A growing body of evidence suggests that mindfulness practices for educators can improve their classroom practices and reduce symptoms of burnout. In this project, we are studying an eight-week mindfulness pilot program that was offered to teachers in a metro-Atlanta school district during the 2021–22 school year. We are using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to estimate the causal impact of the pilot program.
The district contracted with The Namaste Project to deliver the mindfulness pilot program. Namaste’s “Mindful Educator” program teaches mindfulness techniques with the aim of decreasing stress, improving mental and physical health, and increasing teacher satisfaction and retention. Invitations to teachers to participate in the program were distributed through random assignment. Teachers in all grades and schools were included. Teacher surveys, conducted by Gallup, are used to analyze the short-run impact of the program. Outcomes of interest include teachers’ self-reported mindfulness, perceived stress, burnout, turnover intention, and negative and positive affect. Other medium-term outcomes of interest potentially include teacher attendance during the 2021–22 school year and teacher turnover between the end of the 2021–22 school year and the start of the 2022–23 school year.
- What are the effects of being invited to participate in a mindfulness program on teachers’ self-reported wellness outcomes, attendance, and turnover?
- What are the effects of actually participating in the mindfulness program on the same outcomes?