by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : October 2015
She remembered what she had learned in the workshop and began to pay attention to her body. She felt the surge of stress hormones flood her body and her knees begin to tremble. She was able to bring mindful awareness to the bodily sensation that she interpreted as fear. Then she began to take some deep belly breaths to calm herself. The tirade continued, but she made a conscious effort to stop taking it so per- sonally. Once she was calmer, she began to notice her students’ emotions. They were powerfully bitter and sarcastic. She wondered if she could direct this energy to learning something useful. She said, “Okay, I hear that you really hate grammar. Tell me more about this. Why do you hate it so much?” As her students began to explain their feelings about grammar, she had an idea. “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. I want you to write a poem about why you hate grammar. But there are two rules you have to follow. You cannot use the word hate because that’s just too easy. Come up with a more articulate way to express your feelings. The second rule is that you have to include a subjunctive clause in your poem.” Excited by the challenge, her students settled down and started to work on the assignment. By the end of class, they had turned in a slew of outstanding poems. The poems were incredibly bitter and sarcastic, but they all avoided the word hate and included a subjunctive clause. As Karen told this story, her face lit up as if she had finally discovered the secret of managing a rowdy bunch of teenagers. She had successfully engaged them in a productive learning activity rather than hopelessly trying to control them. Months later, I returned to this school for a visit and ran into Karen. I asked her how things were going, and she said, “To tell you the truth, earlier this year, I was thinking that I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher and was on the verge of quitting, but the workshop changed all that. I’m really enjoying teaching now.” Today we hear a lot about teacher burnout. In fact, approximately 50% of new teachers leave the profession after only five years. This figure is higher in schools that serve large num- bers of children at risk. The National Commis- sion on Teaching and America’s Future esti- mated that the cost of teacher turnover among public school teachers in the US is more than $7.3 billion a year. Why do teachers burn out? The teaching profession has become more demanding over the past three decades. Increas- ing numbers of children are coming to school unprepared, many with serious behavior prob- lems as early as preschool. Research indicates that teachers often face situations that provoke emotions that are difficult to manage. When this happens, their classroom management efforts lack effectiveness, the classroom climate is less than optimal, and they may experience emotional exhaustion, provoking a “burnout cascade.” When teachers feel this way, there is a ten- dency to resort to depersonalization as a coping strategy. To cope with the challenges of a dis- ruptive classroom, teachers may develop a cal- lous, cynical attitude toward students, parents, and colleagues. For example, when an emotion- ally exhausted teacher is having a particularly difficult time with a student, he may perceive that student as being innately bad. He may con- vince himself that there’s nothing anyone can do about her, so why try. He may even speak about her in ways that express his depersonalized → Below: Marian Matthews works with the University of Virginia’s Contemplative Science Center to teach Mindfulness and Movement in Albemarle County schools. Right: Baker-Butler’s fifth-grade class sits cross-legged with Marian as she leads them in breathing exercises: “We’ll sit and focus on the breath, feel centered and notice thoughts, and allow the thoughts to come and go without our minds running over them.” 50 mindful October 2015 education