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Wellness Webinars

Five Months of Free Wellness Classes for Educators

January 11, 2024

Five Months of Free Wellness Classes for Educators

AFT’s Share My Lesson is providing five new free, hour-long, for-credit wellness webinars this year. Each webinar in this wellness series is a stand-alone session, so you can register today for all or just start with one. Learn more below.


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Focusing on my own well-being has always been a struggle, and I think most people can relate. Perhaps it’s a result of our nation’s culture that many of us feel this intense pressure to push ourselves to work harder and harder until we reach our breaking point. We feel that if we choose to be kind to ourselves and take the rest and seek the care we need, we may be seen as being lazy or, perhaps worse, as failures.

For the past two years, I have been striving to be kinder to myself, to take the steps I need to be healthy mentally, emotionally and physically. It’s a strange thing to realize that despite trying to live a life where I show kindness to others, I have been incredibly mean to myself. I wish I had recognized on my own how mean I was to myself, but I had to reach a very low point in my mental health before I finally sought out help from a therapist who opened my eyes to this. I now strive to remember to talk to myself and treat myself the same way I would a friend. I have also been slowly getting better at setting boundaries and recognizing that saying “no” does not mean that I am being unkind, but instead it can mean that I am choosing to be kind to myself.

I have learned a lot about being kind to myself, but sometimes I still feel guilty when I take the time to see to my self-care—guilt that I should be doing something more productive with my time. When self-care hasn’t been a normal and consistent part of your life, it’s hard to suddenly incorporate it into your routine. Amber Chandler, in her recent blog post, “Discovering Self-Care: An Exploration for the Compulsively Busy,” discusses how she has begun to prioritize her own self-care by scheduling that time into her planner. I encourage you to give the post a read.

Recognizing how difficult it can be to start prioritizing one’s self-care, AFT’s Share My Lesson is providing five new free, hourlong, for-credit wellness webinars this year. So, you can choose how you want to ease into your self-care journey by taking care of your health while also receiving professional development credit. So, let go of the guilt and choose to be kind to yourself. Each webinar in this wellness series is a stand-alone session, so you can register today for all or just start with one. Learn more about the sessions we are offering in the list below—each starts at 7 p.m. Eastern time, and be sure to note that even if you can’t make it for the live session, you can still register now and you will be emailed the on-demand link shortly after the conclusion of the live event.

circadian rhythms

Dimensions to Wellness: Self-Care for Educators (Jan. 24)

During this session, participants will delve into their own self-care practices, gaining insights to become more intentional about their wellness journey. The program covers a range of topics, including an assessment of current health, understanding circadian rhythms, exploring eight wellness indicators and their impact on overall well-being, and even delving into the concept of chakras.

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students hug teacher

Five Healing Gestures to Help Educators and Students Grappling with Trauma (Feb. 28)

The session will introduce five “healing gestures” that educators can employ to create a safe and healing environment for their students. These gestures encompass actions such as active listening, providing emotional support, and creating a sense of belonging—all of which are essential for students on their path to recovery and resilience.

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Woman mindfully relaxes

Be Healthfully Present: Supporting Your Own Well-Being (March 20)

How can we be healthfully present? People who experience traumatic events and environments can face long-term changes to their brains, bodies and behaviors. To best leverage trauma-informed strategies for students, educators must be well. In this session, participants will examine educators' occupational health hazards, assess their professional quality of life, and review effective coping strategies.

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Holistic Approach to Self-Care: Creating a Personal Wellness Plan (April 17)

This session will equip educators with invaluable tools to not only recognize the signs of teacher burnout but also to proactively combat it. Moreover, it offers a diverse range of strategies tailored to each individual, enabling them to create a personalized wellness plan that fosters resilience, balance and a renewed sense of purpose in their crucial roles as educators. Ultimately, this holistic approach to self-care empowers educators to thrive both personally and professionally, thereby enhancing their ability to educate America's youth effectively.

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teacher with documents

More Than Just Self-Care: Six Factors of Educator Well-Being (May 6)

Join this session in which we will explain how to go beyond burnout—equipping educators with strategies that are proven to increase well-being while also providing school systems the tools they need to drive improvements in educators’ well-being at scale. With a meaningful and measurable definition of educator well-being, we can spark improvements that create positive working and learning conditions for all.

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How are you prioritizing your self-care this year? Let us know in the comments.

Megan Ortmeyer
Megan Ortmeyer is an SML Team Member and has worked in the AFT Educational Issues Department since fall 2018. She received her M.A. in education policy studies in May 2020 from the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the George Washington University. Prior to working at the AFT,... See More

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