Educators, so often asked to do the impossible, have been asked to do even more of the impossible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, they taught through screens, often to faceless avatars who rarely responded. This year, they’re desperately trying to play catch up, while following safety protocols and bearing the brunt of anger, both from parents and from students who have lost a year of social development. And all without any kind of handbook.
It’s no wonder so many educators felt “May tired” by the end of September. A year that was expected to be somewhat back to normal has been even more stressful than last year, with expectations raised and time shorter than ever before as both teachers and students readjust to the in-school environment.
Schools should find ways to give time back to their staff any way they can—shortening meetings, holding off on new curriculums, and trimming what’s on everyone’s plates if possible. And the experts at Rosecrance recommend taking even short moments throughout the day for yourself, with deep-breathing exercises, distraction and grounding techniques, and other skills that can get you out of moments of stress, whether you’re at school or at home.
And if you feel yourself fraying, or unable to navigate and manage your everyday, talking with a professional can at the very least help you build those kinds of skills. You can’t always change your circumstances, but you can change how you navigate through them. And once you help yourself, you’ll be that much more able to help your students, too.
If you or an educator you care about is experiencing any mental health or substance use issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, take a listen to series 4, episode 3 of the Rosecrance podcast “On Your Radar,” which covers the unique, daily impact of the pandemic on school faculty and staff.
Download “On Your Radar: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on School Faculty and Staff” series 4, episode 3, HERE.