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Safeguarding the Mental Health of Teachers

Teachers tell their students that mindset matters. Yet teachers do not always allow themselves space to receive those same messages of reflection and self-care.

Henry Seton, a longtime high school teacher and department head, learned that firsthand. In a courageous and insightful essay in Educational Leadership, Seton explored the hurdles that teachers face — especially those who work in schools in high-poverty settings — in safeguarding their mental health. He also revealed the challenges he’d faced in his own life.

“Teachers are attuned to the social-emotional wellbeing of our students and trained to monitor for signs such as trauma, anxiety, bullying, or microaggressions,” he wrote. “Yet we are still just learning how to discuss a huge, lurking threat to our work: our own mental health.”

Usable Knowledge sat down with Seton, who earned his master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education last May, to talk about the ways in which school communities can both hinder and support the wellbeing of their members.

Excerpted from “Safeguarding the Mental Health of Teachers” in the Harvard Graduate School of Education blog, Usable Knowledge. Read the full interview.

Source: Harvard Graduate School of Education | Safeguarding the Mental Health of Teachers, https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/19/12/safeguarding-mental-health-teachers | ©2019 President and Fellows of Harvard College

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