Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students
Daniel Rechtschaffen, MFA
This book has been hailed as a unique resource for transforming our schools by a number of prominent leaders in the fields of mindfulness and social emotional learning. The first half of the book is divided into three parts and sets the context for mindful teaching and education. In Part 1, Why Mindfulness Matters, Rechtschaffen defines mindfulness, introduces us to a range of mindfulness work already happening in schools and presents an overview of scientific findings on personal benefits. Part 2, Begin With Yourself, emphasizes the importance for teachers and parents to experience mindfulness practices before effectively teaching these skills to children and teens. In Part 3, The Mindful Classroom, the author describes the qualities of a mindful teacher, and essential ingredients for a mindfulness classroom, including ways to address diversity and inclusion, stress and trauma and the needs of different age groups.
The second half of the book focuses on the Mindful Education Curriculum - "how to introduce students to mindfulness in an accessible way that has the greatest impact”, and shares a basic lesson planning layout, along with eighteen specific lessons to cultivate embodiment, attention, heartfulness and interconnectedness. The book ends with brief 'best practice' illustrations of mindfulness curricula that can be incorporated in schools and other youth-based settings. This book is a thorough and easy to read resource for educators and parents interested in introducing mindfulness practices into their schools and helping students develop the ability to concentrate, cope with stress and in sum, thrive.