Our belief in the Mindfulness Director Model comes from our exciting work with schools that have piloted this model. For example, at the Middlesex School in Concord, MA, a high school where mindfulness began as a weekly meeting with interested students and has grown through the work of the Mindfulness Director into a fully integrated program, mindfulness touches every aspect of community life. Mindfulness has improved student health and well-being, supported development of students’ social and emotional skills, and contributed to students’ overall academic experience. At St. Andrew’s School, a K-12 school in Austin, TX, the Mindfulness Director has been able to weave mindfulness into every grade level, offer mindfulness courses to staff and parents, and support other area schools in developing their own mindfulness programs. Mindfulness is a natural part of the school day for students at St. Andrew’s, who report feeling calmer, better focused, and more aware of their emotions.
The following testimonials show strong support for the impact a Mindfulness Director can have on a school community.
The mindfulness program at Middlesex gave me so much. Four years out and in college, I still use the practices I learned at Middlesex to continue to work on myself. Mindfulness allows me to practice skills such as compassion, focus, and gratitude just as I would practice a sport or an instrument. As a result, I am a better student, a better friend, and a better leader.
I love doing mindfulness because I worry a lot, and I get to calm down when I am doing mindfulness.
In our school community, we see the benefits [of mindfulness] manifested in our students’ improved emotional balance, judgment, and relationships—to self, friends, work, performance, and the world. We all talk about investing in the health of our students and in lifelong learning. There is no better skill to teach at a young age than mindfulness to improve our students’ experiences and enrich their lives.
It’s hard for me to stress out and calm down, so it really helped me to kind of learn how to relax and calm myself down.
The course for parents gave me a range of tools to help me stay present, especially during stressful times. My son and I now have a common language around mindfulness that allows me to better support him in building a solid and committed mindfulness practice.
Students gain skills in emotional regulation and resilience by learning mindfulness meditation techniques. Specifically, they learn to not always believe their thoughts, and to detach—ever so slightly—from the rocky emotional landscape they are living in. Furthermore, with regular practice, students gain empathy and compassion for others because of their ability to be with their own discomfort. Any school committed to character development should have a mindfulness curriculum as a cornerstone to all programming.
Mindfulness has been by far the most valuable class I’ve ever taken. The practice of mindfulness has made me more equipped to deal with life.
Mindfulness helps us identify feelings and know how to deal with them as opposed to just avoiding them. It gives you mental education which is not offered in a lot of places and can help us a lot with personal problems in life.
“[Mindfulness is] so valuable to me and also to my children. It helps me to be more present for them and most importantly helps me respond—not react—to them. Thank you; [the mindfulness class] was a wonderful experience.