Resilient Mindful Learner Project: Stress Management for Teachers and Students

​​​​We teach students reading and math, but we leave stress management skills entirely to chance.

Madison School Deep BreathingWhy Focus on Resilience and Stress ​​​Management?

Unmitigated stress impacts both students and teachers. For students, stress is the enemy of learning and impacts their ability to focus, remember, pay attention, self-regulate their emotions, and manage their behavior, thus jeopardizing their academic, social and emotional development. Children who have experienced early, chronic trauma such as family or community violence can develop emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and relationship difficulties that can make it very difficult for them to learn and function well in school (Cole et al. 2005). For teachers, meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of students can take a toll making burnout and emotional fatigue a present reality. Both teachers and students can benefit by supports and skills that can help them cope healthfully with their stress, build their resiliency and flourish in the academic setting and in their personal lives.

What Is the Resilient Mindful Learner Project?

The goals of the project are to:

  • Develop the capacity of classroom teachers to gain knowledge about adult and youth resiliency, stress, its impacts on mind, body and performance, and ways to promote resilience.
  • Support teachers to develop their own resilience and learn practices to healthfully manage their stress.
  • Train and coach teachers to integrate student stress management, impulse control and self-regulation practices within their daily classroom management practice.

Orange County Teachers: Receive no-cost training and a stipend to participate in the Resilient Mindful Learner Cohort Project. Request information

Resilient Mindful Learner flyer
Want to see students doing the practices? See videos below.

California K-12 Health Education Content Standards for stress management

​Second Annual

Resilient Mindfu​l Learner
Summer Institute

August 1-3, 2018
Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton CA

Click here for flyer and registration information.          


Mindfulness Me​​etup

The meetup is a network for Orange County educators who are integrating mindful awareness and stress management practices into their classroom routines. Like-minded professionals come together to learn about and share  efforts to teach mindful attention and stress reduction to youth.

If you want to join the conversation, send an email to the meetup facilitator.


Resilient Mindful Learning Project Cohort

The Orange County Health Care Agency has funded the Resilient Mindful Learner Project for Orange County, CA classroom teachers from 2016-2019.  The project is offered each semester.

 The project components include:

  • 7 weekly after-school trainings with practicum
  • Classroom visit to support teaching practice
  • A one-day Mindfulness Retreat
  • Collegial cohort model
  • Stipend

Requirement: For classroom-based teachers with a consistent roster of students from public, private, or charter K-12. A minimum of two teachers per school for collegial support must apply together. 

Want to learn more? Contact Dr. Lucy Vezzuto. For RML customized training information, such as project schedule, applicaiton process, and requirements, click for the FLYER.

What Orange County teachers are saying about using the Resilient Mindful Learner training...

  • "I notice...with the kids, when things are getting noisy, they say 'oh! should we go into a breathing exercise?' It's showing up, throughout our work and in our day, and instead of yelling at them, we just stop and breathe and fall back into a rhythm. And it only take a few minutes."
  • "Every class before every reading lesson I just do the chime until they all have their hands up. And it helps amazingly. And I’ve noticed that their attention span has improved a lot since."
  • "The students say ...when they can’t sleep they will do it (breathing exercise), or in the middle of the night they will wake up and they will do it and fall back a sleep."
  • "I have one student who was recently been diagnosed with diabetes and she says that she uses the practices when she goes to the doctor’s office to help calm her down."
  • "The fact that she (trainer) had us practice first before we actually introduced the practice to our students was terrific , because we could walk the talk."

Want to bring this training to your school site?

For more information contact Dr. Lucy Vezzuto

About the Resilient Mindful​​​ Learner Project
Check Out the Research, Presentations, Videos, and Podcast

NPR: Mindfulness trainers reaching out to school principals


Mindfulness Practice in K-12 Schools: Emerging Research on Stress, Well-Being and Achievement

Greater Good Science Center: Mindfulness in Education Research Highlights

Self and Collective Care of Youth-Serving Adults
This archived webinar video by REL and WestEd presents a rationale for providing stress-management supports to adults who serve youth. One of the programs highlighted is the OCDE Resilient Mindful Learner project that provides stress management and mindfulness training for teachers and training to integrate into the classroom routine stress-reduction practices for students.

Article on Preliminary Teacher Outcome Data in American Educational Research Assoc. Advances in Social Emotional Research, Fall 2013

Orange County Teachers Learn New Tools to Help Students Deal with Stress and Anxiety

Blog post on Each Mind Matters website, July 30, 2013

Resilient Mindful Teachers and Students: Managing Stress to Remove Barriers to Learning Presentation at Southern Region Student Wellness Conference, July 2015

Resilient Mindful Learners at James Madison and Palm Lane Elementary in Anaheim City School District (pp 2-3)

Resilient Mindful Learner Evaluation Summary 2014

Classroom Videos

 Ms. Young's 5/6th Grade Lesson

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 Mrs. Aro's 4th Grade Lesson

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The Pilot Pr​​oject

From March 2013 through March 2014, fourteen teachers from 7 Title I schools in Orange County participated in a year-long professional development program to integrate resilience and stress management strategies into their daily classroom management practices. Participating schools included James Madison Elementary and Palm Lane Elementary in Anaheim City SD, Danbrook Elementary in Centralia Elementary SD, Rea Elementary in Newport-Mesa USD, Los Positas Elementary in La Habra City SD, Lambert Elementary in Tustin USD, and Christ Cathedral Academy. The teacher cohort met monthly at the Orange County Dept. of Education. An evaluation was completed on both teacher and student outcomes. Key teacher outcomes include:

  • Frequency of feelings of competence and successful achievement in their work went up from pre-survey to post-survey and the increase was statistically significant from pre-survey to mid-year-survey.
  • Frequency and intensity of discipline and motivation went down significantly indicating that classroom discipline and behavior problems improved and students were also more motivated to learn.