Background: Teachers are under enormous stress and attrition rates of this group are among the highest in the the United States The present study aimed to investigate whether Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) can be used as an intervention to provide teachers the tools needed to decrease stress and feel more satisfied and effective in their roles as teachers.
Methods: The present study evaluated an MBSR intervention with teachers through a randomized pretest-posttest control group design. The teachers assigned to the treatment group received an 8-week mindfulness-based course. The data were collected in the 2019-2020 academic year. Seven teachers of nine- and 10-year-olds (n=124 students) across three schools were randomly categorized as either the MBSR or control group. Teacher scales of mindfulness, mental health, perceived stress, and studentteacher relationships as well as student scales of mindfulness and student-teacher relationships were completed.
Results: Intervention teachers reported an increased use of mindfulness techniques and reduced stress (24.33±4.04 at pretest vs. 13.67±3.06 at posttest, P=0.001) and anxiety (99.00±13.08 at pretest vs. 59.33±12.34 at posttest, P=0.001). No treatment-related effects were found on student-teacher relationships (89.62±16.90 for the control vs. 78.23±15.04 for the intervention, P=0.49) or student report of mindfulness practice (59.00±7.16 for the control vs. 56.00±7.81 for the intervention, P=0.82).
Conclusion: The results herein confirmed the usefulness of implementing MBSR intervention for teacher well-being, but did not provide evidence that an increase in teacher mindfulness will improve student-teacher relationships.