EDUCATION

At ‘Show up for Teachers’ conference, a focus on teacher mental health

Jul 14, 2022, 8:00 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 10:34 am
teachers mental health...
FILE: Bill Coleman, a sixth grade teacher, chats with Jerry Oyler during class at Nibley Park School in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The issues of stress and mental health in the lives of Utah teachers were front and center this week at a conference hosted by Utah First Lady Abby Cox. The ‘Show up For Teachers Conference’ was held at the Salt Palace Convention Center, and focused on issues involving emotional well-being as well as subjects that can enhance that well-being. Those included personal finance, goal setting, and conflict resolution.

On KSL NewsRadios Dave & Dujanovic, First Lady Cox said that the stress teachers faced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was overwhelming.

“We talked to teachers all over the state,” said Cox. “I’ve talked to them almost daily and hear stories from educators from all over the state saying ‘we got through that first year of the pandemic and we really felt exhausted. But we did feel that people were looking at us as heroes.'”

But a year later, Cox said, teachers felt that they were doing additional difficult work and that even more was being thrown at them.

“They were trying to catch kids up from the time they’ve lost,” Cox said. “And now, they’re getting hit by all kinds of rhetoric around their jobs.”

Cox warned that the existing job market is such that teachers could easily leave and find something else. And she predicted that could have dire consequences for the state of Utah.

“If we’re not careful, we will lose our educators. And thereby, we will not have a future as a state.”

A poll conducted by the National Education Association in January, 2022, found that 55% of the teachers in the survey said they would leave the field much sooner than they planned. Most of them cited burnout and pandemic-related stress.

“Phenomenal conference, incredible feedback”

First Lady Cox said that the conference was a success because it focused on teachers’ mental health.

“We wanted to craft this conference to be exactly what they needed,” Cox said. Teachers said they needed help for themselves. Including a focus on emotional intelligence skills, self-care, and on their mental health.

There is a silver lining in the news from the teacher front, Cox said. Teachers in some districts and schools do feel supported. They feel they are getting what they need.

“We want to replicate that feeling of support,” First Lady Cox said. “We want to make sure that every school and every district has … a wellness plan in place for their educators, as well as their students.”

Related reading:

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

Education

children at an assembly pictured. The first day of school is coming up...
Samantha Herrera

First day of school dates for schools along the Wasatch Front

The first day of the 2022-2023 school is just weeks away for most school districts along the Wasatch Front. Here's a list of those days.
1 day ago
FILE- Davis County School District headquarters. Photo: KSLTV...
Mark Jones

Davis School District welcomes hundreds of new educators this week

Roughly 300 new teachers will be welcomed this week by the Davis School District as they begin their first year in education.
1 day ago
ZooLights amur tiger...
Mark Jones

Utah’s Hogle Zoo expanding east side with an all-Utah species exhibit

The new project expanding Utah's Hogle Zoo will include an all-Utah species exhibit. It is expected to be finished in 2023.
2 days ago
Native American regalia...
Curt Gresseth

U. of U. to offer scholarships to Indigenous students in Utah

The University of Utah announced that scholarships will be offered to members of Utah's eight federally recognized tribes. The university president shares details of the program with Dave & Dujanovic.
6 days ago
Grand opening event for the Salt Lake County Jail Resource Reentry Program....
Waverly Golden

SLC County Jail announces a new resource reentry program

Salt Lake County's reentry program helps individuals navigate the stressful transition from jail back into the community.
6 days ago
Doing school online during the pandemic has put student behind academically....
Samantha Herrera

Study shows pandemic put students behind almost 5 years

Online school through the pandemic has proven to put students further behind than originally thought, study shows.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

At ‘Show up for Teachers’ conference, a focus on teacher mental health