This EdNet Forum was held on Thursday, July 21, 2022 7:30-9:00am PDT
I think it is the good teachers who will be able to change the world. That’s my belief, because a teacher can nourish, can heal, can build healthy, happy human beings.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Wake Up Schools supports educators to bring the practices of mindfulness and applied ethics into their own lives so they may be happy and free, and so they may in turn share these practices with colleagues and students in their school communities. With mindfulness teachers and students can experience more peace, learn how to take care of difficult emotions and create conditions for a happy school and a happy world.
The Three Pillars of Wake Up Schools
Our movement is underpinned by three foundational principles:
- embodiment – our greatest teaching is the presence that we offer to others; we seek first to embody a peaceful, happy presence so that we can be truly there for our students and our educational community.
- service – Wake Up Schools is a gift of gratitude, understanding, and love. We offer this gift from our hearts to be of deep service to others. It is not a business or a profit-making endeavor.
- community – establishing a community of friends on the path is what makes our work sustainable. Each of us is a member of many communities, including our family, classroom, and teaching staff – we aim to deepen our friendship and connection so that we can support each other and walk together in harmony and joy.
Why Bring Mindfulness in Schools?
Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake in the present moment. When we practice mindfulness, we become more aware of ourselves, our happiness, and our sorrow. We come to understand ourselves and others much more clearly and compassion for ourselves and others naturally arises. Sharing mindfulness with young people allows them to develop emotional stability and creates a basis for them to lead a happy, authentic, engaged, and ethical life.
Orla O’Sullivan is the International Coordinator for Wake Up Schools, and works to support educators around the world to be happy teachers.
Orla has practiced mindfulness in the Plum Village tradition for 24 years and is an ordained member of The Order of Interbeing. She is known for blending poetry and mindfulness practice, developing creative programs for children and teens, and creating sanctuaries of rest for adults. She is passionate about building happy communities, and has founded six mindfulness community groups. Orlaith is an award-winning author and lives in Ireland.