This is the most chaotic school year we’ve ever seen. Educators are stressed and traumatized by the demands of the COVID-19 global pandemic, racial and social unrest, the disastrous effects of climate events, and a continuous cycle of negative news. Teachers are worried that their students will tune out and that vulnerable populations aren’t getting online. And they’re feeling overwhelmed by the personal and professional demands placed on them. In one recent study 71 percent of teachers reported that their morale is worse now than before the pandemic. This appears to be the new normal in how educators teach, interact, and create meaningful connections with students.
We created the Circulus Institute because we believe that social and emotional well-being is the foundation for all learning. And because educators need help now feeling resilient and confident so that students flourish and schools thrive. The Circulus Institute will provide workshops, professional development, and resources to school teams to help close the gap between educators’ stress and students’ success.
This work is not only timely, it is also a natural fit for both of us. Ellen’s years of work in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) have shown her the enormous need for helping adults build up their strengths in SEL. Kristin’s interest in teachers’ well-being stems from her doctoral research, in which she saw first-hand that resilient teachers are the most likely to be successful–and teachers whose well-being is suffering are much more likely to get exhausted and burn out..
Our partnership began this past summer, when we worked together to design and launch a course called Reclaiming Your Resilience. Over six weeks, thirty educators including leaders, teachers, and counselors came together to find strength, connection, and space to rebuild their capacity after a horrific end to the school year.
The experience was beyond our expectations and the impact was real. Every single one of our participants told us that they could apply what they learned to their work and would recommend the course to other educators. As one deputy principal told us, “This was an amazing learning experience that helped me heal and inspired me to help my colleagues as we continue on these unchartered waters together.”
Building on the success of our first course, we’re expanding our offerings. This October, we will host three courses to help educators become more resilient, learn the skills to thrive in the year ahead, and create a plan to nurture resilience in their school communities.
- Reclaiming Your Resilience for Educators: October 27 – November 16
- Reclaiming Your Resilience for School Leaders: October 13 – November 2
- Reclaiming Your Resilience for School Counselors: October 22 – November 11
We are here to help create resilient educators and vibrant schools. We hope you join us as we build opportunities to fight burnout and build educators’ well-being.
1. Jones, S.M., Farrington, C.A., Jagers, R., Brackett, M. & Kahn, J. (in press). National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development: A research agenda for the next generation. Washington, DC: The Aspen Institute.
2. Schonert-Reichl, K.A. (2017). Social and emotional learning and teachers. The Future of Children, 27(1), 137-155.
3. Osher, D., Sprague, J., Weissberg, R. P., Axelrod, J., Keenan, S., Kendziora, K., et al. (2007). A comprehensive approach to promoting social, emotional, and academic growth in contemporary schools. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology (Vol. 5, 5th ed., pp. 1263-1278). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.