Frequently asked questions
Can anybody train?
No. You need to have developed a depth of personal understanding of mindfulness and experience of how it works in schools.
Can I apply for the Teach .b/Paws b course before completing my eight-week introduction to mindfulness course?
To ensure there is time to continue to explore and deepen the practices you have learned on your eight week mindfulness course, we require at least two – three months’ embedding period (depending on previous mindfulness experience) between the completion of your eight-week course and starting a Train to Teach .b or Paws b course.
However, you can apply to attend the Teach .b or Paws b course once you reach the end of your eight-week course, provided you commit to ongoing regular practice – both formal and informal. For more information on what this involves, please see the prerequisites for Teach Paws b and Teach .b
Can I find an independent trained .b or Paws b teacher to deliver the lessons to pupils?
If you would like to get started and introduce mindfulness to pupils before training staff, you can use our trained teacher maps to engage an independent .b or Paws b teacher to deliver the .b or Paws b curriculum.
The .b or Paws b teacher will be self-employed, so we are not in a position to instruct them on what to charge. Of course, it will vary from region to region and according to the size of group, type of school, travel time and experience of the teacher etc, all we ask is that the fee they charge is reasonable and affordable for all schools. This is key to the integrity of the work we do, and our aim to increase the accessibility and sustainability of mindfulness provision within schools.
Please make sure you speak with the teacher first, ideally in person! Read our advice on how to find the right teacher for you. It is better to wait for the right teacher than rush ahead with one that doesn’t give you confidence.
Can I translate the materials?
Do I need to work in education to apply for .begin?
Yes. You would have to either work or volunteer in a school or work/volunteer within an educational setting on a regular basis. Please note School governors and those who volunteer regularly in a school (including parent volunteers) are eligible to apply.
Do you offer a discount for groups?
Group discounts are available for Teach .b and Teach Paws b courses. If you have a group of teachers that you would like to train, please contact email@example.com.
Do you offer free places on courses?
As a charity, we are delighted to be able to offer a number of free and reduced price places on some MiSP training courses to schools who have above average numbers of pupils receiving Free School Meals, receiving support for SEN, or above average pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL). For more information about MiSP supported places click here.
Can I train others to teach the .b curriculum?
The Teach .b course involves training to teach the curriculum to pupils, but not to provide any form of teacher training for adults (i.e. training others to teach the .b course).
Can I train others to teach the Paws b curriculum?
The Teach Paws b course involves training to teach the curriculum to pupils, but not to provide any form of teacher training for adults (i.e. training others to teach the Paws b course).
How do I apply and how much will it cost?
Visit our Course Schedule page to find the course you’d like to attend. Click on the ‘Apply’ button and the corresponding page will provide you with information about the course, the cost and an application form which you can submit online.
How do I find out more about the .b curriculum?
Find out more about the .b curriculum on this page.
I am new to mindfulness, is .begin the right course for me?
We certainly hope so. .begin is taught online, but face-to-face in real-time by highly experienced mindfulness practitioners who are skilled in delivering group sessions. Hugely experienced in mindfulness and its many benefits through their own practice and training, they also understand the demands of working in education.
While .begin is intended as a general introduction to mindfulness for personal well-being, mindfulness is not for everyone. In particular, people who have recently experienced trauma or bereavement, or severe physical or mental illness, should consult with their GP or other medical advisers before undertaking 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 .begin course in this respect, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not a school teacher – can I train with you?
We train people from a variety of backgrounds such as community workers, independent mindfulness teachers, school counsellors, therapists and educational and clinical psychologists to teach our curriculums. Experience of working or volunteering in your line of work would be helpful as this is not a course which teaches the necessary classroom management skills needed when working with young people.
I would love to share some of the practices and ideas with my colleagues/students. Is that OK?
We hope that you have enjoyed the eight-week course, and have also experienced some of the potential positive changes that mindfulness practice can support, especially in terms of mental and physical health. Where such changes have been noticed, there is a natural tendency to want to share this learning with students, colleagues or even family members.
One of Mindfulness in Schools Project’s (MiSP’s) main aims is to bring mindfulness to young people and those who work with/ care for them. However, at the heart of this is a fundamental need for this to be done with integrity and safely. We are therefore very clear in our Terms and Conditions for taking part in a .begin and .b Foundations course that these do not in any way train participants to teach mindfulness to young people or adults.
Just as you wouldn’t ask someone to teach a child to swim if that person couldn’t swim strongly themselves, you wouldn’t expect someone without a long-established practice, and extensive training, to teach young people or adults mindfulness. Training to teach mindfulness to adults takes a minimum of a year’s training through approved routes, and involves a great deal of time learning how to lead both practices and enquiry (the discussions that take place following the practices) with skill and safely. Individuals have different responses to mindfulness practices and children, in particular, need to be guided skilfully and competently so that they can access the benefits of mindfulness and not be put off by poor teaching.
