Introducing WISE Teacher: Psychological Resilience Training for all Victorian teachers and “Overcoming Stress & Anxiety” training for Year 10-12 students.
We are delighted to have commenced facilitation of our WISE Teacher professional development training in schools. This is the first stress resilience program of its kind to become available for staff in the Education sector. Drawing on perspectives from science and themes from our eight week Wise mindfulness program, teachers learn evidence-based tools and practices they can integrate into the classroom. The original Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, developed at the University of Massachusetts in 1979, has been well-researched and has appeared in over 2000 medical journals. Research suggests the mindfulness-based interventions in the MBSR program alleviate a wide range of physical and psychological difficulties such as stress, anxiety, depression, aggression, high blood pressure and insomnia.
The workshop provides an enjoyable and in-depth exploration into mindfulness practice and stress physiology where teachers can learn effective MBSR tools for stress management, emotional regulation and psychological resilience. It has been designed to help teachers cope with the stress of everyday life and inspire them to create mentally healthy, mindful workplaces.
Alarming statistics show in each year, approximately one in every five Australians will experience a mental illness. Of even greater concern is the increasing number of students experiencing mental illness. 1 in 7 Australian children and adolescents aged 4-17 have mental health or behavioural problems. Mindfulness and attention training develops the ability to purposefully direct attention and behaviour. This correlates with greater resilience and ability to bounce back and persevere in the midst of stressful situations. It has been shown to foster emotional intelligence, gratitude, positivity and self-esteem which gives kids a head start for life. A little mindfulness goes a long way, even in adults, but the earlier teachers can introduce the practice of mindfulness to their students, the better.
From development of understanding on the principles of mindfulness a variety of applications can be made for both teaching practice but also occupational health and wellbeing. Mindfulness is an internal process, a particular way of relating to one’s experience. To communicate this successfully to students, teachers need to embody this process themselves. The term ’embodiment’ essentially describes how this interior work of mindfulness practice is implicitly reflected in the teacher’s presence and behaviour, which in turn influences the atmosphere of the classroom.
Work-related stress has a negative impact on teachers that is wide-ranging. As well as psychological health problems, stress has been associated with impaired performance, reduced productivity, physical illness, high staff turnover and sickness absence. Learning resilience and self-regulation skills are invaluable for staff in the teaching profession for not only managing stress but also for effective student management, dealing with high workload and other organisational demands. Without the appropriate understanding, tools and mechanisms in place, individuals are at an increased risk of exhaustion, burnout and mental illness.
Teachers who participate in this workshop benefit from:
- Improved self- awareness, self-management and self-regulation
- Less habitual reactivity
- Heightened emotional intelligence
- Improved sense of wellbeing, happiness and job satisfaction
- Improved leadership and communication skills
- Improved relationships, ability to listen more attentively and be present with their students
- Increased confidence teaching mindfulness exercises in the classroom
- More effective student management
Noticeable improvements in students who practice mindfulness include:
- Improved cognitive function- greater focus, concentration, memory, learning ability and creativity.
- Improved self-esteem.
- Better behaviour and grades.
- Improved attention and attendance.
- Better habits.
- Increased positivity, optimism and mood.
- Improved immune function.
- Reduced risk of mental illness and poor mental health.
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