Featured Completed Project
by Christy Anana, School Counselor at Cascade View Elementary in Snohomish, WA
Christy is a national board-certified school counselor and registered yoga teacher. She was named 2016 Washington School Counselor of the Year. Christy is part of the Transformative Educational Leadership (TEL) cohort bringing mindfulness, equity, and social emotional learning (SEL) into radical leadership. She has extensive experience working with schools and children who have experienced trauma. For the last 10 years, she has worked at a school on a Native American Reservation. Christy is the author of I Can Feel Better: A Tapping Story, a book to help children use the strategy of Tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and 2 other books in a novel series for children. She is passionate about learning new ways to help people let go of stress and trauma.
Christy has widespread mindfulness and SEL training. Her mindfulness training includes Dharma Ocean winter retreat, Mindfulness for Children Program by Dr. Amy Saltzman, Yoga Calm training, Purna College of Yoga, and Transformative Educational Leadership training. Her SEL training includes Second Step, PATHs, Yoga Calm, Rainbowdance, KINNECT, Caring Schools curriculum, Toolbox by Dovetail Learning, A Still Quiet Place training, Kids for Peace, Mind Up, Mindful Education online program by Daniel Rechtschaffen, CBITS, and PAX good behavior game.
Christy’s personal mindfulness practice includes meditation, deep abdominal breathing exercises, and Kundalini yoga. She also teaches a gentle yoga class weekly.
Project: Mindfulness Strategies for Self-Care Educator Training
I created and conducted a 9-week class which met for 30 minutes before school on Fridays and 19 educators at my school participated. My main goal was to nurture self-care with self-soothing and self-compassion practices.
- Strengthen educators’ resilience to stress, particularly in the workplace
- Foster a culture of compassion within the school and cultivate hope for educators
- Provide educators with mindfulness skills that improve interactions with students and colleagues and overall well-being
- Support educators in incorporating mindfulness practices into their daily school schedule and skills into classroom environments to reduce stress and decrease stress self-talk
- Introduction to Mindfulness, anchor breath
- Mindful listening to others and ourselves
- Increasing positive self-talk, “Our story telling minds”
- Cultivating kindness
- Willingness to be with things as they are
- Moving forward with loving kindness
- Mindful movement and yoga
- Body scan and acute self-care plan
- Bringing mindfulness into the classroom
Some Practices Shared
I discussed self-care as being 3 pillars: foundational (nutrition, hydration, sleep, people connection); coping skills (going to the gym, massage, spiritual practices, doing fun things with family and friends); and acute self-care plan (what you do in the moment of stress to take yourself in the moment and ensure downstream good health like grounding, breathing, saying inside yourself ‘It’s not about me.’)
Each week, I led the participants in different mindfulness practices: body scan, gratitude, loving kindness, resourcing, mindful movement/yoga, radical acceptance, interdependence/interconnection, and grief & praise. At the end of each session, participants were also given something to practice embodying their mindful moments into their daily lives: gratitude journal, flower, candle, chocolate, mindful badge (“I’m opting for Mindful working, so can’t talk now. Thank you.”), a “How to Love Yourself” card, a kid’s affirmation card, a cedar branch, and 3 circle stickers (to remember 3 mindful breaths).
Feedback from Participants
I loved spending time with others in a meaningful way. It made me open up and move out of my room.
It was such an amazing experience to learn how to slow down and be mindful/aware of my breath, body and accept how I’m feeling with no judgment. Thank you for this experience.
It is what I needed. Learning that self-care is a necessity and learning strategies to do it.
I enjoyed being able to calm my mind and center myself before school on Fridays and carrying it over into my weekend.
I liked being together with co-workers for a totally different purpose. I would love to see the course continue.
It gave me a time to breathe and let go of my chaos.
I liked best that it was time with colleagues to explore mindfulness and establish safe relationships. I would like it to be ongoing–and field trips!
Here’s what one participant had to say about the impact of the training…