This book introduces mindfulness as an approach for enhancing the supervision of teachers and teacher candidates. Drawing on empirical research and the welcoming of mindfulness in public school classrooms, the author makes the case for embracing mindfulness methods as a way to become more conscious of supervisory practices and “less reactive” and to enhance regularly enacted tasks, such as classroom observations, conference, and foster relationships and developing collegiality. In contrast to traditional models of supervision, the author reframes supervision as a present moment experience in which unlimited possibilities exist. Awakening to Educational Supervision: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Coaching and Supporting Teachers provides specific techniques and exercises, such as mindfulness breathing and meditation, mindful walking, mindful note-taking, and deep listening, that can be embedded in supervision routines and practices. Additional notions furthering the mindful supervision approach are also addressed, including the role of intuition, mindfulness in relation to ethical and moral action within supervision, and mindfulness as a way to further building community among school stakeholders.
Steve Haberlin, PhD, is assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College. As a veteran K12 educator, he has won awards for his work with gifted children. As teacher of elementary gifted at Rampello K–8 in downtown Tampa, Florida, Steve worked with first through fifth grade students identified as gifted/talented. During his time at the school, Steve worked to improve the gifted education curriculum and programming as well as expanding enrichment opportunities to all students on campus. His accomplishments have included spearheading an enrichment committee, implementing lunchtime programs where students view popular TED Talks, and working with the University of Tampa to launch a enrichment program that served some 250 students. During the 2013-14 school year, Steve was named the school's Ida Baker Teacher of the Year by his peers as well as received the Creativity Leadership award by the Gifted Association of Hillsborough County.
He also served on the district's gifted advisory committee, helped trains gifted teachers during annual trainings, and recently served as a coach/trainer to teachers across Florida, including in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, who implemented an advanced math program for second grade students. Steve has also been a presenter at the Florida Association of the Gifted's annual conference.
Steve has published several peer-review articles on supervision (e.g., "Action in Teacher Education," Journal of Educational Supervision) as well won an award from the Council of Professors of Instructional Supervision (COPIS) for his research on connecting supervision with Zen and mindfulness. He has also published research on implementing mindfulness with elementary gifted students. Steve is a regular blogger for Education World, where he writes about gifted education. He is a long-time (20-plus years) practitioner of meditation.
Foreword by Stephen Gordon
Chapter 1: Mindfulness and Its Relevance to Educational Supervision
Historical Roots of Mindfulness
Four Foundations of Mindfulness
Mindfulness Movement in the West
Scientific Benefits of Mindfulness
What Happens to the Brain When Engaging in Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness’ Relevance to Educational Supervision
Simple Breath Awareness
The Structure of This Book: Nine Attitudes of Mindfulness
What to Expect in this Book
Chapter 2: A Brief Overview of Instructional Supervision (and Where Mindfulness Fits In)
Chapter 3: Developing a Personal Mindfulness Practice
Chapter 4: Presence in Supervision
Chapter 5: Beginner’s Mind in Supervision
Chapter 6: Patience and Trust in Supervision
Chapter 7: Letting Go and Non-Striving as a Supervisor
Chapter 8: Acceptance and Non-Judgement
Chapter 9: Gratitude and Generosity (Yes, in Supervision)
Chapter 10: Mindfulness-Informed Educational Leadership: Moving Toward a More Inclusive Approach to Supervision
Chapter 2: A Brief History of Supervision and Overview of Supervision Models (and Where Mindfulness-Based Supervision Fits In)
A Historical Snapshot of Supervision
Evolving Views of Supervision
The Current State of Supervision
How Can Mindfulness Help the Field of Supervision?
The Clinical Supervision Model
Pre-Observation Conference (Stage 1)
Classroom Observation (Stage 2)
Data Analysis and Strategy (Stage 3)
Conference (Stage 4)
Post-Analysis (Stage 5)
The Convergence of Mindfulness and the Clinical Supervision Cycle
The Six Immediate Response Skills
A Mindful Moment
Chapter 3: Developing a Personal Mindfulness Meditation Practice
What Exactly is Meditation?
