Midway through another pandemic-interrupted school year, teachers continue to cope with stress and anxiety as they help students who may have fallen behind in key developmental areas. Naturally dedicated to helping next generations, educators now face the added burden of being front-line therapists for classes.
Pressure has come on multiple fronts, and it is taking a toll. Beyond helping students cope with stressors from home life, educators face ongoing threats of violence and escalating vandalism encouraged by social media, as well as fallout from community COVID-19 politics. In addition, teachers have devoted more time resources to lesson plans for virtual and in-person, and that is taking them away from family commitments and their non-work support networks.
“We might think that teachers are professionals immune from classroom worries, but many of them are struggling along with students,” said Matthew Quinn, Director of Chicagoland Services. “In fact, I’ve heard educators call themselves ‘May tired’ since the fall because they have been under so much duress. They are hurting because they feel called to meet students’ needs, but circumstances are making it almost impossible to do that at times.”
Rosecrance has walked with educators and school districts through the pandemic, providing valuable assistance to students and staff alike. To ease the burden of caring for youth, Rosecrance provides free, confidential assessments at schools, and then offers linkage to appropriate levels of treatment. In addition, a resource toolkit is available with helpful information regarding adolescent mental health and substance use.
Plus, Rosecrance is giving hope and healing to educators who would like help to finish the year personally strong. Outpatient groups have included teachers as participants, as did a COVID-19 anxiety-focused group.
“I’m grateful that we are able to serve the people who are making a huge investment in the future of our youth,” Quinn said. “There are signs of hope every day, and we want teachers to truly feel that someone is there for them, whether it’s our services, administrators, counselors, or close friends.”