Teacher wellbeing and returning to teaching in the shadow of COVID19 – dealing with anxiety

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By Nicki Allman

This new article offers advice on what to do if restarting school has left you feeling overwhelmed and how to tackle worries you may have about teaching in the classroom again with all the additional challenges that the COVID19 pandemic has created.

teacher in classroom

There is no doubt that COVID19 has had a dramatic impact on our lives as a whole. Schools are most definitely at the centre of the ‘new normal’. It is also clear that without children returning to school, the rest of the economy will struggle to restart effectively. However, alongside that, there are competing issues that can increase the anxiety and fears amongst school staff. For example, seeming contradictory information (such as maintaining social distancing in the community while government guidance proposing this will not happen in school settings, or the conflicting reports that children can pass the virus on more or less, depending on which one you read) may cause anxiety.

If the children are to adapt effectively to the new situations and challenges, our systems have to ensure staff wellbeing is undertaken with equal priority.

One thing is for sure, this is the start of a new school year like no other and consequently, teacher wellbeing has never been more important. The stress and strain of adapting to the blended learning approach, alongside provision for key workers and vulnerable children and the soft opening prior to the summer break, all showed how draining this whole experience has already been for those working in schools. It is therefore vital that those planning school reopenings take into account the impact it will have on school staff. If the children are to adapt effectively to the new situations and challenges, our systems have to ensure staff wellbeing is undertaken with equal priority.
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