101: Mindfulness Foundations

We’re Supporting Educators, Now.

Now is the moment for mindfulness. For limited time, receive $50 OFF tuition. This is part of our targeted effort to create more access for educators in this time of great need.

Educator Voices from 101: Mindfulness Foundations

“This is an essential experience for educators and administrators. It is truly a gift you give to yourself.” – Principal, California

“When I started the courses with my school, going all the way back to 101, I thought that mindfulness was crazy and would never work for me or my students. I just want to say how wrong I was. Having and participating in the different mindfulness practices has really changed my life and way of teaching. I have learned a lot about myself and how stressed I was, but now after taking the two courses [101 and 201], I feel so at peace and energized about myself and teaching. I have so many different tools I am so excited to teach my students. I personally want to thank you for changing my life, my family’s life, and all the lives’ of my future students.” – Elementary School Teacher, Missouri

I loved this course. It was such a nice primer and a good amount of time to invest. I’ve been practicing meditation for about twenty years and I’m certainly not an expert but I was surprised by how much I learned about myself and the science behind meditation. It also made me realize that I want to continue on this journey of taking courses through Mindful Schools. I’m an administrator and I wonder where this will go for me. I’ve always personally felt the benefits of mindfulness and maybe it’s time to take it further and teach. I’m grateful for the class and for my school for offering it to me. Thank you.” – School Administrator, Connecticut

“I HATE touchy-feely stuff. I hate emotional stuff. All of it. BUT y’all need to try this with an open mind. It’s for you. It’s going to give you some lifelong tools that are everyday essentials. I truly feel it will help with all my relationships and touchy-feely stuff too!” – Middle School Teacher, Texas

Why Mindfulness?

Educating and mentoring our youth is a calling that draws some of the most dedicated people on the planet. Educators serve on the frontlines of mitigating our nation’s social challenges, but they are often themselves overwhelmed and lack the support to cope with the acute stress and trauma that plays out in their classrooms. It’s tough, high-stakes work that can result in anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout.

Mindfulness offers strategies that help educators feel more calm, effective, connected, and resilient. Research shows that mindfulness cultivates skills to manage stress and to build attention, focus, and resilience––empowering educators to feel nourished and energized to create safe, supportive spaces for students in the classroom, at home, and beyond.

About This Course


101: Mindfulness Foundations is at the heart of what Mindful Schools is known for—an educator-centered approach to bring mindfulness to K-12 contexts. In this 4-week course, we provide a grounding in the neuroscience of mindfulness and share simple yet powerful practices and strategies to bring mindfulness into daily life––to manage stress, build resilience, and bring your full presence to interactions with students.

At Mindful Schools, we define mindfulness as being present in the moment here and now, paying attention to our thoughts, bodily sensations, and external environment with kindness, nonjudgment, and curiosity. Mindfulness can provide immediate tools to meet challenges with more openness, care, and compassion, as well as strategies that promote everyday self-care and well-being.

This is the first course in the path toward building a “mindful school” and fulfills the prerequisite for 201: Mindfulness in the Classroom.

Course Outcomes

  • Understand the science of mindfulness and how the adult nervous system is an intervention
  • Learn different practices that can resource you during your teaching day and daily life
  • Practice strategies to navigate intense emotions and negative thought patterns
  • Uncover blindspots and disrupt implicit bias
  • Use trauma-sensitive approaches in your own practice
  • Inspire compassion, curiosity, openness, and connection
  • Get support from a Mindful Schools Online Course Guide and connect with peers in LIVE Sessions and the course forums

Educator Voices from 101: Mindfulness Foundations

“This course should be offered to educators in all stages of career development––especially our beginning teachers. Teaching is no easy feat. We can, and must, teach ourselves to navigate the stress, judgment, and the rollercoaster of emotions with openness and kindness.” – ECP Educator, North Carolina

“I am a teaching credential candidate and because of this course, I feel that I am already at an advantage as a new teacher. By learning how to initiate a mindfulness practice, I now have a new set of tools that will allow me to serve my students with more care and compassion because of what I have learned here. Thank you for such a wonderful and mindful experience.” – Student Teacher, California

“As someone who has taken mindfulness courses before and have a practice, I found this course refreshing, encouraging and it has rekindled my excitement towards the practice. Hearing again the importance of this work to my personal and teaching life nudge me to continue to practice. The mindfulness practices shared renew my interest and the talks on the importance of gaining awareness of my own implicit bias.” – Teacher, Massachusetts

Graduate Credits

Upon completing this training, educators may apply for and receive graduate level credits. Details

Start Your Journey

Next Course:

COURSE COST:  $195  $145

Sign up today to receive $50 OFF tuition. This is part of our targeted effort to create more access to courses for educators in this time of great need.

What You’ll Learn

See the calendar of LIVE Session dates

Week 1: Mindfulness Concepts and Practices {Plus LIVE Session}

Explore: What is mindfulness?

Learn about the origins of mindfulness and secularity; discover some common misconceptions regarding mindfulness.

Begin to explore how mindfulness practices can be applied to any experience: sensations in the body, emotional experiences, thoughts, sights, sounds, tastes, and smells.

Learn the Mindful Schools approach to mindfulness in education and why we start with teachers practicing mindfulness.

Practice: Anchors, Breath, Sound, Body

* Join a 1-hour LIVE Session, guided and facilitated by Mindful Schools faculty member *

Week 2: Mindfulness of the Body

Explore: What is embodiment?

Learn the basic architecture of the nervous system and nervous system states, and how as educators, our own nervous systems can be an intervention when working with young people.

