MMSD offers opportunities throughout the year for staff and teachers to learn and practice mindfulness. Access the MMSD Professional Development Talent Portal to read descriptions and to register.  Offerings include classes for beginners new to mindfulness, for those who have some experience, and for past or current participants interested in continuing their practice with other MMSD members. Course details include information Professional Academic Credit (PAC) if the course qualifies for credit.  Find out answers to your questions about Mindfulness in MMSD course offerings on our FAQ page.

Introduction to Mindfulness (4-week course)

For teachers and staff new to mindfulness; no prior experience or knowledge of mindfulness required
This course is available to schools or departments on-site, and meets for one hour per week for four weeks. All participants are welcome to join -- those new to mindfulness and those with some prior experience. Mindfulness is defined and explored through guided practices, reflection and sharing. The intention of the course is to invite participants to experience mindfulness practices as a form of self-care.

Check our Talent Portal for openings.

Foundations in Mindfulness for Beginners (10-hour course)Summer Mindfulness Participants 2018

For teachers and staff new to mindfulness; no prior experience or knowledge of mindfulness required
This course will give participants knowledge and skills in the practice of mindfulness. Time will be devoted to learning how to care for yourself and others through the many facets of mindfulness practice and its direct implication and impact in living a more sane life. Mindfulness is based on an understanding that life is mixed, having magnificent moments, and moments of challenge and disappointment. What is important is the way in which we meet the moments of our lives, with as much as ease as possible. Participants will also learn about mindfulness supports and resources in MMSD and the broader community.

Check our Talent Portal for openings.

A Day of Mindfulness (4-6 hours)

For teachers and staff with some experience in mindfulness practices including, but not limited to, classes through MMSD Professional Development, UW Health Mindfulness Program, the Center for Healthy Minds, graduate of Breathe for Change

The Day of Mindfulness is intended to create space to remember and renew our practice and is led by experienced teachers from UW Health Mindfulness Program and trainers from the MMSD Core Mindfulness Team. Held largely in silence, time is devoted to a variety of gently guided stillness and movement practices, and opportunities for personal space. Tea and snacks are provided. The day ends with supported conversation on applications in our work: how might our personal mindfulness practice manifest itself in the environment of education?

Check our Talent Portal for openings.

Classroom Action Research (CAR): Mindfulness in Education

Open to all teachers, Student Services staff and Administrators/Leaders
As part of the over 25 year history of Classroom Action Research in MMSD, a year-long CAR course is offered annually on the topic of Mindfulness in Education. PAC or reduced tuition UW graduate credits are available. A light dinner is provided for all evening sessions; and substitute (guest teacher) coverage is provided for any daytime meetings. 

For more information about accessing past CAR studies, hearing more about past work, or inquiring about next year’s course, contact: Erica Kruger, at ekruger@madison.k12.wi.us or Sara Parrell, Project Lead for Mindfulness in MMSD and Lead Nurse, sparrell@madison.k12.wi.us.

Group Drop-In Practice

Several schools in MMSD have established weekly short practice opportunities for their staff, and some are now opening those sessions to all MMSD staff. Currently, O’Keeffe Middle School and LaFollette High school welcome all MMSD teachers and staff into their drop-in practice times.  See below for details.

Weekly Mindfulness Drop-In sessions at O’Keeffe Middle

All MMSD teachers and staff are invited to attend a new mindfulness offering in MMSD for those interested in sustaining a personal practice. A four-week series of group practice sessions at O’Keeffe Middle School will be held. Facilitators will guide practice for the group as well as provided opportunities for short reflections. Some familiarity with mindfulness and/or completion of one mindfulness offering in MMSD is recommended for participation.

Thursdays, 4:00-5:00 pm

Mats, blankets and cushions are available for your use, and chairs are available for all. Parking is available in the Marquette lot (on Jenifer Street). Enter through the Marquette Elementary doors -- signs will be posted directing you to the practice space (room 117) in the lower level of O’Keeffe. Contact Jamie Domini jldomini@madison.k12.wi.us) with questions. Please note, this offering is guided but informal, providing an opportunity to join with other practitioners.

Weekly Mindfulness Drop-in Sessions at La Follette High

Led by a group of teachers, counselors, and psychologists, La Follette High School continues to offer weekly mindfulness classes for their employees. The 30-minute sessions are held after school in the La Follette’s Zen Den. The Zen Den, created by LaFollette students and staff, is a dedicated space for mindfulness practices. Mats, cushions, and blankets are available to use during practice. To learn more about the mindfulness drop-ins at LaFollette, visit their Facebook page or contact Joman Schachter (jschachter@madison.k12.wi.us). Currently, the drop-ins occur from

Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00-4:30 pm

MMSD Teacher Community of Care

This group is a monthly opportunity open to staff interested in practicing together and sharing school-based experiences of supporting peers and students in mindful awareness and well-being practices.  Lori Gustafson, teacher/PBS lead at Lincoln & UW Health mindfulness teacher, serves as the group’s lead facilitator. Participants can offer to host a gathering at their school; the invitation is open to anyone on a drop-in or continuing basis.

MBSR Winter Class