Special Report

Taking Care of Teachers

July 22, 2020
Being a teacher has never been easy. But the onset of the global pandemic has put extraordinary new pressures on the profession, and taken a massive toll on many teachers’ mental health and well-being. Abrupt school closures this spring left teachers with upended routines, disrupted learning plans, and a host of new worries about now-distant students. The pivot to remote learning was rife with logistical and emotional challenges, and many teachers say they lost any sense of work-life balance. At the same time, a national reckoning on race, sparked by the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black men and women, put teachers of color at the center of difficult and often-draining conversations about racial justice.
With a new school year on the horizon—and coronavirus infections still raging—teachers say they’re more anxious and exhausted than ever. This report looks at the many ways stressors related to COVID-19 and racial inequities have affected the teacher workforce, strategies for self-care, and how school leaders and districts can help protect their teachers’ social and emotional well-being through the continued uncertainty.
Coverage of social and emotional learning is supported in part by a grant from the NoVo Foundation, at www.novofoundation.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.