Online Resources for Educators, Staff and Administrators
The uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic have challenged school systems, especially educators, staff, and administrators, to transform the ways that they connect with, teach, and support students and families. These changes also offer school systems the opportunity to build on the relationships they have formed with each other and with their students and families. It is possible within this move to largely virtual learning for schools to build resilience and coping skills, provide a much needed sense of safety and routine, and connect with families who might otherwise be isolated and overwhelmed. We have researched and collected helpful apps, podcasts and other online resources focusing on educators and school staff’s mental wellbeing.
Mental Health Apps
Calm: Meditation and relaxation app behind the Calm Schools Initiative which offers teachers access to exercises as well as an onboarding package to introduce mindfulness.
Headspace: Mindfulness app that has partnered with Teach for America (TFA) to be available for TFA corps members and alumni for free by registering with an @tfacorps.org email address.
Mental Health Websites and Other Online Content
“10 Mental Health Tips for Teachers During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” EverFi: External link advice for work-life balance and remote teaching.
“15 Ways to Reduce Teacher Stress,” Scholastic: External link Tips to help teachers love what they do and enjoy their lives outside the classroom.
ASCD Express, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD): External link newsletter with practical and actionable strategies to help teachers and school leaders with self-care and more.
CARE (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education), Create for Education and the Garrison Institute: External link programs to help teachers, principals and other educators develop healthy social and emotional behavior.
Care for the Caregiver: Guidelines for Administrators and Crisis Teams, National Association of School Psychologists: External link risks and stressors, warning signs and strategies for self-care for school staff.
“COVID-19 Employee Mental Health Support Audit and Resource Guide,” EAB (PDF, 337 KB): External link guide for evaluating a school’s capability to support the mental health of teachers and staff.
“Don’t Lose Your Head,” NEA Today: External link tips to help teachers keep burnout at bay and maintain grace under pressure inside and outside the classroom.
Educating Through Crisis, National Education Association: External link guide for physical and mental wellness with webinars, financial information and tips to set up a home gym.
The Educator’s Room: External link articles and advice dedicated to improving education and using the wisdom and experience of classroom teachers, with information on the annual Teacher Self-Care Conference. External link
“Educators: You Have Permission to Take Care of Yourselves, Right Now,” Mindful Schools: External link tips for teachers on how to show themselves compassion and self-care with guided practices to relieve stress.
“How to Teach and Still Have a Life This School Year,” Scholastic: External link tips, strategies and encouragement for teachers to set boundaries and stay motivated.
Life and Well-being, We Are Teachers: External link curated topics page of videos, articles and tools focused on reinvigorating and inspiring teachers to live more healthfully.
My Well-being, Greater Good in Education: External link strategies and practices for the adults who work with students to help encourage positive school cultures.
Personal Assessment and Reflection Tool, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) (PDF, 362 KB): External link self-evaluation tool for school leaders, staff and other adults to assess personal strengths in social and emotional learning.
“Prioritizing Well-being: Mental Health Strategies for Teachers and Students,” EverFi: External link webinar exploring activities, strategies, tips and tricks to help with mental well-being.
Resilient Educator: External link articles for educators with content ranging from self-care to teaching tips and professional development.
“Self-Care for Educators Working From Home,” California Teachers Association (PDF, 1.5 MB): External link activities and strategies for educators to stay connected and healthy while working remotely.
Self-Care Resources, Mindful Teachers: External link tips, reflections, mindfulness practices and more to help with common challenges educators face.
Share My Lesson, American Federation of Teachers: External link articles, lesson plan guides and other content to provide teachers high-quality material for their students.
SMART (Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques) in Education, PassageWorks: External link program with virtual workshops delivered over eight weeks to reduce stress and improve mental well-being.
Teacher Well-being, The Guardian Network: External link curated stories focused on supporting educators.
Teacher Wellness, Edutopia: External link articles, videos and other helpful content about self-care.
For Educators, Understood.org: External link articles, tools and resources to help educators navigate different situations.
“What About You? Educator Resilience and Trauma-Informed Self-Care,” Center on Great Teachers and Leaders: External link video webinar on how educators can take care of themselves and their families while maintaining connections to students and colleagues during a crisis.
