As some students struggle during the pandemic emotionally, academically and financially, the question arises: How are teachers doing?
According to a survey by the American Federation of Teachers and New York Life Foundation, 75% of students are reporting mental health struggles, and 85% of teachers don't feel equipped to handle the heightened trauma students are facing.
“This year in particular we have to focus on taking care of our teachers," Head of School at Academy of Our Lady of Peace Dr. Lauren Lek said. "As I think about all the conversations going on in schools right now, it is the conversation that has been absent.”
The school has looked to outside experts to talk to staff about the realities they are facing.
One expert shared this advice with Lek: “This is a global pandemic. We have to mourn, we have to acknowledge we lost something and then we can accept the second-best thing.”
Lek said school leaders need to remind teachers to get enough sleep, eat well and notice when the stress gets too much, then to seek help, and find joy.
“I think one of the greatest things we can find joy in is what we’ve accomplished,” Lek said.