with Kelly Knoche and Jane Mayer
How do we create thriving school communities in which the wellness of both teachers and students is honored?
In this three-hour breakout session, participants will dialogue about the current teacher turnover crisis, both in California and nationwide, as well as how to transform the problem by using mindfulness practices and community resources. Participants will leave empowered as change agents for caregiver sustainability and school site transformation through bridging their intellectual understandings of the issue and co-creating heart-based solutions.
We intend to provide a space for self and community-reflective discussions about experiences with teacher burnout. Collectively, we will create a catalogue of solutions. Through this process, we will gain a personal connection to the power of wellness programming within schools. Participants will contemplate adult wellness as a critical piece of a thriving school ecosystem.
Lastly, through a series of experiential exercises in stress resilience, mindfulness, yoga, nutrition and healthy communication, participants will gain tools to increase their own capacity for self-care and agency within their work environments, as well as the ability to use these tools to embody mindful self-care with the youth they serve.
By the end of the session, participants should have a deep understanding of how their personal health and mindful self-care can positively affect their students and communities. Ultimately, participants will leave empowered as change agents for sustainability and wellness on their school sites.
Kelly Knoche taught math, science and socio-emotional learning (SEL) for six years in public schools in Oakland. She holds a B.A. in psychology from UC Berkeley and also spent time studying at Harvard University. As a Teach for America corps member, she demonstrated great skill in bringing resources to her students by raising $15,000 for a multi-night field trip and building a joint tutoring program with the UC Berkeley field hockey team. As an innovative curriculum designer, she designed a nationally-recognized middle school project-based SEL program that has continued to be implemented by OUSD middle schools. She is a certified doula, 400-hour yoga teacher and has been trained in both the Mindful Schools and Niroga Institute’s Mindfulness programs. After seeing many of her colleagues leave through her years in Oakland Unified and experiencing the stressors of teaching in an under-resourced school system, she became determined to find simple, low-cost solutions to building teacher resilience. What started as a donation-based yoga program for educators (Gift of Prana) has transformed into The Teaching Well: a cost-efficient, multi-year series of professional development offerings and 1:1 coaching that is committed to increasing teacher retention, building positive communication among staff and inherently creating school environments where students can achieve. The Teaching Well is proud to have served over 500 educators in a variety of schools since its humble beginnings. The majority of our work focuses on Title I schools, challenged with staggering rates of teacher turnover.
Jane Mayer taught English, drama and science for five years in public and charter schools in Los Angeles. She holds a master’s degree from UCLA and a B.A. with honors from the University of Virginia. As an award-winning drama and English teacher, she coached countless high school students in Shakespearean and spoken word competitions and created common core-centered socio-emotional (SEL) curriculum for middle-school students. She also serves as a steward and educational visionary for WisdomWomen and co-hosted their conference at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur this January. Trained in Imago therapeutic strategies, Jungian archetypal dream work and social justice-oriented community storytelling, Jane is also spending this year training with Invitas: The Institute for Conversational Leadership from renowned poet and activist David Whyte, learning how to actively engage systemic change through conversation. An active meditator, yogini and food-as-medicine advocate, Jane loves supporting teachers in Los Angeles be the best that they can be in order to serve their students.