Choosing a Mindfulness Meditation Method
Experimentation with Meditation Methods
How Long Should You Meditate?
Where to Meditate?
When to Meditate?
How Do You Know Your Meditation is Working?
A Mindfulness-Based Meditation Method: Vipassana
Presence in Educational Supervision
Cultivating Presence during the Clinical Supervision Cycle
Presence in Leadership (Six Response Skills)
Mindfulness-Based Practices to Develop Presence
The Mindful Minute
Three-Minute Breathing Space
Grounding in Mindfulness
The Stage Exercise
Beginner’s Mind and Educational Supervision
Cultivating Beginner’s Mind During the Clinical Supervision Cycle
Beginner’s Mind and the Immediate Response Skills
Noticing and Ignoring
Mindfulness-Based Strategies to Cultivate Beginner’s Mind
Clear Your Mind
Become Fully Present to the Task at Hand
Don’t Know Mind Meditation
Example of Beginner’s Mind Informing the Clinical Cycle
Patience in Educational Supervision
Trust and Intuition
Intuition and Supervision
Cultivating Patience and Trust during the Clinical Supervision Cycle
Patience and Trust and the Immediate Response Skills
Mindfulness-Based Practices to Encourage Patience and Trust
The Bell Exercise
Counting the Breath
Body Scan Meditation
Loving Kindness Meditation
Example of Patience and Trust (Intuition) Informing the Clinical Cycle
Letting Go and Non-Striving in Educational Supervision
What’s in Your Supervision Backpack?
Cultivating Letting Go and Non-Striving during the Clinical Supervision Cycle
Letting Go and the Immediate Response Skills
Mindfulness-Based Practices for Letting Go
Four Foundations of Mindfulness Practice
Letting Go Meditation
Experiencing Emotions as a Form of Letting Go
Example of Letting Go and Non-Striving in Supervision
Chapter 8: Acceptance and Non-Judgement in Supervision
Acceptance and Non-Judgement in Educational Supervision
Cultivating Acceptance and Non-Judgement during the Clinical Supervision Cycle
Mindfulness-Based Strategies to Cultivate Acceptance and Non-Judgement
Acknowledging As a Form of Acceptance
Cultivating Acceptance and Non-Judgment During Meditation
Keep a Non-Judgment Journal
Gratitude and Generosity in Educational Supervision
Cultivating Gratitude and Generosity during the Clinical Supervision Cycle
Mindfulness-Based Strategies to Cultivate Gratitude and Generosity
Ask “Gratitude” Questions
Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Example of Gratitude and Generosity Informing the Clinical Cycle
Embodied Mindfulness as a Tool for Critical Self-Reflection
The Body and Bias
The Inner Work of Culturally Responsive Supervision
Mindfulness of Intentions around Racial Justice Work
Mindfulness of Community Exercise
The RAIN Method
Tonglen: Advanced Meditation for Inclusive Educational Leadership
Preparation for Tonglen
Stage 1: Equalizing Self and Other Within the Context of Supervision
Stage 2: Detriments of Self Preoccupation
Stage 3: The Benefits of Compassion and Altruism
Stage 4: Exchanging Self and Other
Final Thoughts on Mindfulness-Based Supervision
About the Author
Steve Haberlin brings readers into mindful supervision with a "train the trainers" approach giving readers personal, professional, and relational guidance in practice as well as a variety of resources to support the work. In addition to providing steps to the practice, Haberlin uses his own experiences (and humor) to highlight ways to anticipate challenges or resistance to this approach to supervision. Awakening to Educational Supervision: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Coaching and Supporting Teachers is an excellent resource for any supervisor—new or experienced—as it provides a structured way for supervisors to be fully present and attentive in the humane and caring ways we need from one another to be better educators, colleagues, and people.
