Educator Perspective: It’s Time To Support Teachers’ Mental Health Needs

When people think of the teaching profession, one of the first words that tends to come to mind is stress. In a recent study conducted by the American Federation of Teachers, 61 percent of educators find work “always” or “often” stressful. Teachers are constantly stressed out year round from the heavy demands that come with our jobs. A teacher is responsible for meeting the needs of the students in the classroom, creating rigorous and relevant lessons, and assessing student progress. New and innovative strategies are constantly rolled out that teachers strive to implement while meeting the standards set for our courses, attending professional development and fulfilling credentialing requirements. It takes a big heart to attend to the many responsibilities of this profession and given the heavy demands, it’s no surprise that teachers’ mental health is declining, according to a study published in USA Today

The following are some starter resources that are aimed at supporting the mental health of educators: 

  • We Are Teachers has compiled a list of helpful resources and linked within these are supports like on the go therapy, advice for joining support groups, and the importance of having a strong support system for the most overwhelming points during the year. 
  • Headspace is “giving back” and focusing their efforts on supporting the mental health of educators in the US by providing a free one year subscription to its meditation programming. 

As we near the start of August and the beginning of a new school year, let’s remember to keep teachers in mind for the duration of the year. The stress of teaching does not stop as the back to school sales end and the year rolls by. It’s important that we reach out to our friends in education at multiple points throughout the year and offer our support for one another. Something as simple as reaching out and grabbing a cup of coffee can go a long way and remind teachers of the community behind them. Having a healthy, balanced teacher in the classroom for our students will support their educational outcomes. When our teachers are healthy, our students benefit greatly. 

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Daniela Felix

Daniela Felix

Daniela is a first generation college student who is heavily involved in education in her home district, West Contra Costa Unified. After becoming a mother at a young age, Daniela’s passion for education justice only intensified and she began to fight for an equitable education for all children, regardless of background or zip code. Daniela played a key role in organizing parents with the California Charter Schools Association and is a firm believer in school choice for all families. She is currently a Lead Organizer with Students for Education Reform, organizing college students around education justice issues in her home district. She was recently accepted into Teach for America and plans to continue impacting the lives of children in her hometown of Richmond, CA as a high school social studies teacher. Daniela is a UC Berkeley senior pursuing her B.A. in Legal Studies and Education along with her 4 year old daughter and husband. Daniela is a firm believer in that every single child is capable of meeting high expectations if given the correct support. Daniela hopes to be a provider of that support.

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