It’s a little jargon-heavy, but Education Dive takes a helpful look at the idea of personalized professional development for teachers (as opposed to the traditional mandatory, uniform training). There are two important ideas here, both of which apply to teaching mindfulness to teachers.

The first idea is that teachers might benefit from having some degree of autonomy over their own PD. In some cases, this might not be practical, but many teachers probably have a good idea of what areas they would like to focus on with their precious time and energy. Plus, giving teachers choice over their education creates a sense of buy-in.

Those of us who teach mindfulness as professional development might consider whether or not the administration has made it mandatory or optional. While one mandatory class might be helpful, especially with a concept that people have only a vague understanding of, longer courses might benefit from an “opt-in” model to ensure that teachers are open to the training. Plus, forcing a teacher into the practice when they aren’t ready for it, might spoil a future opportunity.

The second idea in the article is that teachers need to focus on different skills at different times in their careers. While those of us who teach mindfulness are inclined to say that it’s always beneficial – particularly when things are difficult – it might also be the case that a new English teacher feels that he or she needs to prioritize the development of their curriculum. Even if mindfulness would help them tremendously, if they are focused on other aspects of their professional development it may be the wrong time to introduce the practices.