Our Frontline: Supporting educators’ mental health during the pandemic
As a teacher, you know there are a lot of people relying on you to do the best job you can. Your class, their parents and carers, other staff at your school and groups such as Ofsted create different pressures at the best of times, and during the COVID-19 crisis you might be feeling that pressure more than ever.
There are also additional worries you might have because of the pandemic. How will you manage social distancing in your classroom? What to do when children have to stay home due to restrictions? How can you keep yourself, the children and colleagues safe? All of this compounded stress might be having an impact on your mental health, leaving you feeling anxious, exhausted and emotionally drained.
You aren’t alone
However, you aren’t alone, and there are resources available that can help you. Twinkl has teamed up with Mind to support teachers and help them cope with their new ways of working. Find out more about Twinkl and about the issues facing teachers at the moment in their guest blog, or read on for some ideas that can help.
In this toolkit, you can find resources that have been selected by Twinkl’s teachers which you might find useful. They are here to help reduce your stress and encourage self-care – focusing on helping you relax and let go of anxiety, and take positive steps towards feeling in control at work.
You might like to use Twinkl’s own resources, which are designed exclusively for teachers, school leaders and TAs, and cover the unique challenges you might be facing. Or, you might prefer to look at more general advice from experts which can help you keep you positive and focused. There are also links to some helplines if what you really need is a chat with a sympathetic listener.
It’s an overwhelming time – but there is help available.
Resources in this toolkit:
Coronavirus and your wellbeing
This short guide from Mind explores some of the worries and difficulties you might experience due to the coronavirus pandemic, and some ways to ensure your mental health is protected. It will help you manage your own reaction to the crisis, and also help you to support your colleagues and students who may be struggling.
Sadly, you, someone you work with, or a learner may have experienced a bereavement during the COVID-19 crisis. This guide will help you to be able to talk about death and grief which you may find useful.
When times are tough, having somebody listen to you without judgement can make a huge difference. Essential services staff who are working on the frontlines, such as teachers, can call the Samaritans for free to speak in confidence with a trained listening volunteer.
Education Support helpline
Education Support provides a free, confidential helpline for all teachers, lecturers and staff in England, Wales and Scotland. It’s available all day, every day, and the site has downloadable posters to share it with colleagues.
Shout provides a free 24/7 text support service for anyone who's a key worker during the coronavirus crisis, including teachers and education workers. Text KEYWORKER to 85258 to talk by text with a trained crisis volunteer.
Supporting staff wellbeing
Good staff wellbeing is essential in education, and means that staff are better able, in turn, to support their pupils. This page from Mentally Healthy Schools has information, advice and links to quality-assured resources that can help.