Hundreds of teachers in the Boulder Valley School district have received mindfulness training. Rona Wilensky, Director of Mindfulness Programs at Passage Works says the Boulder based non-profit focuses on developing the social and emotional capacities of teachers, so they can create more welcoming and inclusive classrooms. She says that incorporating students into the mindfulness teachings is also an important part of the process.
“We think the first step is for teachers to have their own practices and know mindfulness from the inside out.”
Wilensky says Mindfulness techniques have an 11 percent academic gain for its students when implemented well, a high margin of success that Wilensky says is elusive in class management techniques. Mindfulness promotes emotional awareness, healthy mindsets and assisting teachers in seeing each students as individuals, rather than a collective group of kids. Wilensky says teachers will learn new ways to deal with classroom situations that rely on helpful choices rather than quick reactions.
“The invitation in mindfulness is to take a breath and to actually start to pay attention to what is going on in the moment and to choose a response rather than to react from a habit.”