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Ways to keep teachers’ mental health in check

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“Secure your oxygen mask first before helping others” is an announcement that echoes inside every aircraft before the takeoff. It means once you’re safe and secure, you are in a better position to help others sitting beside you.

Ever since the crisis of COVID-19 befell the global populace, a wave of shock has spread globally. While a few of us coped with it well devising various activities to keep ourselves engrossed, for people in a few professions it became almost impossible to keep their mental health in check. While the physical health of the sick made it to the headlines, the mental health of people remained untold. After all, fighting the virus sitting at home and the tight isolation measures bear deep psychological consequences.

The community of teachers has been worst impacted where they have to endure the burden of the new ‘online’ education module and are under the stress of being constantly monitored while teaching through an unfamiliar medium.

Since the education sector is one of the worst-hit sectors, everyone is working toward making sure schools remain undisrupted and students keep getting continuous education sitting at home. But how many of us have thought about the well-being of the person who is responsible to make this transition smooth or happen, to say the least?

In the middle of this mayhem, we all forgot that teachers need mental and emotional support too. Where in the education sector, students usually remain a priority- rightfully so- the mental health of teachers and educators has remained unchecked.

Do stakeholders realise the mental health of teachers remains important more than ever? Are we aware that the teacher’s mental wellness is important for the quality of education imparted in class? If anything, this emergency has made it unambiguously clear that the teacher’s well-being is as important as the student’s.

Why is online education posing a threat to the mental health of educators?

They say, “change is the only constant” but with time and the advent of technology, one must not just change, one must EVOLVE.

Businesses across the board have gone through massive evolution with no exception made to the education space. While parents, teachers, and school administration are busy in this monumental tech shift, the dire need to address the challenges that befall teachers is getting overlooked.

Teaching in abnormal circumstances, taking care of every child alike, and lack of adequate tools and resources make online classes taxing for the educators’ community at large.

In present conditions, teachers have to maintain quality learning, they are struggling to engage with students, getting them to respond and collaborate during lessons, assessing the learning outcomes while keeping them all safe during eLearning.

On top of everything, during online classes teachers are also assisting students with their change of routine; they are making sure that the classroom is fun since the element of face-to-face interaction has disappeared. Besides, they are helping students deal with the absence of friends. They interact with them regularly to make sure their mental health is not in shambles while giving little care to their own. Teachers keep reiterating to students that mental health matters, but seldom do they indulge in self-care themselves.

The ongoing crisis has allowed the human race to evolve and blend with the times. This transition remains challenging for sure but not unattainable’. Well-supported by technology, the community of teachers can make a smooth shift to online classes without hampering the academic schedule or toiling their wits out of proportion.

Online integrated platforms are saving educators from any more hassle that they already face. This platform connects teachers and children with the click of a button where teachers can teach with the help of ample resources without having to fret about “how to teach this chapter” or “what to teach next”?

When it comes to mental health, many of us don’t know where to start. Being physically active and updating oneself with the latest teaching methods offer tangible strategies for teachers. Small, almost incidental random activities can be powerful enough to make you feel good in the long run.  

School online classes

  • Engaged class: A teacher with the help of videos, quizzes, storytelling, and other online resources can make the class interesting and engaging. If students are engaged and having fun chances are teachers would do.
  • Set boundaries: The right balance of school and personal life must be achieved by educators at all times especially during online classes. Doing things you like in your free time, can help you bounce back with energy for your next class.
  • Keep learning: Since this transition is new and teachers have to get their heads around technology, they should keep learning so that dealing with students in this novel structure gets easier.
  • Have a life beyond teaching: One must inculcate healthy habits especially during such unprecedented times. Indulge in cooking, yoga, or whatever makes you happy when you are not teaching. This refreshes your mind and helps to keep its equilibrium stable.
  • Reduce classroom stress with realistic deadlines: If students are given realistic deadlines to work on for their assignments or homework, they will feel less stressed which in turn will make the overall atmosphere of the class better and less stressful.
How is the LEAD School ensuring the mental health of teachers?

Doing its bit, LEAD School not only has made the life of students easier but with its unique and easy technology, it has also made teaching less stressful. Its various attributes such as Digital Learning Content, Physical Reader & Workbooks, Learning activities, E-books, Regular assessments & Practices quizzes, Personalised revisions, Home practice, live classes from a LEAD School expert teacher, Doubt clarification, and National competitions have made teaching fun and relaxed.

LEAD Teacher’s Academy helps teachers fill the loopholes in the online learning structure with its asynchronous and synchronous techniques. With LTA, teachers can:

  • Learn Well: Attend School@Home classes.
  • Think Deep: Think about how this mode of learning is different from what you have been doing through the years
  • Do Good: Practice using the LEAD Demo Teacher App. 
  • Be Leaders: Exhibit the mindset of ‘Being the Cause’  to ensure a great day 1.

Teachers can attend LEAD School@Home classes to understand the LEAD School curriculum and pedagogy- what is being taught and how it is being taught and how to make teaching more effective. With LEAD School@Home, the academic year starts online and on-time.

This hybrid learning module was much needed in the education space, its time that schools across India understand the need for models like this and make the learning process easier for students and teachers alike!

With this initiative, teachers are sure to sail this high tide and come out victorious.

LEAD is transforming schools by making children future-ready. To make yours a LEAD Powered School: Partner with us today

About the author

Manasa is a Branding and Communication Manager at LEAD. She is an Asian College of Journalism alumnus and a former Teach for India Fellow. Manasa has also completed her MBA in marketing from Deakin University. She strongly believes that education has the power to shake the world and is excited to be a part of LEAD’s transformational journey.

Manasa Ramakrishnan

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