fumed.Read more »
Imagine going to your local doctor and suddenly discovering a shamanic healer has been made partner in the practice. Not only that, but all the conventional doctors are referring their most difficult cases to him, murmuring reverentially about his evidence-based magic skills. It would seem pretty surprising, no?
Well, that's about the size of the seismic shift that's taking place in our culture's perception of meditation. In 1970, or even 2001, a meditating politician, teacher or policeman in the West would probably have deemed it prudent to keep their practice a secret, for fear of public ridicule—now we have openly mindful congressmen (see video below) and parliamentarians, and meditation is enthusiastically championed in government reports, school curricula and a vast range of other establishment settings.Read more »
“How’s it going?” I asked Susan during our follow-up phone coaching session. A second-grade teacher, Susan had recently completed the first weekend of the Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) mindfulness-based teacher professional development program, and had begun practicing bringing a more mindful approach to her teaching.Read more »
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