About This Course
Learn how to integrate mindfulness into your work with youth using our research-backed K-12 Mindful Schools Curriculum. Our curriculum – used by educators, mental health professionals, social workers, and parents across the U.S. and over 100 countries – is adaptable for classrooms, after-school programs, clinical settings, and home. It uses developmentally appropriate language for explaining key mindfulness concepts and practices to youth. You can see a sample module here.
Educators who have completed this course report strong improvements in students’ emotional regulation, focus, and engagement, as well as improved connection with students and ability to deliver school curriculum. 98% of our graduates recommend this course.
This six-week self-paced course includes:
- Curriculum for All Levels
- Pre-K to 2 Kindness Curriculum: 24 modules for ages 3-6, from Center for Healthy Minds
- K to 5 Curriculum: 30 modules for ages 5-12
- Middle & High School Curriculum: 25 modules for ages 12-17
- Student workbooks
- Manuals on facilitation, classroom management plus a Parent Manual and Classroom Manual
- Summaries of neuroscience concepts
- Program evaluation tools
- Over 150 resources for teaching mindfulness to youth in our online Resource Center
- Learn to accurately present the research on mindfulness and youth
- Understand the basic neuroscience of attention and emotion
- Working with youth at different developmental stages
- Group facilitation and classroom management skills
- Resources to present to administrators, school, and agency staff
- Join our vibrant, supportive private community of graduates
- Get unlimited access to course content and future update
- Participate in our online educator Resource Center, with over 150 resources, including best practice guides, powerpoint presentations, lesson plans, games, classroom activities and more
Upon completing this course:
- Educators can receive up to 3 graduate level credits Details
- Eligible Mental Health Professionals can receive 12 CEUs Details
One of the core principles of the Mindful Schools Community is the concept that a mindful classroom begins with you. Teaching and modeling mindfulness techniques to youth is most effective when it stems from a base of personal practice.
In support of this principle, we require that participants establish a personal mindfulness practice prior to this training by completing our Mindfulness Fundamentals course or any one of the trainings listed here.
The course is taught by Megan Cowan, Chris McKenna, and Vinny Ferraro. This team has over 40 years of combined mindfulness practice and over 30 years of teaching mindfulness and/or emotional intelligence to children and adolescents, as well as experience training many thousands of adults. Their work is featured in documentary films Healthy Habits of Mind and Room to Breathe, and MTV’s “If You Really Knew Me”.
Megan Cowan is a co-founder of Mindful Schools and comes to this work with over 15 years of formal and intensive mindfulness training, a background in teaching and education, and a degree from UC Berkeley in Alternative Health. Megan is the primary author of the Mindful Schools Elementary School Curriculum, and created their first Adolescent Curriculum. She has taught more than 3500 youth via Mindful Schools’ in-class direct-service program, trained more than 2000 educators, mental health professionals, and parents in mindfulness practices and applications for youth, and lead our Mindful Educator Essentials domestically and internationally for seven years. In 2012, Megan was featured in “Room To Breathe,” the first feature-length film documentary on the effort to integrate mindfulness training into U.S. public schools.
Vinny Ferraro is a long-time mindfulness practitioner and instructor and a nationally recognized leader in designing and implementing interventions for at-risk adolescents. The child of an incarcerated father, Vinny spent the majority of his teenage life hustling and living on the streets. In 1987, after recovering from drug addiction, he began leading youth groups in drug rehabilitation centers, juvenile halls, schools and half-way houses through the Hospitals and Institutions Program of Narcotics Anonymous. Vinny continued this work for nearly a decade before transitioning to a more intensive focus on mindfulness and emotional intelligence work. In 2001, he began teaching for the Challenge Day organization, a nationally recognized, school-based emotional intelligence and life skills program, eventually becoming Challenge Day’s Director of Training and leading workshops for over 110,000 youth on four continents. In 2008, Vinny became Training Director of the Mind Body Awareness Project (MBA) and is the principle author of MBA’s mindfulness-based curriculum for incarcerated youth. Vinny has received national media coverage for his work with adolescents; he is the subject of the MTV series “If You Really Knew Me…” In addition to his work with youth, Vinny teaches mindfulness retreats to adults around the U.S. and the world.
Chris McKenna has served as Program Director at Mindful Schools and was Executive Director of the Mind Body Awareness Project, a nonprofit that pioneered the development of mindfulness-based interventions for high-risk adolescents with complex trauma. During his tenure, MBA published the first formal research on the impact of mindfulness programming on youth in the U.S. juvenile probation system. In collaboration with Colorado State University, MBA also developed mindfulness training programs that met the specific needs of diverse youth populations, including youth of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana, and military youth in Ft. Collins, CO.
Chris has spent over a decade working with diverse communities suffering from high incidents of trauma, including five years with an organization launched out of Amnesty International that provided legal and psychosocial services to victims of torture and war crimes from over 20 countries. He has an eighteen-year history with mindfulness meditation and has taught mindfulness practices to diverse youth & adult populations. He is on the Curriculum Advisory Committee of Dalai Lama Fellows and the Advisory Councils of the Mind Body Awareness Project, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and Honoring the Path of the Warrior – a project which teaches mindfulness to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He holds a degree in Religion & Asian Studies from Columbia University.
In addition to the Program Team, each Mindful Educator Essentials course has a Guiding Teacher. The Guiding Teacher directs the learning process by synthesizing emerging themes, answering questions, and providing ongoing participant feedback. All of our Guiding Teachers have over a decade of mindfulness practice and broad teaching experience with different youth populations. Your Guiding Teacher is available to answer questions throughout the course.
Argos Gonzalez is a teacher, lecturer, mindfulness teacher and yoga instructor. He has 14 years of experience teaching high school in the Bronx and teaches pre-service and in-service teachers at Hunter College School of Education in NY. Argos is certified through both the Mindful Schools Year-Long Certification Program and Little Flower Yoga (LFY). 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 conferences including the Kripalu Yoga in Schools Symposium, Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth, the Omega Mindfulness in Education Conference and the Yoga Service Conference, 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.
Mindful Educator Essentials
Dr. Montminy is a clinical child psychologist, family wellness coach, and national workshop presenter. As the founding director of MidStep Centers for Child Development, private practitioner, and school-based mental health consultant, he has worked passionately for 25 years to improve the emotional well-being of children and adolescents. Peter was educated at Dartmouth, Penn State University, and Yale Medical School’s Child Study Center, yet his ultimate training – and source of joy – come from raising his four children with his wife Mary in the woods of central Pennsylvania.
Sarah M. Waxman
Sarah M. Waxman
Mindful Educator Essentials
Sarah M. Waxman is a youth mindfulness and mind/body educator. Since completing the Mindful Schools Mindful Educator Essentials in 2010 Sarah has been teaching mindfulness in schools, after-school programs, summer camps, and Jewish religious schools. She holds a 200-hr vinyasa teacher training certification as well as certifications from several youth mind/body courses. Her enthusiasm for mindfulness and other mind/body practices in schools comes from her own discoveries with contemplative practices, and from her experience teaching in the classroom. She firmly believes that educating youth in healthy self-soothing methods will greatly enhance our education system, reduce harmful addictive behaviors, and improve the character of our society. Sarah began practicing mindfulness and yoga while playing Goalkeeper in Lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a BA degree in Sociology.