Program on Empathy, Awareness, and Compassion in Education (PEACE)

Mindfulness and Compassion for Educators

Mindfulness and Compassion for Educators

photo of teacher at desk meditating with her eyes closed

CALM (Community Approach to Learning Mindfully)

CALM is an evidence-based program that provides space and time to support educators daily wellbeing mindfully. Educators are trained to engage in daily CALM sessions before the school day begins that last about 20 minutes and provide intentional breathing practices, gentle yoga movement, mindful awareness practices, and setting positive intentions for the teaching day.

To test the effectiveness of this program, Penn State researchers partnered with teachers, administrators, and staff from State College middle schools to conduct an evaluation of CALM. Two Pennsylvania middle schools volunteered to be considered for the trial with one serving as the intervention, and one as a waiting-list control school.

Results indicated that CALM was feasible to implement. Educators who were offered CALM attended an average of 1.7 sessions per week. Compared to teachers in a “control school” educators participating in CALM reported greater mindful observation, which means they felt more in tune with their sensations and emotions. Compared to educators in the control school, CALM participants showed improved wellbeing, reporting more positive emotions and fewer physical symptoms (like headaches and stomach aches). 

CALM has been implemented in K-12 schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, and Kentucky. It has also been adapted for the support of staff and administrators working in long-term care settings.

To learn more about CALM, contact CREATE for Education.

CARE (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education) 

CARE is a unique professional development program that helps teachers and administrators handle their stress and rediscover the joys of teaching. It offers teachers and administrators tools and resources for reducing stress, preventing burnout, enlivening teaching and helping students thrive socially, emotionally and academically. 

This program has been carefully studied in a series of randomized trials showing its effectiveness in boosting teacher’s mental capacities, performance, and social and emotional functioning which results in more rewarding personal and professional experiences. This study by Penn State researchers showed that CARE for Teachers is an effective professional development both for promoting teachers’ social and emotional competence and increasing the quality of their classroom interaction.

CARE was developed by Patricia Jennings, Christa Turksma, and Richard C. Brown with the support of the Garrison Institute. To learn more about CARE, contact CREATE for Education.