1. Completion of an 8-week secular mindfulness course in person
You must have completed in person an 8-week secular mindfulness course. The following courses are accepted: .b Foundations, MBSR, MBCT, Finding Peace in a Frantic World, Breathworks, Mindfulness-Based Living Course (MBLC). Your course should have run for a minimum of 90 minutes per week for a period of 8 weeks. You must be certified by a qualified adult mindfulness teacher that you have completed an 8-week secular mindfulness course with them and give the name of your teacher and the date of the course.
This training forms an essential foundation that is necessary for teaching Paws b and is not covered again in the Teach Paws b course.
- If, due to exceptional circumstances, you would like us to consider an alternative training pathway please contact the applications team on firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we are unable to hold places until an application form is received.
- The 8 week .b Foundations course is not available as a public course. .b Foundations is designed to be delivered ‘on site’ in schools for school staff. For more information on how to bring an 8 week .b Foundation to your school or institution click here.
- To find an 8 week course near you, please go to the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations Listing.
- Experience of working or volunteering with children aged 7-11 years old is helpful to Paws b teachers as Teach Paws b is not a course which teaches the classroom teaching and management skills needed when working with young people.
For a period of at least 6 months between the start of your 8-week course and the start of the training to which you are applying.
Formal practice means adopting a supportive posture and sitting in stillness while intentionally cultivating the ability to bring kind and curious awareness to the body and mind. Some formal practices are explored as part of an 8-week secular mindfulness course, such as Breath and Body, Sounds and Thoughts, Turning Towards Difficulty, Gratitude and Compassion practices.
Such practices, commonly found in MBSR and MBCT courses provide the scaffolding that underlies both the Paws b and .b curricula, and it is assumed that those who attend our teacher training courses have a well-embedded experiential understanding of the key practices involved.
It is important to have experience of a range of practices and not do the same practice every day. For example, Body Scans are a good way to begin to explore mindfulness practice, but a weekly practice that mainly consists of body scans would not meet prerequisites for a Paws b training course, and must be combined with other formal practices during the week. For example, two body scans per week, alongside other formal practices mentioned above would be acceptable.
What does not count as formal practice?
Informal practices are ways of integrating mindfulness into your daily life, using the breathing space or through mindful activity such as mindful eating, mindful cooking, mindful walking, mindful sports…etc.
Although we strongly encourage you to use these techniques as a way of enriching your experience of mindfulness, these do not ‘count’ as a formal practice as they do not foster the same insights as an extended, formal practice.
Many other practices have elements of mindfulness within them but are not accepted under our prerequisites, as they are not directly related to our curricula. Common examples of these include yoga, relaxation, visualisation and transcendental meditation.
Use both silent and guided practice
Guided practices (using recorded guidance) are a helpful way of internalising the scripts and structures of the practices in question. They help you to learn specific techniques, as well as refresh your practice.
It is also essential that you develop your ability to guide yourself in silence before training to teach mindfulness to young people. Silent practice enables you to be responsive to what comes up in the present moment, which forms the basis of being able to guide others while remaining grounded in your own experience.
3. At least 6 months of mindfulness practice from the start of your 8-week course and the start of the Teach Paws b training
It is important that you undertake regular formal practice for an extended period to enable you to embed insights gained on your 8-week course. This period of embedding helps to stabilise and deepen your practice, which leads to a level of familiarity with the subtle workings of your mind. This in turn strengthens your capacity to hold the experience of others, and to respond skilfully if difficult situations arise for young people in the classroom.
Can I apply before I have completed 6 months of practice?
Whilst we require a minimum of 6 months practice you may submit an application form after 4 months to help you plan ahead and find a course location to suit you. This is with the understanding that you will maintain your practice.
We would also like to encourage applicants to attend regular mindfulness practice days to deepen their understanding of mindfulness and read Finding Peace in a Frantic World (Mark Williams) and either Full Catastrophe Living or Wherever You Go, There You Are (Jon Kabat-Zinn).
4. Ongoing commitment as a Paws b teacher
Being a Paws b teacher is not just about teaching mindfulness. If mindfulness is to become an established part of the education of children and young people, it is vital that the highest standards of professionalism and evidence-based integrity are maintained. We believe that this is in the interests of all those teaching mindfulness and the young people learning it. We ask that anyone applying to train to teach Paws b commits to the following and agrees to continue to adhere to these standards on an ongoing basis.
Personal Mindfulness Practice
Having an established personal mindfulness practice allows you to:
Teaching Mindfulness to Young People
Requires the following skills: