Diane Bloch has been a bilingual educator for over two decades, as a classroom teacher, a mentor for beginning teachers, and a reading specialist; she currently works as an English Learner Specialist and teaches mindfulness at a Middle School in Watsonville, California. Diane was introduced to practice as a young child by her grandmother and has been a mindfulness practitioner since the 1990’s.
Seeking to integrate mindfulness with her work as an educator, in 2012/13 Diane participated in the yearlong Mindful Education Institute (MEI) through the Mind Body Awareness Project and subsequently became a certified instructor with Mindful Schools. In 2014 she earned her M.A.Ed. at Antioch University with a concentration in Mindful Education. That same year she participated in an Advanced Mindful Education Training with Daniel Rechtschaffen and Linda Lantieri and continues to be mentored by them.
Diane’s focus is on investigating how mindfulness practices can support typically under-served and over-stressed youth— economically disadvantaged immigrant students who are learning English as their second or third language. As Diane integrates mindfulness practices into her teaching, she finds them to be a powerful entry point for critical thinking and metacognition skills that are essential for academic success.
In addition to integrating mindfulness with academic instruction, Diane offers mindfulness classes for students at-risk of failing 8th grade. These are long-term struggling learners with emotional and behavior issues that have interfered with their academic progress. Diane also teaches six-week introduction to mindfulness courses in both general and special education classes at her school.
Diane is a member of the Santa Cruz Mindful Educators group in Santa Cruz County. This group provides support, resources and classes for teachers in Santa Cruz County who are interested in mindfulness education.