Mindfulness Training Changes Teacher Behavior in the Classroom

A program called Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education helps teachers deal with stress. It also helps them better handle everyday situations in the classroom.

Any parent knows that teaching is hard work. It’s not just about trying to get across a certain subset of information through fun, interactive activities. There’s also time management, and behavior management, being an emotional support to students, and trying to save time at the end of the day to make lesson plans for the next. Overall, there are a lot of sources of stress, and kids don’t benefit when teachers are stressed out.

Take the recent situation in Beaumont, Texas, for instance, where a 63-year old teacher slapped a kid multiple times in her classroom. Several students reported her behavior as irregular, saying that the teacher was otherwise a really nice person. Was it a case of stress on the job? 

A national study of thousands of teachers found that many do have cause to be stressed out. Teachers say they aren’t trusted to do their job, even while the expectations mounted upon them rise. There are curriculum regulations to meet, and model roles to be played all the time. It’s no wonder that all of this pressure can lead to stress. And while striking a student is still fairly rare, it's not surprising that students feel some negative effects of teacher stress in their learning experience.

Fortunately, it looks like there is something that parents can do to support their children’s educators. Advocate for a mindfulness professional development program. In a recent study of such a program, Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE), the teachers involved in the intervention saw positive impacts on their mental and emotional health. More importantly to parents, they improved their teaching.

CARE is a mixture of mindfulness practice, communications and listening training, and self-regulation exercises that help teachers de-escalate their responses in challenging classroom situations. It helps teachers relate better to their students and have more empathy for their lives.

What if teachers’ emotional well-being were the subject of the next PTA meeting you attend? It become a hot new topic for those who want to see some real changes in classroom environments.

5 of the worst keto diet side effects

The keto diet can help with weight loss, but at what cost?

Surprising Science
  • In addition to weight loss, there are a few well-known side effects of the keto diet, some of which can be unpleasant.
  • Some side effects of the keto diet are bound to occur, though others only happen when the diet is implemented poorly.
  • The keto diet doesn't have to lead to a host of negative side effects, but anyone considering undertaking the diet over the long term should be especially careful.
Keep reading Show less

Why are people sexually attracted to cartoons? Evolution.

Nikolaas Tinbergen's concept of "supernormal stimulus" explains why humans are attracted to a heightened version of reality.

(Photo: Walt Disney Pictures)
Mind & Brain
  • According to Pornhub's annual statistics, "hentai" and "cartoons" were among the most popular categories in 2018.
  • Such pornography is a supernormal stimulus, an artificial object that triggers an animal's instinctual response more intensely than natural analogs.
  • Supernormal stimuli not only explain our heightened response to pornography, but also art, junk food, and social media.
Keep reading Show less

Standardized tests: Finland’s education system vs. the U.S.

Finland and the U.S. have chosen opposing answers to the question of how much standardized testing is too much.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Imperial China developed the first standardized tests for bureaucratic hopefuls.
  • Finland has all but done away with standardized tests, and its education system remains one of the best in the world.
  • The United States relies heavily on these tests and scores lower than Finland in academic rigor, yet provides a more balanced educational system for boys and girls, as well as immigrants
Keep reading Show less