The Mindful Teacher's Handbook

How to step out of busyness and find peace

By: Kamalagita Hughes


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Size222 x 182mm
PublishedMarch 2023

Written by Kamalagita Hughes, The Mindful Teacher’s Handbook: How to step out of busyness and find peace is a practical guide to mindfulness that will empower teachers and school staff to take better care of their well-being and find calm in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of the school setting.

When we’re on an aeroplane, the on-board safety instructions tell us that in the event of an emergency we should put on our own oxygen mask first – and only then help those around us. The same is true for well-being: we need to look after ourselves in order to be a resource for others. This is especially the case in busy, high-pressure environments such as our classrooms and schools, where burnout is a real concern for teachers and leaders, who all too often relegate their own self-care to the bottom of the to-do list.

The Mindful Teacher’s Handbook is a practical and engaging resource to help everyone in schools bring mindfulness into their lives in a meaningful way. Mindfulness practice offers simple, straightforward strategies for finding peace and regaining perspective, and has a solid body of evidence that attests to its efficacy. In this book, Kamalagita Hughes provides a lively and engaging blend of top tips, research evidence, case studies, guided meditations and suggested exercises for all – both for those new to mindfulness and for those who want to refresh their practice. 

Providing a thorough, grounded understanding of mindfulness and its benefits for the school community, the book explores the links between well-being and education and sets out how improved staff and student well-being can cultivate a better teaching and learning environment for all. Kamalagita offers practical strategies that school staff can put into practice straight away – both for their own well-being and that of their pupils – including insightful case studies on how best to bring mindfulness to your school.

Suitable for teachers, teaching assistants and school leaders.

Picture for author Kamalagita Hughes

Kamalagita Hughes

Kamalagita Hughes has been practicing mindfulness for 25 years and teaching it for 15. She is a qualified teacher and lecturer with substantial experience in the classroom and in teacher training, further education and higher education. Kamalagita is also the education lead for Mindfulness in Action and a lead trainer for the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP).


  1. The Mindful Teacher's Handbook is an essential addition to any school's professional learning library. It provides practical activities, underpinned by research and evidence of impact, which support busy teachers to manage their wellbeing and build their resilience – not only in times of stress but in their everyday practice. As a practitioner herself, Kamalagita understands the pressures that education practitioners face and this understanding, along with her empathy, makes this a very accessible and helpful book.
  2. The Mindful Teacher’s Handbook is a book for every teacher and leader in an ever-changing world. The book is well timed, as we begin our new curriculum journey in Wales, with a real focus on how we all need to focus on our own health and well-being: we can only care for our students with empathy and love if we ‘mind our own minds’. There is nothing ‘woolly’ about this book; it is written with authenticity and is rooted in classroom experience. The section on using mindfulness as a tool for responding to some of the behaviours we are all seeing in the post-COVID-19 classroom is both refreshing and useful.

    Overall, there is a toughness about this writing: an insistence on the absolute need to build in mindfulness that I found compelling and very real. I see a need for this handbook in my school and in every school.

  3. What an uplifting read. The Mindful Teacher’s Handbook is exactly what every teacher needs to have within arm’s reach at all times. It’s easily accessible, taking you through a series of mindfulness exercises which gradually become habit-forming. Since reading the book, I’ve found myself constantly (sometimes unconsciously) going through some of the exercises and enjoying the positive impact mindfulness can have.

    For teachers, it is invaluable. There are exercises to suit every scenario, whether it’s handling a challenging class, preparing for an inspection or a lesson observation. It also provides the reader with practical exercises to do at home and on the way to and from work.

    All the exercises are easy to follow and are practical for the situation they refer to. Having read through the book once (which I’d recommend doing initially), it is an ideal book to dip into whenever you need to take that step back, explore how you are feeling and take ownership of the way you handle negative emotions and energy, or make the most of the positive energy within you.

    If you are a school or department leader, this book can transform your team. It will ensure ‘workplace enjoyment’, ‘clarity of mind’ and ‘positive relationships’ become three terms people will use to describe those you work with.

  4. Absolutely delighted to review this informative, evidence-based and helpful handbook from Kalamagita Hughes. Harnessing the principles of a whole school approach to emotional well-being using person-centred approaches[CG1] , this book is much needed at a time when COVID-19 has exacerbated concerns about children and young people’s mental health and the role of community action. The strategies to promote well-being in our communities will be fundamental to tackling this issue and Kalamagita portrays this beautifully in structured and easy-to-read instructions. The reader will be able to understand the biological reasons, practise and evaluate the outcomes of their interventions and ensure the whole school community benefits from emotional regulation in the promotion of relationships and well-being. A much-needed resource!

  5. The Mindful Teacher's Handbook removes the mystery from mindfulness but leaves the impact on your well-being and the enjoyment to be had from trying this out. This book takes mindfulness directly into your classroom – ideal for busy teachers personally and professionally. Filled with practical examples and clear explanations, you'll find useful information and ideas whether you're new to mindfulness or already have some experience.

    If you've ever wondered if mindfulness might have something to offer your own well-being or that of your pupils, this comprehensive but accessible book will guide you to a decision. As a busy teacher you'll appreciate the clear and succinct descriptions of mindfulness, how it can help and why it works, set directly in the context of school/college settings and relevant situations. It's written for teachers by a teacher whose classroom experience shows through on every page.

    There are lots of accessible mindful activities for you to try yourself – the book emphasises the primacy of being mindful yourself and paying attention to your own well-being – but there are examples of mindfulness activities to try with learners of all ages too. And if you want to take it further, there is a comprehensive list of resources and relevant training.

