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Let's Talk: What Educators Need to Prioritize Health and Well-Being


Even before the pandemic, educators were feeling stressed out, overworked, underappreciated and underpaid. We have rightly focused on student mental health as we head back to school, but educator health and well-being are equally important.

Join us for an interactive “launch” session on Sept. 20 (from 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. EDT) for the launch of the AFT’s campaign to focus attention onyour needs and how we can better support our educators’ mental, emotional and physical well-being. You will have the opportunity to sample some offerings we have pulled together, as well as the chance to win gift certificates and subscriptions focused on health and well-being.

Register here. Space is limited and preference will be given to AFT members, so register early. The Zoom link will be sent by email the day of the event.

Join the community for this campaign


Sept. 20, 4:30 – 5 p.m. Panel Discussion

  • Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers
  • Ronn Nozoe, CEO, National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • Dr. Pamela Cantor, founder and senior scientific advisor, Turnaround for Children
  • Thomas Boyd-Foster, teacher, Boston Public Schools and Boston Teachers Union member
  • Victoria Ren, young changemaker
  • Moderated by Arianna Prothero, education reporter, EdWeek

5 – 5:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions
Choose from one of the sessions listed below.

5:30 – 5:45 p.m.
Call to action, wrap-up and reflection

Breakout Sessions

Courageous Conversations

Led by Leven Chuck Wilson, assistant director of AFT’s Health Issues Department, this session will discuss how to have those difficult conversations as we confront the myriad personal and professional challenges that educators are facing. This breakout will leave you with practical tools and tips to help you take control of your well-being.

Educators Thriving

For too long, we’ve accepted teacher burnout and attrition as an inevitability. Research has demonstrated dozens of strategies that are empirically proven to improve well-being, but we have failed to systematically incorporate those practices into the day-to-day work of our schools and districts. In a time of unprecedented stress and anxiety, this is no longer acceptable. For the past four years, Educators Thriving has helped teachers across the country practice research-based strategies to improve their well-being. Attend this session to learn about the five most common pitfalls leading to teacher burnout. And see why 84 percent of participants have reported that the program made teaching feel more sustainable. Also, walk away with a bunch of “this-is-awesome-I-can-use-this-tomorrow” resources. 

Managing Overwhelm and Uncertainty

Learn how to build a sustainable, simple, yet powerful system for educator support and care in your district. This session will be led by Fuel Education (FuelEd), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to grow emotionally intelligent educators who build relationship-driven schools. The organization’s vision is a world where educator training and support—and the very definition of an educator—is reimagined to prioritize educators’ emotional intelligence, emotional health and interpersonal skills.

Practicing Mindfulness with the Holistic Life Foundation

The Holistic Life Foundation creates opportunities for young adults to become a generation of healthy, supported, mindful individuals with the knowledge, access and support to be successful. Join this session to learn about the new Holistic Life Foundation Satellite Initiative Programs in Akwesasne, and how mindfulness was implemented throughout one school district during the 2020-21 school year to help students cope with stress and trauma. Participants will also be led through chair-based practices for stress reduction, including gentle movements and breathing techniques.

Changemaker Instrument

This session will guide you through a self-reflective practice related to real-life challenges. Skills such as slowing down, discernment, empathy, self-permission, and resilience are internalized and become foundational to enabling educators to step into their wholeness and potential. By unlocking your agency as a changemaker, you will realize your own internal well-being and, from there, the well-being of others. Presented by teachers Jocelyn Merrill, Kathy Flynn-Somerville, and Lauren Yarmuth with the Cultural Conditions Project.

Lessons from Girls on the Run

As an accomplished athlete, Molly Barker took the very personal lessons she learned rising out of addiction and founded a program encouraging others to run. In this session, Barker will deliver a curated series of lessons, some from her Girls on the Run days, and others from her recent experiences leading wellness and self-care retreats. Participants will walk away with eight easy-to-access methods that bring balance and peace to the mind, body and spirit. The eight simple practices are designed to cultivate a contented, grateful, centered, intentional, self-aware, humble and joyful mindset.

Register now. NOTE: This session is not eligible for credit.



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