Mindfulness at Burke's

Staff and faculty refreshed practices around mindfulness and engaged in curriculum conversations.
On a recent Professional Development Day, staff and faculty explored the experiential aspect of mindfulness and focused on core skills including, but not limited to, Mindful Breathing, Mindful Listening, Mindful Emotions, Body Awareness, and Gratitude. The training was guided by Angelo Monsalve Restrepo from the Mindful Life Project. 
Mindfulness is a key component in our Strategic Plan to support resilient, healthy, and balanced students. The branch of the plan focused on wellness states: “Our students’ ability to achieve academic success and manage life’s inevitable challenges requires the ability to approach their future with confidence, resilience, and a set of tools that will help them achieve lifelong healthy habits.”
Burke’s sees mindfulness as one of the tools students can use to achieve those lifelong healthy habits. We have been prioritizing and practicing mindfulness since 2010, when we partnered with Challenge Success, a mental health-focused nonprofit affiliated with the Stanford University Graduate School of Education to teach students mindfulness practices to help manage the routine stresses of school. Over time, mindfulness training expanded to include staff and faculty as well. 
During the April 15 Professional Development Day, faculty reflected on current practices as well as ideas for improvement. Discussions detailed differences in timeliness, scope, and sequence between Lower and Upper Schools, as well as ways to make mindfulness more intentional and to carve out appropriate time in a packed school day to emphasize the importance of mental well-being.
Currently, Burke’s students are practicing mindfulness through activities that are integrated into the language arts, physical education, science, music, and art curricula:
  • Journaling
  • Reading books
  • Cross-body movements
  • Incorporated nature walks
  • Meditative art projects
  • Breathing buddies
  • Guided imagery/meditation
  • Drawings
“How we see, teach, and practice mindfulness impacts how our students view and value it,” says Lower School Director Alice Moore. “Seeing mindfulness as a tool that we can use and teach in authentic, effective, and meaningful ways will help our students manage life’s inevitable challenges.”
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.
Burke's admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.