Search

Santa Fe: Teachers taught about mindfulness; how to relax students

Dec 2, 2017, Santa Fe New Mexican: Teachers embrace ‘mindfulness’ http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/education/teachers-embrace-mindfulness/article_1f0585e6-3f56-54e4-aca8-d85c69f21188.html Patricia Chillón-García understands the stress that educators face. A teacher herself at Tierra Encantada Charter School, where she is immersed in an environment filled with anxious students, mounting paperwork and impending teacher evaluations, among other challenges, she has felt the pressure as well, day after day. “We have this feeling of urgency, that we have to get everything done right away, and we don’t have time for all of it,” Chillón-García told a group of teachers and school administrators who had gathered Saturday at the Mountain Cloud Zen Center in Santa Fe. … In an effort to address the problem, Chillón-García and about 50 other education professionals from around the state attended a daylong workshop on how to adopt a mentality of “mindfulness.” . …. Mindfulness, a practice perhaps best described as paying attention to what is going on in the moment without applying judgment to it, is a movement gaining momentum in classrooms nationwide as studies show anxiety in schools is on the rise. The practice involves getting students to slow down and focus.... Saturday’s training, initiated by the nonprofit Rio Grande Mindfulness Institute, located at the Zen Center, comes on the heels of the release of two national surveys that say both teacher and student stress levels are increasing. In October, the University of California, Los Angeles released a study that said more than half of all educators surveyed reported seeing students with “high levels of stress and anxiety,” which is, in turn, stressing out the teachers. That same month, the American Federation of Teachers and the Badass Teachers Association released the results of a survey that said educators feel stressed out at work about 61 percent of the time, and that 58 percent of those surveyed said their mental health was suffering as a result. … Joaquin Martinez, a history and government teacher at Santa Fe Public Schools’ Academy for Technology and the Classics, a charter school for students in grades 7-12, said he takes time out of classroom teaching every day to get his students focused through silent breathing exercises. …