Teachers Are Living in a Tinderbox of Stressful Conditions. These Scientific Approaches Can Help.
Other essential elements include meditation, breathwork, yoga, cultivating and maintaining high-quality relationships, and intentional reinforcement of mindsets that promote human connection, such as gratitude, altruism and collective efficacy. What’s real in the mind is real is real in the body, and it is our perceptions—not “objective” reality—that drive our biochemistry. Accordingly, finding a silver lining—even under the most dire of circumstances—instigates a biochemical “upward spiral” which fosters constructive thinking in a demanding moment and, over the long-term, protects health and psychological well-being.
Participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. from r/science
Eight weeks to a better brain
a team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)
“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology
“It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,” says Britta Hölzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany.
Amishi Jha, a University of Miami neuroscientist who investigates mindfulness-training’s effects on individuals in high-stress situations, says, “These results shed light on the mechanisms of action of mindfulness-based training.
researchers from Penn State say can be as stress-inducing as an emergency room. Teachers enter such an an environment every day, which sometimes feels like life-or-death.
nonprofit program Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE)
half of the students in schools across America have experienced some form of trauma, violence or chronic stress.
After collecting data on those educators’ well-being, observations of classrooms and student behavioral reports over the course of a year, we found that teachers who received emotional regulation training were more emotionally supportive, demonstrated greater sensitivity to student needs, and provided more positive and productive classroom environments. Furthermore, when assessing teachers’ stress levels, those teachers noted considerably less distress, and an improved ability to manage their emotions.
In the face of stressful situations, I instead used techniques like deep breathing and mindful walking to calm my body and mind, gaining that heightened self-awareness to thoughtfully respond to the issue at hand.
more on stress in this IMS blog
Educators Are More Stressed at Work Than Average People, Survey Finds
By Madeline Will on October 30, 2017 3:25 PM
The survey, released by the American Federation of Teachers and the advocacy group Badass Teachers Association on Monday, included responses from about 5,000 educators. It follows a 2015 survey on educator stress—and finds that stress levels have grown and mental health has declined for this group in the past two years.
more on stress, mindfulness in this IMS blog
Harper, A. (2019, April 2). Reducing teacher stress may require multiple strategies. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from Education Dive website: https://www.educationdive.com/news/reducing-teacher-stress-may-require-multiple-strategies/551604/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202019-04-02%20K-12%20Education%20Dive%20Newsletter%20%5Bissue:20185%5D&utm_term=Education%20Dive:%20K12
- In the face of mounting testing pressures, rapidly changing reform efforts and student circumstances over which teachers feel little control, more than half of teachers consider their jobs to be highly stressful, which is affecting teacher absenteeism rates, retention and student achievement, according to The Hechinger Report.
- There is a growing trend to address teachers’ mental health through stress-reduction and resiliency-building exercises. These include yoga and programs such as those offered by the Center for Resilience, Breathe for Change and mindfulness training offered through Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education. However, these efforts are mere triage and only offer short-term solutions, some experts say.
- Education leaders can offer longer-term solutions that address root issues by providing mentoring support in schools rather than bringing in outside experts, rolling out new initiatives in a more teacher-centered way, and involving teachers in discussions about what works best for students.
But principals also need to build relationships with teachers themselves to create a sense of trust and more open and honest lines of communication. Good teachers are hard to find and losing them to stress is not a good option. Finding ways to solve the issues that are causing them stress and helping them deal with the inevitable pressures along the way is well worth the effort in the long run.
more on stress
How Stress Affects Your Memory
more on stress in this IMS blog
Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators: Understanding and Mitigating the Effects
of American school children have experienced at least some form of trauma — from neglect, to abuse, to violence. In response, educators often find themselves having to take on the role of counselors, supporting the emotional healing of their students, not just their academic growth.
are similar in some ways to post-traumatic stress disorder: withdrawing from friends and family; feeling unexplainably irritable or angry or numb; inability to focus; blaming others; feeling hopeless or isolated or guilty about not doing enough; struggling to concentrate; being unable to sleep; overeating or not eating enough; and continually and persistently worrying about students, when they’re at home and even in their sleep.
One of the handful of studies
of STS in schools found that more than 200 staff surveyed from across six schools reported very high levels of STS.
STS can affect teachers’ happiness, health and professional practice. But Betsy McAlister Groves, a clinical social worker and former faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, says that she has often been surprised by the number of teachers, school counselors and administrators who recognized the cumulative stressors that they faced in their schools but did not realize that their symptoms were a common reaction to working with traumatized children — and that these symptoms had a name.
How Schools Can Acknowledge Secondary Trauma:
Building a Culture of Awareness
Create Peer Groups
Trauma-Informed Schools: School leaders should take a school-wide approach. There is a growing movement around creating trauma-informed schools — schools that recognize and are prepared to support community members affected by trauma and traumatic stress. Such schools deeply integrate social-emotional learning into their teaching, culture and approach, understanding that the holistic health and wellbeing of their charges is essential for achieving academic success.
Resource for teachers and schools
- Assess how your work as an educator might be affecting you (both positively and negatively) by using the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) self-assessment tool and exploring the toolkit created by Teaching Tolerance to learn self-care strategies.
- Learn how, as an educator, you can begin to identify secondary traumatic stress and learn strategies for self care through the tip sheet created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
- Explore the resources created by the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, a collaboration between the Massachusetts Advocates for Children and the Harvard Law School.
- How strong are your school’s trauma-responsive programs and policies? Take the 20-minute evidence-informed Trauma Responsive Schools Implementation Assessment to find out — and learn ways to grow your school’s work.
- Learn about additional individual and organization strategies for addressing secondary traumatic stress, compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Stay tuned for a new online curriculum for preK–12 teachers, named STAT (Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma), being created by experts in the fields of secondary traumatic stress, education, and technology. The curriculum, due for a 2019 launch, will feature five modules on risk factors, the impact of STS, and self-assessment, among related topics.
more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
taking video with Vuze: considering different scenes:
- in the river, with sound of river and geese
- in the woods lower level camera
discussion about the length of the video segment
contact SCSU faculty: https://www.stcloudstate.edu/cpcf/faculty-staff.aspx
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Effects of Mindfulness Training on School Teachers’ Self-Reported Personality Traits As Well As Stress and Burnout Levels
more on burnout in this IMS blog
more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
New anti-encryption bill worse than EARN IT. Act now to stop both. from r/technology
Once surveillance laws such as an encryption backdoor for the “good guys” is available, it’s just a matter of time until the “good guys” turn bad or abuse their power.
By stressing the fact that tech companies must decrypt sensitive information only after a court issues a warrant, the three Senators believe they can swing the public opinion in favor of this encryption backdoor law.