Happy Teachers Change the World is the first official, authoritative manual of the Thich Nhat Hanh/Plum Village approach to mindfulness in education. Spanning the whole range of schools and grade levels, from preschool through higher education, these techniques are grounded in the everyday world of schools, colleges, and universities.
Beginning firmly with teachers and all those working with students, including administrators, counselors, and other personnel, the Plum Village approach stresses that educators must first establish their own mindfulness practice since everything they do in the classroom will be based on that foundation. The book includes easy-to-follow, step-by-step techniques perfected by educators to teach themselves and to apply to their work with students and colleagues, along with inspirational stories of the ways in which teachers have made mindfulness practice alive and relevant for themselves and their students across the school and out into the community.
The instructions in Happy Teachers Change the World are offered as basic practices taught by Thich Nhat Hanh, followed by guidance from educators using these practices in their classrooms, with ample in-class interpretations, activities, tips, and instructions. Woven throughout are stories from members of the Plum Village community around the world who are applying these teachings in their own lives and educational contexts.
About the Author
Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most revered Zen teachers in the world today. His best-selling books include Be Free Where You Are and Peace of Mind. He lives in Plum Village in southwest France. Nhat Hanh has been teaching the art of mindful living for more than 70 years.
Katherine Weare, PhD, is Professor of Education at the University of Southampton and the University of Exeter. She is internationally known for her writing, speaking, research, and development work on mindfulness and compassion for children and young people and those who care for them. Since 2000 she has advised the English government's Department for Children, Schools, and Families on policy in the area of social and emotional learning. She is an honorary member of the Society of Public Health Medicine, and a board member of the international network INTERCAMHS (International alliance for child and mental health in schools). She also serves on the editorial boards of several mental health journals.
“A wonderful resource for those searching for ideas to bring mindfulness to their own lives as well as to their students. The voices and expertise of classroom teachers resound throughout this rich volume.”—Mark T. Greenberg, PhD, Pennsylvania State University
“At last: a book about mindfulness meditation for teachers—and thus for students—that preserves the depth and the wisdom of its Buddhist roots. And a practical one at that, full of elegant suggestions that today's stressed youngsters ought to jump at. It will do much good.”—Guy Claxton, PhD, What’s the Point of School? and Building Learning Power
“The contributions of Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare to the field of contemplative pedagogy are many. With this important book they bring not only their own depth of experience to the task, but also that of hundreds of teachers to aid teachers and students everywhere in attaining genuine happiness through the practice of a mindful and compassionate education.”—Arthur Zajonic, PhD, The Heart of Higher Education
“This book is both a joy to read and a very practical resource for teachers who want to pass on the practice of mindfulness to their students. Grounded in research evidence and in the experience of teachers who have travelled this path before, it shows the transformative power of mindfulness to bring education to its senses. A must for any teacher in any setting who has ever wondered if what they are doing could be done with more fun and less effort.”—Sarah Stewart-Brown, PhD, Warwick Medical School, UK
“This book should not only be a required reading for teachers and educational personnel, but also for those who are concerned about the future of our children. The contemplative practices and experiential exercises … are indeed capable of fostering more resilient, happier and compassionate teachers and pupils, and thus have the potential to change the world.”—Rony Berger, PsyD, The Center of Compassionate Mindful Education, Tel Aviv University; Ben Gurion University; The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University
“What an important book! Thich Nhat Hanh is a global leader dedicated to bringing mindfulness, happiness, well-being, and peace to educators, students, and society. He has keenly felt the responsibility of helping young people …and has dedicated his whole life to the mission of communicating timeless, universal values in an accessible way. Katherine Weare is an educator with decades of experience in bringing well-being and mindfulness into schools and universities. …To have these two co-authoring this book is a wonderful and precious gift to us all.”—Vidyamala Burch, Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Women
“For educators everywhere who yearn for wisdom and partnership in their courageous efforts to form young hearts and minds in an increasingly fragmented world, this book is a trustworthy and wise companion… It is essential reading for all those interested in mindfulness in education today.”—Robert W. Roeser, PhD, co-editor of Handbook of Mindfulness in Education
“In this outstanding book, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, with his profound teachings and deep practices, and Professor Katherine Weare, with her considerable experience of emotional education, child development, and mindfulness in education, collaborate to provide a step-by-step detailed sequence of mindful practices for everyday activities such as breathing, walking, eating… Beautifully written, highly accessible, knowledgeable and deeply practical, this book will be an invaluable to teachers and students alike.”—Paul Gilbert, PhD, OBE, Centre for Compassion Research and Training, University of Derby, The Compassionate Mind
“‘Mindfulness is a path not a tool.’ Thich Nhat Hanh, Katherine Weare, and the Plum Village teachers illuminate this path with precision and clarity. Enlivened with the diverse and precious experiences shared by those who walk the path in their classrooms and lecture halls across the globe, this book is an extraordinary offering to all educators and their students.”—Christine Burke, PhD, Australian Catholic University
“Happy Teachers Change the World is an enormously valuable compendium of mindfulness practices for those working in education.”—Richard Burnett, Mindfulness in Schools Project, UK
“Bursting with wisdom and compassion in an era when our teachers and students need it more than ever, this book is a gift to the future of our communities and larger society. [It]reminds us that the best way to cultivate happy, mindful children is to cultivate happiness and mindfulness in the adults around them…Nhat Hanh and Weare teach us exactly that, drawing deeply on both science and spirit to nourish the seeds of mindfulness in ourselves and future generations, truly changing the world.”—Christopher Willard, PhD, Growing up Mindful and Child’s Mind
“When I first read this book a single word came up over and over, ‘beautiful.’ The book’s intention; the potential to change the culture of schools, to affect the trajectory of young people’s lives; the confluence of ancient wisdom and contemporary education practice; the clarity of the writing—beautiful. I hope this proves to be a seminal text for educators around the world with an interest in how best to support the learning and well-being of young people and those who teach them.”—Willem Kuyken, PhD, Oxford Mindfulness Centre, University of Oxford[It]
“This wonderful book gives us wise insights and tools to integrate mindfulness into education, in order to enhance the full human-beingness of teachers, students, and parents. [It] allows us to teach best what we most need to know—the art of living.”—Nimrod Sheinman, ND, Israel’s Center for Mindfulness in Education, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, and Mindful Schools, Israel