Managing Educator Anxiety in the Classroom

Available with English captions and subtitles in Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish.

Dr. Melinda Macht-Greenberg shares how education faculty and staff can support the new educational experience, addresses anxieties felt by educators, and provides advice on balancing a fluctuating learning environment.

With a very uncertain school year upon us, it’s no surprise that educators have expressed anxiety around what awaits them in—and out of—the classroom. Whether teachers are remote, in person, or a bit of both, it’s important to manage expectations of educators and help reduce the pressures they may be feeling from all angles. How can teachers support themselves, one another, and their students in 2020 and beyond?

This content is also available in Spanish.

Audience Questions

  • I’ve been telling students that I am also very disappointed about this school year and how everything is different. We’re working on getting over our disappointments together. Ideally, how should I be handling this?
  • This week, I’ve watched my elementary students navigate poor internet connectivity and faulty devices in order to connect to their classes and Zoom meetings. It breaks my heart to see the ways students must manage their education in ways they never have had to before. Many do not have caregivers/adults to support them during the day. Many do not have access to the technology that will allow them to participate fully in their education. I can sense the anxiety when their internet fails or when their device freezes. This pandemic is only exacerbating inequities in our educational system. Do you have any tips for ways to navigate these anxieties related to access and socioeconomic barriers?
  • There are suddenly tons of “learn to teach through Zoom!” books and courses. Are there any reputable resources to help teachers learn how to be effective via Zoom?
  • Educators are concerned about lost learning time and what that will mean for the long-term academic and social-emotional development of our students. Teachers already feel like they don’t have enough time with students who are behind, and now we know that their educational experience is going to be suboptimal for at least another year. What advice do you have to help teachers manage the stress and anxiety about everything that their students, particularly their most vulnerable learners, are not learning?
  • As a grade school specialist who teaches children in grades K-5 who are all fully remote, I am finding that it is difficult to create and implement consistent classroom expectations for my students. Some students are attending in small groups, some are in a larger community group hosted by the YMCA, and many students have their parents sitting just off-screen giving directions that may or may not correlate with preset expectations. What is your advice?
  • Now that teachers work from home, it’s not as simple for them to just turn off their work. Teachers are working later due to transitioning lessons and curriculum online, learning new apps and tech features, and last-minute changes from administration/superiors. This has become the norm and teachers are expected to keep up. Do you have tips to clearly communicate boundaries with other teachers and administration and how school cultures can better support health and home/work boundaries now that everything is so different?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.

Presentation Slides

About Dr. Melinda Macht-Greenberg

Melinda Macht-Greenberg, PhD, is a Harvard-trained child psychologist and faculty member at Tufts University who provides expert advice to parents about children and their education. Dr. Macht-Greenberg also works with families on improving educational outcomes for their children in both private and public schools to maximize a child’s success.

Learn more about Dr. Macht-Greenberg

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