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Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness in and out of the Classroom

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  247 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Meena Srinivasan began teaching in order to touch lives, but with the demands of covering her curriculum she all but forgot her aspiration. During a retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh, Meena learned for the first time about mindfulness. In this book, Srinivasan highlights how mindfulness can be an effective tool in the classroom. What makes this book truly unique is Srinivasans ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 10th 2014 by Parallax Press
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  247 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is a terrific resource for any teacher considering learning more about how to integrate this important skill into their practice. Srinivasan provides both powerful stories and excellent resources to help any teacher get started. As a technology leader I found the chapter on mindfulness and technology extremely helpful.
Anthony Conty
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tony Conty
1 min ·
In honor of #NationalBookLoversDay, I finished a selection for our summer book study. As someone who sought meditation before as a source of inner-calm, I really looked forward to learning about teaching mindfulness.

Mindfulness refers to the act of being present in the present without distractions from the past or future. This helps those who fail to forgive themselves for mistakes and obsess over the uncertainty that lies ahead. It works wonders for those crippled with anxiety
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: education-useful
This was the 2nd of two books I read for a mindfulness in education class that I'm taking. There's GREAT stuff in here and it will be wonderful resource as I continue to build new teaching habits to bring mindfulness into MY classroom. Some of the articulation of the ideas however, was a bit too existential for my practical Midwestern sensibilities so I couldn't help but rolling my eyes at the author's writing and idealistic presentation. (Holding the start of one's class to have a lengthy sitdo ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
It took me about a year to finally finish this book because I got frustrated with some of the author’s stories and the book’s far narrower-than-anticipated focus. I thought this was a book about mindfulness in *teaching*, but it’s a book about mindfulness in *teaching mindfulness*, so neither I nor most any teacher who doesn’t have the luxury of a class where the content is mindfulness have anything close to the time required to implement the ideas offered here with our students. Still, some val ...more
Michelle O'Neill
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was a great introduction for any educator willing to explore mindfulness in the classroom! It was a quick read with a lot of great explanation and examples but a lot of the second half of the book, written in “lesson-plan format,” was redundant. Every lesson had the same objectives and essential questions. Reading the appendix in and of itself would have given you all of the information that you need to know. Because the author writes for a middle school audience some of the activities ...more
Poonam Desai
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I heard Meena speak at Momentous Institute's Changing the Odds Conference this past October. She is a Program Manager for Oakland Unified School District's Social Emotional Learning and Leadership Department, and she is a huge proponent of mindfulness; she is a woman after my own heart in many ways! Her book was a quick and easy read on her history with mindfulness, her call to bring mindfulness into her work as an educator, and the impact this trajectory has had on her life and hte lives of stu ...more
Thom Gibson
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'd probably give this 3.5 stars if I could. Some excellent nuggets in there in how she frames the purpose and practice of mindfulness (coming from an educator has been practicing mindful breathing exercises with students for years). She got a little woohoo for me ("Breath in - I am a flower, breathe out - I am fresh") and in an effort to make chapters serve as a lesson plan all surrounding one big idea, they got very repetitive with repeating the main idea and classroom procedures with starting ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really loved this book. Especially all the meditation prompts and exercises, i loved how everything referenced back to a lot of Thich Nhat Hanh and how each lesson plan felt very genuine and wholesome. Will be using some of these in my lead-teaching meditations and looking forward to reading some of the references mentioned in the book! Definitely a perspective opener on how to live and embody meditation and how it can help sculpt your life.
Pernia Hassan
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a teacher, I find my peace in the summer when I let go of everything and always feel calm. The question I had was how could I keep my peace throughout the year. This book is an affirming step toward a practice of mindfulness.

The book is divided into three sections: Practicing Mindfulness, Sharing Mindfulness, and Mindfulness As A Learned Skill - curriculum for teachers.

