In today’s episode, Neila and Andy have a great mindfulness chat with a renowned educational consultant, Mark Church.

Some of the questions explored in this chat are:

Is mindfulness a stance we take in life or something we have to practice day in and day out? What role does daily gratitude for our present body play in helping us to better appreciate what we sometimes fail to notice? How can we be more mindful and present in our daily interactions to not miss out on important moments that help us to grow and develop ourselves? In what ways is evolution predicated and dependent on stress? How does this stress help us evolve into our better selves?

This conversation was more about delving into making more sense of what mindfulness can mean in our lives and the role it plays in helping to better understand and appreciate ourselves. Mark offers lots of insight into his own thinking, not by having answers, but asking more questions to better explore the meaning that mindful thinking and actions can play in our lives.

Hope you enjoy our episode with special guest, Mark Church.

About Mark

Mark Church works with educators throughout the world striving to create cultures of thinking in their classrooms and schools.  Mark challenges teachers to foster thinking dispositions in students in service of deep understanding.  He invites teachers to promote a discourse of thinking in their classrooms that communicates value to student sense-making.  Mark encourages teachers to make their classroom environments rich with the documents of student thinking processes.  

Mark is currently a consultant with Harvard Project Zero’s Making Thinking Visible and Cultures of Thinking initiatives worldwide, drawing upon his own classroom teaching experience and from the perspectives, he has gained working with educators throughout North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe.  Mark enjoys helping teachers examine opportunities for student thoughtfulness, use thinking routines as supports and scaffolds, interact with students in ways that demonstrate an interest in and respect for students’ thinking, and send clear expectations about the importance and value of thinking in learning.  Together with Ron Ritchhart and Karin Morrison, Mark is co-author of the book Making Thinking Visible:  How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners (Jossey-Bass, 2011).

Connect With Mark:


About Andy and Neila

Neila Steele and Andy Vasily are international educators who have worked at fully authorized IB schools in 5 different countries over the past 18 years (Japan, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China and Saudi Arabia). Both Andy and Neila now work at the KAUST School in Saudi Arabia. Andy is also a consultant, workshop leader, presenter, and speaker. Neila presents and leads multiple workshops in the area of mindfulness. They have devoted themselves to sharing the powerful effects that mindfulness has on promoting greater mental, social, emotional, and physical well-being.

Connect With Neila and Andy


Twitter: @neilasteele



Twitter: @andyvasily


Themes Discussed:

Meaning Making, Being Present, Body Awareness, Gratitude, Purpose, Relationships, Connection