I am a teacher with over 20 years experience that ranges from private to public schools and from middle school to university-level teaching. My career has allowed me to do what I love, which is teach. For the past four years I have had the opportunity to coordinate a certification program at a state university, to mentor student teachers, and to supervise student teaching at public schools throughout Connecticut. I am now shifting my focus to provide professional development in mindfulness training to teachers in order to help address issues plaguing many educators, namely stress, anxiety, and frustration.
It was during this time coordinating the certification program and working with school teachers that I decided that something was missing in our schools. We had created a system in which the discourse and the changes in curriculum, accountability, professional evaluation and development solely focused on what the teachers needed to do to ensure their students were receiving the best opportunities and education they desire. The discussions and decisions made were always demanding the teachers give and give more of themselves. Teachers carry a huge responsibility to our young generations both academically and socially. The multi-faceted work we do demands we are aware of and able to manage the intellectual, emotional, social and civic needs of our students. As the complexity of our work becomes clearer, the demands placed upon us to ensure that all these needs are addressed in our classrooms has led to many teachers feeling drained, emotionally unsupported, beleaguered by state and federal requirements, and limited in their ability to teach naturally, as their intuition and passion would normally guide them. Uplift Teachers strives to support teachers in doing the important and life-changing work they do by introducing mindfulness techniques and exercises and helping them to sustain and build upon these techniques to create a balanced life based on mindfulness.
After exploring mindfulness techniques and philosophy personally and going through a life-altering health challenge. I have found a new way to engage in my passion for teaching. I launched Uplift Teachers in 2017 to begin addressing what I see as lacking in our education system. We cannot expect teachers and school administrators to constantly give and give of themselves without "filling their buckets" to take the phrase from Tom Rath and Donald Clifton's book How Full Is Your Bucket? By providing mindfulness workshops to teachers and administrators I provide them with tools and techniques for them to make small shifts in their lives and in their work that can have impactful, positive, uplifting and lifelong changes on their lives.
As I begin this journey and develop more programs to incorporate into Uplift Teacher's workshop offerings, I invite you to come along. Currently, there are pilot programs as I build my repertoire of workshops and work on continuing to develop my own training in MBSR through UMASS's Medical School. Feel free to reach out to me via UpliftTeachers@gmail.com if you'd like more information or would like to arrange for an informational session, to sample materials or to set up a pilot program/workshop at your school or for your district.
UMASS Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction Training
Coordinator & Supervisor of Foreign Language Certification Program at Southern CT State University (2012-2017)
25+ Years teaching experience at public and private schools, middle school through university-level courses
Ph.D. in German Spirituality from University of Pennsylvania
For more information about what Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is and how it can help you live a better life by dealing with life's joys and challenges (anxiety, stress, or emotional and physical pain) check out this 3-minute video from UMASS's Medical School.