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Mental & Emotional Wellbeing in 2021: Strategies & Practices for All Educators

In a post-2020 world, how can we as CUNY educators better support our students’ and our own emotional needs? What are some practical ways to promote mental and emotional well-being for our students and ourselves in the upcoming semester, while respecting our personal and professional boundaries and limitations? Why should we even consider this?

Building on concepts introduced in Tuesday’s Mental and Emotional Well-being in 2021 workshop, this session will provide hands-on opportunities to discover and employ teaching practices that help cultivate students’ and instructors’ emotional wellness. We will share concrete practices that participants can use in their classes and broader strategies to adopt in this semester and beyond. Centering the principles of trauma-informed pedagogy, we will discuss and practice using diverse techniques to help students develop emotional resilience and prevent emotionally depleting our students and ourselves, while remaining aware of the limits of our scope of practice as educators. We will explore techniques such as conducting regular check-ins, increasing opportunities for student choice, and using content warnings, among many others. Participants will leave this workshop with a better understanding of why emotional and mental well-being matters in higher education, and with a toolkit of actionable ideas to try out in their teaching. Participants will also have the opportunity to revise one personal class artifact of their choice, integrating particular practices and strategies as desired.

This workshop is part two in our two-part series on mental wellness & emotional wellbeing in 2021. Part one emphasizes theoretical framing and self-reflection; this part focuses on teaching practices and strategies. While we encourage interested folks to attend both events, you are welcome to attend only one.

This workshop was offered as part of the TLC’s 2021 Mid-Winter Institute.The workshop took place via Zoom as an online, synchronous workshop. The workshop and materials were developed by Miranda Fedock, in discussion with Talisa Feliciano.

Materials

All materials on this page and in the linked google folder are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) 4.0 International Public License.

This folder contains outreach materials, workshop agenda, and slides used in the workshop (and distributed to participants to use as a resource).

Materials Folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1yFdU6dyM7wJ-6dptF7M3ZirLsOxKvzIX?usp=sharing

Workshop Agenda

Before: make Talisa co-host; set up music for coming in and for wellness planning

3:05-3:15

  • Quick intro for myself. Where i’m coming from; i’m not an expert, just sharing what I’ve learned and to learn from y’all.
  • Goals/overview
  • Wkshp agreement
  • Intros for others

3:20-3:55: slides/presentation:

3:20-3:25 slides 5-10 (what is it, why should I care)

3:25-3:30 slides 11-14 (principles & strategies)

3:30-3:40 slide 15 (wellness plan)

3:40-3:55 slides 16-24 (practices)

3:55-4:05: discussion, questions, critiques, thoughts, concerns

4:05-4:30: activity: revise-a-thing-athon. Breakout rooms, Talisa and I jump between

  • What’s one artifact from your class that you think might benefit from becoming more trauma-informed? One thing you’d like to consider revising to be more mindful of your and your students’ emotional safety and wellness and to help encourage emotional resilience?
  • Depending on number of participants, work together on revising these specific artifacts (in pairs or as a group or one-on-one), infusing with trauma-informed principles/using some of the practices presented in the workshop and/or practices we came up with
  • I can start this off: one section of my syllabus (late policy); or sample feedback to struggling student from last semester; or additional assignment options
  • (if group of people not teaching this semester, can put in dedicated breakout room, to work on past or future syllabi etc or discuss/share ideas more generally)

4:30: Quick debrief – go back to last ‘3 qs’ slide

  • Ask people how they want to follow-up after this wkshp. Maybe a check-in later in the semester? Compile living resource list? Something to keep it as ongoing convo: put ideas in chat!