Susan O'Rourke | September 16, 2021
As the new year gets underway, many teachers are covering a new topic in their classrooms: mental health. While many teachers are focused on caring for their students’ health, researchers have found that it is essential for teachers to pause and evaluate how they are doing, too.
Early studies looking at the impacts of the pandemic on teachers’ mental health around the world have found that teachers are juggling even more responsibilities than before.1 Teachers have pivoted to remote instruction (often without previous training) and have kept their students connected and motivated to learn—all while caring for their own families and friends.2 Even with the enormous pressures of the pandemic, teachers have succeeded in part because they have innovated in their classrooms, planned and implemented new lessons, and “[sought] social support” by reaching out for “emotional support from friends or relatives.”3
As specialists like UNC Professor Dana Griffin have noted, networks of social and emotional support are crucial for teachers during this momentous time. The following resources provide guidance on how teachers and administrators can build a culture of support and prioritize their wellbeing. UNC World View is committed to bringing awareness to this important issue, and we are excited to continue the conversation at our upcoming program, Global Education in a New World.
- The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence: Managing Anxiety Around COVID-19: Tips for You and Your School Community
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Educator Back to School Wellness Guide
- Teach.com (and shared by NAMI): 50 Resources to Support the Mental Health of Teachers and School Staff
- Mental Health America: Teachers: Protecting Your Mental Health
1 Lauren D’Mello, “An Online Investigation into School Teachers’ Experiences of Stress and Coping Strategies While Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Exploring the Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” (Ed.D., United States — New York, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2021), http://www.proquest.com/docview/2561904396/abstract/A8CEB2A660242EFPQ/1.
2 Florian Klapproth et al., “Teachers’ Experiences of Stress and Their Coping Strategies during COVID-19 Induced Distance Teaching,” Journal of Pedagogical Research 4, no. 4 (August 1, 2020): 445, https://doi.org/10.33902/JPR.2020062805.
3 Ibid., 447.