Teaching Presence: Bringing Mindfulness and Reflective Practices into K-5 Classrooms (Free Lunchtime Seminar)

The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) continues its spring lunchtime seminar series April 4th with “Teaching Presence: Bringing Mindfulness and Reflective Practices into K-5 Classrooms,” presented by Nancy MacKay, B.S., interim co-director and training director at the Open Circle Program, Pamela Seigle, M.S., executive director at the Center for Courage and Renewal Northeast, and Michelle Porche, Ed.D, associate director and senior research scientist at WCW.

This seminar will share practices, insights, and findings from a pilot program funded by the Center for Courage & Renewal titled “Weaving Strong Connections of Learning, Reflection and Mindfulness.” The program explored how training in reflective and mindfulness practices affects elementary school teachers’ self-awareness, self-management, stress management, teaching practice, and job satisfaction. Twenty-six teachers with prior training and experience implementing the Open Circle Curriculum for social and emotional learning participated in the pilot. The program, which included four days of training between January through September 2012, also explored mindfulness and reflective practice lessons and activities for elementary school students that teachers can easily incorporate into their existing Open Circle practice.

MacKay, a former elementary school teacher, co-directs Open Circle, a leading provider of evidence-based curriculum and professional development for social and emotional learning in Kindergarten through Grade 5. Seigle is the executive director of Courage & Renewal Northeast  which aims to nurture personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it; she is also the founder of Open Circle. Program evaluator Porche examines ways to integrate research and practice in ways that contribute to programs and interventions that foster academic achievement for children from low-income families.

Lunchtime seminars are held Thursdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the Centers’ Cheever House location, 828 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA. The programs are free and open to the public. Guests are invited to bring their lunches, WCW will provide tea and coffee. To confirm program line-up, call 781 283 2500 or visit www.wcwonline.org/calendar.

The Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College is one of the largest gender-focused research-and-action organizations in the world. Scholars at the Centers conduct social science research and evaluation, develop theory and publications, and implement training and action programs on issues that put women’s lives and women’s concerns at the center. Since 1974, WCW’s work has generated changes in attitudes, practices, and public policy.