Nonreactivity and Intentionally Being Well

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Teaching is a high-stress profession that often results in burnout and attrition. In the United States, 8 percent of all teachers leave the profession annually contributing to growing teacher shortage. When we combine these statistics with those reflecting the increasing mental health challenges in this country, we find ourselves facing a crisis in both education and health care. The issues of teacher stress, burnout, and attrition combined with the mental health challenges of both students and teachers indicate an urgent need to find new and proactive approaches to address these challenges. Recent research suggests that mindfulness practices can be used to support teachers’ well-being, mental health, and classroom performance. This study explores the connection between mindfulness and well-being among preservice teachers. The goal of this study was to gain deeper insight into the needs of preservice teachers in order to support their own well-being and that of their future students. Using a mixed methods approach, this study explored the question: What can be learned about mindfulness and well-being among preservice teachers? Findings suggest a potential relationship between the mindfulness trait of nonreactivity and higher levels of well-being. They also indicate that preservice teachers found mindfulness practices beneficial and have a strong desire to learn more about ways to support their mental health and improve their well-being. Future directions of this work could include experimental designs with increased quantitative sampling and multiple focus groups across settings.