How Covid-19 has affected the mental health of teachers

Janet Gonzalez, Reporter

Everyone has been impacted by the pandemic in different ways. After being online for so many months, the mental health of teachers may have taken a toll due to the effects of Covid-19. “It just feels nice to have a bit of normalcy back,” said Mr. Self, a history teacher. According to a study done by the weekly Research Center, with the pandemic amidst, teachers reported feeling more stressed and “bur[nt] out” than usual. Of course every teacher and individual has their own unique experiences, with that it is difficult to truly state all teachers had similar experiences. 

Now being back in school, teachers are putting all their time and energy into ensuring a much-improved school year. Teachers advocate the importance of mental health to their students, but don’t take the time to work on their own. The time they take for themselves may be limited due to their dedication and hard work. “I try to make sure on weekends that I give myself a break from school,” said Mr. Furlong, history teacher, and Football coach. “I try to make time to hike or go mountain biking¨ said Mrs. Langford, science teacher, ¨being in the fresh air helps me stay sane.” 

Time management has been impacted by so many changes intruding. English teacher Mrs. Letus said, “The best thing I can do for my mental health is getting enough sleep. That has been very hard this year.” Working longer hours, grading assignments, and having to adjust to the new normal, teachers have a full schedule. 

Students have the ability to aid teachers in this difficult time. “Ask questions, advocate for themselves, and turn their work in on time,” said Mr. Self, a history teacher. The primary reason teachers would like their students to ask questions is to determine whether they are understanding the material. “It helps the teachers get to know their students, and it helps the students get back to being more comfortable learning with their peers,” said Mrs. Langford, science teacher. 

Regardless of the changes, Mrs. Letus, English teacher said, “It’s been worth it to be back with students in person.” Everything takes time, and improving one’s mental health may as well. “We have to be cognizant about how much we take on and to really focus on the big, important things over the little tedious things that are just going to drive us crazy over time,” said Mr. Self, a history teacher. Students have the ability to make the school environment more sustainable. 

Mental health awareness affects everyone and can greatly impact many lives. If you or anyone you know may be struggling with mental health, you can seek help by talking to guidance counselors, speaking to a trusted friend or adult, or head to www.simivalleyusd.org/mental health for more information, also found on the backside of student ID cards.