How Meditation Can Help Teachers in Schools

Watch an interview about the Meditation in Schools project here.
How Meditation can help Teachers in Schools
Teacher from London area

I trained to be a teacher in my mid thirties and feel privileged to work with young people.
I have met many inspiring colleagues. I have also experienced the stress caused by the demands of the school’s exam and inspection systems and witnessed colleagues breaking down and imploding or exploding in anger at children already traumatised by angry adults at home.
I would love to change the punitive exam system we work within. I would love to change the culture of fear in education. I would love to change the unhappy experiences children have, whether they are through poverty in the form of social deprivation or the more subtle emotional poverty I see in children who appear to have everything materially.
I cannot change the world. I can change myself. Meditation is a way to help me to do that.
Every encounter we have with a colleague or child in which we are centred and grounded and acting with kindness, makes a positive contribution to the atmosphere and culture of the school.
Meditation is a way of changing our own eco-system and by doing so influencing those around us.
Last week, I was working feverishly through mountains of paperwork and emails, in-between seeing students and trying to juggle a meeting bounced on me with very little notice. Feeling fraught and frazzled I decided to use 15 precious minutes to listen to the MindSpace Meditation.
No-one came into my tiny airless office in those 15 minutes but perhaps if they had they would have sensed a change in the atmosphere: Calm in place of the usual coiled up tension in the room.
I went into the meeting smiling, focused, calm and assertive: Many difficult emotions were thrown around:  I was contradicted; I witnessed a colleague being treated with thinly veiled hostility whilst others in the room looked uncomfortable and embarrassed. I understood that the person shouting was under huge pressures. Had I not been centred and calm following the meditation, I would have found the experience emotionally draining and upsetting. As it was, I was able to continue the afternoon’s work with focused energy instead of feeling angry and undermined: Those 15 minutes seemed like a long time but they bought me back hours of positive and productive time.
Mediation can help teachers by enabling them to connect with their inner desire to be a positive force in the lives of their students and teach effectively: Meditation can provide resilience. Meditation can help teachers carry on doing what they love to do.