Mindful Teacher Year-Long Certification Program

The Mindful Schools Year-Long Certification Program

Deepen your personal practice. Develop your ability to share it with others.

Please join our Mindful Teacher email list to receive updates about next year’s 2019-2020 Mindful Teacher Program, coming soon.


At Mindful Schools we believe that the practice of mindfulness is the foundational element necessary to create a healthy education system. Establishing safe and supportive environments for our children to learn and grow––and for our educators to be effective and thrive––begins with creating spaces to breathe, to notice, to feel, to accept, and to care.

A mindful classroom allows both teachers and students to focus their attention, lower their stress, and form relationships from a place of greater self-awareness, empathy, understanding, kindness and compassion. The essential agent of change in this picture is the mindful teacher.

This is why we offer the Mindful Teacher program.

It’s why we’ve assembled a diverse and dedicated team of skillful guides to help educators establish and deepen their own personal mindfulness practice. It’s also why we’ve designed a uniquely powerful learning environment that adapts to the interests and aspirations of any educator, providing them with the skills, context, and experiences that enable them to share their mindfulness practice with others in real-life educational settings.

We believe that we can change our classrooms, our schools, and our education system, one mindful teacher at a time.

Please join us and the entire Mindful Schools community, as we launch our sixth year-long certification program, more committed and inspired than ever. Together we can discover what it is to grow and develop as Mindful Teachers, and in the process, create the positive conditions for our schools to be environments that support every educator and every child to realize their fullest potential.

–– Your Mindful Schools Team

Program Overview

The Mindful Schools’ Mindful Teacher Certification Program is designed for educators who are passionate about deepening their personal mindfulness practice and gaining the skills and experience necessary to effectively share their mindfulness practice with students and peers.

Our core objectives

  1. To offer high-quality instruction and personal guidance that creates the conditions for educators of all backgrounds to deepen their own personal mindfulness practice.
  2. To provide practical training and transformational experiences that make it possible for educators to skillfully embody, adapt, and share mindfulness practices across a variety of educational settings.
  3. To enable meaningful connection and support from the vibrant Mindful Schools community and to empower educators as agents for positive change within the growing mindfulness in education movement.

Our approach
The Mindful Teacher program integrates three core skills that support any educator to effectively adapt and deliver a mindfulness curriculum to youth in the context of the school classroom and other settings.

Program outcomes
The Mindful Teacher certification will allow you to refer to yourself as a Mindful Schools Certified Mindfulness Instructor (CMI) and guide basic mindfulness practices in a school or in the context of your chosen field of work. Specifically, as a Mindful Schools CMI, you will be qualified to:

  • Use and teach the Mindful Schools curriculum to adapt mindfulness programs
  • Teach adults the fundamental practices and principles of mindfulness
  • Lead professional development efforts related to mindfulness practice
  • Support efforts to design a mindfulness program for school communities

Program Leadership

The Mindful Teacher year-long practice and learning journey is supported by a diverse and interdisciplinary team of highly skilled and experienced teachers working at the intersection of mindfulness and education. Our faculty offers many decades of mindfulness teaching experience, as well as a wide variety of backgrounds and interests such as self-care and compassion, stress and resilience, the body and movement, neuroscience and the brain, trauma and special needs, curriculum and lesson design, classroom application, and more.

Mindful Teacher Faculty

Alan Brown

Lead Teacher

Argos Gonzalez

Lead Teacher

Nicole Libin

Lead Teacher

Kaira Jewel Lingo

Lead Teacher

Sarah Rudell Beach

Guiding Teacher

Devon Cresci

Guiding Teacher

Christine de Guzman

Guiding Teacher

Christine Klaassen-St Pierre

Guiding Teacher

Amy Love

Guiding Teacher

Em Morrison

Guiding Teacher

Patti Ward

Guiding Teacher

Erin Woo

Guiding Teacher

Guest Speakers

Eve Ekman, PhD

UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

Dacher Keltner, PhD

Greater Good Science Center

Daniel Rechtschaffen

Mindful Education

Program Testimonials

"Training with Mindful Schools changed my life, no doubt about it. I wanted to find a way to combine my love for contemplative practice and dedication to the well-being of children. The year-long program gave me the structure, encouragement, inspiration, and for me above all, the community. My absolute favorite part of the program was the retreats (and they continue to be as I attend graduate retreats). I basically fell in love with about 70 people in a week. Sitting with them in silence opened my heart, learning with them and from them has been inspiring, having a safe place to offer my own ideas about teaching has totally built my confidence. And since that first retreat, because of the growing network of educators connected by Mindful Schools, I’ve fallen in love with so many more amazing people!"

