Tag Archives: mindfulness

The 15 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers

A September 2, 2016 article in IB World magazine outlines 15 traits that teachers themselves identified as being the characteristics that drive their success.   In reading through these traits I am struck with how similar they are to the qualities Maria Montessori sought to inspire in teachers through what she referred to as the “spiritual preparation of the teacher.”

In order to be truly successful, teachers need to cultivate traits such as curiosity, enthusiasm, a positive attitude, the ability to plan, communication skills and reflection.  They also need to practice self-care, being a good role model and being accessible to their students.  In the end, teachers should aim “not just to help students reach their potential, but help them to surpass their potential.”

This underscores what I have observed during my 30 years as a Montessori educator, administrator, teacher trainer and school consultant:  Being a teacher is a path as much as it is a profession;  it requires constant work on one’s self.  As educators strive to be the best people we can be,  our students learn to do the same.  Ultimately in its highest form,  education is a process of  personal growth for everyone involved.

Learn more at the link below:



Meditation not detention

It is encouraging that more schools are realizing what myriad research studies have shown for decades:  that punishment does not work as way of building essential life skills such as how to manage stress and self regulate one’s emotions and behaviors.  Brain science and ancient wisdom are combining in new and powerful ways as we realize that simple ways of turning within can help us deal with the often violent and chaotic world outside.  I am proud to say that Oneness-Family Montessori School has been a pioneer in teaching students self-reflection skills for over 25 years.  I urge educators across the country to look at model programs that are showing dramatic results and include them in their school programs.  Our students will gain life long self-management skills and our schools will become safer and happier places to be.

Read on Upworthy: This school replaced detention with meditation. The results are stunning.

Teach Peace Instead of Anti-Bullying

On the heels of troubling headlines about hazing at a local high school up the road from our own Oneness-Family School last week and a plethora of well-intentioned workshops and programs nationwide focused on anti-bullying, I offer my perspective on how educators can shift the operational paradigm from anti-bullying to peace.

            5 Ways Schools Can Teach Peace

1.         Cultivate students’ inner awareness: Teach mindfulness practices to optimize students’ brain development and their ability to manage and recognize a full spectrum of emotions in themselves and others. Have a look at the national training program MindUP, which we recently added to our curriculum.

Celebrating the rich diversity of our global heritage at United Nations Day

2.         Emphasize appreciation of world cultures, religions and heroes: Study and discuss the diversity and richness of our global heritage through history, languages, the arts, and the inspiring stories of heroes of our time to promote understanding and respect for diversity in all forms.

3.         Teach conflict resolution: Empower students with formalized instruction in mediating conflict and maintain a focused commitment in helping them to practice these skills with each other so that they become compassionate, confident problem solvers and peacemakers at home and in the world at large.

4.         Connect students to nature: Instill in students a deep feeling of connectedness to their bodies and to the Earth. Dedicate ample time to mind-body, fitness and recess activities plus regular science and nature studies that focus on the interdependence of all living things. Students learn that being of sound body and mind goes hand-in-hand with the responsibility to nurture a healthy planet.

5.         Create inspirational school celebrations that bring the wider world into the school:  Communities are made more cohesive when they coalesce around an aspiration or larger collective goal beyond a football team victory. Celebrate peace with United Nations Day, the protection of the environment with Earth Day and the importance of serving others with a fundraising walkathon for children without water in Africa.

Could the paradigm shift envisioned above be effective in schools nationwide and create a new generation of peacemakers? Considering our experience at Oneness-Family School the answer is YES!

What are your experiences with anti-bullying programs? Do you think some or all of the above approaches could be incorporated into your school’s practices? As a parent, does this approach sound appealing? As a student, do you think this would help? Please share this post with your teachers, school administrators, colleagues and friends. Encourage them to post their comments. Together we have the power to give peace a real chance!

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