MINDFUL MAKERS is a professional development program for preschools and elementary schools wanting to create a more safe and nurturing learning environment for students, even in the face of challenging behavior.
By supporting schools in replacing punishment-based discipline strategies with effective and affirming evidence-based tools, this three part program strengthens the social and emotional skills of the entire school "family".
MINDFUL MAKERS teaches adults how to lead and guide children to manage thoughts, emotions, words, and actions in empowering, affirming ways.
MINDFUL MAKERS ultimate goal is to support and nurture the entire school family such that children and adults alike feel powerful, safe and connected. We do this through:
- empowerment-based, evidence-based tools, support and education.
- building school-wide mindfulness practices that make connection a habit.
- replacing punitive discipline practices with connection-based practices that nurture the executive function of the brain and social-emotional skills.
The program offers administrators, educators, therapists and parents alike evidence-based tools to use with children, along with the support necessary to make these new practices a habit. The program has three phases, and it all starts with listening.
1) LISTEN: Before we teach ANYTHING, we listen. Our program director will meet with school representatives including administrators, educators, and sometimes parents (aka The Listening Group) to identify the unique opportunities for growth each school presents.
2) CREATE: The Listening Group will then pair one or more goals to each opportunity identified, creating the school's Action Plan.
3) ACTION: From this creative goal-setting process, the program moves into action, introducing strategies specifically selected to meet each school's unique needs. This is done in a number of ways including:
- Professional development seminars.
- The introduction of mindfulness and regulation practices, tools for building emotional intelligence practically and playfully, and positive discipline practices designed to be integrated into everyday life at school and/or home. The program is focused on integrating these practices into existing curriculum, routines and rituals.
- This phase of the program ranges from 2 to 12+ hours depending on the Action Plan and available resources.
Some school families involve the parents and/or students in the ACTION phase of the program via parent education nights, school assemblies, etc. This phase of the program may take from one day to 6+ weeks to complete depending on the goals.
There are six important principles to the program, the same six principles around which Generation Mindful was created. These Keystones, secular in nature and rooted in science, guide our approach to building social and emotional skills.
The Program Includes:
1) One 90-120 minute listening session where your program director gets to know your school family along with it's unique opportunities and goals.
2) Between 2 and 12 hours of professional development.
3) An Educator's ToolKit for each person enrolled. ToolKits includes PeaceMakers, a card game for building mindfulness, the book "Breathe, Chill: A Handbook of Games and Techniques Introducing Breathing, Meditation and Relaxation to Kids and Teens", printable downloads and more.
4) An optional school assembly where children are introduced to MINDFUL MAKERS in a playful way.
5) A feature on the Generation Mindful website, including links to your school and inclusion in our private Online Forum. By making connection a habit at your school, MINDFUL MAKERS will remain in action long after your professional development program is complete.
To learn more about MINDFUL MAKERS, email the program's founder and director, Suzanne Tucker, at firstname.lastname@example.org, Subject Line: Mindful Makers and (your school name). Thank you!