First Presenter's Institution

Plymouth State University

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Ballroom E

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The tenets of mindful practice support a student’s social and emotional learning. Students who learn to integrate mindful practices are better able to access and focus on learning, show better self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and are better able to resolve conflict, supporting more positive interactions with peers.

Brief Program Description

Mindful practices may be the best way to develop social emotional well-being for your students, but how can educators integrate these practices into their school, your classroom, and within your own personal life, especially with the increased demands on academic achievement? This workshop will provide participants with simple and easy strategies to begin integrating mindful practices into their daily classroom routine as well as their personal life.

Summary

Mindfulness is defined as the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding experiences moment by moment (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). Mindful practices integrated into the classroom may enhance cognitive and academic performance, manage heightened academic anxiety, and affect the holistic development of individuals (Shapiro, Brown, & Austin, 2011). Furthermore, mindfulness can reduce stress Mindfulness can also reduce stress, improve self-confidence, relationships, attention, optimism, and also self-esteem and can encourage students to take multiple perspectives a (Schonert-Reichl: Lawlor, 2010)(Rempel, 2012).

Research has shown that children who have experienced trauma may be at risk for multiple academic and behavioral challenges in the elementary school setting (O'Neill, Guenette, & Kitchenham, 2010). Childhood trauma often occurs when children are at the most vulnerable period of brain growth (Anda et al., 2006). Exposure to trauma can lead to differences in the structure and physiology of brain development, resulting in long-term effects on functions and behaviors (Anda et al., 2006). These findings identify the long-term developmental difficulties in emotion, behavior, cognition, and socialization of children who have experienced trauma (Gabowitz, Zuker, & Cook, 2008). Teachers are often not prepared to work with these students and working with population can lead to teacher burn-out. Mindful practices can help both students and teacher.

This session with begin with a brief overview of current research on the impact of trauma on a student’s ability to access learning and will also review current research on the positive outcomes of mindful practices. The presenter will model and share practical practices that participants can begin implementing in their school, classrooms, and their personal lives when they return from the conference.

By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Understand the components of mindful practices;
  • Learn how to integrate mindful practices into their daily classroom routines while remaining true to who they are;
  • Practice several mindful practices including breathing, awareness, movement, and gratitude;
  • Identify ways in which they can increase personal self-care;
  • Be given a link to an annotated bibliography that will include resources to further support the integration of mindfulness.

Evidence

The United States has established rigorous academic standards and high stakes testing in the hope that these measures will ensure high achievement for students, yet it is estimated that between half and two-thirds of school aged children are exposed to addiction, violence, abuse, and neglect, thus exposing them to trauma (McInerney & McKlindon, 2014). Exposure to this type of stress can negatively impact a child’s ability to learn. Children who have experienced trauma often demonstrate less flexibility in problem solving and can show delays in receptive and expressive language. They frequently live in a state of fight or flight responsiveness; too difficult to live in the past and too threatening to look to the future (O'Neill, Guenette, & Kitchenham, 2010). This puts schools in the position of addressing students’ needs in ways that educators have not seen in previous generations (Rempel, 2012). These children need the school and classroom to provide a safe place and teachers need to understand that traumatized children have a difficult time with modulating their levels of arousal and might exhibit flight, fight, or freeze reactions (O'Neill, Guenette, & Kitchenham, 2010).

Mindfulness is defined as the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding experiences moment by moment (Kabat-Zinn, 2003, p.145). Neurobiology shows that mindfulness-based interventions that focus on increasing awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions have shown to improve aspect of executive functions including attention, cognitive control, and emotion regulation and help students to be more present in their learning (Tang, Yang, Leve, & Harold, 2012). Mindful practices may be the best way to develop social emotional learning, which include self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making (Rechtschaffen, 2014).

Mindful practices integrated into the classroom may enhance cognitive and academic performance, manage heightened academic anxiety, and affect the holistic development of individuals (Shapiro, Brown, & Austin). Mindfulness can reduce stress, as well as improve self-confidence, relationships, attention, optimism and also self-esteem (Schonert-Reichl & Lawlor, 2010). Mindfulness encourages students to take multiple perspectives and helps them embrace the realization that there is not one optimal perspective (Rempel, 2012).

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Debra Fishwick is currently a doctoral student at Plymouth State University. Her research interest is the impact of mindful practice on the learning behaviors of students. Debra serves as the principal of the Shrewsbury Mountain School, a pre-k through grade 6 school located in Vermont. During her 30 year career in public education she has taught multiple grades at both elementary and middle school and, has served as principal at the middle and high school levels.

Keyword Descriptors

mindfulness, mindful practices, trauma

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-6-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

3-6-2017 4:15 PM

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Mar 6th, 3:00 PM Mar 6th, 4:15 PM

Mindfulness – Helping Address the Needs of the Whole Child (and the Adults who Work with Them)

Ballroom E

Mindful practices may be the best way to develop social emotional well-being for your students, but how can educators integrate these practices into their school, your classroom, and within your own personal life, especially with the increased demands on academic achievement? This workshop will provide participants with simple and easy strategies to begin integrating mindful practices into their daily classroom routine as well as their personal life.