Services for Educators
Why Mindfulness for Teachers?
Teaching can be one of the most rewarding jobs. It can also be one of the most challenging, and stress levels and burnout among educators is on the rise. Many demands can be placed on your time and expectations might be high despite limited resources. In the last few years, teacher job satisfaction has reportedly plummeted to a 25-year low, and turnover is high — almost 50 percent for new teachers. Mindfulness for teachers can help!
Mindfulness is an evidence-based way to create more emotional balance and to reduce risk of burnout. Educators play a crucial role in nurturing children’s well-being so it is vital for teachers to set a tone of calm, caring leadership. Research has shown that teachers who practiced mindfulness displayed reductions in psychological stress and increased self-compassion.
Teachers also reported better sleep and less physical and psychological symptoms. A growing body of work underscores the added value of incorporating mindfulness into professional development for educators. Anecdotal reports suggest that a mindful attitude can even improve test scores and reduce behavioral problems among students.
There is a reason why there’s a mindfulness revolution happening right now. It can help both teachers and students decrease stress, burnout and test anxiety, and increase resiliency, compassion, focus and calm.
There is a growing body of neuroscientific evidence to show that mindfulness even changes the structure and function of the brain in beneficial ways. This is especially important given that the current generation of students is the first one to be more stressed out than their parents. Mental illness in young people is increasing at dramatic rates. Bullying and feelings of isolation are on the rise.
Mindfulness practices can promote happiness and empower us to handle strong emotions effectively.
Let me show you how!
I travel nationally to give talks and workshops to educators and the results can be dramatic.
What Others Are Saying
From a teacher in Texas who attended just a single 2-hour workshop with me:
“Mindfulness changed my classroom. Pausing and just existing each morning created an environment that was not only more conducive to learning, it also lowered anxiety levels. I found that my students enjoyed mindfulness and if I forgot in the morning, they were the ones reminding me to pause!
Most of my students come from low-income homes with several younger sibling of whom they are in charge. They do not have the opportunity for one quiet moment because they live in packed apartments or mobile home parks.
I noticed that when we practiced mindfulness, they were smiling. They loved a moment to themselves to just BE!
Even the most resistant student fell in love with pausing. She could be a challenging student as far as behavior goes, and she would ask for a moment to pause whenever she felt she was getting angry. I believe she will take this practice with her throughout life. I had a very successful passing rate of the Texas standardized test (92%!) This is a personal record for me. I know mindfulness had a huge part in my classroom management and success.”
~Isadora Day, 4th-grade teacher, Austin, TX
I am so glad I met Erin. I learned so much in just 1 session! My students love the meditation and I know they will benefit greatly from these stress coping strategies. We need more like her in the world!
~Jacqueline Martinez, 4th-grade bilingual writing and science teacher, Dallas TX
Erin’s mindfulness teachings during my schooling were such a breath of fresh air and a reminder of the importance of staying present and focused despite living and learning in a fast and multi-tasking world.
~Janine Ronayne MS, PA-C, Primary Care PA, Boston, MA
As soon as we were able to sit, take a pause and pay attention to our breath, we let out a deep sigh of relief and were able to connect back to ourselves. The purpose of the workshop was for educators to learn some simple mindfulness exercises to take back to their schools and students, but what happened in that room was a group of adults, whose minds’ had been overloaded, were finally given a chance to stop and reconnect with themselves: powerful! We walked out of Erin’s Mindfulness Workshop centered, recharged, and filled with clarity. Immediately we were reconnected back to our purpose.
~Shannon Philip, co-founder of Shinebright, Los Angeles, CA
Thank you for the wonderful presentation on mindfulness. It was my favorite of all the sessions I attended at the conference (SXSWedu 2016). What I liked is that it was very approachable and understandable by all walks of life. I would love to learn more from you. Thank you once again for your thoughtful presentation.
~Lobat Asadi, ESL faculty, University of Texas at Austin
Erin Sharaf’s “Mindfulness: the Power of Pausing” was new content for us. The workshop was packed and evaluated as one of our top sessions. She was an excellent presenter: engaging and powerful. I highly recommend her. Teachers loved her and asked that we invite her back.
~Angela Christophe, Senior Director of Programs, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Washington, DC
Feedback From Teachers
- The session exceeded my expectations. It was fabulous!
- Excellent Class! Bring back next year.
- Awesome-she was great!!
- Ms. Sharaf was the perfect facilitator as she had a calming presence, which helped me buy in.
- Excellent presentation!
- Thank you for the peace practice!!
- Erin Sharaf is an excellent presenter! Best session attended, powerful and engaging.
- Amazing! Thank you!
- Excellent. I feel refreshed, calm and ready to notice my thoughts and make wise choices.
- Wonderful, insightful, powerful. A must for everyone!
- I had no expectations but was wonderfully surprised.
- Really good stuff. Lots of strategies to take away.
- Very powerful session. A must for those serving students.
Let’s Do This Together
Please contact me to see how I can add value to your classroom or organization. You can email me at Erin@erinsharaf.com. I am available for teacher professional development days, to speak at local education conferences and more. I can create unique programming for the specific needs of your community.
We have a duty and a responsibility to our children and our society to create a learning environment that advances not only intellectual development, but also promotes social and emotional skills. Mindfulness for teachers can go a long way towards achieving this goal.
Together we can empower the next generation to reach their full potential.
Erin is an educator at heart and has taught in the classroom from junior high through graduate school. As a certified physician assistant and former professor of health sciences, she is intimately familiar with dis-ease in individuals and organizations and has spent the past decade offering mindfulness-based strategies to alleviate it.
As the founder of Mindfulness + Magic she creates programming and delivers workshops, talks and retreats that ignite healing from within and inspire others to be the change they want to see in the world. Erin practiced as a primary care provider for 10 years and did her Physician Associate training at Yale University School of Medicine. She has a master’s degree in Integrative Medicine. She has been featured on NPR and in Mindful magazine, published in Huffington Post, Edutopia and Noodle Education among other places.
She believes that if we gave equal emphasis to intrapersonal and interpersonal education, through mindfulness and heartfulness practices, the world might look very different. You can read more about this here.
‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ ~Maya Angelou