Understand why adopting a trauma-sensitive approach to exploring mindfulness is important for everyone as all bodies experience overwhelm in the nervous system due to stress and trauma to differing degrees.

Practice: Body Scan, Mindful Walking

Week 3: Mindfulness of Emotions {Plus LIVE Session}

Explore: Awareness of your emotions.

Define basic models of emotional regulation, expand your emotional vocabulary, and learn how to apply mindfulness to all kinds of emotional states. Begin to identify when you are dysregulated and start utilizing practices to bring yourself back into equilibrium.

Explore compassion for others and compassion for self.

Practice: Self-Compassion, Heartfulness

* Join a 1-hour LIVE Session, guided and facilitated by a Mindful Schools faculty member *

Week 4: Mindfulness of Thoughts and Practice in Daily Life

Explore: Implicit bias and negativity bias.

Explore how mindfulness practice supports skillful and compassionate responses to cognitive biases, including implicit bias and the negativity bias. Begin to uncover your blindspots, biases, and cognitive distortions by using mindfulness to notice and disrupt them.

Identify thought patterns and skillful means of working with thought, such as labeling and noting.

Learn about everyday mindfulness and how to keep going and weave mindfulness into your daily life.

Practice: Labeling, Noting

LIVE Support From Your Online Course Guide

Online Course Guides are experienced Mindful Schools faculty members who support you in all four weeks of the course. Through optional LIVE Sessions, weekly emails and updates, and course forums, your Online Course Guide will facilitate discussions, synthesize emerging themes, answer questions, and provide ongoing guidance and feedback.

Training Path

This is the first course in the path toward building a “mindful school” and fulfills the prerequisite for 201: Mindfulness in the Classroom. This 101 course is designed for educators, mentors, parents, caregivers, and adults supporting school communities. We recommend this course for both beginners and those with significant mindfulness experience.

Start Your Journey

Next Course:

COURSE COST:  $195  $145

Sign up today to take advantage of the reduced course cost of $145. This is part of our targeted effort to create more access for educators in this time of great need.

Meet Your Lead Teachers

Neena Barreto comes to this work with 20 years as a classroom teacher and teacher leader. She has taught mindfulness in over 30 classrooms from transitional kindergarten through sixth grade. Neena has also coached teachers, provided teacher and staff training, parent classes, as well as educator retreats. A Bay Area native, she now lives in Southern Oregon, where she draws upon the natural world as a deep resource to embody her mindfulness practice. Neena is founder of Into the Forest Revelations, an organization that seeks to bring clarity and wisdom for those seeking their life’s purpose.

Argos Gonzalez is a teacher, lecturer, mindfulness teacher, and yoga instructor. With over 20 years of experience in education, starting in high school classrooms in the Bronx, Argos currently teaches pre-service and in-service teachers at Hunter College School of Education in NY.  Argos is certified through both the Mindful Schools Mindful Teacher Certification Program and Little Flower Yoga. Argos was a contributing editor to Best Practices for Yoga in Schools, and his work has been featured in national media including NPR and The Atlantic. As a frequent speaker at major conferences, Argos is an important contributor to the yoga in schools movement and a trusted expert with feet in the yoga, mindfulness, and education worlds. His deep passion for empowering children and adolescents and supporting other educators to do the same comes through in all aspects of his work.

Jelena Popovic is a school psychologist by training and a peacebuilder by heart. As a mother and Teaching Peace in Schools Leadership Council Lead for The Peace Alliance, Jelena aspires to educate, advocate, and mobilize others in co-creating a culture of peace. Her passion is facilitating dialogs that are grounded in mindful awareness and empathy. Jelena is a facilitation trainer for Soliya and Erasmus + Virtual Exchange, facilitates virtual circles for Millennium Forum and the Peace of Mind, and she serves on the advisory board for Cities4Peace. She guides mindfulness retreats for educators at the Copper Beech Institute, leads international At Home In the World family retreats, and is co-founder of Design to Connect LLC, an educational consulting organization, that assists schools in their efforts in skillful, integrated and sustainable schoolwide implementation of mindfulness, and peace education practices.

Course Creators

Crystal McCreary is registered with Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT-500 level, with a specialty RCYT for children’s yoga. She leads Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher trainings, facilitates professional development workshops, and speaks nationally about the impact of yoga and mindfulness on the health and well-being of children, adolescents and adults. Crystal also teaches public classes in New York City and curates transformative wellness retreats which explore her own mindful vinyasa practice, her curiosity about anatomy, her passion for intelligent sequences that sow vigor and softness in body, and a more peaceful mind through mindfulness meditation.

Em Morrison has taught mindfulness and served as a youth worker at after-school programs, summer camps, and on adult, young adult, and teen retreats for the past 16 years. In Washington, DC, Em created a flagship restorative justice retreat for youth and made mindfulness practice a central piece of the experience. Em has trained with many teachers over the years and has done trainings with Mindful Schools, Minds Inc., and iBme. Em focuses on Nonviolent Communication and restorative justice along with teaching the practices for personal AND collective liberation.

Course Contributors

Aáron B. Heard started her teaching career in East Oakland teaching ELA, Social Studies, and Theatre and she now facilitates workshops for educators on the topics of Art, Healing, and Social Justice. She is an artist, learner, and educator rooted in love, curiosity, and community. Described as the ‘heart of the team,’ she is grounded in purpose, leads with enthusiasm, questions with a critical curiosity, and prioritizes learning, reflection, and growth. Aáron received her Bachelor’s Degree in English: Creative Writing from University of Southern California, her Master’s in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University, and holds a certification as an Arts Integration Specialist.

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