Hi, I'm Christopher Reck. Welcome to Your Mindful Life. I’ve been a school teacher for eighteen years, the last twelve as a Lead Practitioner of English language and literature in Secondary schools in the UK. Then, about 5 years ago, I discovered mindfulness. And it made a difference: in my life and my teaching. So I went on to train how to teach it. First, with the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP), teaching their Secondary and Primary curriculum, and then with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University, so I could teach mindfulness to adults. Then, in the summer of 2018 I trained to deliver a spiral programme called ‘The Present’ that helps primary (elementary) schools introduce mindfulness and well-being in an incremental way, rather than as a separately delivered learning experience, or curriculum. This training took place in beautiful Trigonos, North Wales, with Sarah Silverton.
Recently I completed a Postgraduate Award in Educational Studies with the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University. I based my research on the uses of mindful attention and how it can frame teacher agency and identity.
Chris Reck is an imaginative and dedicated teacher - but more than that, he is one of the people who understands most deeply how to teach in a way that builds young people's own capacity and confidence as real-life learners - which is surely the pivotal responsibility of 21st century education - any young people who are lucky enough to have Chris as a teacher will be well prepared for life
Professor Guy Claxton, Emeritus Professor at Winchester University and Visiting Professor of Education at King's College London.
I have been privileged to see the creative fruits of Chris’ experimentation and growth as an educator. Chris has the rare skill of being able to take the germ of an idea or intellectual provocation and to run with and develop it, in the process of which he manifests many desirable qualities – intellectual risk-taking and curiosity, creativity, rigour, the skill of drawing astutely on his own reading, culture and experience, and a genuine interest in engaging and extending the interests of learners of all abilities and backgrounds (which he does with great success).
As a reflective educator, Chris is also able to write with insight and clarity about his experiences, and to share his learning with other teachers. I have been pleased to have disseminated some of his excellent practice on my own courses with teachers, and to have invited him to contribute a short reflective piece in one of my books. His work is always well-received, grounded as it is in classroom practice yet always imbued with a light-touch theoretical basis too.
Dr Barry Hymer, Emeritus Professor of Psychology in Education at the University of Cumbria in Lancaster.
Comments on mindfulness courses delivered by Christopher Reck
- mindfulness has helped me to sleep better and have far more patience with troublesome children!
- the focus on compassion when finding things hard, rather than focusing on your own faults, was very valuable.
- great insight into how to deal with difficult situations.
- really enjoyed trying out all the different mindfulness techniques – and sharing our own experiences.
- it makes me think how good society would be if we were all that little bit more mindful towards each other.
- The course has enabled me to have a calmer outlook and put certain elements of my life into perspective. I feel it has already had a very positive effect on both my mental and physical health. I find that I am far less reactive to situations - although this is still an area for development!
Thank you for aiding the beginning of my journey to a more mindful me.
Love and Gratitude
With love to Ann, Sam, Ben and James, for being the source and inspiration for all I do.
About the photos (well, some of them)
Some of them are photos of Trigonos, where I have been on two retreats. If you've ever been there on a retreat you'll know what I mean when I say they are landscapes of the mind. Some of them are of Samye Ling monastery, in Scotland.
I recommend you find some time in your mindful life to visit both places.