MiSP’s own training pathways to teaching dots (ages 3-6), Paws b (ages 7-11) or .b (ages 11-18) curricula require completion of an approved eight-week mindfulness course, two or three months to embed individual practice, followed by a further four or three days’ training (respectively). Again, a great deal of time on these courses is spent exploring how to lead a practice and enquiry, as well as gaining extended understanding about the theory behind these practices.
Having said all that, if you have managed to maintain your personal practice (during sessions and in your own time) during and beyond your eight-week course, and therefore have an experiential understanding of its intentions and possible outcomes, you may choose to explore how it is to lead an adult friend, colleague or family member in one of the simpler practices from earlier on in the course. These practices could include the ‘.b’ practice – ‘Stop, Feel Your Feet on the Floor, Notice the Breath, and Be’, or maybe some gentle mindful movement such as stretching, and observing the breath in the body. If you are comfortable with this, you may invite a group of children or young people that you know well to join in a very short practice too.
You might also like to know that there are two freely accessible videos on Youtube. These talk you through the theory behind, and then lead you through the practice of, two simple key practices:
Beditation (which you will know as the ‘Body Scan’)
These are intended for use as part of the .b curriculum, but can also be used as an opportunity to ‘dip your toes in the shallows’ of mindfulness practice. Indeed, you can play these to children and young people in your class if you think they will enjoy it. However, we would recommend that you keep any discussion of the experience afterwards minimal and as light as possible until you have been trained in how to guide enquiry with children.
Certainly, there should be no attempt to lead longer practices or any that involve working with difficulty in terms of thoughts, emotions or body sensations. These are more advanced practices and need to be guided skilfully by an experienced and well-trained mindfulness teacher.
If you have any further questions about this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch email@example.com
As a UK charity, we try to support schools who wish to have members of their staff trained in MiSP’s classroom-based curricula, but who need financial assistance to do so. If you’d like to know more, please check the criteria for a Supported Place on training. We are also able to offer awards from our Early Career Teachers’ Support Fund.
Is MiSP part of the UK Network for Mindfulness Teachers?
MiSP is not part of the UK Network for Mindfulness Teachers. MiSP trains adults to teach our .b, Paws b and .b Foundations curricula rather than in a general mindfulness training. MiSP’s focus is on the integrity and quality of the curricular content we develop, and ensuring individuals are trained well in that content.
Is there a minimum age limit for attending a MiSP course?
You must be at least 18 years of age to attend any MiSP training course.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
At its most basic level, mindfulness helps train your attention to be more aware of what is actually happening, rather than worrying about what has happened or might happen. We learn to bring greater curiosity to whatever it is we experience. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founding father of secular mindfulness, described this skill as ‘being alive and knowing it’.
Read more about mindfulness on this page.
What are the outcomes from an 8-week course?
High quality evidence shows the benefits of an eight-week mindfulness course, benefits include:
- a reduction in stress, burnout and anxiety
- a reduction in the sense of task and time pressure
- an improved ability to manage thoughts and behaviour
- an increase in coping skills, motivation, planning and problem solving
- an increase in self-compassion and self-care
Find out more about .begin MiSP’s eight-week online mindfulness course on this page.
Why do I have to meet the ‘prerequisites’ before I train to teach mindfulness to pupils?
In order to be a swimming instructor you need to have spent plenty of time in the pool. Similarly, in order to teach mindfulness you need to have repeatedly experienced it yourself over a period of time and understood its paradoxes and complexities. It needs to make sense to you in practise as well as in theory so that you can bring it to life for inquisitive and often cynical young people (not to mention colleagues!).
Where can I teach .b?
The .b curriculum must not be taught as a public course i.e. freely advertised for any interested party to attend. Background knowledge of the pupils you teach is essential to ensuring their safety and wellbeing. Schools or educational organisations provide the necessary framework of policies and procedures to safeguard children in a way which a public course would not.
Where can I teach Paws b?
The Paws .b curriculum must not be taught as a public course i.e. freely advertised for any interested party to attend. Background knowledge of the pupils you teach is essential to ensuring their safety and wellbeing. Schools or educational organisations provide the necessary framework of policies and procedures to safeguard children in a way which a public course would not.
Why do I need training?
Our 3 day (Paws b) and 4 day (.b) trainings thoroughly resource you for the teaching of mindfulness to pupils in schools. You will gain not only a far greater understanding of mindfulness itself, but also outstanding resources to bring it to life in the classroom.
Will I receive a certificate on completion? Will it count towards CPD?
Having completed the course, you will receive a certificate. This could form part of your professional development records.
MiSP is accredited as a CPD provider by the CPD Standards Office, and our .begin course has been rigorously assessed as providing 13 hours of CPD.
Will the technology for the online courses work for me?
You need a reasonable broadband internet connection and a computer or laptop with a webcam and microphone (which are built into almost all laptops nowadays). The platform we use is called Zoom, so for precise technical requirements, click here. As general guidance, if Skype or Facetime work on your computer or laptop then you should be fine.