Austin ISD Mindfulness Newsletter

September 2019--#mindfulAISD

In an effort to streamline mindfulness resources, we're going to have an updated format for our newsletters. Equity, Books of the Month, Family resources & Athletics (topics from last year) will be woven throughout.

  • Personal Practice
  • Professional Learning
  • Staff/Campus Mindfulness
  • Classroom Implementation
  • 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.

Photo: Darrell K. Royal -- Texas Memorial Stadium (I wanted to put a photo of my beloved Ohio Stadium, but I'd rather not get fired) ;)



Personal practice is key to classroom implementation. I'm highlighting Headspace this month because they recently came out with their own FREE subscription service for educators. So cool that these mindfulness apps are recognizing the power of educators practicing mindfulness! Click on the link above and fill out the brief survey and you'll be all set!

Calm and Stop Breathe & Think offer similar FREE subscription services for educators too.

Say hello to Headspace

Book of the Month

Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out by Ruth King

Review from Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage and Taming the Ox

"King's approach is revolutionary in the deepest sense because it addresses our racial problems at their root, which is consciousness, or the mind itself. Mindful of Race is rich in anecdotes and examples that will, I believe, cause a reader to smile and perhaps even say, 'Thank you.' Mindful of Race is a trustworthy guide for claiming our birthright – happiness and freedom."


Fall AISD Staff Mindfulness Retreat now in HCP! Register below...

Due to multiple requests from educators, we are going to do a Fall AND Spring AISD Staff Mindfulness Retreat this year! I'm excited to announce that award-winning hip-hop duo/overall incredible people, Riders Against the Storm (featured in photo) will be our keynote and also teach some classes during the Retreat!

Mindfulness 101/201 & 301 is in HCP! Register below...

More sections & varieties will be offered in the Spring and Summer. Remember, Isolating Race is a prerequisite for Mindfulness 101, 201 & 301. See last month's newsletter for details behind the "why."

Isolating Race Workshop links below. These fill quickly and more will be offered in the future.


Staff Mindfulness Courtesy of Amala Foundation

Is your campus interested in a regular mindfulness practice opportunity for staff members?

The SEL Department has partnered with the Amala Foundation to provide this opportunity to a select number of campuses. The service is free of charge to campuses.

Fill out the embedded form or click here to apply. Applications due October 1st.


Mindfulness research is very important and helps a ton with buy-in at all levels. Mindful Schools put together a nice collection of mindfulness research on their site. This could be shared at a PLC, staff meeting, with families, etc.


I've shared this video in countless workshops, meetings, etc. but I think it's powerful. It's short, sweet, easy to understand and has humor. This could be shared at a PLC, staff meeting, with families, etc. Full disclosure: This is NOT a video for elementary kids.
Why Mindfulness Is a Superpower: An Animation


Elementary Resource

This will vary from month to month and will include videos, activities, ideas, etc.
"Just Breathe" by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman (Wavecrest Films)

Secondary Resource

This will vary from month to month and will include videos, activities, ideas, etc.
Mindfulness: Youth Voices

Books of the Month

Suggestions to add to your classroom or school library if you don't already have them.
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It , Shape It by JoAnn Deak, Ph.D

From Amazon: Did you know you can stretch and grow your own brain? Or that making mistakes is one of the best ways your brain learns? Awarded as one of the best growth mindset books for kids, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It teaches all the ways that the brain can develop with exercise, just like the rest of our bodies. Educator and psychologist Dr. JoAnn Deak offers a fun and engaging introduction to the anatomy and functions of the brain that will empower each young reader to S-T-R-E-T-C-H and grow their fantastic, elastic brain!

The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 Minutes a Day to Less Stress, More Peace by Dr. Patrizia Collard

From Amazon: Mindfulness is the easy way to gently let go of stress and be in the moment. It has fast become the slow way to manage the modern world - without chanting mantras or finding hours of special time to meditate. Bring these simple 5- and 10-minute practices into your day to find freedom from stress and ultimately, more peace in your life.


Click on images below to open tweets.

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.

Sign Up for Mindfulness Support

Interested in the monthly mindfulness newsletters? Want to highlight your mindfulness work in AISD? Would like additional mindfulness support in AISD? Fill out the form below.

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