Every member of the school staff and student population deserves an environment where they can thrive.
With mindful awareness skills, educators can intentionally learn to self-regulate and cultivate the abilities to feel more calm, connected, and centered in the demanding environment of the classroom. By modeling nourishing habits for their students, educators can guide and co-regulate with youth in similar patterns, leaving them more skilled at regulating themselves. As adults plant seeds for healthy lifelong habits, it puts students in a better position to learn and achieve academically, and flourish as citizens, community members, and our future leaders.
Learn how mindful awareness skills fit seamlessly into education priorities.
Social and Emotional Learning
We believe that with regular practice, like we expect when learning the "a, b, c’s", calmer, kinder school cultures can be cultivated and sustained. When the needs of all school members are addressed using common practices and terminology, efficacy can be expedited proactively, positively enhancing the well-being of the whole community.
Today, we all agree that an education that focuses solely on cognitive skills while neglecting emotional intelligence and social competencies is incomplete. It’s critical that thought leaders, classroom teachers and students alike have the knowledge to manage emotions, connect with others compassionately and set positive goals, setting the stage for communities to thrive together. To respond to this challenge, evidenced-based social and emotional learning (SEL) curricula is being implemented worldwide. Growing Minds provides these foundational skills that boost efficacy of SEL programming. We begin by focusing on training the mind’s the ability to pause in the moment, gain self-awareness and then choose behaviors intentionally. Learning to tune into the feel-good benefits of gratitude, generosity and kindness helps to boost compassion and connectedness. Learning to manage one's emotions skillfully is key to peacefully getting along with others. Social awareness and social connectedness can be cultivated more readily once a person can manage themselves. Ultimately, mental and emotional clarity is an outcome of a calmer, more spacious mind.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support
Growing Minds is a preventative and proactive program that addresses PBIS Tier 1 student behavior. Know that every student is welcome to participate in each Growing Minds lesson. The science behind training an over or under active mind, or calming down the nervous system, is repetition.
With practice, every student and teacher can create mental clarity throughout the day to reset their emotional wellbeing, reducing negativity and other stressors, and increasing positivity. Sitting for too long, too much noise or a long demanding day are the only requirements for making time to pause and reset and reconnect with oneself.
Our philosophy is “practice in low stress environments so that these skills are available in high stress environments.” Our research-based outcomes include better focus and concentration amongst students, increased compassion for others in the classroom, and calmer, happier youth.
Other benefits which support academic goals include more teaching time resulting from fewer class disruptions, calmer transitions to and from the classroom and fewer conflicts between students.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Mindful awareness skills are unique in being able to help educators acknowledge their own biases in a simple structure that allows for conditioned patterns of inequities to be challenged. Unpacking uncomfortable and internalized predispositions can safely be done through mindfulness so educators can learn to understand their belief and behavior systems. Without confronting unconscious and internalized beliefs, unfair disciplinary habits will continue.
Moving from noticing one’s patterns to modifying one’s action has been broken down by Barbara Dray. Rather than interpreting or evaluating student behaviors, teachers can to learn to step back and bring a metacognitive approach of observing and describing behavior, without the stereotypical judgments and interpretative biases. Mindfulness is that universal tool that provides that unique awareness into one’s own patterns.
Professional Development Plans
Professional Development Plans play a critical role in the continuing growth of K-12 educators. Content relating to creating safe and supportive relationships in the classroom top the list of courses taken by educators. With the growing Minds’ goal being “to create calm classrooms and caring schools”, we fall into the sweet spot of professional development, providing concepts and skills for both adults and youth.
Integrating the Growing Minds’ Foundations of Mindfulness training and our Growing Minds’ Curriculum training is a scaffolded plan for those who want to receive training in differentiating instruction, developing social and emotional learning and supporting diversity and inclusion.
With the goal of building emotionally responsive classrooms and a stronger sense of belonging and connection, educators will have skills for greater personal efficacy, and a happier classroom environment. Our outcomes reflect that participants rate our content extremely high and integrate what they learn into their own life and in their classroom. Of participants who choose to take our courses, 99.7% say they enjoyed our training. For those who were conscripted, 91% say they enjoy our classes. We’re proud!
See for Yourself
Mindfulness in Milwaukee Public Schools Milwaukee Public Schools, May 2017
This wonderful video showcases some of the Milwaukee Public Schools that Growing Minds has worked with and allows the school administrators and students to discuss how mindfulness is used in their schools and benefits their staff and students.