Social & Emotional Learning & Mindfulness

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    Social & Emotional Learning & Mindfulness

    Mindfulness can be an important part of a school or district's improvement strategy. Current research supports mindfulness as one facet of a successful social and emotional learning program. The benefits of mindfulness are well documented for both students and staff. 

Mindfulness Article Library

  • Compassionate Boundaries: How to Say No with Heart

    Compassionate Boundaries: How to Say No with Heart

    A “compassionate boundary” is a term that I have been using for the last several years with my students and clients. I define a compassionate boundary as the act of turning toward whatever diffculty I am feeling with compassion and listening to the underlying need that I want to request that is both compassionate to myself and the other person
    involved. When a boundary is crossed, the first emotion we often feel is anger. Anger is here to protect us from harm and informs us that we need to re-assert our boundary to come back into harmony. The practice of cultivating compassionate boundaries has been tremendously beneficial in my personal and professional life. I hope it serves you well, too.

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  • Bottled-Up Emotions at Work Lead to Burnout

    Bottled-Up Emotions at Work Lead to Burnout

    You can’t tease out solutions to problems like employee burnout and dissatisfaction without first
    acknowledging something is off kilter. The core mindful practice — noticing and labelling thoughts — could bekey to navigating high stress workplaces.

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  • Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember “RAIN” Four steps to stop being so hard on ourselves.

    Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember “RAIN” Four steps to stop being so hard on ourselves.

    The RAIN of Self-Compassion is not a one-shot meditation, nor is the realization of our natural awareness necessarily full, stable, or enduring. Rather, as you practice you may experience a sense of warmth and openness, a shift in perspective. You can trust this! RAIN is a practice for life—meeting our doubts and fears with a healing presence. Each time you are willing to slow down and recognize, oh, this is the trance of unworthiness… this is fear… this is hurt…this is judgment…, you are poised to decondition the old habits and limiting self-beliefs that imprison your heart.

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  • The SEE Learning COMPANION

    The SEE Learning COMPANION

    Social, Emotional, and Ethical (SEE) Learning is both an international program designed to foster
    social, emotional, and ethical learning in K-12 (kindergarten through high school) classrooms around the world, and a framework that can be used for all levels of education, including higher education
    and professional learning.The framework builds on work by the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
    community, in which cultivating positive emotional regulation, self-compassion, and interpersonal
    skills have been observed to improve both academic growth and individual well-being outcomes during critical stages of childhood development. Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEE Learning) is a program of the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322.

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  • Mindfulness for Teachers: A Pilot Study to Assess Effects on Stress, Burnout, and Teaching Efficacy

    Mindfulness for Teachers: A Pilot Study to Assess Effects on Stress, Burnout, and Teaching Efficacy

    Despite the crucial role of teachers in fostering children’s academic learning and social-emotional well-being, addressing teacher stress in the classroom remains a significant challenge in education.

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  • Promoting Prosocial Behavior and Self-Regulatory Skills in Preschool Children Through a Mindfulness-Based Kindness Curriculum

    Promoting Prosocial Behavior and Self-Regulatory Skills in Preschool Children Through a Mindfulness-Based Kindness Curriculum

    Self-regulatory abilities are robust predictors of important outcomes across the life span, yet they are
    rarely taught explicitly in school. The intervention group showed greater improvements in social competence and earned higher report card grades in domains of learning, health, and social-emotional development, whereas the control group exhibited more selfish behavior over time.

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  • RULER & Mindfulness PowerPoint

    RULER & Mindfulness PowerPoint

    Keith Ussery's Powerpoint presentation slides from the October 12, 2018 training at Willamette ESD covering a brief introduction to mindfulness and social & emotional learning techniques from Yale University's RULER program.

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  • Teacher Stress Reduction Leads to Instructional Improvement (Education Week)

    Teacher Stress Reduction Leads to Instructional Improvement (Education Week)

    Summary: This article reports on a study based on “a classroom model theory positing that teachers’ well-being promotes better teacher-student relationships, effective classroom management skills, and effective social-emotional learning.” The study found that teachers who participated in a mindfulness-based professional development program “were more emotionally supportive and demonstrated greater sensitivity to students than those in the control group.”

