We all experience stress at work, no matter the job. But for teachers, the work seems to be getting harder, and the stress itself harder to shake. Majority of teachers feel that the high stress they feel is on par with nurses and doctors, and majority of teachers do not teach for more than 5 years at a school. The demands of curriculum deadlines, evaluation reports and the strain of teaching children who themselves are stressed and ‘burnt out’ makes the experience of being a teacher a thankless job for most teaches.
Students themselves have surprisingly reduced attention spans – now at a mere 8 seconds (in a 2012 report) due to the proliferation of the cyber connected environment and performance pressure in a highly competitive world. The stress, high academic demands, a fractured emotional support system and lack of skill sets that teach relationship and emotional balance have all led to a destructive experience for teachers, students and management.
The practices of mindfulness, contemplative education, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) are now being widely explored in schools as ways of enhancing the learning experience of children. Research also shows that SEL supports an 11% rise in student academic scores while mindfulness-based education has been shown to foster the inner skills of attention, compassion, impulse-control, and executive functioning. Our integrated SEL and mindfulness program utilizes the strengths of both modalities with a view to develop a strong sense of self-esteem, while cultivating a sense of compassion and gratitude in students and teachers.
This is important as social skills learnt in kindergarten predict improved education, employment, crime, substance abuse and mental health outcomes in adulthood.
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