Meditations for Teachers

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3 Minute Meditations for teachers

Creating Space for the busy teacher mind  ~ (3 minutes) by Jen

Feeling like there is no end to your “to-do” list, that you are chronically rushed, or that your mind is incessantly busy? Without our awareness, our day, our lesson plans, and our minds feel like they are busting at the seams with too much to cram in or do. You can stop the freight train in the mind, but you must stop and be still. This 3 minute meditation will help you to create just a little space, a little light, a little wiggle room between the thoughts to give your mind a chance to rest and reconnect with your breath. The result— an almost immediate sense of control and calm.

Longer Guided Meditations

Body Scan ~ (17 minutes) by Jen

A body scan is a great way to relax your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. This guided meditation will train your mind to pay attention to your physical body. Your attention will be honed and cultivated as you scan different parts of the body, noticing how they feel. Our bodies have so very much to tell us. They are the first things we have to learn to pay attention to if we want to truly be self aware. What is your body trying to tell you?

This is also one of our favorite meditations for teachers because it cultivates their capacity to let go. As you train your attention to move from one body part, to the next, you become better at practicing the art of letting go. Letting go is a practice, and it’s trainable. Teachers who are good at letting go demonstrate flexibility, acceptance, and presence in the classroom.

 

Out-In-Out Meditation for Teachers ~ (15 minutes) by Jen

As teachers, it is essential to have attentional agility. That means we need to get really good at being able to move our attention out and around our classrooms in a very seamless and fluid way and then move our attention into ourselves and our inner experiences of the moment. Since teaching is a relational profession, our students pick up on our inner states, thus we need to keep ourselves in check and open up to noticing how our emotions or thoughts may be either helping or hindering moments in our instruction.

This particular meditation is designed to train your attention to be outside of your body– in your physical space– seeing, noticing, and naming all that is happening in your classroom with curiosity and openness, while then training the mind to come back inside to the self– seeing, noticing, and naming all that is happening inside of you with curiosity and openness. When we practice this type of external and internal non-judgmental observation, we begin to see our students with this same manner of attentional awareness– being curious, not reactive or judgmental about their actions, being open to what is happening, not resistant to what is, and being compassionate and understanding about their inner experiences and how they may be reacting to the external environment.

 

Managing Strong Emotions Meditation for Teachers  ~ (15 minutes) by Jen

“Understanding and mastering negative, unpleasant emotions gives you an edge when you’re teaching.” {P. Jennings, Mindfulness for Teachers}

Teaching is emotional labor. One of the most prevalent sources of stress for teachers is not only the emotional toll of teaching, it is one’s inability to cope with one’s own strong emotional reactions.

This meditation is designed to teach you the A (awareness), B (breath), C’s (curiosity) of managing your strong emotional reactions. You will practice and learn how to relate to your emotional responses in a curious, healthy way that will enable you regain your center of control and diminish the duration and intensity of strong emotional reactions in and out of the classroom.

Another…Managing Strong Emotions *WITH REFLECTION PROMPTS* Meditation for Teachers ~ (15 minutes) by Jen

Teaching is an emotionally provocative profession– lots of little moments that have the capacity to trigger strong emotions! Ever wonder why you react the way you do to “that” student or peer or “that” specific type of student behavior? This meditation guides you through a process of exploring a specific emotional trigger so to engage you in cognitive reflection (which is fancy for saying– seeing it another way) about that event.

This meditation allows you the space and safety you need to really look at specific emotional triggers from an objective, neutral standpoint. You will leave the meditation feeling lighter about the triggering event as well as more insightful about why you tend to react the way you do to specific triggers. Insight is a product of neutral observation coupled with reflective awareness. You will get both in this gentle meditation!

 

Just Like Me Meditation ~ (8 minutes) by Jen

Teachers need to reliably engage with others with an ethic of care, sensitivity, and responsiveness” (The Teachers Our Children Deserve, 2012). Engaging with and connecting to our students requires empathy and compassion. Empathetic and compassionate teachers build trust; when we build trust in our classrooms, we increase our effectiveness.

Essential to building trust, is the ability to relate to our students– all our students. The good news is, we can actively train our brains to relate to others with an ethic of care, sensitivity, and responsiveness. Did you know that the more self aware you become, the more empathetic you become? It’s called “Brain Tango.” Every time we tune into ourselves, we increase our capacity to tune into our students, their parents, and our colleagues. This meditation will create some space for you to cultivate self awareness, empathy, and compassion. It’s a “must” meditation for all teachers!

Loving Kindness/ Metta Meditation ~ (14 minutes) by Jen

Wanna create some good vibes? You’ve found the perfect practice! Loving kindness meditation trains our mind to be self-less while it brings about a remarkable shift in attitude toward love and acceptance– for ourselves and others.

This practice of extending loving thoughts and kind feelings, first to the self and then outwardly to others, will change habitual negative patterns of your mind. It has an immediate benefit of softening you to all that is good in yourself and others.

Sharpening Focus Meditation  ~ (11 minutes) by Justin

As teachers, we have to be master “noticers.” Managing a room of 25+ students on a daily basis requires a tremendous amount of focus, attention, and noticing! We can train that. In fact, we HAVE to train that.

We are all born with this amazing thing called attention, but if we haven’t trained our minds to put it right where we want it to be for an extended amount of time, it gets scattered in 50,000 (give or take) directions! Train your attention, sharpen your focus, and we bet you’ll start to see things in the classroom you never noticed before.