Mindfulness Training Improves Middle School Teachers’ Occupational Health, Well-Being, and Interactions with Students in Their Most Stressful Classrooms. Roeser, R.W., et al. Journal of Educational Psychology, 2022, Vol.114, No.2, 408-425.
Teachers in the experimental group indicated that they felt less emotionally exhausted and depressed four months after participating in the program. Interestingly, teachers with five years or less of teaching experience and teachers in middle school settings versus K-8 schools appeared to benefit the most from the practice. Benefits noted were on teacher mindfulness skills, their health and well-being, and the quality of interactions with their students. Teachers also demonstrated more effective strategies following the training to better manage adolescent behavior in their more stressful classes by setting clear expectations and using effective methods to redirect students and prevent misbehavior. This created a more positive classroom environment and more learning time as disruptions and dealing with behavioral issues is minimized.
The study did not however, find a change in teachers’ emotional support for students as a result of their training. An explanation for this result may be that teachers were more focused on classroom management in difficult classrooms instead of how to support the individual students. Further research is needed to examine the long-term benefits of mindfulness training for teachers and the impacts on students and the classroom environment. Understanding what teachers need to be able to better support students’ emotions in the classroom is an important area to investigate and report.