Teach Happy, Ms. Nally!

A special educator staying positive in trying times.

fostering emotional resilience in the classroom

This week, I want to share the latest episode of the “Present Moment” podcast. Host Ted Meissner speaks with guest Linda Lantieri on the topic of social and emotional education in the classroom. Lantieri repeatedly expresses the importance of helping teachers to be mindful and emotionally resilient.

“How do we get to children if the adults are not whole?”

“I think one of the biggest challenges is convincing school systems to invest in the personal development of the adults serving the children.”

Earlier this fall, a report published in School Psychology Quarterly found that teachers trained in mindfulness and emotional competency reported improved classroom management and improved relationships with students. A San Francisco middle school that implemented 15-minute meditation sessions twice a day found a decrease in suspensions and truancies, as well as an increase in teacher retention (source).

I have recently taken up a secular Loving-Kindness meditation practice. Four times in a row, I recite a variation of the following text from Thich Nhat Hanh:

May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.
May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be able to live fresh, solid, and free.
May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not be indifferent.

The first time, I say it while focusing on myself. The second time, I say it about a loved one, changing the text to “may (s)he”. The third time, I say it about an somebody I have neutral feelings for, usually an acquaintance or a neighbor. The fourth, I say it about somebody I have negative feelings for; it can be somebody I know personally or a public figure like Michelle Rhee. This practice is a great way to increase patience and compassion towards one’s self and others.

Do you have a practice to help foster emotional health in your job? Please share in the comment section.

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This entry was posted on November 11, 2013 by and tagged , , , , , , .
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