Mindfulness practices cultivate attention to one’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and how they affect one’s actions. Mindfulness is a promising approach to teaching educators and students self-awareness and self-regulation skills associated with success in school and through adulthood. It can be taught as standalone strategies for teachers’ own benefit and/or for use with students, and can be integrated into existing school structures and routines.
Research has linked mindfulness-based practices with outcomes indicative of a positive school climate and academic improvement, including:
- Cultivation of compassion and empathy
- Increased well-being, positive emotion, popularity, and friendship
- Improved self-regulation
- Reduced test anxiety
- Increased student focus and concentration on cognitive tasks in the classroom
- Improvement in reading competence
This brief describes the benefits of mindfulness for teachers and students, and shares ideas for integrating mindfulness throughout the school day, identifying evidence-based mindfulness programs to match strengths and needs, helping educators implement mindfulness programs and practices, and providing intensive supports for students facing additional challenges.