The newest episode of our university podcast, ‘MindfulU at Naropa University,’ is out on iTunes, Stitcher, and Fireside now! We are excited to announce this week’s episode features Barbara Catbagan, Chair of the Contemplative Education Department at Naropa University and faculty in Naropa’s Elementary Teacher Licensure Program.
“How does teaching with a contemplative focus help teachers in a crazy world? When we have practiced how to love ourselves enough to stand in our own business, then we can be more empathetic to the context from which our students come. If I’m in a class with 27 students and one of them is having a particularly hard day or hard week—or life—then it makes it possible for me to resource my patience and my sense of humor, if that’s called on to help that student remain focused—to help that student to create tools that help them get through the day, for themselves, within themselves. And, no matter what age you are, if your life circumstances are in your way, it’s really hard to get through the day. Every class we start with a check-in, which gives me a sense of what’s in the room. It doesn’t take away from the content, because the content is still there. The check-in informs me and the rest of the class about how that content might be heard.”
Barbara Catbagan is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Contemplative Education Department, at Naropa University. Her dedication to contemplative education has evolved through the intersections of her daily practice, her K-12 teaching background and her association with the National Coalition for Equity in Education through which she works with institutions of higher education on issues and initiatives of equity, social justice, and personal and professional development. The opportunity to work with and learn from excellent colleagues at Naropa University informs her thinking and writing about the connections of contemplative pedagogy and culturally responsive teaching. With a varied professional background, which includes school teacher, human rights director, mediator, life coach and academic, Barb experiences life as a sojourner through the tangle that is our delicate, beautiful and resilient multicultural world. Barbara presents locally and nationally on topics germane to cultural responsive teaching, social justice and transformative leadership. She earned her M.Ed. with an emphasis on administrative leadership from Colorado State University.