20 Tips #6: I’m not based in a school, how do I start to teach Paws b or .b?

We know that many schools invite third party providers to deliver activities in schools. Here are some key factors to consider when contacting schools to offer to teach our mindfulness curricula to their children and young people…

Build your credentials

Schools are under heavy scrutiny about how they use their limited funding. Make sure that you provide a strong description of your relevant experience and qualifications in any communications you have with the school to demonstrate that you are a suitable provider. Don’t forget to use your Trained to Teach logo available on the .b Teaching Materials or Paws b Teaching Materials pages in The Hub.

Consider volunteering to gain experience and build interest

A good way to encourage interest from schools is to offer to go in and do a taster session. We have often received feedback that independent teachers find it effective to offer this for free given that it can often lead to schools buying in to the whole course.  Others do charge a small fee however.

There is an introductory session available as part of the materials in the Hub, including a power point presentation and film clip, which functions well as a taster for school staff.

You might also consider offering an entire Paws b or .b programme for free to build your experience. This not only allows the school to assess your personal suitability but also to understand the course and the impact it can have on the children and young people. They could then commission paid courses and of course also potentially recommend you to other schools.

We would recommend that you use the class impact presentation facility which is part of the Hub membership.  This will give you a presentation on how the pupils you teach responded to the course and is a great way to demonstrate to schools the impact of the curricula.

Make sure you know how to teach the relevant age group

Our Teach Paws b and Teach .b courses will train you to deliver mindfulness classes – but not how to teach children! It is important to stress that previous experience of teaching or working in some capacity with groups of students is crucial to teach MiSP curricula. This will result in a much more effective and enjoyable experience for all participants where the focus can really be on the content!

Our courses include discussions and advice about how mindfulness teaching might sit within a school classroom environment, assuming that you already have general classroom management skills and experience before attending the training. If you are a third-party provider to a school, we very much recommend that you have the classroom teacher present in the room when you deliver the curriculum.

Be realistic about your fees

The current financial constraints that schools are facing mean that, generally, there are very limited resources available to pay for external providers. We advise applicants to our courses who are hoping to be able to charge fees locally to deliver our curricula to check first whether schools would be in a position to employ external teachers or not as this may not be a viable income stream in every area.

And we don’t provide advice on what to charge, as this varies from region to region and school to school. Instead, we suggest that a useful benchmark might be local supply teacher fees in your area, which will enable you to assess what schools pay locally for external staff.

Please do ensure that the fee you charge is reasonable and affordable for schools. We want more children to be able to access the benefits of mindfulness and want schools to be able to welcome you in their school!

Learn from others!

  • We run a discussion group for our independent teachers as part of our Reconnection and CPD Days. Come along to the next one to join in!
  • Read Nicky and Seth’s stories in our case studies section, both independent teachers who have very successfully taught our curricula.
  • For more information about the way our courses work please take a look at our FAQs.

 

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