Research has shown adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have a lifelong negative impact on a person’s physical, mental, and social well-being. ACEs refer to experiences related to abuse, household challenges, or neglect that occur before the age of 18. Some of the effects of ACEs include anxiety, depression, increased stress, increase in high-risk behaviors, and early death. Mindfulness practices have been shown to be an effective tool in reducing some of these symptoms. In looking for ways to prevent or mitigate the effects of ACEs, it is important to provide tools and resources to the adults taking care of children including; parents, guardians, and teachers.
The purpose of this evidence based project (EBP) was to evaluate mindfulness and classroom environments after the implementation of a mindfulness intervention. The intervention consisted of a three day training followed by four weeks of mindfulness practice prior to beginning the school day. Ten preschool and Early Head Start teachers from seven classrooms at a school in inner city Phoenix participated in the project. Utilizing the Five Factors Mindfulness Questionnaire pre and post intervention, a paired sample t-test showed a significant increase in two factors of mindfulness. The CLASS tool was used to assess classroom environment pre and post intervention and showed significant improvement in five classes. These findings support ongoing mindfulness training and practice for preschool and Early Head Start teachers to improve classroom environments.