Deb Taylor teaches children, youth and their educators the important practice of present-moment awareness and resilience through the MYndful Movement Program. As a primary, intermediate and senior level teacher with more than 20 years of experience teaching and leading school-wide initiatives, classrooms, and individuals, Deb has had the opportunity to respond to the need for a more mindful school community. Through The MYndful Movement Program for Educators, Deb trains teachers and other helping professionals how to use this rich curriculum of activities in their classroom. Combining her education with her extensive personal practice, rooted in the renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, founded by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Deb knows first-hand that the most effective ingredient in a mindful classroom is a teacher who does their best to embody mindfulness. She has studied under the world’s leading mindfulness teachers. Deb and her collaborative team of educators, social workers and mindfulness trained practitioners have incorporated current scientific research to develop these easy-to-follow activities for the busy mindful teacher. Deb is an exciting presenter of The MYndful Movement Program to adults and children of all ages.
The Mindful Movement: A Journey Toward Self-Regulation
Saturday, May 2, 2020 — 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
This session will tell the story of one educator’s journey to share mindfulness with an entire school board in Northwestern Ontario (TNCDSB).
In 2016, Tiffany Goulet observed that students and staff were struggling with dysregulation, excessive stress, lack of focus, missing connections and struggled to self-regulated. She could see the impacts this was having on well-being, social interactions and academic success. The stress of supporting 30 children that year and being in that system led her first to a near burnout and then to yoga. This would be the beginning of an incredible journey for this teacher.
In 2018-2019, Tiffany wrote and led a $30000 Teacher Learning and Leadership Program project through the Ministry of Education. The project titled The Mindful Movement: A Journey Toward Self-Regulation looked at supporting students in their ability to self-regulated through the sharing of mindfulness practices. She believed that if students experienced mindfulness, took the time each day to practice, reduced stressors and began to embody these practices that this would positively influence them, the classroom and the system. She knew there was something fundamental missing in our current education system and without addressing this, belonging, well-being and academics were affected.
The project spanned an entire year, involved well over 30 staff members in one school alone, hundreds of children and included experts from Peterborough to Mumbai. The goal was to support the staff to experience the practices, understand the benefits and eventually embody and share this naturally in their own classrooms. Feedback from the project indicated that stress levels were reduced, self-awareness increased as did compassion and empathy, all things that needed immediate attention in our current education climate.
Tiffany will share the struggles, the successes, the considerations and the collaboration it took to move mindfulness from one classroom through to an entire system.
Participants will come away with:
- The appreciation of the potential that mindfulness can offer to children (people) of any age in any setting
- A better understanding of how mindfulness supports focus, awareness, community, self-regulation and overall well-being
- A feeling of inspiration to be able to share mindfulness with others regardless of barriers that they may face (the journey starts with one)
MYndful Movement Activities for Elementary Educators
Sunday, May 3, 2020 — 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
No student can be ready and open to learning when they are struggling with stress, anxiety and worry. Mindfulness techniques and practices can help educators create classrooms that are focused, calm and engaged. Practicing mindfulness in the classroom can help students become aware of the internal feelings of stress, as they are arising, and how they are being expressed in their thoughts, emotions and in their bodies.
Imagine if mindfulness was not an add-on. We have assembled a toolkit of practical and accessible resources that can be used to embed mindfulness into an existing school curriculum (K-8). This workshop will explore the toolkit and introduce hands-on, arts-based approaches that encourage resilience for both students and educators. Our approach celebrates imagination and play and offers fun and creative ways for kids to reduce worry, deepen self-awareness and develop self-regulation.
Join us for an experiential workshop where we will dig into our mindful toolbox and explore together how these props, resources and activities can be incorporated into a classroom environment.
Participants will come away with:
- A practical set of tools and techniques that can be used to bring mindfulness into the classroom
- A vetted list of evidence-based research on using mindfulness with children and teens
- An understanding of how art-based approaches can be used to explore mindfulness in an accessible and socially relevant manner