Welcome to MiSP’s series of 20 Top Tips for 2020. We have gathered together the 20 questions we are asked most often and, using a decade’s worth of experience in delivering mindfulness in schools, plus the experiences of our mindfulness community of more than 5,000 trained teachers, we provide the answers!
#3: Help! I’m the lone voice for mindfulness in my school. What can I do?
It can be frustrating when you are trying to introduce mindfulness to your school when you don’t have whole school support, or if you are a lone voice, but every small step is a step closer. In our experience, introducing mindfulness into your school is not a quick fix. But whilst it can take years to properly establish and embed, every activity you do to promote a better understanding of mindfulness and its benefits to school stakeholders will help …
The consistent theme to promote mindfulness in your school is communication. Your colleagues are under varying pressures, with limited resources, and possibly with high levels of scepticism as to what mindfulness is and what you are trying to introduce. We would recommend that you keep talking about what you are doing, using modes of communication suitable to your audience.
This may mean that your chat about your own experience of mindfulness informally in the staff room, present a written report of the cost benefit of mindfulness to your school bursar, and deliver a short presentation to your SLT showing them the materials and evidence for support. If you know your audience’s particular concern (funding, behaviour, results, absence, stress, staff retention etc) you can tailor your message to demonstrate how mindfulness can meet their concerns. Read our blog on finding funding for bringing mindfulness to your school which gives some tips on putting a case for support together.
If you cannot get mindfulness onto the curriculum at the moment, you could consider lunchtime or after school clubs as a starting point. Then you could run an assembly where pupils who have taken the course talk about it and how it has helped them. If you are a Hub member, you can use our Class Impact Report service to collect data on how the children how found the curriculum and send the findings to the SLT.
Why not invite your colleagues to a taster session (lesson 1) so they can see what it is all about? At the very least, it will help with shared understanding of the language the child pupils be using but it might just pique their interest in mindfulness.
You can also encourage colleagues to discover mindfulness for themselves by taking our online eight-week course .begin. We can provide Supported Places on these and also discounts for groups of more than five participants.
Finally, if you are the lone voice in your school, please do network with other trained teachers for encouragement and support. See our article on ways to stay in touch with our community!