Windsor teachers spent Friday’s Superintendent’s Conference Day focused on mental health – their own and that of their students.
“I’m talking to teachers about how to manage stress to avoid burnout. We know teachers are quitting at high rates across the country and we can proactively give them strategies, so they don’t. They’re hard to replace,” said instruction coach and SEL Launchpad representative Stacey Roozeboom.
Roozeboom spoke to Windsor teachers about the importance of self-care and remembering the desire to work with children is what drew them to their profession.
“Teachers teach because they love kids so how can they interact with students in ways that bring the teacher, and the student joy, instead of just worrying about discipline?” said Roozeboom.
She also stressed the importance of integrating social emotional learning strategies into the classroom.
“It will make students more responsible, better listeners, better at working in a group, build their own confidence and help manage their emotions,” said Roozeboom.
Windsor teachers also underwent training on suicide safety for teachers and school staff, learning the warning signs of a student who may be experiencing a mental health crisis and reviewing the district’s protocol to handle it.
“We’re looking to make staff more comfortable with a topic that is uncomfortable, especially those with lived experience with the subject. We want to increase their capacity to respond to a student in crisis,” said Windsor Community School Coordinator Katelyn Lapan.
A proper response can have great benefit to both student and teacher.
“It’s a stressful situation when a student is in crisis. If we can say, ‘This is how you respond,’ it takes away some of that stress,” said Lapan.
Some Windsor teachers also had training off campus, as K-12 physical education, fine arts, art, and music teachers attended regional conferences hosted by Broome-Tioga BOCES.