Mesrobian teachers took a deep breath and practiced mindful awareness at their last faculty meeting of the 2014-2015 academic year together with Dr. Dustin Plattner, a clinical psychologist who, in the course of his work with Mesrobian School for 2015-2016, will be working with Mesrobian students on “Mindfulness.”
“Mindfulness helps us be aware of what goes on inside us,” Dr. Plattner explained.
Research now shows that practicing mindfulness reduces stress, helps focus, improves memory and attention skills, and “increases density of gray matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy.”
According to the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) based at the University of California, Berkeley, “Mindfulness helps schools. Teaching mindfulness in the classroom reduces behavior problems and aggression among students, and improves their happiness levels and ability to pay attention.”
The formal introduction of mindfulness at Mesrobian School is one of many innovations the school is implementing as it forges new ground in the field of education, further establishing itself as a leader among schools across the nation.
By institutionalizing mindfulness and other progressive, research-proven cognitive neuroscience principles into its curriculum, Mesrobian is pioneering an approach for its students, teachers, and families rarely if ever seen in other schools ― public, private, independent, or charter.
And mindfulness isn’t only for Mesrobian students ― “It always takes two,” says Dr. Plattner ― which is why Mesrobian teachers are practicing it, too.
Teachers trained in mindfulness show “lower blood pressure, less negative emotion and symptoms of depression, and greater compassion and empathy,” according to study published in Emotion, a scientific journal published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Moreover, if teachers are fully aware of their own emotional state while in the classroom, they will better recognize the emotional state of their student and better guide students in self-regulation and mindful awareness.
In the 2015-2016 school year, Mesrobian will offer mindfulness training to parents and the general community as well through its regular education workshops, which are always open to the public.
Armenian Mesrobian School, established in 1965, is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has Nursery School (2 years old) through High School (12th Grade) on the same campus. The High School curriculum is certified to the University of California.