Wellbeing, Mindfulness and the Affective Skills – An Experiential Workshop for Heads of School
Leadership: Kevin Hawkins
Schools around the world are increasingly focusing on the wellbeing of their students and teachers. Against a background of rising depression and anxiety, and in particular amidst concerns around mental health issues facing young people, many educational organisations are considering how best to promote positive mental health and social and emotional learning (SEL). This pre-conference will support leaders looking to develop this important area in their schools – especially in light of the IBO focus on self-management, reflective and affective skills in the new ATLs.
Many schools have begun to train teachers and students in mindfulness as a tool to support personal growth and self-awareness. In the course of our day together we will look at the productive connections that some schools are beginning to make between wellbeing, mindful awareness and the affective skills. Participants will experience for themselves examples of mindfulness programs that are being used effectively in schools and will also consider various approaches to affective skills development that can complement existing school frameworks, enlivening and enhancing academic programs.
Key to the successful development of affective skills and SEL in schools is recognition of the importance of self-awareness and self-care for teachers. Drawing on current research, especially in social neuroscience and its applications to education, we will explore how mindfulness can promote teacher self-care and stress management as well as enhance the social and emotional sensitivities of teachers in the classroom.
This workshop will draw on the experiences of participants to openly consider the challenges that might arise in finding the time and space for this important work in our busy schools.