Teaching is the backbone of our society, giving our children the knowledge and experience that will, quite literally, set them up for life. It should be a profession with meaning and purpose, and yet the challenges of teaching, with teachers stretched to their limits through the COVID epidemic, can often detract from that purpose.
There is no external intervention that can take away the demands of teaching, but mindfulness can support the mental space and perspective so helpful in maintaining the sense of purpose that teaching deserves.
Our Mindfulness in Schools programmes, delivered face-to-face if possible, or online, primarily designed to help teachers develop the skills of mindfulness for themselves. Then, use the skills developed to enhance their experience in the classroom, staffroom and when interacting with parents.
The course combines psychological skills with practical experience of mindful meditation, for wellbeing and resilience. We build a library of pre-recorded meditation practices through the course that are available for download on phones and other devices so that the meditations are available anytime they’re needed. But, beyond the recordings, you’ll build an understanding of how your mind works and approaches to working with stress and difficulty, as well as appreciating the good things that teaching can provide.
I was so pleased to be able to offer our school staff the opportunity to learn about mindfulness as a means to support both their well-being and resilience whilst they carry out roles which are, by their nature, often challenging and demanding. Mark was an excellent teacher who delivered the sessions with calmness and humour; we all greatly looked forward to our weekly sessions. I would thoroughly recommend Mark’s sessions to anyone who wishes to take their first steps towards weaving mindfulness into their lives.
Head teacher, Loddon Primary School
Ideally, the course runs across eight sessions of two hours, usually over eight or more weeks. Though as you might expect, we also offer shortened or lengthened versions – for example, one hour per session over six-weeks to eleven sessions including a taster, day retreat and follow-up.
For those teachers who want to take their mindfulness skills further, the courses we offer provide the required pre-requisites to go on to train in programmes such as .b, to teach mindfulness in the classroom.
The eight-week agenda looks like this:
- Week 1 – Running on autopilot
- Week 2 – Getting stuck in our heads
- Week 3 – Gathering the scattered mind
- Week 4 – Recognising distress and aversion
- Week 5 – Working with distress and aversion
- Week 6 – A thinking exposé
- Week 7 – A time to dance?
- Week 8 – The present in the future
About the teacher
Mark Quirk taught mindfulness across primary and secondary schools. He was a mindfulness teacher on the MYRIAD project, the largest UK trial of mindfulness in schools supported by the Wellcome Trust, and implemented with a collaboration across the Universities of Oxford, Exeter, UCL and Cambridge. He has been teaching Mindfulness since 2013, and as well as a masters in Psychology, he is formally trained as a mindfulness teacher and registered with the British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches (BAMBA).
Get in touch about our Mindfulness in Schools programmes…