Mindfulness Newsletter

Summer 2018--#mindfulAISD

In The Final Newsletter for the 2017-2018 School Year...

  • End of Year Mindfulness Survey
  • Summer Reading Suggestions
  • Summer SELf Toolkit
  • Self-Care Bingo for the Summertime
  • Importance of Quiet Time
  • Teacher Training w/ Amala Foundation
  • FREE Mindfulness Event at Yoga Yoga
  • Mindful Technology Resources
  • Mindfulness for Families
  • Mindfulness for Graduating Seniors
  • FREE Mindfulness Event for Teens
  • Mindful Happenings in AISD

Reminder: 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.

End of Year Mindfulness Survey

In an effort to improve upon mindfulness support for next school year, please fill out this survey about mindfulness in AISD during the 2017-2018 school year.

Once complete, your name will be entered into a raffle for a pair of movie passes from the Alamo Drafthouse. Shout to Alamo Drafthouse for donating 10 pairs of movie passes for our survey for the second consecutive year!

Deadline to complete survey: Monday, May 28th 5:00pm. I realize that's Memorial Day, but I want to make sure I can deliver the passes on Tuesday.


Summer Reading Suggestions

Summer SELf Toolkit

Summer is a great time to rejuvenate and set the intentional goals that you deserve. In this toolkit, we have provided a variety of social and emotional resources that you can embrace to meet your individual needs and interests. Take a look and see what speaks to you!

Shout to Angela Bailey, SEL Specialist, for compiling these resources & creating this toolkit.

Self-Care Bingo

Here's a Self-Care Bingo card to provide you with ideas and goals for the summer. Feel free to modify how you'd like.

Shout to Blanton Elementary Steering Committee for creating the original card. I modified it slightly for the summer.

Importance of Quiet Time

An interesting article from TED about the importance of spending some quiet time alone every day. Summer can be an opportunity to seek some quiet time.

Shout out to Jen Ross-Velasquez for tweeting this article.

Teacher Training w/ Amala Foundation

Amala Foundation is offering a Teacher Training that will focus heavily on trauma-informed, culturally responsive mindfulness. The classes will meet once a month on the weekends for 8 months starting in August. They are offering a sliding scale for AISD staff of $1500-$3000. Check it out and please contact me if you have any questions.

FREE Mindfulness Event at Yoga Yoga

Sunday, June 10 | 1:00 - 4:30pm
Yoga Yoga North - 2167 W Anderson Ln Austin, TX 78757

Join us for this free event featuring Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor of Medicine Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., author of The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care.
Participate in a critical conversation exploring the intersection of the population and lifestyle health imperatives and the emerging field of Yoga Therapy.

Mindful Technology

This newsletter's Mindful Tech features a fascinating research article titled: Having Your Smartphone Nearby Takes a Toll on Your Thinking.

Blurb from the article: “Put your phone away” has become a commonplace phrase that is just as often dismissed. Despite wanting to be in the moment, we often do everything within our power to the contrary. We take out our phones to take pictures in the middle of festive family meals, and send text messages or update our social media profiles in the middle of a date or while watching a movie. At the same time, we are often interrupted passively by notifications of emails or phone calls. Clearly, interacting with our smartphones affects our experiences. But can our smartphones affect us even when we aren’t interacting with them — when they are simply nearby?

Shout out to Sharon Laidlaw, Technology Design Coach, for sharing this resource.

Mindfulness for Families

This newsletter's mindfulness for families features a list of recommended mindfulness books, sites & apps from SXSWedu student panelists who are in 1st, 5th and 11th grade. Please share these resources with your families who are looking for summer mindfulness for their kids.

Mindfulness for Graduating Seniors

Meditation Bar is offering mindfulness for graduating seniors to foster stress resilience for life after high school. Below is a blurb from the flyer explaining the workshops.

"This short, interactive workshop helps teens explore what mindfulness means, introduces a few short practical mindfulness tools, and discusses how the use of these tools can be integrated with their life after high school. Participants will also receive how to instruction, mindfulness materials for further exploration and one free month of classes at the Meditation Bar."

Unfortunately, we don't have money to offer scholarships for the course ($125), but it could make for an awesome graduation gift or perhaps funds/donations are available on your campus.

FREE Mindfulness Event for Teens

Below is info about a free mindfulness event for teens from Present Company.

"Present Company is hosting a free event for teenagers (and their parents for this first one) Wednesday, May 30, to play some Authentic Relating games designed to create connection, embodiment, empathy, and a really good time (no cell phones involved!)

Come on out and try it. Your first time is free. Going forward, we'll be hosting this event once a month - and hosting 6-week series for small groups who want to continue more regularly - can be customized for particular areas in life your teen (or you as an educator) are dealing with (recommended!)

Recommended for ages ~13-18."

Mindfulness 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.

Inner Explorer at Barbara Jordan

Inner Explorer in action at Barbara Jordan. How amazing is this photo?!

See tweet for more.

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Inner Explorer at Odom

5th graders at Odom Elementary have been using Inner Explorer for the past month.

See tweet for more.

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Mindfulness & Testing

Ms. Beasley, Casey 4th grade teacher, created "worry stones" for her students to help with test anxiety.

See tweet for more.

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Mindful CAC

I had the honor of leading some mindfulness at the Department of Communications & Community Engagement earlier this month. There will be more this summer at CAC and look forward to even more next school year.

See tweet for more.

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Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I posted about my personal struggles with PTSD on Twitter. Some of you might have read it, but I wanted to share because mindfulness has been one of the main tools in helping me through some very difficult times. I'd also like to help end the stigma around talking about mental health issues. If you'd like to read my post, click here.
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Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide

Thanks to those who used Mindful Classrooms: The Educator Guide this year! It will be published by Free Spirit Publishing soon and I won't be able to give away free copies once that happens. AISD staff, sign up for a free electronic copy of the book while you can in the support form at the bottom of this newsletter.

#mindfulAISD archives

Mindfulness Newsletter Archives (One link to access all newsletters from 16-17 & 17-18)

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

SEL Mindfulness Specialist