Throughout the sessions, teachers communicated through an online discussion board, sharing their personal experiences and reflections. They shared things that brought them joy and lifted them up, as well as stressors that, upon reflection, would be great times to incorporate mindful moments.
After the ten weeks, all of the Abbotsford educators who filled out the survey reported, 'I am better able to notice when my stress is rising'. Feeling stress arising is a key skill in inserting a purposeful pause to refrain from reactive, or depleting patterns of behavior.
Another teacher wrote, "When I’m upset, I am better able to pause and notice how I’m feeling before I respond or take action." Pausing can greatly improve a teacher’s ripple effect by limiting emission of negative vibes. It’s also essential in modeling mindful behavior for students to see and mimic. It’s invigorating to hear how five hours of online learning can help teachers feel more resilient and less drained.
Feeling connected after learning together, the educators brainstormed ways to support themselves moving forward. Many realized that giving themselves permission to insert mindful pauses in their day would be a huge step. They recognized this would require overcoming barriers such as feeling like they did not have enough time or enough practice to slow down. The group also voiced that casual check-ins with one another through texting and in the hallways would be a great way to keep their journeys going.
Overall, we were so thrilled to work with these amazing Abbotsford educators. The insights and practical benefits they shared with us in the short time we worked together are things any district would be proud to highlight and build upon!