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Mindfulness for NQTs: S.T.O.P exercise

by Alison Laycock

No don’t stop teaching but use the S.T.O.P exercise when needed and it is something you can also teach to your students. I used it (and still use it) often in teaching with students and also for me during the lessons, teaching day and in my personal life too. If you prefer to watch a clip about this then visit my You Tube channel ‘Being The Best You Can Be’ to hear it being explained and it is also on Facebook: Being the Best You Can Be.

This exercise can be used internally rather than having to verbalise it so no-one around need know that you are doing it which is why it is perfect for classroom and other situations.


S= Stop: whatever you’re doing, just pause (as long as safe to do so)

T =Take a breath and follow it coming in and going out if it helps, (internally) say ‘in’ as you’re breathing in and ‘out’ as you let it go

O = Observe your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Name them if that will help and observe how the body feels.

P = Proceed mindfully. Is there something you need to move into the next moment? Can a chat with a friend help? Do you need a drink of water? Will fresh air help? Once you can then proceed either doing what you need to do to help you or promise yourself you will access what you need at the next available opportunity.

A teacher can show this to students talking them through each part and then also modelling it in class and students can model that to each other, sharing what they are doing and trusting that it’s ok to STOP when needed.

Every day throughout August, these tips will be shared across social media so I’m including my links here. Throughout August, I’m offering meditation/ mindfulness sessions for NQTS/teachers and school staff on 4th, 11th, 18th and 20th August at 7-7.45pm via ZOOM. If interested, please email Alison at

Follow me across social media if you aren’t already to have access to the tips every day:

Facebook: Being the Best You Can Be

Twitter: @alisonlaycock23

LinkedIn: Alison Laycock

You Tube channel: Being the Best You Can Be

I’m also offering 25% off all courses for NQTs who wish to develop their mindfulness and compassion skills and resources more. The courses on offer are the 8 week MBSR programme with sessions lasting 120 mins and there are also 6 week Mindfulness and Compassion courses which last 60 mins each session. If you prefer workshops rather than courses then these are also available and can be checked out and booked via

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