Patricia A. Jennings

Professor of Education

  • Ph.D. University of California Davis, 2004
  • M.Ed. Saint Mary's College, 1980
  • B.A. Antioch College, 1977

Patricia (Tish) Jennings is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness in education and Professor of Education at the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. Her research places a specific emphasis on teacher stress and how it impacts the social and emotional context of the classroom, as articulated in her highly cited theoretical article "The Prosocial Classroom." Jennings led the team that developed CARE, a mindfulness-based professional development program shown to significantly improve teacher well-being, classroom interactions and student engagement in the largest randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention designed specifically to address teacher occupational stress. She is a co-author of Flourish: The Compassionate Schools Project curriculum, an integrated health and physical education program and is co-Investigator on a large randomized controlled trial to evaluate the curriculum’s efficacy. She is currently the Principal Investigator of Project CATALYZE, a study that will examine whether CARE enhances the effectiveness of a social and emotional learning curriculum funded by an Education Innovation Research grant from the US Department of Education to conduct. A member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development among Children and Youth, she was awarded the Cathy Kerr Award for Courageous and Compassionate Science by the Mind & Life Institute in 2018 and recently recognized by Mindful Magazine as one of "Ten Mindfulness Researchers You Should Know." Earlier in her career, Jennings spent more than 22 years as a teacher, school director and teacher educator. She is the author numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters and several books: Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom, The Trauma-Sensitive School: Building Resilience with Compassionate Teaching, Mindfulness in the Pre-K-5 Classroom: Helping Students Stress Less and Learn More, part of Social and Emotional Learning Solutions, a book series by WW Norton of which she is editor. Her latest book, Teacher Burnout Turnaround: Strategies for Empowered Teachers, was released in December 2020.



Teacher Burnout


Teacher Burnout Turnaround: Strategies for Empowered Educators

Published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2021



The Mindful School


The Mindful School: Transforming School Culture through Mindfulness and Compassion Edited by Patricia A. Jennings

Published by Guilford Press, 2019



Mindfulness in the PreK-5 Classroom


Mindfulness in the Pre-K-5 classroom: Helping Students Stress Less and Learn More

Published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2019


The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom


The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom: Building Resilience with Compassionate Teaching

Published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2019


Mindfulness for Teachers


Mindfulness for teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom

Published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2015



Commentary & Opinion

  1. April 30, 2022 - Teachers Can Leverage Their Value to Transform Schooling. K-12 Talk Blog.

  2. July 2019 - Mindfulness and compassion: Educational necessities in the 21st Century. Keynote address presented at Cortona Friends Conference, Todi, Italy.

  3. December 2018 - Teaching Is as Stressful as an ER. These Calming Strategies Can Help.  EdSurge

  4. October 2018 - Bringing Mindfulness to Teacher PD. Educational Leadership

  5. May 2018 - Commentary: Here’s What We Can Do to Empower America’s Teachers. Fortune

  6. March 2018 - Student walkouts show compassion is a tool for change. CNN Opinion

  7. March 2018 - Opinion: Rather than arming teachers with guns, let’s arm them with the supports they need. The 74

  8. September 2017 - Congress must preserve, improve professional growth for teachers. The Hill

Recent Press

  1. March 2022 - Superficial Self-Care? Stressed-Out Teachers Say No Thanks. Education Week.

  2. December 2020 - What Difference Can Teacher Friendships Make at Schools? KQED MindShift.

  3. November 2020 - Q&A: Professor aims to alleviate teacher burnout with her new book. UVA Today.

  4. April 2020 - Five ways mindfulness can help you through the coronavirus outbreak. School of Education and Human Development News and Media.

  5. July 2019 - Interview with Patricia Jennings. The Blue Dot Issue 10, Social and Emotional Learning.

  6. July 2019 - Whole Teachers – Whole students (Part one). Humankind.

  7. April 2019 - 'I'll Keep You Safe': Teachers' Anxiety Over School Shootings Persists Post-Columbine. Tribune News Service

  8. March 2019 - Can mindfulness help stressed teachers stay in the classroom? PBS News Hour

  9. March 2019 - Fighting Teacher Stress. The Hechinger Report

  10. January 2019 - Virginia Teachers March at Capitol to Demand Higher Pay, More School Funding Education Week

  11. January 2019 - How Self-Compassion Supports Academic Motivation and Emotional Wellness KQED MindShift

  12. December 2018 - How to Build a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom Where All Learners Feel Safe.  KQED MindShift

  13. March 2018 - Dialogue with the Dalai Lama: A 15-year journey in mindfulness and education.  UVA Today

  14. December 2017 - 10 Mindfulness researchers you should know.

  15. October 2017 - A mind of your own: A look at the latest on mindfulness in education. Educational Tours

  16. September 2017 - Cultivating mindfulness for educators using resources. The New York Times

  17. August 2017 - Self-care for teachers: Wellness practices for in and out of the classroom.

  18. May 2017 - Teaching can be tough, but we're 'lucky' - Classroom Q & A with Larry Ferlazzo. EdWeek

  19. February 2017 - When teachers get mindfulness training, students win. The Greater Good Magazine

  20. January 2017 - Schools experimenting with meditation as an alternative to detention. Newsworks/WHYY.

  21. January 2017 - Awaken Pittsburgh develops mindfulness programs for youth, teachers. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  22. December 2016 - Teachers are stressed, and that should stress us all. NPR Morning Edition

  23. October 2016 - Louisville's experiment: Can teaching empathy boost math scores? Christian Science Monitor

  24. September 2016 - The mindful classroom. Time

  25. September 2016 - The movement of meditation replacing detention in schools. Newsweek

  26. August 2016 - When teachers take a breath, students can bloom. nprEd Blog

  27. May 2016 - Study: Teacher stress reduction leads to instructional improvement. EdWeek Blog

  28. January 2016 - Publisher’s roundtable on mindfulness. Mindful

  29. October 2015 - Under stress, students in New York schools find calm in meditation. New York Times

Other Publications

  1.  November  2018 - Changing How Educators See Negative Experiences in the Classroom. KQED MindShift

  2. March 2018- Presenting CARE for Teachers to the Dalai Lama. Garrison Institute Blog

  3. September 2015 - The three-second pause in the classroom, Mindful

  4. February 2015 - Slowing down to learn: Mindful pauses that can help student engagement, KQED MindShift

  5.  March 2015 - Seven ways mindfulness can help teachers. Greater Good