**Half-Day Virtual Retreat** Saturday, January 16, 2021
Mark your calendar: January 16, 2021, 8:00am-12:30pm PT / 11:00am-3:30pm ET
Please join a half-day virtual retreat with the Mindful Schools faculty and Mindful Teacher grad community to get a window into our in-depth year-long programs.
The retreat will include silent practice guided by our faculty, as well as interactive and activity-based elements to connect as a community. Since you will be joining us from home, our faculty will create an online retreat container that is both firm enough to hold your experience, and also flexible enough to meet our varied living circumstances.
How to join: Make sure you’re on our MTCP notification email list––we will be sending information about how to prepare for the retreat as well as zoom instructions.
Is it free? There is no cost to attend. Programming this supportive retreat for our community represents a tremendous investment of time and care from our faculty and program teams. If you have the capacity, we invite you to consider supporting our Equity in Action (EIA) Fund to support equity, inclusivity, and access in our programming. Please learn more and make a gift here.
February 10, 2021––Info Session:Join our faculty for a LIVE Info Session on the program and bring your questions. Join our notification list to receive call-in instructions.
July 18, 2021 to July 23, 2021––MTCP Opening Retreat: We have scheduled our Virtual Opening Retreat, which kicks off the MTCP 2021-2022 program. Mark your calendar for the 6-day virtual retreat: Sunday, July 18, 2021 through Friday, July 23, 2021.
Our Mindful Teacher Certification Program is designed for educators, by educators. If you are an educator or school leader passionate about deepening your personal mindfulness practice and gaining the skills and in-depth experiential training to effectively share mindfulness practices across audiences in your school community, join us. This 300-hour immersive year-long experience has empowered a new generation of over one thousand Mindful Teachers to positively shift learning environments and pioneer the path toward building mindful schools. The 2021-2022 program will mark Mindful Schools’ ninth year of guiding educators in our work to create mindful learning environments that support every educator and child to realize their fullest potential.
“You are about to embark on a truly remarkable life-changing experience. Get ready to learn how to love yourself and others in a way you’ve never known before.”
–– Melody M, Class of 2020
Mindful Schools has designed a uniquely powerful learning environment that provides in depth training and experiences that enable educators to skillfully embody, adapt, and share mindfulness practices across a variety of settings.
The Mindful Teacher Certification Program is designed to build connection, support cohort learning, and offer personalized feedback for participants.
Immersive Retreats: Two (2) immersive week-long retreats, in-person or virtual.
Small Cohorts: Intimate cohorts of less than ten support participants to dive deeper into content and discussions in smaller group settings. Cohorts are supported by a Guiding Teacher and meet monthly.
Personalized Feedback: Participants access one-to-one coaching and support from Guiding Teachers, faculty, and fellow practitioners.
Guided and At Your Own Pace
Weekly Content: Weekly LIVE calls are guided by faculty; LIVE calls are recorded and made available to all participants if unable to attend. Additionally, weekly readings, research, guided practice, and activities are provided in the online classroom.
Monthly Support: Join monthly cohort calls with your Guiding Teacher. Find more details in the Blended Learning Model section below.
We are living in a dynamic and rapidly changing world. We are both feeling the effects and exploring how to support ourselves and our communities to make forward progress––in the face of national division; the pandemic; racial injustice; systemic inequity.
The Mindful Teacher program is responsive to these pressing issues. While we have a robust and structured training program, we are also deeply committed to meeting the in-the-moment needs of our community. In our current cohort, we are actively discussing: teaching with inclusive practices; strategies to adapt and engage students online; equitable and trauma sensitive practices online.
“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. And since completing, because of the growing network of educators connected by Mindful Schools, I’ve fallen in love with so many more amazing people.”
–– Christine D, Class of 2014
Blended Learning Model
In our blended learning model, the year-long program begins and ends with a week-long retreat. Retreats offer a uniquely rich and immersive practice experience that supports growth and development in two ways:
Mindfulness 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 body movement, group discussions, and fun activities, as well as unstructured time for networking and collaboration.
“I am so very grateful for the many gems and take-aways from our [virtual] retreat together!! Thank you so much, Guiding Teachers and MT21 colleagues for sharing your gifts of openness, passion, vulnerability, presence, peace.
This past week truly was filled with so many significant “ah-hah” moments and reminders for me about my own practice and the Art of Noticing…noticing what is going on for myself, my fellow students and my environment. Mostly, I am reflecting on just how much I needed this deep-dive in the form of our retreat, at just this moment, at just the right time. Particularly, I am reflecting on these past months during this COVID period.
My heart is so full…looking forward to our next steps together.”
–– Brenda H, 2020-2021 Cohort
In between the two in-person retreats is an intensive 10-month training program. The virtual 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 may 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 those who are unable to attend.
Cohort Group: Participants are grouped into small Cohort Groups that are led by a Guiding Teacher. Groups stay connected, share assignments, and receive teaching feedback through monthly LIVE video calls and online discussions.
Affinity Groups: In diversity and identity work, an affinity group is a group of people that comes together because they share a particular identity or experience (for example, race, gender, sexuality)––often a traditionally marginalized identity. Affinity groups allow for the premise that social justice work is hard, and such work is nourished by being with others who share your same experience. These are safe spaces in which, by design, participants don’t have to explain themselves or their experience to others who don’t share it.
Daily Sitting: Participants are asked to maintain a personal mindfulness practice of at least 20 minutes per day.
Teaching Lab: Participants record and share videos 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, practice groups, and regional meet-up groups where possible.
“Following the [virtual] opening retreat, I shifted from a perspective of: OMG how can I complete this course this year with all I have going on … to: I think this course may be just what I need now to help me get through this year.
