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Address the stress

By Sharron Helmke
October 2020
Vol. 41, No. 5
It’s the start of another school year, but unlike any other in our careers. This year, we find ourselves at the nexus of a widespread, months-old pandemic and racial trauma that is centuries old. We cannot pretend this is an ordinary school year. For many of us, there is fear in our classrooms, fear in the streets, fear of being in crowds, and fear for our families, to name just a few of our concerns. This layering of health stress that started months ago with the racial trauma that has gone on for generations is not something we can check at the door as we enter school. With no immediate end to either in sight, these crises and the resulting trauma will be with us

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References

Business.com. (2020, April 1). Stress and productivity: What the numbers say. www.business.com/articles/stress-and-productivity-what-the-numbers-say

Connley, C. (2020, June 10). 4 ways to cope with racial trauma amid the coronavirus pandemic. www.cnbc.com/2020/06/10/4-ways-to-cope-with-racial-trauma-amid-the-coronavirus-pandemic.html

Cuncic, A. (2020, March 22). An overview of work anxiety. VeryWell Mind. www.verywellmind.com/work-anxiety-4692762

Goldstein, D. & Shapiro, E. (2020, August 13). I don’t want to go back: Many teachers are fearful and angry over pressure to return. The New York Times. www.nytimes.com/2020/07/11/us/virus-teachers-classrooms.html

Hanson, R. (2020). Take in the good. www.rickhanson.net/take-in-the-good

National Association of School Psychologists. (2020). Coping with the COVID-19 crisis: The importance of care for caregivers tips for administrators and crisis teams. www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/covid-19-resource-center/crisis-and-mental-health-resources/coping-with-the-covid-19-crisis-the-importance-of-care-for-caregivers

Pawlewicz, D.D. (2020, July 10). The school reopening debate reveals that we don’t listen to teachers about schools. The Washington Post. www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/07/10/school-reopening-debate-reveals-that-we-dont-listen-teachers-about-schools

Plett, H. (2019, August 17). What it means to hold space for someone. Uplift. upliftconnect.com/hold-space

Porter, T. (2020, June 22). Reflecting on teacher wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regional Education Laboratory. ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/pacific/blogs/blog28_reflecting-on-teacher-wellbeing-during-COVID-19-pandemic.asp

Teachers Thematic Group, World Bank. (2020, May). Three principles to support teacher effectiveness during COVID-19. documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/331951589903056125/pdf/Three-Principles-to-Support-Teacher-Effectiveness-During-COVID-19.pdf


Image for aesthetic effect only - Sharron-helmke-338x400-1
Vice President for Professional Services at Learning Forward | + posts

Sharron Helmke is vice president for professional services at Learning Forward. She designs and manages the organization’s consulting service programs that support state, regional, and local organizations in translating their improvement and learning goals into custom-designed high-quality professional learning programs that result in scalable and sustainable change. During her twenty-plus years in education she has served in a variety of roles at the campus and district levels, including teacher, instructional coach, and district-based program administrator. She is an international coaching federation certified professional coach, a Gestalt professional coach, and a trauma-informed care provider, all of which inform her approach to supporting educators. She is the author of numerous professional articles, including “To make a difference for every student, give every new teacher a mentor” in the August 2022 issue of The Learning Journal.


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