“Why Teacher Self-Care Matters and How to Practice Self-Care in Your School,” Waterford.org: External link activities and tips for teachers to use inside and outside the classroom.
“World Mental Health Day: 5 Tips for Teacher Well-being,” Teach Starter: External link advice on how to de-stress, maintain physical health and strive for better work-life balance.
Books on Mental Health
“Moment for Teachers: Self-Care for Busy Teachers – 101 Free Ways for Teachers to Become More Inspired, Peaceful, and Confident in 30 Seconds,” External link Alice Langholt: tasks and activities for teachers to do alone or with students.
“The Beginning Teacher’s Field Guide: Embarking on Your First Years,” External link Tina H. Boogren: advice, empathy and support with a description of phases of every teacher’s first year.
“First Aid for Teacher Burnout: How You Can Find Peace and Success,” External link Jenny Grant Rankin: examination of common causes of teacher burnout with strategies to cope with them.
“The Happy Teacher’s Handbook: From Overwhelmed to Inspired – Helping Teachers Embrace Resiliency,” External link Jen Molitor: tips, tools and inspirational stories to help teachers handle their responsibilities and improve their time management skills.
“Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators,” External link Elena Aguilar: framework for teachers to build resilience based on habits, understand their motivation and tap the energy within to bounce back.
“Overcoming Teacher Burnout in Early Childhood: Strategies for Change,” External link Ellen M. Drolette: examination of why early childhood professionals have a high turnover rate and how to motivate and inspire them to use self-reflection and group work to recharge and strategize.
“Positive Mindset Habits for Teachers: 10 Steps to Reduce Stress, Increase Student Engagement and Reignite Your Passion for Teaching,” External link Grace Stevens: roadmap to reduce stress and raise satisfaction in the classroom.
“See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers,” External link Roxanna Elden: anecdotes, tips and strategies from experienced teachers to help those new to the field.
“Stress Management for Teachers: A Practical Guide,” External link Keith C. Herman and Wendy M. Reinke: collection of coping and problem-solving skills and tools with individual and group exercises.
“Take Time for You: Self-Care Action Plans for Educators,” External link Tina H. Boogren: guide to developing a self-care plan based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
“Today I Made a Difference: A Collection of Inspirational Stories from America’s Top Educators,” External link Joseph W. Underwood: celebration of teachers’ work and motivational stories of educators who overcame obstacles.
Mental Health Podcasts
The Cult of Pedagogy: External link series that focuses on educators, students, administrators and parents sharing insight and advice with veteran educator Jennifer Gonzalez.
HMH Learning Moments: External link series from educational content publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that highlights teachers who share their stories, ideas and innovations to help others.
Passing Notes: External link experts offering practical advice with host Stephanie Hinton, the early childhood eEducation coordinator for Oklahoma City Public Schools.
Teach Me, Teacher: External link podcast with teachers sharing experiences to help their peers and offering their perspectives on teacher development with host and middle school teacher Jacob Chastain.
Teachers’ Aid: External link episodes focus on social and emotional support for teachers with discussions led by hosts and educators Jon Harper and Mandy Froehlich.
The Teacher Self-Care Podcast: External link series features teachers and administrators sharing what self-care looks like for them with host Franchesca Warren, founder of The Educator’s Room.
Truth for Teachers: External link episodes on subjects such as flexible resilience, dealing with personality differences and work-life balance from veteran educator Angela Watson.
“Be Well Crisis Helpline” – Dial 211, enter your ZIP code, press 3.
Trained counselors 24/7 regarding stress, anxiety, loneliness or mental health strains due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Service is free and confidential.
The National Suicide Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255.
It is staffed around the clock, is free, and offers confidential support to people in distress and their families and loved ones. It also provides prevention and crisis resources.
They have additional specific resources for LGBTQ people, youth, Native Americans, veterans, people with disabilities, and disaster survivors. They also offer help in Spanish.
For more information on this valuable service, click here.
Crisis Text Line: Text “MHA” to 741741.
They offer free 24/7 crisis support in the US. When you text, you will be connected to a live trained counselor.