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Mindful Leadership for Educators


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Mindfulness practices contribute dramatically to leadership presence and effectiveness. Authors of The Mindful School Leader (Corwin 2014) presentation here.

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Mindful Leadership for Educators

  1. 1. BE MINDFUL Mindful Leadership Practices to TransformYou andYour School Deeper Learning Wednesday April 1, 2015 Kirsten Olson, Ed.D., PCC Hollis Watkins Sings Freedom Songs 1
  2. 2. I would love to live Like a river flows, Carried by the surprise Of its own unfolding. -John O’Donohue 2
  3. 3. GOALS OF SESSION • The Leader’s Dilemma • What is mindfulness? Why does it work? • A Little Bit of Research • Effectiveness for Leaders (but still too little in education) • How do you practice? • Let’s do some practicing • Steps to begin... 3
  4. 4. Who are we? Who’s in the room? Why did you chose this session? 4
  5. 5. “This  is  a  book  with   deep  wisdom  on  every   page.”   -­‐Steve  Heller Program  Director,  Leadership  Coaching  Cer:ficate  Program,   Georgetown  University     5
  6. 6. Educational Leader’s Dilemma • One of the most “difficult, challenging, complex” jobs in nation (Battle, 2010; City, Elmore, Fiarman, & Teitel, 2009; Hoffman & Johnston, 2005; Kegan & Lahey, 2009; Wagner et al., 2006) • High stakes reform, public accountability, punishing policy-era, smaller budgets • Meaning of work, purpose, and shape of “good” work less and less clear • “Adaptive” challenges abound (Heifetz), fewer interpersonal resources • Leaders’ effectiveness matters. Effects of leadership on educational environment very clear in terms of culture, climate, demonstrated results • Few “new” approaches 6
  7. 7. Our overloaded world • Increased Task Switching • Increased Rumination, Stress, and Worry • Challenged Attention Skills • The Expanding Science of the Brain • Neuroplasticity: the brain’s ability to change and grow throughout our life span 7
  8. 8. • Almost 10% of all children have been diagnosed with ADD • Only 9.4% of audiences will watch a video 5 minutes or longer • Only 4% of page views last longer than 10 minutes... 8
  9. 9.   “School leaders have the power, the ability, and the compassion to make the world a better place, but only if they have learned how to sustain their well-being.” (Blaydes 2002) 9
  10. 10. WHY MINDFULNESS? “Just Breathe” by Julie Bayer Salzman (2015) 10
  11. 11. WHAT DIDYOU HEAR? Why mindfulness? What IS mindfulness? 11
  12. 12. MINDFULNESS DEFINED • “Awareness of one’s conduct, and the quality of relationships, inwardly and outwardly, and their potential to cause harm, are intrinsic elements of mindfulness” (KZ, 2012) • “Mindfulness in everyday life is the ultimate challenge and practice.” (KZ, 2012) 12
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  14. 14. What DidYou Hear? 14
  15. 15. How mindful are you? Take the test... Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) 15
  16. 16. Practice Pause • Breathe, Breathe 16
  17. 17. How we came to mindfulness... • Grad student at Harvard • Divorce • 4 small children • Working full time • Wow this sucks; I’m in breakdown • Live a different way? • Trained with Jon Kabat Zinn • Trained Center for Courage & Renewal • Trained Georgetown Institute for Transformational Leadership 17
  18. 18. My Story • Admitted, NJ & PA/Lawyer-Lobbyist • Landed the ‘dream job’, representing 25,000 lawyers • The Big Turn: Solo travel to India (1990) and worldwide • Divorce & Multiple Miscarriages • Met Thich Nhat Hanh, 1995, Ordained 2003 • Trained Kundalini yoga, 1999 • Trained Center for Mindfulness, 2008 and 2013 • Trained Center for Courage & Renewal, 2009 • Trained Institute for Transformational Leadership, 2011 18
  19. 19. Our work together 19
  20. 20. EXPLOSION OF RESEARCH Explosion of clinical research on the effectiveness of mindfulness: more and more in education 20
  21. 21. WHO’S PRACTICING MINDFULNESS IN SCHOOLS? Mindful Schools estimates it has taught or had influence on at least 75K school-age students in last 3 years 21
  22. 22. PRE-K AND BEYOND... • Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies demonstrating clinical effectiveness... • Black, D. S. & Fernando, R. (2013). Mindfulness training and classroom behavior among lower-income and ethnic minority elementary school children. Journal of Child and Family Studies. • Program lasts 5 weeks, 3 sessions per week, focuses on practices that help students pay attention, build empathy and self-awareness, improve self-control, and reduce stress • 400 students evaluated • Immediately after the program ended, student behavior improved significantly in 4 areas measured—paying attention, self-control, classroom participation, and respect for others—and these gains were maintained 7 weeks later 22
  23. 23. EXPLOSION OF MINDFULNESS PROGRAMS FORTEACHERS IN SCHOOLS Abundant clinical evidence of efficacy Programs for teachers reaching thousands of per year 23