I think I will need to now read some books by Thich Nhat Hanh - someone she quotes extensively in this book.
Kenley Neufeld
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
A solid guide for educators of young children for teaching mindfulness in the classroom. Rooted in the Plum Village tradition, as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh, we are offered secular practices with lesson plans, handouts, and homework. If you are an elementary or middle school teacher, you should check out this book. Other educators may find pieces to incorporate as appropriate.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very helpful book for everyone, not just educators
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-school
So much wisdom in this book!
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to finish, but this book helped me revitalize for the next school year and gave me a focus to help my students.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teach
Great read for teachers who want to bring a more productive and happy mindset to their career. I'll post a full review on my blog!
Mia Revak (Fikaris)
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Love the philosophy, but expected the book to be better and give me better tools for the classroom. I did however learn good tools for myself.
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Appreciate the connections to SEL and health ed standards. I personally recommend participating in an in-person instruction on building a personal mindfulness practice and then reading books likes these. I'm a hands-on, visual learner and needed that connection to place mindfulness and all its sometimes abstract concepts into a concrete context. Her reflections on a personal practice of mindfulness and applications in the classroom are really helpful and I'm looking forward to applying what I've ...more
Elise Barker
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is intended for elementary school teachers but I got some ideas for how to incorporate mindfulness into the college classroom (the concept of inter-being would be great to introduce in a number of contexts, and inviting the bell could be a good way to start class). The early chapters are designed to help teachers become more mindful themselves, with ideas about how to incorporate self-care into the teacher's daily routine, before class, during bathroom breaks, and during planning perio ...more
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved the ideas in this book, for the most part. I could think of many students who would benefit from the practices the author discusses. I love the philosophy of Thich Nhat Hanh and she refers to his practices and ideas a lot. For me, it was good to read something that had actual steps and lessons for working with a class. For a classroom teacher who wants to practice mindfulness, this book is a gem. I also have several books to add to my "want-to-read" list. :)
Shannon D'Arpino
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am happy to read books that encourage the use of Mindfulness in schools. Our children are pressured through so many outlets, school, sports, over scheduling and parent disengagement. I appreciate Meena's outlook and truth to her own experience with Mindfulness. I highly recommend this book to Teachers that would like to encourage excellence in their classroom and personal lives.
Phil Overeem
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Picked up some nice tips, but, unsurprisingly, this successful breather got the hell out of teaching as soon as she could. Those who are loudest and gesticulate the most furiously, who demand you buy in, quickly are doing so outside of the trenches. Believe this 30+-year vet: you can spot those that don't have the iron to do the job over the long haul a MILE away.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was offered as a summer faculty reading at my school. I thought the ideas, practices and resources were interesting, both personally and professionally. I can see myself incorporating these ideas into my upcoming school year.
Jun 07, 2016 rated it liked it
The first two chapters were a stretch for me--lots of things I questioned as if they fit my style or ideas about teaching and life. But the middle and ending gave me great resources for my kids that I know can make a difference. Don't give up, the pay off is worthwhile.
Jean Owens
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mindfulness in the classroom is the best thing ever! I learned quite a few tips to keep my momentum. I love the connections between SEL and mindfulness. Both are vital to educating the whole child.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a good book to understand mindfulness as a teacher. The author really spoke to teaching children of age 10 and above in this book.
Jun 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: professional
When we have to create a unit plan and rubrics and standards for this, times have really gotten scary. This is a good read for teachers if you ignore those parts!
Jonathan Woods
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wonderful mindfulness book. I am currently teaching the 8 lessons to my 5th grade students. A good companion to the MindUp curriculum.
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and was able to take many of the ideas to use in my personal life. I look forward to implementing simpler form of these ideas with my students.
Sharolyn Stauffer
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love some of the practices shared in this book. When teaching gets overwhelming, these have already proven useful. I even bought a bell to invite each day.
Stephanie Biese
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
The lessons are too long to actually implement as is.....but easy to break down. Excited to dabble with this throughout the school year.
Jennifer Hutchins
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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