Teach Paws b Application
1. Ongoing commitment of a Paws b teacher
Paws b is a classroom-based course for teaching in schools and other educational settings where there are safeguarding policies and procedures in place. It must not be taught as a public course.
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 very important 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 understands and agrees to the prerequisites and to continue to adhere to these standards on an ongoing basis.
1.1 – Personal Mindfulness Practice
Having an established personal mindfulness practice allows you to:
- Teach mindfully
- Embody mindfulness
- Model mindfulness to young people
- Guide practices with awareness
- Skilfully respond in enquiry
1.2 – Teaching Mindfulness to Young People
- Ability to engage pupils in a classroom setting
- Good class management skills
- Good communication skills
- To inform and include staff and senior leadership in the mindfulness work in the school in which you are teaching
If applying to train to teach Paws b, previous experience of teaching or working in some capacity with groups of students in the relevant age group (7 – 11) is crucial. While there will be discussions and advice as part of the course about how mindfulness teaching might sit within a school classroom environment, it is assumed that you already have general classroom management skills and experience before attending the training.
If you intend to be a self-employed teacher of Paws b going into schools, it is important to be aware that the current financial constraints on schools are severe, and many schools have very limited resources to pay for external providers of teaching and training. Before investing in training to teach Paws b, we recommend that you approach schools in your area and try to get a sense of whether or not they would be in a position to employ you as an external teacher.
I agree to meet the ongoing commitments of teaching the Paws b curriculum and will not teach Paws b as a public course, ie outside the context of a school, sports club or other educational or youth-related organisations where safeguarding policies and procedures are not in place.
2. Understand and commit to the prerequisites
2.1 – Attended and completed a face to face 8-week secular mindfulness course
You must have completed in person a teacher-led 8-week secular mindfulness course. The following courses are accepted:
- .b Foundations
- Finding Peace in a Frantic World (teacher-led group course only; PLEASE NOTE: self-guided courses do not meet prerequisites)
- Mindfulness-Based Living Course (MBLC)
- Mindfulness For Life
- The Present for Adults
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.
I confirm that I have completed one of the 8-week, face to face, teacher-led, group based secular mindfulness course listed above. I give MiSP permission to contact my teacher to confirm my attendance.
2.2 – Formal practice
A personal practice on 5 out of 7 days a week, for a period of at least 2-3 months’ between the completion of your 8-week course and the start of the training to which you are applying.
We would expect this personal practice to involve a range of practices, including the formal practices explored as part of an 8-week secular mindfulness course, such as Breath and Body, Sounds and Thoughts, Turning Towards Difficulty, Body Scan, Gratitude and Compassion practices. While shorter practices built into your day such as mindful eating, walking and breath awareness also form an important part of your deepening mindful awareness, we ask that you aim for a daily formal practice where possible for 20 consecutive minutes per day for the reasons outlined in 3. below.
For example, you may choose to focus in on body scan practices for one week, then explore other formal practices in subsequent weeks such as body and breath, sounds and thoughts or other silent practices. While it is important that you find practices that works for you, it is also important that you investigate and try the practices we list above. This allows you to develop both a broad and deep, experiential understanding of mindfulness practices. It will also form the foundation of your understanding and experience when it comes to leading a range of practices as part of the Paws b curriculum.
Such practices, commonly found in MBSR and MBCT courses provide the scaffolding that underlies the Paws b curriculum, and it is assumed that those who attend our teacher training courses have a well-embedded experiential understanding of the key practices involved.
What does not count as formal mindfulness 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, on their own, they will not allow you the same richness of insight as more 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.
Where possible, 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.
I practise mindfulness as set out above for at least 20 minutes a day, 5 out of 7 days a week.
2.3 – Medical acknowledgment
While Paws b is intended as a training to introduce basic mindfulness to young people in an educational setting, the course also involves attendees taking part in guided and non-guided mindfulness practices. As with any mindfulness course or workshop, it may not for everyone. In particular, if you have recently experienced trauma or bereavement, or severe physical or mental illness, you should consult your GP or other medical adviser before undertaking this, or any form of mindfulness training or practice.
For more information, please read the following article by Ruth Baer and Willem Kuyken.
If you wish to discuss any concerns you might have about the Teach Paws b course in this respect, please contact email@example.com
Please confirm that you understand that this course is not a substitute for any medical treatment you might need.
I have read the information above and confirm I understand that this course is not a substitute for any medical treatment I might need. I agree that if I have, or have recently had, symptoms of physical or mental ill-health, it is my responsibility to consult with my doctor and/or other healthcare professionals and follow their advice.
2.4 – Why 2-3 months?
We are often asked why we ask potential teachers of Paws b (for 7-11 year-olds) to have such an established personal mindfulness practice of their own. There are two main reasons for this:
- The key ideas and practices that underlie the most well-respected and widely researched 8-week adult mindfulness courses such as MBSR and MBCT provide the scaffolding that underlies the Paws b curriculum. Before training to teach Paws b to young people, it is assumed that those who attend our teacher training courses have a well-embedded experiential understanding of the key practices involved in these adult 8-week courses. This will then support you when leading young people in the range of practices explored in Paws b, and allow you to deal more skilfully with any questions or responses that arise out of them.
- This period of 2-3 months 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 model mindfulness in holding 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 2-3 months of practice?
Whilst we require a minimum of 2-3 months practice you may submit an application earlier than this to help you plan ahead and find a course location to suit you. This is with the understanding that you will maintain your practice.
I will have practised mindfulness for a period of at least 2-3 months’ between the completion of my 8-week course and the start of the training to which I am applying.
I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions for booking a Teach Paws b course AND THE Terms & Conditions of teaching the Paws b curriculum.
I have read and agree to MiSP using my data for the purposes set out in the Privacy Notice.
If, due to exceptional circumstances, you would like us to consider an alternative training pathway, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we are unable to hold places until an application form is received.
If you do not meet one or more of the conditions above and would like more information and guidance about how to train Paws b in the future, please click here.
3. Complete the Application Form
Please read each question carefully, and respond as fully and accurately as possible.