Patricia (Tish) Jennings is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness in education. She has practiced and taught mindfulness meditation to children and adults for over 40 years. Her research places a specific emphasis on teacher stress and how it impacts the social and emotional context of the classroom, as articulated in her highly cited theoretical article "The Prosocial Classroom."
Jennings recently led the team that developed CARE for Teachers, a mindfulness-based professional development program shown to significantly improve teacher well-being, emotional supportiveness and sensitivity and classroom productivity in the largest randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention designed specifically to address teacher occupational stress.
Currently, she is leading the development of the Compassionate Schools Project curriculum, an integrated health education program designed to align with state and national health and physical education standards, and is co-Investigator on a large randomized controlled trial being conducted in Louisville, KY, to evaluate the curriculum’s efficacy.
She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development among Children and Youth and was awarded the Cathy Kerr Award for Courageous and Compassionate Science by the Mind & Life Institute in 2018 and was also recognized by Mindful Magazine as one of "Ten Mindfulness Researchers You Should Know."
Earlier in her career, Jennings spent more than 22 years as a teacher, school director and teacher educator. She is the author of "Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom" and a book forthcoming entitled "The Trauma-Sensitive School: Building Resilience with Compassionate Teaching."
The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom: Building Resilience With Compassionate Teaching
Fully half the students in U.S. schools have experienced trauma, violence, or chronic stress. In the face of this epidemic, it falls increasingly to teachers to provide the adult support these students need to function in school. But most educators have received little training to prepare them for this role.
In her new book, Tish Jennings―an internationally recognized leader in the field of social and emotional learning―shares research and experiential knowledge about the practices that support students' healing, build their resilience, and foster compassion in the classroom. In Part I, Jennings describes the effects of trauma on body and mind, and how to recognize them in students' behavior. In Part II, she introduces the trauma-sensitive practices she has implemented in her work with schools. And in Part III, she connects the dots between mindfulness, compassion, and resilience. Each chapter contains easy-to-use, practical activities to hone the skills needed to create a compassionate learning environment.
Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom2015
Awards and Recognition
- Mind and Life Institute, Catherine Kerr Award for Courageous and Compassionate Science, 2018