See what can happen when a community invests in a whole-school culture of mindfulness.
Milner Middle School, a Title I school in Hartford, CT, began their partnership with Mindful Schools in the 2021-2022 academic year. Here’s their story:
What does a ‘mindful school’ look like?
Thanks to the support of the Cigna Foundation Healthier children for our future Initiative, Milner Middle School has partnered with Mindful Schools since the start of the 2021-2022 school year to build a school-wide culture of mindfulness.
Jasmine Harding, Deputy Principal, reflects on the first year with Mindful Schools programming:
- We walk into the school and see connection – adults have conversations and interactions with students – and students engage and reciprocate
- When students find themselves in challenging situations, we have the resources and skills to de-escalate – there are areas in the building where students can go and access tools and support
- We plant small seeds – we look for ways for students to practice mindfulness strategies and apply those skills in their lives
This is what a mindful school looks like And feels like it.
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Invest in the well-being of teachers first
Guided by the Mindful Schools approach, the first phase of programming at Milner focused on teacher well-being, because we know that a teacher’s presence And How their appearance in the classroom is fundamental to the student’s learning experience. The team was introduced to powerful self-care tools and exercises to become more intentional, grounded and fully present.
Milner employees reflect on the professional development experience:
“You have the opportunity to become more in tune — with awareness of your own thoughts, feelings, environment, and awareness of others — to really make the most of every moment.” – Tynisha Tyson, Social Worker
“Learning about mindfulness, and practicing it, has helped me stay productive and stay centered. I have also learned to be more patient and support myself.” – Judianne Coster, speech therapist
“This practice is not just for school. This practice is not only when teachers come in here professionally. This practice also extends to our personal lives.” -Leonardo Watson, Director
Then teach thoughtful and teach mindfulness
With resources to make more informed and compassionate choices in their interactions, Milner and Mindful Schools began exploring ways to create inclusive learning environments that foster a greater sense of empowerment and agency among their staff and student community.
Then, building on the foundation of mindful learning environments, students began learning practices to manage stress and develop inner resilience to help navigate their lives through the Mindful Schools K-12 Curriculum.
Watch an introductory mindfulness lesson from the Mindful Schools K-12 Curriculum.
View excerpts below:
April Introduces Mindfulness: For High School Students:
April explores “tracks 1 + 2” in a mindful listening lesson:
Full lessons and teaching reflections are included in our 201: Mindfulness in the Classroom course.
Build a school-wide culture of mindfulness
Our multi-year partnership with Milner is an ongoing partnership led by key Mindful Schools cadres: Domains of Mindful Teaching And Rubric for assessing school-wide mindfulness. We look forward to continuing to grow and learn with the Milner team!