Mindfulness for Educators Certificate Program
In the Mindfulness for Educators certificate program, TK-12 and higher education professionals will practice meditation together and learn mindfulness techniques they can directly apply to their lives and the classroom. This course is designed for both beginning meditators and those with experience who want to refine their practice and learn how to apply it to the classroom.
In this hands-on course, you will explore strategies to incorporate mindfulness and well-being tools in life and your classroom. For your students, these tools can build focus, resilience and emotional literacy. For educators, these tools can strengthen their own personal and professional resiliency and work-life balance. Together, we will explore the research and practice of how to mindfully incorporate stress resilience, mental health, emotional regulation, connection, and present awareness so that those who work and learn in schools can fully thrive.
Through the summer, we will practice meditation together and learn mindfulness techniques you can directly apply to your life, to the stressors you may face in schools and to the classroom. The course will extend support through the start of fall semester with practical lesson plans and a community of practitioners. Classes consist of a combination of lecture, practice and discussion across six interactive modules.
While mindfulness and self-care practices can help educators and students to thrive amidst the challenges of life and schooling, it is not a silver bullet for the deep and systemic issues in the education system. Navigating what it means to teach and learn today should not have to require so much resilience. As we practice well-being, it is imperative that schools and districts collectively work to address systemic inequities and increasingly challenging work and school conditions so that those in them can fully thrive.
Though our course here is secular, it is with an acknowledgement for the roots mindfulness has in Buddhist philosophy, which emerged in the context of an ancient India where Hinduism, Jainism, yoga, asceticism and other traditions were practiced. Certain practices and ideas have evolved and been carried across time and geography and have been adapted here for a foundational, interdisciplinary study.
We would also like to acknowledge and honor the ancestral and unceded land of the Tongva people that our university sits on. For at least 9,000 years, they stewarded the land we call Southern California along with their neighbors the Chumash, Tataviam, Kitanemuk, Serrano, Cahuilla, Payomkawichum, Acjachemen, Ipai-Tipai, Kumeyaay and Quechan peoples.
Land acknowledgment and history
During the course, participants will create a curricular unit or lesson plan applying mindfulness practices to the classroom, incorporating principles of equity, mental health and trauma-sensitive instruction.
This course equips educators to apply mindfulness principles in their classrooms and daily lives to:
- Enhance capacity for presence, connection, openness and grounding.
- Cultivate focus and concentration, including as they relate to working with emotions, thoughts and sensations.
- Navigate difficult emotions and thoughts, including stress, anxiety and the effects of secondary trauma.
Mindful awareness techniques include areas relating to:
- Skillfully responding, rather than reacting, to complex situations.
- Interpersonal relationships and relational mindfulness practices of active listening and mindful communication.
- Navigating change, time management, college and career readiness, and exploring what it means to have a conscious and purposeful relationship with technology.
For all the challenges students and educators face in their personal and academic lives, and if we want them to fully thrive, then teaching well-being tools is just as important as teaching academic skills. This includes tools for emotional regulation, stress resilience, coping with anxiety, dealing with trauma, mental health supports, and learning to take a moment to pause, breathe and find stillness in the midst of it all. This experiential professional development course explores the research, theory and practice of what it means to bring mindfulness, mental health and well-being tools into the classroom.
Through it, educators will learn the principles of mindfulness practice, develop their own meditation practice and apply principles to their lives and the classrooms. They will learn strategies for themselves and their students to skillfully work with thoughts, emotions and sensations, while developing the capacity to enhance mind-body awareness of present-moment experience.
Educators will learn how to incorporate well-being tools into the classroom. They will explore how to apply hands-on lesson planning and classroom strategies to mindfulness principles and techniques for themselves and their students to cultivate greater awareness, clarity, focus and well-being in the classroom and life.
This course is made up of six modules taught live online. Each module begins with the introduction of a mindfulness concept, specific techniques and reflections to support the concept, classroom and daily life applications of those techniques, and further readings and reflections.
Thursdays, 3:30-5:30pm PST
Module 1: Principles of Mindfulness
June 15, 22
Module 2: Body
June 29, July 6
Module 3: Heart
July 13, 20
Module 4: Mind
July 27, August 3, 10
Module 5: Mindfulness in class and life
August 17, 24, 31
Module 6: Curriculum Applications
September 7, 14, 21
The program is $3,000. For LAUSD teachers, this includes two salary credits. For other districts, please consult with your HR team.
Linda Yaron Weston is the author of the books Teaching Resilience and Mental Health Across the Curriculum and Mindfulness for Young Adults: Tools to Thrive in School and Life. A National Board Certified Teacher with 20 years of classroom experience teaching academic and well-being courses at the high school and college level, she lectures at the University of Southern California, where she developed their undergraduate mindfulness course. Across grade levels, she regularly leads professional development for educators on how to integrate mindfulness and well-being support in the classroom.
15 weeks over 4 months
June 15, 2023