Mindfulness Newsletter

April 2019--#mindfulAISD

Mindfulness Resources Featured in This Newsletter...

  • Mindfulness for Staff -- AISD Staff Mindfulness Retreat

  • Professional Learning -- Mission Be Mindful Educator Training

  • Classroom/School Implementation -- More Mindfulness Tips for Testing

  • For Families -- Awareness Games

  • Equity -- Community Yoga Training

  • Books of the Month -- 3 New Books

  • Technology -- Away For the Day

  • Athletics -- Mindfulness & March Madness

  • SEL Newsletter & Blog -- SEL Supports Academics

  • Mindful Happenings in AISD -- Highlights


For more regular mindfulness updates, please follow me on Twitter, @mrbutler629. I post regularly, providing tips and highlighting mindfulness happening across the district. Also, feel free to use #mindfulAISD when posting about mindfulness & email me suggestions for what to include in future newsletters.

Mindfulness in Austin ISD is a secular practice. Any mention of the words yoga or meditation in resources are not an endorsement of any type of religious practice. We believe in honoring all of our students' and families' cultures and beliefs, and providing scientifically proven resources to help with Academic, Social & Emotional Learning.

Background Photo: Texas Capitol Building

Mindfulness For Staff -- AISD Staff Mindfulness Retreat

Mindfulness in schools starts with the adults. Here's some goodness for y'all. :)

  • The 2nd annual AISD Staff Mindfulness Retreat is fast approaching! Below are details and the link to register. Space is limited, so sign up soon if you're able to attend.

    • Saturday, April 13th, 9am-1pm @ Zavala Elementary
    • There will be a keynote (Ebony & Xavier from Yoga N Da Hood) & 3 different 45-minute mindfulness sessions you get to choose courtesy of Amala Foundation that focus on us as adults
    • The sessions will involve: self-care, health & wellness, and/or stress relief
    • Yoga mats will be available to use or you can bring your own
    • Unfortunately, due to liability we aren't able to offer childcare
    • Register on HCP (Section #91097)
    • Exchange Day Credit Available

    Additionally, here's a compilation of mindfulness related self-care resources.

    Mindfulness Professional Learning -- Mission Be Mindful Educator Training

    Mission Be is offering a Mindful Educator Training April 5th-7th at Del Valle Elementary. Here are some details...

    "Join us for a weekend of learning and relaxation. The Mission Be team gives you easy to use mindfulness techniques for yourself and your classroom. This interactive weekend will also provide K-5 educators with a solid easy to use 12 Week mindfulness-based education course to bring back to your classroom, plus daily practices to teach throughout the year! The weekend will explore self-care and relaxation practice to help you feel calm and rejuvenated. Come join us and learn how to use mindfulness practices to create more compassionate and thriving classroom and gain the skills to help yourself too!"

    Additionally, we have two more HCP Professional Learning opportunities. See below...

    Thursday, April 25th Mindfulness 301 8:30am-3:30pm @ Blanton Museum

    Tuesday, April 30th Librarian Mindful Maker Spaces 1pm-4pm @ Blanton Museum

    Classroom/School Implementation -- Mindfulness Tips for Testing

    Below is a compilation of mindfulness resources that you can practice with your students that will help students with testing...

    Mindfulness for Families -- Awareness Games

    Awareness is a huge part of mindfulness. Here are some "awareness games" that you can share with your students' families.

    As a reminder, you can always find family resources on bit.ly/mindfulfams.

    Mindfulness & Equity -- Community Yoga Training

    I just finished my yoga certification training through Amala Foundation's Community Yoga Teacher Training. I learned a ton and have already started implementing what I've learned in AISD trainings. I look forward to sharing more with AISD, including leading yoga classes at schools. One of my goals as the SEL Mindfulness Specialist is to show that mindfulness is accessible to all regardless of race, body type, gender, etc. and this class was designed through that lens. It also had a trauma-informed/healing-centered focus.

    Regarding the upcoming training, I currently don't have any funding available to help pay for AISD staff, but Amala offers partial scholarships and payment plans. I'll also continue to look for funds to help.

    Amala also has a really cool Authentic Facilitation Retreat this July if you'd like to check that out to pick up some amazing tools to use with students.

    Mindfulness Books of the Month

    Mindful Technology -- Away For the Day

    From Away For The Day website: "Research shows that elementary and middle schoolers do better with phones away during school hours. This movement is giving you—parents, teachers, school leaders, and concerned individuals—tools so that you can go to your school and help institute policies where phones are put away."

    Mindfulness & Athletics -- Mindfulness & March Madness

    Marquette Men's Basketball star, Markus Howard, uses sports psychology and meditation to help him keep things in perspective.

    Shout to Lanier Athletic Director, Jacob Anderson, for sharing this resource.

    SEL Newsletter & Blog -- SEL Supports Academics

    Mindful Happenings in Austin ISD

    Here are a few mindfulness highlights from across the district. Email me or tag your tweets with #mindfulAISD so I can highlight your work in future newsletters.

    Student Athletes at SXSWedu

    "Student athletes & parents from @AustinISD and @RoundRockISD lead audience members in mindfulness exercises during the #SXSWEdu panel Mindfulness & the Student Athlete. Yoga stretching and meditation to help keep you centered! #AISDProud @RisingstarsATX"

    -Tweet from Austin ISD

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    Ann Richards Stars Featured in We Are Teachers

    Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders were featured in a We Are Teachers article about schools teaching self-regulation to students. Go Stars!!!!
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    Students Speaking Up at SXSWedu

    "Awesome to hear from @mrbutler629 and #AISDProud students on safety and comfort in schools. #sxswedu"

    -Tweet from Sarah Dille

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    Student Mindfulness Leaders

    "Students become teachers, leading with their own personal experience and expertise. #studentled #Mindfulness #AISDProud @ClaytonCardinal @mrbutler629 @aisdparents @AustinISDSEL"

    -Tweet from Kristina Yoder

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    Morning Mindfulness

    "Interactive Morning Message with academic skills integrated + mindful stretching + inviting Peace Area + positive relationships = a fun, safe and inclusive place to learn! #wholechildeducation #SELworks #mindfulAISD @BrentwoodAISD"

    -Tweet from Angela Bailey

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    Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide

    Thanks to everyone who requested a PDF of Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide. It's humbling and a huge honor to know that a book I wrote is being utilized in AISD and beyond. I'm happy to share that I was able to donate 844 copies of the book to AISD staff! The book will be published by Free Spirit Publishing in April. Thanks for all your support, y'all!

    #mindfulAISD archives

    Mindfulness Newsletter Archives (Access all Mindful AISD Newsletters from 2016-2019)

    Sign Up for Mindfulness Support

    If you haven't filled out the #mindfulAISD Google Form (below) and want to highlight your work and/or receive mindfulness support, please check it out. It only takes a moment to complete. Know someone in AISD interested in mindfulness? Send them this newsletter for them to fill out the Google Form.


    James Butler, M.Ed.

    SEL Mindfulness Specialist

    2014 Austin ISD Teacher of the Year