Reacting from our expectations

As a teacher, it is unusual to have to monitor our own expectations for our students – while we are teaching the class. But this is the most important lesson I have learned from my Mindfulness Based Stress Reaction (MBSR) mentor. Thoughts may come and go, they range from “I hope they get it” to “Did I say it the right way for these students?”

In a classroom setting, there are course objectives and all teachers are trying to engage students to “get it,” whether it’s the joy to learn, about one’s self or about the world around us, or the “Ah Ha” moment when the light bulb turns on… As teachers we inherently aim for a goal: open a window in students’ minds.

But in MBSR, one needs to be monitoring our own emotions and expectations. To be aware of our own insecurity or expectations as we may feel disappointed, or too excited, or involved in the students’ stories. What ever happens, an MBSR teacher is practicing to recognize that AS it arises. Good or bad, it is the practice of Mindfulness to just notice, and not judge one’s self for it.