Be. Here. Now. An investigation into middle-school teacher’s experiences using mindfulness-based practices in their classrooms
This paper explores the research questions, What experiences do middle-school teachers who use mindfulness practices have in their classrooms? And, What aspects of mindfulness practices do teachers perceive to be impacting anxiety, stress, behaviour difficulties, and student outcomes in students in their classroom settings? Five intermediate teachers from a school district in southern British Columbia who have implemented mindfulness programs and interventions in their classrooms were interviewed. Qualitative data was collected through interviews about how these participants implemented mindfulness-based programs, what was noticed or observed as students participated in these practices, and how the effectiveness of these practices in supporting students was perceived by participants. Based on data collection and content analysis, it became clear that participants saw students demonstrating more self-control, self-regulation, and were able to express and communicate their feelings in a more positive way, after they have been taught and regularly use mindfulness-based practices. All participants interviewed expressed the need for more resources and professional development in order to feel confident in using mindfulness practices in their classrooms. Clearly, educators observed their students benefiting from these practices and should be provided with more access to resources, in the same way they are with Mathematics and Language Arts. Further research in this area should be conducted with larger participant groups in order to generalize findings.