Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

Committee Chair/Advisor

Sandra Linder

Committee Member

Angie Baum

Committee Member

Koti Hubbard

Committee Member

Jill Shelnut


Today’s early educators are responsible for providing a stimulating learning environment to facilitate student academic outcomes, in addition to providing a positive emotional climate to support student social-emotional functioning. Early childhood educators engage with various physical and emotional stressors throughout the workday (e.g., disruptive behaviors, standardized assessment), and to be effective, they must be able to cope with their own emotional reactivity. Teacher experiences of work stress may lead to decreased performance, burnout, and poor student outcomes, creating serious concerns for the education environment. One transferable strategy to help teachers’ emotional well-being is mindfulness self-care (e.g., breathing practices), which can serve as a protector factor, improve emotional well-being, and support self-efficacy. The findings from this single holistic case study explore the emotional well-being of five early childhood beginning teachers engaging with self-selected mindfulness practices for eight-weeks during the transition from pre-service to first-year teaching. The data analysis from this study reveals four major themes, reflecting how the beginning teachers use mindfulness as an emotional well-being tool during the transition into the profession. Two relevant theme categories are physical activities and reflective practices for emotional well-being, which participants use to mindfully pause, reflect, release, and reconnect with feelings of positive emotional well-being. The findings of this study are promising and provide preliminary insight into mindfulness practices and emotional well-being perspectives of the beginning teaching experience.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.