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Managing Mental Wellness: Tools for Yourself, Your Students, and Your Classroom

Managing Mental Wellness: Tools for Yourself, Your Students, and Your Classroom


In this toolkit you will find:

  • Strategies for teachers to manage their mental wellness personally and in the context of school
  • Activities to support students’ social-emotional learning and well-being
  • Step-by-step tools to respond to students in times of crisis

About the guide:

  • Teachers have one of the greatest responsibilities in the world: supporting children to grow into caring,
    competent citizens equipped with the skills to lead productive and fulfilling lives. In the best of times, teaching
    can be challenging and stressful. Starting in 2020—amidst COVID-19 and with a spotlight on inequities in the
    United States—school leaders, teachers, school staff, and families have attempted to balance physical safety,
    emotional well-being, and worthwhile learning.
  • This toolkit is designed for teachers, their students, and the classroom. It offers strategies to manage mental wellness in the context of school and personally, and it gives methods to assist students and families with learning and well-being. Each section includes tools that teachers can directly apply to their own experiences. Studies show that when teachers prioritize their own well-being, their health improves, they are better able to create positive conditions for student learning, and their students’ well-being improves. That’s why this toolkit centers teacher well-being from its very first chapter.
  • We invite you to treat this document like you would any toolkit: pick one tool at a time, think about it, try it out a few times, and if the tool yields some kind of benefit, continue to use it. Then gradually consider trying another tool, and so on. Self-care is not a race. Keep adding tools to your toolbox at a comfortable pace, and do what works for you.


This guide was developed by the Collaborative Action for Family Engagement (CAFE) center at MAEC. The main authors of this guide are Dr. Seth Shaffer, Psy.D. and Marianna Stepniak, MAEC. With appreciation to Hugo Nájera, Karmen Rouland, and Susan Shaffer, MAEC.

MAEC is committed to the sharing of information regarding issues of equity in education. The contents of this document were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education under the Statewide Family Engagement Centers Program. However, the contents of this document do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Department of Education or federal government, generally.

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