By Chris Germer
Co-founder, Center for Mindful Self-Compassion
January 9, 2019
The 2019 version of the MSC Teacher Guide (TG) has finally been released! The delay was caused by last minute efforts to get the MSC professional textbook into production. After the textbook was completed, refinements from the textbook were migrated into the Teacher Guide. The TG is usually released in September, but we missed the 2018 deadline this year and the TG was released in January 2019 instead.
Why a Revised Teacher Guide?
As you know, the TG is revised each year based on what we learn from teachers and students about how to best teach the MSC program. The basic structure of the MSC program, including the topics, practices and exercises, and the sequence of these components, has remained the same from 2017 to 2019. However, there were many changes to the wording of all these components to make the program easier to teach and easier for students to understand precisely what we are doing and why. We therefore recommend that you buy the new TG if you are teaching MSC in 2019. It is always sold for the cost of printing and shipping and CMSC does not receive any profit from sales of the TG. We have this policy to encourage teachers to always teach from the latest TG.
Currently, there are 17 different translations of the TG in use. Teachers who are working with translations and speak fluent English, and translators of the TG into other languages, are encouraged to get the new TG as well. Since the bulk of the changes was in wording rather than content, it is up to the discretion of translators and non-English teachers to decide whether an updated translation is necessary in your language. CMSC would also like to receive your impressions after you explore the new TG. Translators all receive free copies of the new TG from CMSC, upon request. For issues related to TG translation, please contact Mirjam Luthe, at [email protected]. Mirjam coordinates all of the translators and translations of CMSC documents.
Teacher Guide vs. professional textbook
The 2019 TG shares a lot of content with the curriculum section of the forthcoming professional textbook. However, the professional textbook was written primarily for professionals who are not MSC teachers and the textbook is not easy to use in the classroom. In contrast, everything about the TG was written for easy use by teachers while teaching. (Even Kristin and I sometimes still use the TG, especially when leading complicated class exercises which were carefully worded to be both safe and effective.) This is why the TG duplicates some of the material in the published textbook, albeit in a different format (usually bullet points versus prose). Most improvements in the 2019 TG were the result of going through every word in the 2017 TG very carefully before integrating it into the professional textbook.
The TG will also be updated every year whereas the published professional textbook will not be updated for 5-7 years. Fortunately for everyone, changes in wording and content of the MSC program are diminishing with each passing year.
New Handouts Booklets
Also, please note that new Handouts Booklets have been created for use in your MSC classes. (It can be found on PowerSchool Learning.) The Handouts Booklet for use in the English language is slimmer than before because it only has material that is not in the MSC Workbook. However, until the workbook is translated into your language, please continue to use the Handouts Booklet which contains all the MSC practices. A new version of that Handout Booklet, updated to correspond to the new Teacher Guide, can also be found on PowerSchool Learning. Translators may or may not want to translate the (slightly) updated Handouts Booklet into their own language.