Austin ISD Mindfulness Newsletter

January 2020--#mindfulAISD

Featured This Month...

  • Personal Practice -- 30 Days of Yoga w/ Adrienne
  • Professional Learning -- Spring Semester Sections on HCP
  • Staff/Campus Mindfulness -- Take a Mindful S.N.A.C.K. Moment
  • Classroom Implementation -- Starting Fresh w/ the New Semester
  • Books of the Month -- Mateo Finds His Wow and The Trauma Sensitive Classroom
  • Mindful Happenings in AISD -- Donors Choose Project, After School Yoga, Staff Self-Care
  • Related Newsletters & Blog -- CP&I and SEL

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.

Photo: New Year's Eve in Austin, TX (credit:


30 Days of Yoga w/ Adrienne

Join Austin's own, Yoga with Adriene, for her latest 30 Day Yoga Journey: Home. Below is a blurb from her site about the series. Photo credit:

It’s free. 100% on the house. No catch. No trial run. This is a real opportunity to gift yourself with something special. An experience that could just change the course, transform your body, balance your brain, and heal your heart. This gift does not expire and the series will stay up all year long, again, for free.

Designed for all levels. Really. Created for the complete beginner to the advanced. Modifications are offered across the full floor plan. This 30 day series is meant to be experienced like a good book, a good story. You would not want to miss a chapter or a page. So take on the 30 Days or do it in 365 days. This is about you and your individual energy. I got your back, trust me. I am here to guide you through, the whole way home.

Reminder: Headspace and Stop Breathe Think offer FREE subscription services for educators.


Spring Semester Mindfulness

The following Mindfulness Professional Learning opportunities are going to be offered in the Spring on HCP...

*The "cohorts" above require attendance for all 3 dates listed. Those in italics have Isolating Race PD from Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiviness as a prerequisite. Those in bold are PLED eligible. The SEL Department will pay for subs when subs are necessary for attendance.


Take A Mindful S.N.A.C.K. Moment

From an article on by Carla Naumburg, Ph.D., "I love snacks. They’re tasty, nourishing, and they don’t require time and energy that I might not otherwise have. Sometimes, though, I am tempted to reach for food when what I really need is a moment of calm awareness so I can make a thoughtful plan about what to do next. What I need is a mindfulness S.N.A.C.K."


Elementary & Secondary--Starting Fresh w/ New Semester

A refresher from the start of the school year is always a good way to start the spring semester as well.

As a reminder, mindfulness in the classroom is by far most effective if you have some type of personal practice. Even just a few minutes consistently. This allows for us to self-regulate our emotions that arise during difficult situations, empathize with our students and be better prepared when students have questions about practicing mindfulness.

To help with your personal practice, Stop Breathe & Think and Headspace are offering FREE subscriptions for educators!

Before starting in the classroom, I recommend watching the 5 Tips for Mindfulness Implementation video on our Mindful AISD YouTube playlist before getting started. It's only 1 minute 45 seconds and has tips based on years of experience using mindfulness in the classroom.

On day 1, take 3-5 minutes to briefly discuss the purpose of mindfulness, how it helps the brain and take three deep breaths together as a class while stressing that there are many different ways to practice. Below you'll also find some helpful resources.

Books of the Month

Suggestions to add to your classroom or school library if you don't already have them.

Mateo Finds His Wow by Gabi Garcia (former AISD educator!)

From Amazon: We can all get stuck focusing on what’s not going right…

It’s raining on Saturday morning and Mateo is bored and cranky. He can’t find anything to do… except make a list of things he can’t do. He sits, he sulks. His brain feels stuck.

Readers can follow along as Mateo discovers that appreciating what’s right in front of him can help turn the page on a grumpy day. Nurturing wonder and gratitude in your child supports their happiness, well-being and sense of connectedness. And best of all, they can be practiced—ON PUPOSE!

Parents and educators can find free downloadable resources to accompany this book at

The Trauma Sensitive Classroom by Patricia Jennings

From Amazon: Selected as a "Favorite Book for Educators in 2018" by Greater Good.

From the author of Mindfulness for Teachers, a guide to supporting trauma-exposed students.

Fully half the students in U.S. schools have experienced trauma, violence, or chronic stress. In the face of this epidemic, it falls increasingly to teachers to provide the adult support these students need to function in school. But most educators have received little training to prepare them for this role.

In her new book, Tish Jennings―an internationally recognized leader in the field of social and emotional learning―shares research and experiential knowledge about the practices that support students' healing, build their resilience, and foster compassion in the classroom. In Part I, Jennings describes the effects of trauma on body and mind, and how to recognize them in students' behavior. In Part II, she introduces the trauma-sensitive practices she has implemented in her work with schools. And in Part III, she connects the dots between mindfulness, compassion, and resilience. Each chapter contains easy-to-use, practical activities to hone the skills needed to create a compassionate learning environment.


Click on images below to open tweets/stories.

Donors Choose Project--Fully Funded!

After School Yoga at Clayton

Staff Self-Care w/ Amala Foundation

Additional Resources

CP&I and SEL Newsletters & Blog

Check out this month's Cultural Proficiency & Inclusiveness Newsletter and Social Emotional Learning Newsletter & Blog

Compilation of Mindfulness Resources for Educators

Free App Subscriptions, Research, Articles, Videos & More.

Mindful AISD Newsletters from 2016-2019

Every Mindfulness Newsletter from the last 3 school years.

Newsletter Signup & Additional Support

James Butler, M.Ed.

Austin ISD SEL Mindfulness Specialist

2014 Austin ISD Teacher of the Year

Author of Mindful Classrooms: Daily 5-Minute Practices to Support Social-Emotional Learning