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Mental Health Resources for Educators

From worksheets and educational games to articles and tunes, we’ve put together a few health and wellness resources for teachers.

By The TFA Editorial Team

May 15, 2020

Wide open sky.

Times are challenging for teachersyou're playing the role of an educator but also of a listener, caretaker, and leader. And doing it all remotely, in the midst of a pandemic. We’ve compiled a list of quick resources, articles, and more to help you unwind, teach even when tension is high, and explore mental health and wellness in the time of COVID-19. 

For Self-Work, Insight, or to Ground and Unwind

Onward and Onwardthebook.com

Teachers’ mental health and wellness is correlated with student wellness and overall achievement. Focusing on your own wellness is just as important as the skills and strategies you use to help your students. Onward:: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators by Elena Aguilar tackles the issue of teacher stress and burnout with a detailed path to resiliency to help teachers weather challenging times. Onwardthebook.com is the companion website to the bookStart Your Journey here.

Why Recharging Matters

Harvard Business Review covers in-depth how the lack of time we take to rest and recover could be holding back our collective ability to be resilient and successful.

Gratitude Journal Prompts & PDF

Countless studies have shown gratitude to have a strong positive impact on psychological well-being. A great first step in the practice of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal in which you can take inventory and note the positive forces and people in your life that surround you. 

For Anxiety and Processing loss Amid COVID-19

Care for your Coronavirus Anxiety

The self-care app Shine is designed to help you through tough times. The team behind the app also created a helpful resource page for anxiety and mental health in a global climate of uncertainty. The site includes free tool-kits, guided meditations, breathing simulations, expert advice, and much more. 

Grieving the Losses of Coronavirus

Lori Gottlieb, a therapist and the author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, talks about grief and offers ways we can process and get through it in the New York Times

That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief

A leading expert on grief,  David Kessler, discusses the classic five stages of grief and how to apply it and work through it in today’s climate. 

For Listening, Joy, and Comfort

Poetry and Reflections

The helpful and inspirational nonprofit media and public life initiative On Being cultivated a thoughtful list of podcasts, poetry, meditations, and reflections to help us reflect and relax amid the chaos. 

Meditations with Lizzo

“‘Cuz I Love You” singer, Lizzo sends good vibes our way with a 30-minute healing meditation on Instagram

Songs of Comfort

World-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma has been playing daily "Songs of Comfort" to help spread joy and soothe our anxious minds and hearts.

Isle of Calm

Our friends at NPR curated an entire Spotify playlist dedicated to helping you recharge, relax, and be present. 

For Teaching in the Time of Coronavirus

Self-Care for Educators and Students

Breathe 4 Change has a number of resources teachers can share with students & families either for at-home use or for use during synchronous, online learning. Resources include family guide for well-being, mindfulness activities for the online classroom, and online guide for classroom compassion and courage.

The Child Mind Institute

The Child Mind Institute has put together a whole series of support for families and students, including clinical live supports and resources, daily tip of the day video for families, anxiety management, and resources for dealing with loss.

For Supporting Social-Emotional Learning and Student Wellness

Mindfulness Activities for the Classroom

Explore 18 quick and effective mindfulness activities you can do with your class, most of which can translate to a virtual remote environment. Activities include explicit directions and scripts for teachers that can be used as-is or adapted. 

Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child

PsychCentral has compiled a useful list of 49 phrases to calm an anxious child during tumultuous times. 

Emotional Development Videos

From talking about feeling to belly breathing, Sesame Street has you covered with a curated group of videos that deal with emotional development. 

Coping Skills

This handy list and worksheet of coping skills has activities organized by calming skills, distraction skills, physical skills, and processing skills. 

Secondary Student Help

Peer Health Exchange, an evidence-based, near-peer health education program, has moved its content online. The site has a rich collection of videos, skill-building information, and resources for secondary students.

 

Find Resources & Support for Teaching Online

TFA Slack Network

How Educators Can Address Trauma During the Pandemic

How Teachers Can Stay Balanced During the Pandemic

 

Note: This resource list includes articles, organizations, apps, and program artifacts to support staff, teachers, and student wellness. Users are responsible for researching resources and professionals to find the best supports to meet their needs. Teach For America does not endorse these services in any way. The resources linked within are not meant to replace or confuse any guidance teachers and corps members are receiving from their districts, administrators, or employers. Ultimately, corps members with Teach For America must adhere to the policies and guidance from their placement schools.