Habits of Mind: A Case Study of Three Teachers' Experiences with a Mindfulness-Based Intervention
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K-12 teachers encounter numerous occupational stressors as part of their profession, and these stressors place them at risk of job-related stress and burnout (Maslach & Jackson, 1981; Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001). Given the prevalence of stress and burnout among school personnel, concrete interventions designed to address the unique demands of teaching are necessary (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009; Jennings, Snowberg, Coccia, & Greenberg, 2011). This dissertation examined one mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) for teachers, Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE). The study employed a qualitative case study methodology; data sources included in-depth interviews, field observations of CARE, and analysis of documents such as the CARE Facilitator Manual and Participant Handbook. The current study investigated how participants perceived the MBI immediately after the completion of the intervention and how they utilized experiences from the intervention at a five-month follow-up point. This study reveals that participants identified immediate and longer-term benefits from participating in this MBI, with aspects of compassion, adaptability, and community emerging as important factors in MBI interventions for teachers. Subsequent follow-up interviews suggested that participants, to varying degrees, incorporated aspects of the intervention into their daily and professional lives. The study concludes with recommendations on how to strengthen MBIs as a professional development protocol and identifies areas for future research on how MBIs might influence teacher performance.