Mindfulness & Emotions for Teachers and Students

Course Objective: To bring mind/body skills to educators and their students to decrease student and teacher stress and to enhance learning.

This training helps decrease the physiological, emotional, and behavioral effects of stress by teaching relaxation response exercises, and enhancing self-awareness and emotional intelligence. In addition, teachers report an improvement in classroom effectiveness as teachers understand and experience the skills developed in the program. This improved learning environment decreases the student’s stress, which enhances learning. The training encourages the teachers to model this skill for their students.

Moving beyond traditional mindfulness programs that focus primarily on anxiety regulation and cognitive coping strategies, this curriculum integrates concepts from emotion theory, attachment theory, neurobiology, and child emotional development. Educators and students will learn how the experience and expression of emotion can mitigate the stress response. They will also learn how the ways that we block or avoid emotions can worsen the effects of stress and anxiety. Through exercises and case examples, students will increase their awareness of the physical, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive warning signs of stress, and learn ways they can take control of their lives by interrupting the negative stress cycle.

The Mindfulness program has been offered in the following schools in Boston and Northern Virginia:

Boston, Massachusetts
  • Joyce Kilmer Elementary School
  • Louis Agassiz Elementary School
  • Phineas Bates Elementary
  • Brighton High School
  • Curley School K-8
  • Washington Irving Middle school
  • Jackson Mann K-8
  • Quincy Josiah Elementary School
  • Manning Joseph P Elementary School
  • Sumner Charles Elementary School
Northern Virginia
  • Sunset Hills Montessori School
  • Ideaventions Academy

Course Outline

Day One: An Introduction to Stress

  1. Defining Stress
  2. Physiology of Stress
    • autonomic nervous system
    • striated vs. smooth muscle
    • parasympathetic and sympathetic systems
    • fight or flight vs. freeze response
  3. Introduction to the mind-body connection
  4. Identification of personal stressors
  5. Guided relaxation response

Day Two: The Negative Stress Cycle (And How to Turn it Around)

  1. Overview of Day One
  2. Relaxation-response training
  3. Identifying stress warning signs
  4. Diaphragmatic breathing
  5. Mini-relaxation training
  6. Body awareness and stretching
  7. Safe place relaxation exercise

Day Three: Mindfulness

  1. Mindfulness vs. mindlessness
  2. Being centered in the present moment
  3. Awareness of mechanisms that disrupt the ability to stay in the present (judgment, impatience with self, multi-tasking, rumination, projecting into the future)
  4. Mindfulness exercise (mindful eating, mindful walking, awareness of five senses)

Day Four: Emotion Education

  1. The cause and effect of feelings
  2. Distinguishing stimulus from response
  3. Empowerment through emotion awareness
  4. Identifying underlying the emotional triggers of the negative stress cycle
  5. Developing frustration tolerance
  6. Visualization exercise

Day Five: Overview of Program

  1. Review of negative stress cycle and what we can do about it
  2. Introducing gratitude: mindfulness of positive events
  3. Gratitude exercise
  4. Integrating mindfulness and self-care into your daily life
  5. Developing your personal program for stress reduction


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