MINDFULNESS Mindfulness is an awareness of our present moment, experiences, thoughts, and emotions. This awareness is layered with an attitude of curiosity and openness. Curiosity and openness allows a responsiveness rather than a reactivity to our experiences. Through mindfulness, we are better able to respond with compassion and genuineness rather than with automatic patterns that may be negative, harsh, and even counterproductive. Mindfulness allows us a space to wisely choose our responses and behaviors. Research supports the positive impact of mindfulness in the work environment. Improvements in performance and heightened focus and creativity have been demonstrated in studies. Reductions in stress and anxiety have been shown too. Mindfulness can lead to enhanced work place creativity, improved communication, and increased emotional intelligence and resilience. “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally… in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.” Jon Kabat-Zinn. OPTIMAL PROFESSIONAL EFFECTIVENESS Professional burnout is a concern for many organizations and school communities. Burnout includes three separate components: emotional exhaustion, decreased personal accomplishments and efficacy, and depersonalization or detachment. Supporting professional in strategies to prevent feelings and behaviors associated with burnout is necessary in our work environments and school communities. ENHANCED SELF-CARE Cultivating practices of self-care is one way to protect and nurture our inner resources. Self- care is highly personalized and is most helpful when activities are aligned with personal values and likes. Self-care might occur across multiple facets and is multidimensional. We can practice self-care for our physical, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, creative, or social well-being. Creating realistic and specific self-care plans supports our inner resources. PROFESSIONAL RESILIENCE (FINDING JOY AT WORK) Thriving within a work environment implies that joy exists alongside productivity and effectiveness. Pillars of happiness at work, as described by Sharon Salzberg, (2012), include: balance, concentration, compassion, resilience, connection, integrity, meaning and open awareness. Examining and strengthening these pillars can help support the resilience of professionals who face challenging work demands. COMPASSIONATE TEACHING/TRAUMA SENSITIVE PRACTICES Educators and school communities are responding to the many needs of students who may have experienced trauma. Trauma sensitive educational practices include building supportive relationships with students, creating safe spaces for learning, and supporting prosocial behaviors and SEL of students (Jennings, 2019). Educators who embrace mindful awareness and compassion for self and others are better able to respond to all students and engage in trauma sensitive educational practices. CHILD AND ADOLESCENT WELL-BEING Mindfulness practices and curriculums have demonstrated effectiveness with students of all ages and background. The benefits of mindfulness for children and adolescents include improved attention to complex tasks, better emotional regulation, greater compassion for self and others, and a reduction in stress feelings and anxiety. SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a foundation for all academic learning and performance. The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, CASEL, categorizes SEL through the five constructs of self-awareness, self- management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making. Each of these area, while interrelated, can be strengthened though activities and practices. SEL has been directly linked to improved academic achievement of K-12 students.