I take comfort in visualizing all the teachers and participants. I take comfort that we all are in this together and believe there will be much support as we venture on this journey together. The team did a beautiful job creating a container for us to learn and explore. The participants did a lovely job of sharing honestly and supporting each other. Thank you everyone.”
–– Lisa D, 2020-2021 Cohort
At Mindful Schools, we are committed to supporting educators to engage in the practice of mindfulness, and to bringing the benefits of mindfulness to the students, families, and communities they serve. Transforming our educational settings from the “inside-out” is essential to transforming the external challenges in our world.
Mindful Schools programs are centered on four key guiding principles that we believe are essential for bringing mindfulness to education.
Grounded in Practice. Mindfulness practice lies at the root of transformation. Mindfulness offerings are only authentic when they are based on our own experience of mindfulness.
Context-Specific. Successful mindfulness programs are inclusive, equitable, and a reflection of the community that they serve.
Competency-Based. The capacity to teach mindfulness requires a core set of skills, strategies, and knowledge that is nurtured and developed over time.
Intentionally Designed. Mindfulness has the greatest impact when embedded in the structures, common practices, and norms of its context.
“It’s hard to imagine a time with more challenges in our day-to-day lives than the year 2020. Like most of us, I have experienced more sustained and intense hardship than ever before, both professionally and personally. A redeeming and guiding light has been the Mindful Schools program… The trauma-sensitive practices, social justice philosophies, and emphasis on personal practice have been hallmarks of this program and have transformed my ability to contribute, be more resilient and happier. I encourage future cohorts to orient themselves in this direction, each day learning skills to both take home and share at school.”
– Aaron K, Faculty at CSU, Chico, Class of 2021
2021-2022 Participate in and complete the year-long Mindful Teacher program
2022-2023 Submit your practicum for Certification review
Following the closing retreat, in the summer of 2022, participants who desire certification and have completed all program components may submit a teaching practicum for review.
Teaching practicum may be submitted to the Certification Review Committee up to one year after the closing retreat.
The Mindful Schools Certification Review 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.
Earning certification will allow you to refer to yourself as a Mindful Schools Certified Mindfulness Instructor (CMI). Specifically, as a Mindful Schools CMI, you will be qualified to:
Use the Mindful Schools K-12 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. 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.
“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.
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.”
“Being a part of the 2020 cohort helped me support my students in ways I never knew I would need to, and it helped me to support myself through the most challenging and uncertain year I’ve ever experienced.”
–– Graduate, Class of 2020
We ask that all participants have a regular mindfulness practice and complete the following mindfulness training courses by May 2021.
101: Mindfulness Foundations.This is the Mindful Schools 4-week foundational online course in secular mindfulness. If you are brand new to Mindful Schools trainings, be sure to register for 101: Mindfulness Foundations to ensure a more accurate and timely review of your application.
201: Mindfulness in the Classroom. This 8-week course is a required prerequisite for the Mindful Teacher program. We want to ensure that all participants begin with a shared understanding of the Mindful Schools practice framework prior to engaging in the deeper work required by the Mindful Teacher program. * If you haven’t yet started this course, you are still encouraged to submit an application. In your application, indicate when you plan to complete the course, prior to May 2021.
Note to prior course graduates: If you have completed Mindfulness Fundamentals and Mindful Educator Essentials courses, please indicate those in your application and we will provide you with additional guidance.
Opening Retreat: Virtual, Sunday July 18, 2021 – Friday July 23, 2021
Anticipated Closing Retreat: late June or early July 2022, Virtual or In-Person TBC
Tuition fees cover the programming for the two retreats, the 10-month virtual training program, and the certification process.
Early Bird Tuition: $5,800 USD––Save $700. Must apply by January 5, 2021 and register by February 15, 2021.
Standard Tuition: $6,500 USD. Applications after January 5, 2021.
Applications will be accepted until April 15, 2021. Registration must be completed by May 15, 2021.
Note: Tuition fees above do NOT include accommodations or travel for retreats. Room and board with the retreat venues and travel arrangements are purchased separately.* Retreat dates and plans are in development in response to COVID. We will update this page regularly. Please join our Notification List to receive updates.
Mindful Schools is deeply committed to equity and inclusivity, and we believe that representation matters in all elements of our trainings. This year we established an Equity in Action Scholarship Fund to invest in educators who identify as BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ and support their participation in our year-long trainings with affinity group experiences and significantly reduced tuition. We anticipate we will receive more requests for EIA scholarships than we can fulfill, so applications are evaluated on a combination of factors including applicants’ financial need, population served, and the impact of their work in the field.
Scholarship Tuition: $2,600 USD. We strongly encourage you to apply by the Early Bird deadline, January 5, 2021. Scholarships will be awarded on a rolling basis. 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.
Pay-In-Full Option: Receive a $300 tuition discount when tuition is paid in full upon registration.
Payment Plan Option: A $500 non-refundable deposit (100% of which will be applied toward your tuition fees) is required to complete this registration and secure your space. You will then pay your balance in 3 equal installments. The first installment will be due by June 1, 2021.
Purchase Order Option: If your school or district is paying for your tuition using a purchase order, it is your responsibility to make them aware of the deadlines. Mindful Schools must receive an official Purchase Order by May 1, 2021, and payment must be received by June 1st, 2021. Please note that acquiring a Purchase Order from your district or organization can take up to three months.
In December, our faculty Megan Sweet and Argos Gonzalez hosted an informational session about the Mindful Teacher Certification Program 2021-2022. The call starts with a guided mindfulness practice. The informational presentation begins at 8:50. Watch below.