Nurturing Educator Well-Being:

Free Mindfulness Practices That Nurture Social Awareness

Mark T. Greenberg 

When you were a child, did you ever feel like you were treated unfairly by one of your teachers?             I know that this happened to me! My fifth grade teacher just did not seem to like me…was it something I did, the way I looked, the fact she had my sister two years earlier?  I know I did not feel heard and I felt angry, distracted, confused and I lost my motivation to pay attention and do my best.

 As we develop as people (and educators), we form our own opinions and develop our biases and we can easily get caught up in our own perspective. We all come with our biases (both conscious and unconscious) that might be triggered by a person’s name, how they look, their gender, race, etc. So, how do we break out of our own biases to deeply connect with and honor each student. How can we become more socially aware and treat everyone fairly and consider each person’s circumstance and develop empathy and compassion for others. This is not an easy task.

Developing Social Awareness is one of the five CASEL Competencies and involves the abilities to understand the perspectives of, and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts. This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

Christa Turksma (Co- developer of CARE & Director of Training) has developed five short mindful audio practices for each of the five CASEL Competencies.  Today we are releasing the five practices that focus on the competency of Social Awareness. The focus of these short practices are:  Mindful Listening, Dealing with Difficult Emotions, Expressing Gratitude, Caring for Others, and having Compassion for Others (Just Like Me).  These five Social Awareness Practices can be found here.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.                                                His Holiness, The Dalai Lama


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