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  • Dealing With Student Anxiety Is an Increasing Part of K-12 Culture (Education DIVE)

    Dealing With Student Anxiety Is an Increasing Part of K-12 Culture (Education DIVE)

    Summary: This article broaches the subject of student anxiety. "About one-third of teenagers have an anxiety disorder and 8% are seriously impaired, studies say, but anxiety in younger children is also increasing in response to academic pressures, societal issues and increased social media use."

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  • Meditation Isn't Just About Self-Help. Here's What Educators Need to Know (Education Week)

    Meditation Isn't Just About Self-Help. Here's What Educators Need to Know (Education Week)

    Summary: This article makes the point that mindfulness and meditation should not serve the purpose of distracting students and teachers from the greater educational issues of equity. The article also points out the developing rift between mindfulness and social justice and the need to better understand how mindfulness and meditation can build social awareness and transformation.

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  • Research Indicates Mindfulness is a Trendy Strategy That Actually Works (Education DIVE)

    Research Indicates Mindfulness is a Trendy Strategy That Actually Works (Education DIVE)

    Summary: This article cites several research studies that support the value of mindfulness as an educational strategy. These studies support the benefits of mindfulness as a way to reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being as well as producing academic benefits.

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  • Where Mindfulness Education Fits in Schools (Education DIVE)

    Where Mindfulness Education Fits in Schools (Education DIVE)

    Summary: This article reports on work done in Illinois, the first state to require social-emotional learning in all of its schools, to look more carefully at the impact of mindfulness on primary grade students in 16 schools in Chicago. This will be a two-year study, so results will not be available until 2018.

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  • To Manage the Stress of Trauma, Schools Are Teaching Students How to Relax (The Washington Post)

    To Manage the Stress of Trauma, Schools Are Teaching Students How to Relax (The Washington Post)

    Summary: This article speaks to importance of using mindfulness and guided imagery to help students manage the stress of everyday life. By providing students with these kinds of relaxation exercises, the school better prepares them for meaningful learning and success in the classroom.

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  • For Better Results, Emotional Contagion Matters (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

    For Better Results, Emotional Contagion Matters (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

    Summary: Employees are not emotional islands. Rather, they continuously spread their own moods and receive and are influenced by others’ moods. When they work in groups, they literally can catch each others’ emotions like viruses, a phenomenon known as emotional contagion. These effects become even more powerful in stable workgroups where there is greater work interdependence.

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  • Meditation Isn't Just About Self-Help. Here's What Educators Need to Know  (Education Week)

    Meditation Isn't Just About Self-Help. Here's What Educators Need to Know (Education Week)

    Summary: This article makes the point that mindfulness and meditation should not serve the purpose of distracting students and teachers from the greater educational issues of equity. The article also points out the developing rift between mindfulness and social justice and the need to better understand how mindfulness and meditation can build social awareness and transformation.

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  • Educators Need Mindfulness. Their Mental Health May Depend On It. (Education Week)

    Educators Need Mindfulness. Their Mental Health May Depend On It. (Education Week)


    Summary: This article offers support for the importance of mindfulness for educators. Much has been written about the importance of mindfulness for students' mental health, but this is also true for the adults in the school building.

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  • Emotional Regulation for Kids With ADHD (Edutopia)

    Emotional Regulation for Kids With ADHD (Edutopia)

    Summary: This article suggests six brain-based strategies to help kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder build confidence, engagement, and focus.

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  • Meditation at Schools Can Benefit Both Learning and Behavior (Education DIVE)

    Meditation at Schools Can Benefit Both Learning and Behavior (Education DIVE)


    Summary: This article supports the idea that meditation and mindfulness can result in benefits for students and as a replacement for detention in helping students who are acting out self-regulate their emotions. This article also identifies some caveats for administrators considering implementing these programs.

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