The New Normal: Focusing on Teacher Mental Health in the Age of COVID-19

When I remember walking into my first classroom with my first class 13 years ago, I was assigned a mentor teacher, had colleagues that had offered advice on the challenges that I may soon face, and there seemed to be a “playbook” with how approach those early teaching experiences.

With the onset of the new normal in teaching created by the COVID-19 Pandemic and with so many educators shifting to some kind of distance or virtual learning, our students, families, and schools are trying to quickly adjust.  But, I think it is also important to recognize that we as educators are also going to have to work through some things that have nothing to do with the content that we teach.  Inherently, I think what drives us to be teachers are forming those personal connections with our students and our colleagues, to support each other, and to overcome challenges for the betterment of others.  But, just like we faced down some insecurity and anxiousness during those very first days and weeks of our teaching career, we again are going to have to do it all over again.  I have already heard from so many about the level of worry and stress increasing, so I wanted to focus on teacher mental health and share some unfiltered, “real” experiences that I am facing in the hopes that others know that these feelings are normal and there are some tools to overcoming them.  So, here we go into this unknown, but, I am going to be journaling my experiences each week, sharing what challenges I’m facing, but also what experiences there are to overcome them to maintain some degree of mental health normalcy in our minds.

I look forward to sharing what I am experiencing and I hope you will share as well!

-Joe

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