Date of Award

5-2020

Culminating Project Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.

Department

Educational Administration and Higher Education

College

School of Education

First Advisor

John Eller

Second Advisor

Plamen Miltenoff

Third Advisor

David Lund

Fourth Advisor

Nate Rudolph

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

mindfulness, teacher, stress, resilience, job satisfaction, motivation

Abstract

Mindfulness is not a new concept or practice, and many organizations are beginning to train their staff in such practices for various purposes such as well-being and productivity. The focus of this research study is to identify mindfulness training programs specific to teachers, the mindfulness techniques teachers are trained on, attributes that can affect motivation and well-being, and the impact mindfulness and practicing mindfulness techniques can have on teachers’ reported levels of mindfulness, stress, resilience, job satisfaction, motivation, and their work environment. While there is an abundance of research on mindfulness, teacher well-being, and human motivation, there is little research analyzing mindfulness programs specific to teachers, how trained mindfulness techniques can impact teacher perception, nor whether mindful teachers have different reported perceptions regarding their levels of stress, resilience, job satisfaction, or motivation.

Research findings from this study suggests that teachers who report as having higher levels of mindfulness report having lower levels of stress and higher levels of resilience, job satisfaction, and motivation. Furthermore, it was also found that teachers who reported as having lower levels of stress, an intended outcome of mindfulness, also reported having higher levels of resilience, job satisfaction, and motivation. Teachers who practiced mindfulness techniques frequently within one category (Positive Mantras, Reminders, and Restructuring; Converting Stress to Learning Experiences; Problem-Solving; Seeking Information and Support) also practiced the other mindfulness techniques more frequently. Of the teachers who practiced mindfulness techniques more frequently, it was found that they reported as having higher levels of resilience, job satisfaction, and motivation. For teacher perceptions of their work environment and implications it may have on teacher reported outcomes, it was found that teachers who reported working in a more mindful and resilient work environment also reported themselves as having higher resilience, job satisfaction, and motivation.

The study provides school districts and school leaders with positive correlations that may assist them in providing opportunities to their staff regarding mindfulness training. Moreover, the study can provide a better understanding of how mindfulness techniques and being mindful may impact teacher stress, resilience, job satisfaction, and motivation. Finally, the study may suggest teacher well-being and motivational considerations for school leaders to determine what their teachers may need.

Comments/Acknowledgements

Acknowledgement

Being an educator has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Having the opportunity to earn my Doctorate has not only been a meaningful achievement, but one that has shown me the responsibilities that lay ahead. I am forever changed. Thank you to my Cohort 9 peers, whose belief in one another has never wavered and rich perspectives have continually inspired.

Thank you to my dissertation committee members who bestowed upon me continual wisdom, motivation, and guidance throughout this journey. Dr. Nate Rudolph, Dr. David Lund, Dr. Plamen Miltenoff, and my dissertation committee chair, Dr. John Eller, thank you for your persistence on what is the beginning of my life’s work. You all have shown me what great leadership truly is through your enduring, resolute dedication. I am eternally grateful.

Finally, I would like to thank my family. The amount of confidence you have all had in me throughout this journey has meant the world to me. Thank you for believing in me, engaging in discussions surrounding my research, and understanding the amount of sacrifice this meaningful work takes. Most notably to my mom, Gigi, who taught me the power of curiosity, commitment, and optimism when striving to make a difference in the world.

Dedication

I dedicate this dissertation to all the educators throughout the world, who time and time again persevere with tenacity in and outside the classroom for a higher purpose. To those who serve all learners with high expectations, empathy, and compassion no matter what. To those who instill an enduring belief within every person with courage and authenticity. To those who endlessly provide the opportunity for all to succeed. This is for you.

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