  24. 24. MINDFULNESS ANDTEACHERS • Jennings et al (2013) CARE program is an inservice professional development program for working teachers, one of 75 programs available in US in 2013 • Mindfulness and SEL interventions focused on emotional awareness, mindful practices, compassion for self and others, applying these to teaching • 30 contact hours over 4 weeks and “booster” interventions • Posits that teachers’ social and emotional skills and well being lead to healthier classroom climate and better student social, emotional and academic outcomes. • Program produced statistically significant gains in participants’ emotional awareness, capacity for self-regulation, and compassion/ receptivity to students Jennings, P.A., Snowberg, K. E., Coccia, M.A., & Greenberg, M.T. (2012,April). Refinement and evaluation of the CARE for Teachers program. In M. Greenberg (Chair), Teachers’ Growth DuringTargeted SEL Professional Development and SEL Program Implementation:An International Perspective. Symposium presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association,Vancouver, BC, CA. 24
  25. 25. Text Coatsworth, Duncan, Jennings,Turksma, Greenberg (2013), CARE Teachers Program 25
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  30. 30. GLOBAL,WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT Wake Up Schools 30
  31. 31. Underinvestment in leadership renewal is a central feature of our work, although positions have become more challenging than they have ever been. WHAT ABOUT EDUCATIONAL LEADERS? 31
  32. 32. Dearth of Practices for Educational Leaders Stress Indicators Educational Leaders: -89% feel overwhelmed; -84% neglect to take care of themselves in the midst of stress; -80% scold themselves when they perform less than perfectly; -Jerry Murphy, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2011 32
  33. 33. WHAT ARETHE CONDITIONS OFYOUR LEADERSHIP? • Draw a sketch of your daily leadership life... • Find a partner and describe to each other • Switch 33
  34. 34. DRAGO SEVERSON (2012) • “The Need for Principal Renewal: The Promise of Sustaining Principals Through Principal-to-Principal Reflective Practice” (2012) • Cross-section of 25 principals demonstrated very strongly desire and need for renewal and opportunities for reflection, although only 2 were actively engaged in such practices. • “Principals receive too few resources to meet the expectations of outside stakeholders...The emphasis on accountability, coupled with insufficient support, is a leading cause of the principal shortage crisis, the new demands of leadership, the tendency to blame principals, and the difficulty of achieving a balanced life in this role. Excessive blame without time and energy to sustain a balanced life easily breeds anxiety—and principals are increasingly resigning because of this stress, inadequate training, insufficient compensation, professional isolation, bureaucratic micromanagement, uncertainty related to role expectations, inadequate support, and the responsibility to inculcate youth with a knowledge base on which leaders cannot agree.” 34
  35. 35. MINDFULNESS AND LEADERSHIP • Improved ability to notice and slow down or stop automatic reactions • Increased capacity to respond to complex and difficult situations • Ability to see situations more clearly, or many dimensions of a situation • More creative in designing solutions to complex dilemmas • More balance and resilience 35
  36. 36. Hoy Mindfulness Scale for Educational Leaders Hoy and Gage, 2003 36
  37. 37. (2013) Mindful Leaders in Highly Effective Schools: Mixed Method Application of Hoy’s M-Scale • 149 public schools in Texas, interviewed top 10% of principals identified as mindful • Principal mindfulness made “statistically significant independent contribution to to variance on student achievement” • Kearney, Kelsey, Herrington (2013) 37
  38. 38. Practice Pause • Breathe 38
  39. 39. GETTING STARTED... Let’s breathe... 39
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  41. 41. Mindfulness Practices • Formal & Informal Mindfulness Practice • Sitting,Walking, Eating, Speaking, Listening, Resting Mindfully • Practicing Compassion • Reflection and Solitude • Beauty Bath • Stopping, Pausing, Observing • Cultivating Awe,Wonder, and Gratitude 41
  42. 42. “Donkey work of daily practice...” • “Your only path to success is through a continuum of mundane, unsexy, unexciting, and sometimes difficult daily disciplines compounded over time.” • Transformation is ultimately somewhat unsexy and practical work • “What does it take to become an authentic leader?You must have practices that you engage in every day.” —His Holiness the Dalai Lama 42
  43. 43. Questions? Thoughts? 43
  44. 44. Mindful Speaking and Listening 44
  45. 45. “Being listened to is so close to being loved that most of us can’t tell the difference.” David Oxberg 45
  46. 46. Tell a Story About a Workplace Challenge• IN PAIRS: 4 minutes to describe; 3 minutes open questions; 1 minute appreciation and noticing • Speaker: sit in your truth • Practice self-awareness • Practice kindness,“be on your own side” • Stay in your body when speaking; be present to what you are saying • Speak your truth • Listener: Hear your partner into truth • Kind eyes, receptive • No fixing, saving, or advising • Turn to wonder if the going gets tough • Offer open questions and supportive mirroring 46
  47. 47. What did you experience? 47
  48. 48. Authentic Leaders: True toYourself,True to Others Trustworthy relationships translate into more effective, wholehearted leaders, teams and results —Center for Courage & Renewal Academy of Leaders 48
  49. 49. Six Foundations of Trustworthy Leadership • Reflect on core values: the inner journey • Ask open questions; listen deeply • Hold paradox and tension • Build trustworthy relationships • Appreciate the value of ‘otherness’ • Grow through the seasons; value renewal 49
  50. 50. What’s a practice you’d like to explore? 50
  51. 51. A few words to close... 51
  52. 52. We’d love to hear from you! Valerie Brown Lead Smart Coaching Kirsten Olson Old Sow Coaching and Consulting 52