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‘Show me what it’s supposed to look like’: Exploring mindfulness-based support for early career teachers in an era of neoliberal reform
Policy Futures in Education
Short Title: ‘Show me what it’s supposed to look like’
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2018
Pages: 828 - 847
Sources ID: 62776
Visibility: Public (group default)
Abstract: (Show)
In an era of top-down mandates and neoliberal reform policies, early career teachers must receive sustained social and emotional support as part of their regular professional development in order to navigate the murky waters of education that can sometimes feel disempowering and disillusioning. Teachers in high-poverty urban schools, who often deal with additional variables like student achievement gaps, disparate funding and high teacher turnover, among myriad other hurdles, are often highly impacted by these policies. This study examined the experiences of a group of early career teachers in an urban school district that participated in a mindfulness-based professional learning intervention. Findings show that participants not only experienced increased self-efficacy in assuaging personal and professional stressors, but also connected newly acquired strategies to the ways they supported the diverse students in their classrooms. Implications from this study suggest that learning about mindfulness-based strategies in an informal group setting can be beneficial for teachers, both personally and professionally, as they navigate the tensions of beginning their careers embedded in “the neoliberal program of reform”.