Mindful Classrooms
5 Minute Daily Practices to Empower Teachers & Students

James Butler, M.Ed.
Founder and Author of Mindful Classrooms
2014 Austin ISD Teacher of the Year
I have been teaching since 2002, mostly in Austin, TX in Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten classrooms. I have my BS in Education and Early Childhood from Manchester University (IN) and MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University (AZ). In 2014, I was honored to be named Austin ISD Teacher of the Year.  
 
In 2009, I volunteered as a HS English and Math Teacher in Namibia (southern Africa). In Namibia, I began occasional usage of Mindfulness in my classroom as a means to cope with the overwhelming need of my students. When I returned to Austin to teach in AISD again, I started implementing Mindfulness as part of our daily schedule. The routine and consistency of breathing daily was incredibly helpful for my Kindergarten students at a Title I school. It also helped me as a person and as a teacher as I was faced with personal struggles of my own. I then brought the daily practice to a Pre-K classroom in a non-Title 1 school. The impact on the students was just as great.
 
In 2015-2016, Mindful Classrooms was piloted in one of the largest urban school districts in the state of TX, and in a few other districts as well. It was used in 50 classrooms (Pre-K to 5th grade) across Austin and in Pflugerville, TX and Wilmington, DE. The 900+ students practicing daily mindfulness have been responding well, even utilizing some of the skills at home during stressful situations. The teachers participating in the pilot have even noticed a difference in their own self-awareness. I truly believe incorporating mindfulness into the daily schedule of a classroom has the power to change students' lives and enable them to learn to their fullest potential.

As a result of my work, I am now the SEL (Social & Emotional Learning) Mindfulness Specialist for the Austin Independent School District working with teachers, staff, administration, parents and PreK-12th grade students. During the 2016-2017 school year, I helped mindfulness get established in one way or another in all 130 AISD campuses.


                James Butler's Résumé ​                                    CV under construction

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"My son has a lot to say and a lot of energy so it's sometimes really hard for him to get out what he wants to say. We he gets over excited we stop, close our eyes, and take 10 deep breaths. This relaxes him and allows him to focus on what he's trying to say. We do this at least 3 times a day not only for him but secretly for me also!!"

Testimonial from Ashley Humphries, Mom