The Benefits of Mindfulness Professional Development for Elementary Teachers

Considerations for District and School-level Leaders




Mindfulness in teaching, professional development, benefits of mindfulness, teacher stress, teacher retention, District supports, School administration


Using an embedded quasi-experimental mixed-method approach, this exploratory study aimed to understand the benefits of mindfulness training for elementary school teachers and leaders in one rural school district. After the delivery of two 90-minute mindfulness professional developments with on-the-job practice of strategies over 2 weeks, quantitative statistical comparisons of the intervention and inactive control groups were made using survey results from the Mindfulness in Teaching Scale (Frank et al., 2016). Qualitative analyses used intervention participant journal entry responses along with one-on-one interviews. After analyses, the results suggest mindfulness training can benefit teachers, specifically in the use of intrapersonal mindfulness practices, reshaping daily interactions with students, and reducing stress.


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Author Biographies

Nancy Akhavan, California State University, Fresno

Nancy Akhavan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Fresno State. She teaches students in the Masters of Arts in Teaching, and the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State. Previously, she was in K-12 education working as a teacher and a leader for over 25 years. She has written 11 books on teaching focused on grades K-8 and has written several book chapters and articles on teaching and learning for students in elementary and middle school.

Nichole Walsh, Dept. of Educational Leadership, California State University, Fresno, CA, USA

Nichole Walsh, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership within the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at Fresno State. She currently teaches in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administrative Services Credential program and is core faculty for the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State.   She has 19 years of experience in K-12 and Higher Ed., including classroom teacher, district instructional coach, and school administrator. Dr. Walsh areas of research and work in the field include teacher development, administrative coaching, secondary literacy, English language learning, teacher preparation, and program review.


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