[Editor’s Note: This article was first published on the Move This World blog.]
According to a study done by the University of Missouri, 93% of teachers are experiencing high levels of work-related stress. Mindfulness has already been proven to boost the emotional climate of the classroom by supporting teacher wellbeing; however, many schools still struggle with incorporating mindful practices for staff into school culture. What can schools do to begin prioritizing mindfulness as a daily routine for staff? Peace corners could be a place to start.
Related: 8 ways I practiced mindfulness this year
What are peace corners?
The purpose of a peace corner is to create a quiet, calming, and inviting space to practice mindfulness. With a growing number of children and teens experiencing trauma, peace corners have become a safe haven for students and a way for educators to address adversity and underlying issues of inequity in education.
Transform your staff lounge to support teacher wellbeing #SEL
Students are able to visit these spaces to work through personal challenges independently, practice self-regulation, and spend a few much needed mindful moments alone. Peace corners often contain a number of sensory items such as stuffed animals, toys, comfortable seating, glitter jars, notebooks, etc – all objects that are designed to help students with meditation and reflection.
Peace corners are proven to be effective and they’re empowering our students to practice resilience as well as take ownership of their actions and emotions. It’s true that peace corners were originally intended for students; however, everyone deserves time for quiet reflection, especially educators.
3 steps to creating peace corners for staff
Introduce staff to the idea and then figure out what they’d like to see included in their peace corner. Since a peace corner is a private and transformative space, it is important that this area is designed to fit the diverse needs of your staff. Ways you can collect this information is by addressing it at the next staff meeting or sending around a simple email survey that will allow educators to express their needs.