7 mental health tips for teachers as they go back to school

teacher stress
Posted at 1:40 PM, Aug 31, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As students and parents get ready to go back to school, most teachers are already there. Preparing their classrooms, lesson plans and adhering to new guidance. Including Ben Hamm, health educator at West Seneca Central Schools.

"No one’s unaffected by those back to school nerves. As an educator, I can certainly relate and tell everybody that we feel it is well," said Hamm.

As a health educator, Hamm says he’s glad that mental health has taken the forefront during the pandemic. It’s something they’ve been incorporating over at the Maryvale School District as well.

As they enter their second year working with Compeer Buffalo, they’re seeing a good response even at freshman orientation.

“I’m usually the loneliest table out there, no body wants to talk about depression, but I had one parent she said what a wonderful opportunity that the school is providing,” said Kelli Cookfair, LMSW, the School Social Worker at Maryvale.

So we asked these two educators for 7 tips for teachers as they get ready to go back to school:
1. Simply just be there.

2. Take your own advice, anything you’d tell your students, tell yourself as well.

3. Take care of yourself.

"Some things can wait, but self care and wellness can’t, we need to take care of ourselves and show students that that’s the priority," said Cookfair.

4. Be a role model.

"Students can tell if teachers had a bad day, even if you did get up and spill your coffee and forget your phone, we want to make sure to show them how to recover from that," said Cookfair.

5. Be a good listener and observe how students are adjusting.

6. Be sensitive

7. Meet students where they are.

"Don’t expect them to come right back in and be ready to crack open a notebook, every student and adult has gone through their own experience with this pandemic, but we’re getting through it and we can all relate to that and we will get through it," said Hamm.