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Mindful Teachers Well-Being Initiative Kicks off Semester on Retreat

by Jamie Bryant, Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications
 
Happy, healthy teachers in and out of the classroom— that is the goal!
 
Participants in Gena Adams-Riley’s Mindful Teachers Program met once again at Southern Bleachery last Saturday to focus on mindful awareness and presence ahead of the new semester.  There are 14 teachers in the program across all three divisions.
 
“The intention of this retreat was deepening Mindfulness practice. Retreat deepens wherever you are in your Mindfulness practice, so teachers left the retreat in a more profound Mindful awareness and presence,” Adams-Riley said.  “The benefits of their deepened Mindful presence and awareness will be felt and experienced in the days to come.”
 
Happy, healthy, resilient, creative, self-aware, compassionate teachers make for happy, healthy, resilient, creative, self-aware, compassionate classrooms, which, in turn, foster student learning and social-emotional well-being.  This was the motivation behind creating the Teacher Well-Being Initiative.  This type of positive shift, even in just one classroom, can spread across grade levels, divisions, and campus-wide.
 
Aside from monthly one-to-one sessions with Gena and three-day long retreats, the program is divided into three curricular sections;
 
1) Establishing Daily Mindfulness Practice & Foundations in Mindfulness,
2) Daily Mindfulness Practice and Growing Awareness of Mindfulness in Daily Life, and
3) I’ve Got This: Daily Practice is Regular and Ongoing
 
Section 2 continues through February and Session 3 wraps up the school year from March – May.
 
In December, teachers began reading Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown, a book on meaningful connection and the language of human experience, which they are actively studying to further develop their understanding of emotional intelligence.
 
“It was so nice to practice mindfulness in a beautiful space with our wonderful teacher, Gena,” said Lindsey Waters, Associate Director of College Counseling.  “Even though we are all on our own individual journey, it was refreshing and inspiring to practice together, in a supportive environment.”
 
Click here to read the Highlights article (pages 87-89) for more information on the program and how it came about.
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