Whether you're an educator, administrator, or anyone interested in the intersection of mindfulness and education, Awakening to Educational Supervision is an invaluable resource and a staple for your office bookcase. What Haberlin does to set this text apart is seamlessly blend educational theory with mindfulness principles while presenting a compelling argument for the integration of mindfulness practices into the tenets of educational supervision and instructional coaching. Embedded in the chapters is a fresh and innovative perspective on supporting teachers using a mindfulness-informed approach to educational leadership to overcome current challenges in the field.
Steve Haberlin applies mindfulness theory and research to culturally responsive teacher supervision. He provides a useful framework that supervisors can use as they help teachers develop their teaching practices by becoming more mindful themselves.
Amidst the proliferation of coaching models, Haberlin offers a conscious and focused approach to educator supervision through the lens of mindfulness. Awakening to Educational Supervision: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Coaching and Supporting Teachers introduces the practice of mindfulness as a supervisory technique, including developmental exercises for the supervisor. Haberlin’s guide to in-the-moment care, through breathing and silence for both teachers and supervisors, has the potential to change the way instructional coaching is viewed.
Supervision in education is critical, and occurs in an increasingly stressful and “noisy” context. Awakening to Educational Supervision provides a new and insightful approach to neutralizing the stress and noise that often beset educators, to create deeper, more meaningful supervisory interactions that lead to more lasting results.
As a professor in any number of doctoral and professional development graduate programs, as well as a school and district administrator responsible for “supervising” supervisors, and my own share of supervision responsibilities over a very long leadership career, I can endorse Dr. Haberlin’s book on many fronts.
In fact, I always tell administrative candidates that the most important course they will take in any preparation program is the clinical supervision course. Assuring that leaders can influence their teachers to be excellent teachers is the primary reason for schooling in the first place.
That Dr. Haberlin has the foresight to recognize the value that mindfulness dispositions and skill sets will enable supervisors to meet this all-important goal is refreshing and assuring. His structured presentation and spiraled suggestions for how to embed these practices into our own souls is a great boon to us all.
I equate transformation with “new ways to realize.” The author’s efforts to infuse these premises into our own intents is indeed transformative.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Haberlin reminds us that teachers, educational leaders, and the students they serve do not interact within a vacuum that shields them from the challenges of the world. Each one brings their own personal and professional challenges into the school and classroom. Dr. Haberlin gives educational and instructional leaders valuable tools and insights that support mindfulness in coaching and supervising teachers.
Steve Haberlin provides a new and necessary look at incorporating mindfulness into educational supervision. Haberlin provides practical methods for when and how to use mindfulness, which makes the topic welcoming to a novice in the practice. I especially enjoyed the book’s “mindful moments” that helped me develop my own mindfulness training.
The straightforward and relevant strategies presented in this book are helpful to the coach, teacher, and supervisor. This mindful and empathetic approach to supervision is the way for 2024 and beyond.
Haberlin’s mindfulness approach to educational supervision offers a refreshing and innovative way to enhance teacher learning. This enlightening text introduces readers to a range of mindfulness concepts and through concrete examples, demonstrates how these concepts can be woven into pre-conferences, observations, and post-conferences. Throughout the book, readers can engage in mindfulness moments that provide opportunities to practice valuable techniques. Additionally, vignettes present real-world instances of the mindfulness approach in action. I found myself eager to infuse these concepts into my supervisory role, while also aiding others in embracing mindfulness as a powerful lens through which supervisors can navigate the complex work that supporting teacher learning requires. Haberlin’s mindfulness approach reinvigorates educational supervision, setting the stage for meaningful growth and transformative experiences for both supervisors and educators alike.
As the field of educational supervision continues to develop new approaches to reflect on how instructional practices marginalize, minoritize, and otherize groups of students, Haberlin provides a detailed overview of the importance of mindfulness in providing more inclusive and equity-oriented feedback about instruction. Awakening to Educational Supervision offers critical insights into how supervisors can change their (sub)conscious assumptions about instruction that can help contribute to more culturally responsive instructional practices. With this book, Haberlin takes educational supervision in a new direction—one that is greatly needed if schools are to shift from being systems of oppression to becoming systems of opportunity.