Heading 1NDMTSS Conference
Teachers have always needed to know and practice protective strategies in their social emotional first aid kits to manage the daily stressors of working on the front lines of a human-service oriented profession. That need has never been greater given the massive increase in uncertainty and unpredictability in the teaching profession and in one's personal life due to COVID.
In short, teaching is emotional labor-- the effort required to manage and metabolize strong emotions like anger, shame, guilt, anxiety, and overwhelm, as well as generate and stoke positive emotions like joy, hope, and compassion.
Stress significantly diminishes a teacher's capacity to regulate their negative emotions and cultivate positive emotions. Ironically, teachers who leave the profession often cite their inability to cope with their own emotional reactions to loss of control, unpredictability, and lack of purpose in their teaching as the primary reason for burnout.
There are many, many strategies and practices rooted in cognitive and affective neuroscience and social and behavioral sciences that teachers can learn, practice, and integrate into their personal and professional lives as teachers to metabolize stress, manage negative energy, protect themselves from the burnout cycle, and find joy in teaching the whole year through!
In this session, teachers will:
Explore the core elements of the teacher burnout cycle and learn how to protect one's self from the 2 paths to burning out,
"Our positive emotions are contagious. When we are feeling pleasant emotions, our students can't help but feel the same way. These positive feelings help our students broaden and build their thinking and build important resources they need to be successful learners."
(Jennings, 2015, Mindfulness for Teachers)
Our energy as teachers is contagious and influential!
Teachers who teach from a positive mindset create elevated classroom climates where students feel invited to take risks, enjoy learning, and push past their fears of failure.
While the reality of teaching, and now teaching amidst COVID, demand so very much of a teacher's mental and emotional health and energy, current research in teacher well-being confirms that teachers can learn how to metabolize stress as an invitation to create more energetic states of hope, happiness, well-being, and positivity.
In this highly experiential session, teachers will:
Discover what the research says about how a teacher's positive attitude impacts student learning, student/teacher relationships, and equity consciousness,
Learn about the neuroscience of "hard-wiring happiness" and how to train it,
Explore the 2 biggest impacts of positivity in the classroom setting and how positive energy states are the building blocks of teacher and student well-being.
Engage (2) mindfulness and neuro-science based guided meditation practices that calm the mind, regulate the nervous system, and "hardwire happiness" (Rick Hanson).
Practice a research-based process for transforming negative thought patterns and energy states into positive self-talk.
Learn and engage the "Mindful Kid-Witnessing" practice to as a proactive approach to reducing bias and depersonalization of the "other" and seeing student behavior from a lens of curiosity and compassion.