A program for teacher well-being: SMART in Education

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SMART- Passageworks

The SMART program, which stands for Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques in Education, was created in 2007 by the Impact Foundation, and is managed by PassageWorks in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Based on the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program of the Center for Mindfulness in Worcester, SMART focuses on supporting the mental, emotional and physical well-being of teachers through the cultivation of emotional competencies, self compassion and mindfulness.

SMART is an evidence-based program targeted towards K-12 teachers that addresses topics such as mindfulness, emotional understanding and regulation, compassion for self and others, concentration and attention. Over ten weeks, participants attend two-hour weekly sessions that include presentations, discussion and experiential activities involving movement, emotional awareness and meditation.

A randomized, waitlist study conducted in 2013 showed positive outcomes, with teachers who have completed the program reporting decreased stress, anxiety, depression and burnout, and increased working memory capacity, greater mindfulness and levels of self-compassion, and more focused attention.*

Roeser, R. W., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Jha, A., Cullen, M., Wallace, L., Wilensky, R., Oberle, E., Thomson, K., Taylor, C., & Harrison, J. (2013, April 29). Mindfulness Training and Reductions in Teacher Stress and Burnout: Results From Two Randomized, Waitlist-Control Field Trials. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0032093.