Mary Lea is a Mindful Schools Certified Educator and teaches mindfulness to students, teachers and administrators in public and private schools. Her programs for families and professionals have garnered great enthusiasm and positive feedback.
Mary Lea’s study of mindfulness and meditation began over 15 years ago. She describes her practice as life-changing and essential to her journey as a parent and teacher.
Mindfulness helps us question negative thinking, calm large feelings and experience more joy. It strengthens our habit of pausing and checking in, before making decisions.
Background in Education
Mary Lea began her career in education as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco. She taught undergraduate students to navigate their first computers, while taking writing classes in the graduate school. After completing a Master of Arts in Writing, she went on to teach courses in English, in colleges in the Bay Area and New Jersey.
Mary Lea’s love of silence and children propelled her to leave college teaching, to craft meditation and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs for a mid-size Episcopal church, in Madison, New Jersey. There, she expanded education offerings, tripled family enrollment and brought meditation, art journaling, drama and community service to kids and teens. Her weekly meditation circles prompted her to return to school and get her certification in mindfulness education..
Using the Mindful Schools curricula as a launching pad, Mary Lea crafted her own curriculum for in-school classes for students and teachers. Her programs have garnered great enthusiasm in public and private schools, at the elementary, middle-and high-school levels. For teachers and counselors, she provides Professional Development courses and offers Mindful Parenting presentations in schools and community centers.
Mary Lea’s enrichment classes, for kids and parents, offer students a chance to learn mindfulness, at a deeper level, and join a Practice Club after learning the basics. These programs are held four times a year at the Madison Community House in downtown Madison, New Jersey.
What Teachers are Saying
“We were amazed at how the children incorporated their lessons into daily interactions. The ‘life skills’ they learned were showing up in many wonderful moments . . . We wish everyone could learn the tools that Mary Lea taught us, because they are invaluable and will be useful tools for a lifetime.”
Terry Armstrong, Director of Madison Montessori School
I had a parent of a boy, who struggles with anger and impulse regulation, email me a photo of his child practicing mindfulness on a 15-minute break during hockey practice.
Third-Grade Teacher, Chatham Day School
“Mary Lea is kind and compassionate and completely personifies
Margaret Duffy, Fifth Grade Teacher, Central Avenue School
The techniques you taught the children have truly made an impact on them (in and out of the classroom) as well as helping me! You rock! Thanks!
Jen Raneri, Third Grade Teacher, Kings Road School
What Students are Saying (with the Spelling They Used)
“I had a test in math. So I did my mindful breathing so I could concentrate. It calmed me down.”
Fifth Grade Student at Central Avenue School
“One day someone called me something that i didn’t like and I wanted to punch him but then i used my mindfullness to calm me down.”
Fifth Grade Student at Torey J. Sabatini School
I focus better in school by not staring out the window that I face. Then I can consintrait.
Third Grade Student at The Pingry School
“I used mindfulness in school when I got a grade on a test that I could have got a better grade and I was sad. I used mindful breathing for this.”
Sixth Grade Student at Madison Junior School
“It makes me feel calm and relackzt and it makes me in a better adatud.”
Kindergarten Student at Central Avenue School