  6. I really like this book. What I like about it is that it’s realistic and useful. Kamalagita has written accessibly for the busy teacher-reader and it is full of exercises and systems that support a more mindful approach to the day-to-day stresses of school life. It’ll help teachers rediscover the joy in what they do.

  7. Kamalagita’s vast experience as a mindfulness trainer, teacher of young people and collaborator with schools on their mindfulness journey means that she is in a unique position to write this accessible guide to a more spacious life.

    The combination of research-based evidence and personal testimonies from teachers and school leaders, along with the raft of practical exercises that can be implemented immediately, make this a powerful educator’s handbook for our troubled times.

    If you allow Kamalagita’s empathetic voice to speak to you as you enter classrooms and walk along corridors, as I have done, I am confident that you will quickly feel that working life and home life are both more manageable and enjoyable.

    Over-committing, being overwhelmed and negative self-talk are familiar patterns in our high-pressure environment. Kamalagita’s easily learnt techniques are a lifeline that remind us we are not alone in experiencing or dealing with stress. They provide quick fixes, as well as the opportunity for more sustained change to work–life balance.

    Whether you are new to teaching, a hardened professional with many years of experience, a classroom assistant or a senior leader, this book has something for you. Kamalagita gives us permission to recognise that we are all human and that we share many more of our common day-to-day experiences than we might like to think.

    I hope that Kamalgita’s case studies and work with strategic leads inspire teachers and leaders to take up the challenge of making their schools more mindful for students and staff. The evidence presented is clear – there will be a positive impact for individuals, institutions, families and society.

  8. There is widespread concern about the mental well-being of children and young people. Teachers are such an important influence on their lives. With so many teachers experiencing stress themselves, it is all the more important to have practical ideas to help. This is an excellent introduction to mindfulness, offering many practical exercises to help teachers manage the ‘internal weather’ that daily events frequently stir up. When people feel less stressed, less at risk of burnout and more focused on the purpose that brought them into teaching in the first place, it is also a valuable help for all the children they teach and influence. The testimonies of the people who have benefitted are woven through this straightforward and practical guide.

  9. This is an easy-to-follow, practical and useful handbook for busy teachers, written by someone who clearly understands both mindfulness and the pressures of the classroom and staffroom. It provides a clear and approachable introduction to mindfulness theory and practice which is enough to help a ‘beginner’ get going and enticing enough to lead on those who take to it (and not all teachers will, of course) into further practice and study. What is particularly novel and helpful is the application of mindfulness practice to the everyday and potentially difficult experiences all teachers will know well, such as transitions, the dreaded inspections and meeting with challenging parents and colleagues.

  10. Thank you for such a great book for educational professionals. It is certainly a must-read.

    The book provides a clear insight into mindfulness, starting with its background and how mindfulness can be applied within the educational setting. The practical tips are easily applied to activities within the classroom, especially to self-regulate – for both staff and students! With health and well-being becoming a focus within the new curriculum, this book is a must for all teachers.

  11. As the well-being imperative in schools and colleges grows ever more urgent, The Mindful Teacher's Handbook has to be a go-to resource for anyone in education who wants to thrive in their role and take meaningful well-being practice in schools to a new and necessary level. Kamalagita acts as our guide as she thoughtfully explores and connects the science, practice and benefits of mindfulness, sharing clear strategies and exercises that are both teacher-friendly and supported by engaging discussions.

    Kamalagita knows first-hand the influence those in education can have on young minds and argues that if we want to equip our children so that they develop essential life skills for mental health, they need to be in learning environments with adults who prioritise their own well-being.

    From checking in on your ‘internal weather’ to managing the stress of inspections, Kamalagita tackles the challenges faced by teachers in a clear and practical way so that anyone, whether they are new to mindfulness or experienced, will find something to nurture and boost their personal and professional life.

    If you are a teacher and you're wading through a long list of must-read educational books, documents and initiatives to be the best teacher you can for yourself and your students, put this book on the top of your pile and start here.

  12. This is an opportunity for educators to learn more about mindfulness, whether they practise regularly or are new to the field. This book's welcoming atmosphere offers a wealth of information and explains mindfulness in a clear, simple and factual way. The author's education background ensures that this resource is not only relevant but useful, with specific examples for the busy periods of the academic year. Many case studies are included from all areas of education which ensures that users are able to make the most of an activity or idea from the outset. A useful resource to use in the world of education for years to come – thank you, Kamalagita.

  13. A marvellous handbook to support teachers with mindfulness. Kamalagita has created a wealth of knowledge and research-based activities that are also aided by some great resources to track progress.

    As an educationalist, if you were in two minds about whether mindfulness is for you, fear not. This book is crammed with some fabulous exercises that will help you find peace, balance and a new sense of energy and focus. It’s an easy-to-read, well-planned book which guides you effortlessly through the why, what and how of mindfulness implementation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and practising many of the techniques. Thank you, Kamalagita, for a lovely magical mindfulness handbook for teachers.

  14. This is a superb toolkit for all staff whether you are new to the profession, an experienced teacher or member of the school leadership team. What I love about the book is that regardless of your perceptions or thoughts about mindfulness, there is such a strong focus on well-being and responding (not reacting!) to the busy school lives that we all lead. The layout is very easy to navigate, and each chapter has excellent activities that are so simple to implement without a huge amount of preparation. Highly recommend this as a book of choice for anyone working in a school environment. I will definitely be dipping in and sharing with colleagues – wonderful to have all this rich material at our fingertips!

  15. We all know how stressful it can be working in the education sector. This is a practical book full of great ideas and written by an author who understands the pressures faced by educationalists. Thoroughly recommend.

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