Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness’

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators: Understanding and Mitigating the Effects

Roughly half 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.
The condition has numerous names: secondary traumatic stress (STS), vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue.
The symptoms 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.

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more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mindful

burnout among professionals

Doctors Today May Be Miserable, But Are They ‘Burnt Out’?

September 18, 201812:06 PM ET MARA GORDON

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/09/18/649151654/doctors-today-may-be-miserable-but-are-they-burnt-out

It turns out, nobody really knows. The first study, a systematic review, summarizes the research to date on physician burnout. Study authors found that researchers do not use a consistent definition of burnout, and estimates of how common it is vary widely.

The second study followed doctors-in-training over six years and tracked how they felt about their work. They found that women and doctors in certain high-stress specialties were more likely to experience symptoms of burnout, like emotional exhaustion and regret about career choice.

Dr. Katherine Gold, coauthor of an editorial accompanying the JAMA studies. She says that the main questionnaire used to measure burnout wasn’t even designed for doctors. She says it’s intended for professionals like social workers and therapists, who have to cope with trauma their patients experience. My note: this is the merit of Kelsey Milne’s dissertation with SCSU EDAD program: how do we measure may be the key to the right assessment.

Burnout definition: How you define burnout is all over the map. Any time you have a diagnosis that might apply to 85 percent of the population, you wonder how useful that is. But burnout is much less stigmatized than depression. People are just more willing to say they’re burned out.People have resonated with the feeling that something isn’t right, and something is making our work really difficult. We’ve latched on to this as the word we’re going to use.

There’s talk about the solutions all being personal. The physician should be more resilient. The physician should do yoga. The physician should practice mindfulness. I think the stress that people are feeling is much more about external demands, like the electronic medical record and paperwork.

I know I feel frustrated when I get emails telling me that there’s lunchtime yoga, which of course I can’t make it to because I have too many patient charts to complete. My Note: this is part of Kelsey’s findings for educators also.

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more on meditation in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=meditation

Tech Neck

A Healing Yoga Sequence to Ease Neck + Shoulder Pain

We spend hours in front of our computers and phones, and the repetitive movement patterns can cause neck and shoulder strain. This sequence will help.
FEB 8, 2016https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/healing-yoga-sequence-ease-neck-shoulder-pain

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more on contemplative computing in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=contemplative

meditative practices help the body

Harvard Study: Clearing Your Mind Affects Your Genes And Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

new study indicates that people who meditated over an eight-week period had a striking change in the expression of 172 genes that regulate inflammation, circadian rhythms and glucose metabolism. And that, in turn, was linked to a meaningful decrease in their blood pressure.

“This is a major step to overcome the innate bias that has developed in medicine over the last hundred years or so,” says Dr. Herbert Benson, who started promoting what he called “the relaxation response” more than four decades ago. “Going back to penicillin in the 1920s, we have been inexorably dependent on medication, surgery and procedures.”

His goal is to establish the relaxation response and other techniques that calm the brain — yoga, t’ai chi, breathing exercises, repetitive prayer and other meditative practices — as a “third leg” of medical treatment, along with medication and surgical procedures.

Previous studies of other diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis, have suggested improvement after meditation. But, “this is the first study where we have a nice, clean, clinical read-out,” says Towia Libermann,
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more on meditation in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=meditation
more on mindfulness in this IMS blgo
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mindfulness

Cultivating Awareness and Resilience for Educators

Why Teachers Say Practicing Mindfulness Is Transforming The Work

https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/46150/why-teachers-say-practicing-mindfulness-is-transforming-the-work

Christa Turksma, is one of the co-founders of Cultivating Awareness and Resilience for Educators, or CARE for Teachers.

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.

In a soon-to-be published study, Jennings and her co-authors provided an extended version of CARE training to 224 teachers in high-poverty schools in New York City, with several two-day sessions spaced over the course of a year.

CARE TECHNIQUES TO TRY IN THE CLASSROOM
Mindfulness for students and teachers

1. Calmer Transitions

2. Take 5

3. Quiet Corner Or Peace Corner

4. Mindful Walking And Centering

yoga as disciplinary tool

Can yoga be used as a disciplinary tool?

Feb. 28, 2018

https://www.educationdive.com/news/can-yoga-be-used-as-a-disciplinary-tool/518049/

Traditional school discipline policies based on behaviorist principles are not well-supported by research, some educators say. And zero-tolerance policies are now viewed by most educators as more harmful than beneficial because of their association with the school-to-prison pipeline. New strategies, such as mindfulness and the practice of yoga, are gaining popularity in some areas as replacements for traditional discipline for minor infractions.

Advocates of yoga in schools claim that the practice does more than provide a way to reduce stress and improve self-control. Yoga also improves the mind/body connection, encourages a healthy and fit lifestyle and improves emotional health as well. Contracting with yoga instructors to provide a few classes a week may be a relatively inexpensive way to deal with some behavior issues.

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more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mindfulness

social media socially stunting

How social media is socially stunting our society: An anthropologist and acclaimed journalist shares his warnings

https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-20-how-social-media-is-socially-stunting-our-society-an-anthropologist-and-acclaimed-journalist-shares-warnings.html

One of the founders of Facebook, Sean Parker, explains that these social media devices exploit the vulnerability of the human essence. The dopamine that is social media only creates a narcissistic, self-validating loops that consume valuable time and conscious attention. “Liking”, “commenting”, and “sharing” (which are virtually useless in reality) causes us to run around an endless cycle of insignificant information documentation in hopes of acknowledgment, which later on propels us to create more of the same.

Social media platform owners and creators are aware of this weakness in human psychology, and are taking advantage of it. Parker is just one of the many individuals who regret having a hand in creating these life-stagnating technologies. The mental health of the global population is deteriorating and is mostly due to anxieties produced by social media.

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more on contemplative computing in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=contemplative+computing

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