Date: August 4 – September 17, 2021
Course #: LR 288:700
Credit Hours: 3
Registration Deadline: August 4, @5:00 p.m.
Mindfulness is the ability to know what is happening inside of your brain at all times; to live in the moment. Pretty basic and unsophisticated, but there’s nothing basic or unsophisticated about this life changing concept. It’s hard to be in the moment regardless of how much we know it is right for us. We think about the past and live unhappy moments over and over again and we stress about the future thinking the worst possible scenarios. Anyone in education is under a huge amount of stress in their school life. Added to that, most educators have family commitments and are squeezed in the sandwich generation raising kids and dealing with aging parents. As educators, we need now, more than ever, to practice mindfulness for ourselves, our families and our students. Mindfulness is a practice that can transform us, bring us peace, heal our bodies and our minds and allow us to enjoy our lives.
Express: I’m So Stressed! Mindfulness & Meditation for Teachers & Students explores the many facets of mindfulness and how to integrate it into our daily lives. It provides information for teachers, students and parents and gives examples and practices. Educators will understand the importance of mindfulness for themselves and for their students. The question is not “do we have time for mindfulness?” The question is “can we afford not to make the time for mindfulness?”
Express: I’m So Stressed! Mindfulness & Meditation for Teachers & Students is a class designed to bring into alignment the mental and physical self by promoting calm, self-discipline and patience through mindfulness practices and meditation exercises. This class will provide a look at the nature of mindfulness, the benefits of mindfulness and the how-tos of mindfulness.
Scientific research will be presented that provides evidence for the use and benefits of mindfulness practices in the home and the classroom. This class examines what mindfulness is, presents the advantages of mindfulness through the eyes of “ordinary” people and experts in the field. It shows the way to develop a daily routine that includes mindfulness, specifically meditation. This class also explains and guides participants to an awareness that can and does help establish physical and emotional health. Current programs on mindfulness will be shared and information will be given on how to start mindfulness practices individually and as an educator with students. An examination of approaches, resources and applications will be available for a look inside mindfulness.
This is a 3 credit hour Iowa license renewal course. Course goals will be met through instructor designed activities, supplemental readings, videos, reflections, assignments and instructor feedback. This course is presented in a modified, self-paced format. Participants are expected to access the course and post regularly (at least once a week) and make reasonable progress, but there are no due dates attached to individual assignments. Instead there are 2 absolute due dates (mid-term and the last day of class) to provide flexibility and to better accommodate participants’ busy schedules.
By the end of the course, participants will…
1. Understand what mindfulness is;
2. Understand how mindfulness can reduce teacher stress & improve well-being;
3. Understand how mindfulness can improve student learning, behavior & well-being;
4. Know how to establish a mindfulness practice; and
5. Understand how to create a mindful classroom.
How Does This Course Support The Iowa Core?
Both teachers and students need to be supported in classroom achievement. Teachers need to understand how to deal with students who are experiencing mental health issues and they need to know how to take care of themselves so they do not succumb to these same mental health issues. The connection between student and teacher is very important and the participant will learn how to deal with himself and his students in a positive and productive way by using meditation practices. Students who are supported at school are more capable academically and behaviorally and have the impetus to go to college or post-secondary education. Students and teachers who build strong, healthy relationships are better at critical thinking, problem solving, are more curious and willing to take on leadership roles. They also work well with others. Research has shown that mindfulness practices help with executive functioning skills and provide students with a way to cope in this complex world.
This falls in line with the Iowa Core that states school preparation should produce the following:
Course Topics that Support Instructional Practices and Strategies:
*What is mindfulness?
*How stress affects the brain
*How mindfulness changes the brain
*How mindfulness can reduce teacher stress & improve performance & well-being
*Making a commitment to self-care
*Mindfulness & meditation-guides practice
*Mindfulness: Executive functioning, student learning & behaviors
*Mindfulness & ADHD
*Creating a mindful classroom & school
*Teaching mindfulness: tools & activities.
*Mindfulness & the 1st Amendment
This is a 3 credit hour Iowa license renewal only course. Grading is Pass/Fail. Students are required to participate in and complete all assignments and/or activities. Participants must earn scores of 80% or better to receive Pass score and receive credit.
Required Text: Mindfulness in the Classroom: Strategies for Promoting Concentration, Compassion, and Calm (2019), By Thomas Armstrong, Publisher: ASCD
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