— Christine de Guzman, Sacramento, CA, Class of 2014
and Guiding Teacher in the 2019 Mindful Teacher Program

"It is an honor to have had the opportunity to be certified and not one that I take lightly. I feel in so many ways that the year-long was at once a culmination and a beginning for me. It helped me reach a depth of my practice I hadn't experienced before. It has made me a better teacher – focusing on really embodying the practice, learning from the expertise in the mindfulness community, being a better listener and more present as a teacher and colleague.The connections I made to peers in this like-minded community have been invaluable. My cohort friends are in touch on a daily basis regarding the work, the practice, what we are sitting with, etc. It is a source of tremendous comfort and inspiration for me and I know it will be for years to come. I am a better person, practitioner, and professional because of my connections with them. It is a true network, where everyone supports one another and so we rise together.The virtual format was ideal for me. Life is so busy and we all have many responsibilities that we are juggling. The virtual format made it possible for me to do this program. I loved the videos, the articles, the webinars and having access to all of this information is a huge gift. I use it all the time in preparing for my presentations, coaching, and hosted sits. The virtual format also enabled a community to evolve in a way I did not anticipate. I was very pleasantly surprised by this and continue to be."

— Amiee Peri, Oakland, CA, Class of 2017

"When I began working in an urban school in 2003 it became clear that I needed to find ways to manage stress and overwhelm. At that time I began a daily mindfulness practice. Years later I discovered Mindful Schools and went through all their coursework, including the year-long program. This partnership expanded and deepened my personal practice and gave me the means and confidence to bring the work into public education settings.The opening retreat is a beautiful experience and it certainly is special to be in the same physical space with our peers. I also found the online platform allowed us to nurture a deep personal connection. At the closing retreat, there was a joyful and palpable bond that resonated. It was evident that our online time together helped us develop sweet and meaningful relationships. I believe in Mindful Schools and am grateful for this organization that unites us for the common good."

— Brian Cooper, Oakland, CA, Class of 2016

Program Components and Learning Modules

In-Person Retreats
In our blended learning model, the week-long residential retreats bookend the year-long program.  These retreats are the embodied expression of the wisdom and compassion that comes from our mindfulness practice. For the program’s participants, they offer a uniquely rich and immersive practice experience that supports growth and development in two ways:

  • Personal Practice Guided by Experienced Teachers: Each retreat begins with several days of silent and guided mindfulness practice, which serves as the foundation of our teaching work and embodied presence.
  • Professional Skills Development in Community: The second half of the retreat offers an opportunity to develop your teaching skills and benefit from the tremendous expertise and experience of the community.  This includes fun exercises, body movement, group discussions and games, as well as unstructured time for networking and collaboration.

Remote Learning
In between the two in-person retreats is an intensive 10-month training program. The online components of the program strive to maintain a high degree of personal, interactive learning that is supported by the guiding teachers and fellow practitioners. The online learning elements allow engagement with the program content in a variety of different ways, and participants can expect to spend 3-5 hours each week involved in the following activities:

  • Online Content: Instructional videos, readings, and reflection assignments that track the course’s key themes as they unfold over the 10 months.
  • Live Group Calls: Engaging discussions, lectures, guided sits, and Q&A formats via Zoom video calls.  (Most live calls will be recorded for later viewing.)
  • Cohort Group: Dedicated small groups with whom reflection assignments and practice teaching feedback is shared.  Groups stay connected through online discussion and monthly, hour-long live video calls led by Guiding Teachers.
  • Daily Sitting: Participants are asked to maintain a personal mindfulness practice of at least 20 minutes per day.
  • Expert-led Workshops and Talks: Engaging live talks and webinar-style workshops with our faculty of contributing teachers who are leaders in the mindfulness and education movement.
  • Teaching Lab: Participants record and share video of themselves teaching a group of youth and receive feedback on their teaching from their Guiding Teacher and cohort group.
  • Additional Learning Experiences: There will be additional opportunities for practice, including teacher office hours, reading groups, sitting groups, and regional meet-up groups where possible.

Learning Modules
Our faculty brings their expertise and experiences from a wide variety of backgrounds and guides the learning journey through the following modules.

Print the Learning Modules

Program Benefits

Our Mindful Teacher certification program is now in its fifth year, having supported over 800 educators across the U.S. and internationally to become Mindful Schools Certified Mindfulness Instructors. For an idea of the kind of impact that mindful teachers are making in the world, you can read a recent report from Mindful.org, The Future of Education: Mindful Classrooms. It is notable that all five of the profiled “Mindful Educators” have been trained by Mindful Schools!

Our commitment is to provide all Mindful Teacher program graduates with the following:

  • An understanding of the fundamental principles and practices of mindfulness and a deep experiential knowledge of proven methods for using mindfulness to focus attention in the present moment, regulate emotional states, reduce stress and anxiety, and cultivate compassion and kindness.
  • The basic tools to teach mindfulness with authenticity and integrity to youth and adults within a variety of educational settings.
  • An awareness of the many ways that mindfulness practice can create positive conditions  for improved health, well-being, and happiness. This includes the science of mindfulness and how neuroscience is shaping our understanding of childhood development.
  • Proficiency using the Mindful Schools curriculum to deliver a high-quality mindfulness program that can adapt to the unique needs of school-specific circumstances, populations, and cultures.
  • Life-long access to the vast archive of Mindful Schools teaching and curriculum resources.
  • Connection with a large and wide-ranging network of similar-passioned professional colleagues who are able to support and guide on matters related to personal practice, teaching lesson application, and program design.
  • A foundation for further development as a transformational community leader, including the ability to speak confidently about the benefits of mindfulness practice with all school stakeholders, including peers, parents, principles and school boards.

