Chris McKenna: Reflections on Joining the Mindful Schools Team

Over the past few years, Megan, Randy, Vinny and I have all inquired as individuals into how we can best contribute to the Mindfulness & Education field as it continues its exponential growth around the U.S. and the world. What’s the best way to deploy our time and resources over the coming period? What matters most in the field right now? What is not being done? What lasting effects to we want to have?

All of us have spent a considerable amount of time on the ground, providing direct services to schools, organizations, and institutions. In this process, we’ve found it difficult to focus both on developing a robust direct service program and on meeting the demand for in-depth, comprehensive training from educators and youth service providers.

Recently, we made a choice. We decided that, while we would all keep teaching youth individually, the majority of our attention and resources as an organization should go to training, mentorship and the larger effort to replicate mindfulness programs in geographically diverse environments. The effort to create a completely online version of the Mindful Schools Curriculum Training, as well as the soon-to-be-announced Mindful Schools Certification Program, are early efforts in this realm. There will be many more, including (we hope) publications, online resources and a complete catalogue of trainings that provide a well-rounded, in-depth, real-world sense of how mindfulness can be integrated into one’s work with children & adolescents in a variety of environments.

At its base, mindfulness & education is a fundamentally grassroots movement that is expanding because human beings are realizing (in increasing numbers it seems) that the quality of our attention and our presence is as least as important as the so-called “content” we are trying to teach children. With this intention, we look forward to continuing this journey with all of you.

Sincerely,
Chris McKenna