Dr, Azevedo is an educator, mindfulness coach, and life long learner. She shares her classroom experience, research and teachings about mindfulness and meditation in a practical manner that invites educators, school counselors, parents and leaders to experience mindfulness with curiosity and compassion.
Paula Cristina is the founder of The Meditating Teacher, LLC. Yoga, mindfulness and meditation practices have been an integral part of her life and career. She recently explained that due to her mindfulness practice she is, “...a more compassionate educator, a better listener, and I'm present in my teaching and students’ learning. Am I a perfect teacher? No, not even close. Have I mastered meditation? No, of course not. I’m still learning and improving in every aspect of my profession and life.”
Her goal with The Meditating Teacher is to share her insights about mindfulness, education, and human development that can support other educators, school counselors, school leaders, and parents' own practices in living and working more mindfully with children and teens.
She has fifteen years of experience in the field of education. She always knew she was going to be a teacher. Some of her earliest memories are of lining up her stuffed animals and action figures and pretending to be their teacher. She taught social studies at the high school level. And, though she loved working with her colleagues and teaching her students, she was concerned by how external and internal pressures and stress impacted herself, her co-workers and especially her students. As a result, she incorporated breathing techniques in her lessons, created an inviting learning environment and developed supportive and caring relationships with students. In 2015 she earned her doctoral degree in Education with a focus on Teaching and Teacher Education. She currently teaches and mentors graduate students at George Mason University where she continues to explore and teach ways to bring wellness and mindfulness into teaching practice. She shares with her students her experiences and knowledge while also maintaining an engaging, heart-centered and mindful approach to teaching and learning.
Research shows that people who practice mindfulness and meditation regularly are more likely to . . .
Including healthy immune system, better sleep, less chronic stress
Including being more self-aware and improving relationships
Respond to stressful situations less reactive and more responsive.
Including impulse control, self-management, organization, and more focused attention
What people say
"If there was ever a mentor to dispel the common phrase, 'those who can’t do, teach,' it’s Paula Cristina Azevedo. In fact, her experiences emboldened me to trust her after an engaging lecture that kicked off my graduate academic career. From that moment on, if Paula was teaching a course, my name was on her roster. Paula is, undoubtedly, the epitome of leadership and mindfulness. This is evidence by the way she gives herself space to identify and acknowledge how her thoughts, emotions, and actions intertwine to create the current moment. This way, she is able to appreciate the present and better address how she can help any student who crosses her path, whether now or in years to come. As someone who was ignorant to the power of being mindful, Paula has enlightened me to ground myself more than I ever thought possible. With her patience and expertise, my personal practice has started to blossom as she consistently encourages me to understand the interaction between my mind and body through her guided meditations and reflections. To learn from Paula is to learn peace - both within yourself and the world surrounding you."
- Rebecca F. Sponga, Secondary Social Studies Teacher
Press & Awards
Interviewed by Lúcia Soares from Tribuna Portuguesa in the August 2020 edition.
Adjunct Faculty Award
Awarded by George Mason University the Adjunct Faculty Service Award in 2019
Ph.D. Education, George Mason University, 2015
M.A. Teaching, University of San Francisco, 2010
M.A. Asia Pacific Studies, University of San Francisco, 2006
B.A. History, San José State University, 2004
The Science of Mindfulness Awareness Meditation Teacher Training Certificate
Yoga and Ayurveda Center 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training