Outcomes and Certification Process

Program Outcomes
The Mindful Teacher certification will allow you to refer to yourself as a Mindful Schools Certified Mindfulness Instructor (CMI), and guide basic mindfulness practices in a school or in the context of your chosen field of work. Specifically, as a Mindful Schools CMI, you will be qualified to:

  • Use and teach the Mindful Schools curriculum to adapt mindfulness programs to the needs of specific school settings, classroom routines and content areas, as well as integrate mindfulness instruction into various types of learning activities.
  • Teach adults the fundamental practices and principles of mindfulness by offering introductory or beginner-level mindfulness classes. You can also lead mindfulness practice with groups of teachers, administrators, parents, or other interested members of the school community or institution.
  • Lead professional development efforts related to mindfulness practice, the field of mindfulness in education, the benefits of teaching mindfulness to youth, and the benefits of youth caregivers having a personal mindfulness practice.
  • Support efforts to design a mindfulness program for school communities or similar institutions, and mentor teachers and administrators in their work to establish and develop a mindfulness program.

Certification Process
Following the Closing Retreat, participants who desire certification and have completed all course components will submit a portfolio of materials for review. The Mindful Schools Certification Committee will review all materials submitted and make a determination regarding whether to endorse each applicant as a Mindful Schools Certified Mindfulness Instructor. Once a participant has been endorsed by the Certification Committee, they will be acknowledged as a Certified Mindfulness Instructor and listed on our Certified Instructor Directory.

Program Details

Retreat Dates and Locations

The 2018-2019 Mindful Teacher program begins and ends with five-day in-person, residential retreats. We offer an Eastern U.S. opening retreat in New York state, and a Western U.S. opening retreat in Colorado. Program participants can choose (on a first-come-first-serve basis) which retreat (East or West) they would like to attend. After the opening retreat, we transition into the 10-month interactive remote-learning phase of the program. The program concludes with a five-day in-person closing retreat, with similar Eastern and Western U.S. venue options. To explore the retreat venues, the lodging and cost options, please visit the venues directly.

Dates and Locations of Opening Retreats:

Dates and Locations of Closing Retreats:

Program Fees

We strive to keep the costs of the Mindful Teacher certification program as accessible as possible while maintaining the highest levels of quality and excellence in our offering.

Program Tuition coming soon

  • Note: Tuition fees do NOT include accommodations or travel for opening and closing retreats. Room and board with the respective retreat venues and travel arrangements are purchased separately.

Payment Options coming soon


Mindful Schools is aware that many educators face financial hardships, and that is why we will provide up to forty, 50% off of full tuition scholarships for educators who would otherwise not be able to participate. We receive more requests for financial assistance than we can fulfill and therefore award each scholarship based on the following criteria.

  • Financial Need: Demonstration of significant and demonstrable economic need based on income.
  • Impact: Applicants currently working in a paid capacity in public school or agency environments with high-risk and/or underserved populations.
  • Background: Supporting people from traditionally marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds, including factors such as race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Scholarship Tuition: Coming soon

Important Note: Scholarship recipients must be able to cover the cost of scholarship tuition plus retreat lodging and travel. Scholarship recipients must be able to commit to the entire program to be considered for a scholarship. Standard registration fees and payment plan guidelines apply to all scholarship recipients.

Scholarship Application Dates: Coming soon

Program Prerequisites

The Mindful Teacher program is for those educators who are passionate about dedicating themselves to mindfulness practice and are ready to take the next step on the path of becoming a mindful educator. We ask that all applicants have a regular mindfulness practice and complete the following mindfulness training courses or equivalents.

  • Mindfulness Fundamentals Online Course: This is the Mindful Schools 6-week foundational online course in secular mindfulness. For those who have taken other mindfulness training courses and have established a personal practice, you can qualify for this prerequisite by providing information about your personal practice in the application.
  • Mindful Educator Essentials Online Course: This 6-week course is a required prerequisite for the Mindful Teacher program. We want to ensure that all participants begin the course with a shared understanding of the Mindful Schools practice framework prior to engaging in the deeper work required by the Mindful Teacher program.

How to Apply

Please join our Mindful Teacher email list to receive updates about our 2019-2020 program! 


Additional Program Information

Additional questions? Please read our FAQs or reach out to us at support@mindfulschools.org.

Ready to join the program? Please join our Mindful Teacher email list to be notified when applications open for the 2019-2020 program.