Date: Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Time: 11:00 AM Singapore/Manila Time
10:00 AM Bangkok/Jakarta Time
11:00 PM US Eastern Time
“I’m also considering resigning … I’m not willing to risk my life over it,” a teacher from Yorkshire told The Independent; another teacher from the Philippines told The Jakarta Post “we also have our own … fears and anxieties. Aside from being classroom teachers, we are also wives, mothers, husbands who have roles and responsibilities in our families.”
In the Philippines, teachers have been the frontliners of learning as they scrambled to make sure that learning doesn’t stop.
Having expressed emotional distress is only the beginning of the warning signs, it is still too early to predict the extent of the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education workforce. While these signs are still being observed and studied, teachers will have to endure the burdens on their shoulders for the benefit of the students.
Teachers were desperately coping with the urgent call to replace teaching in a classroom to teaching from home. Putting aside the question of the whole learning process and the quality of education, much pressure was on teachers to develop an emergency plan for remote teaching – hoping to run a class “as normal.” In addition to the swift change of job roles, teachers were expected to equip themselves with, if not learn, digital skills.
In the face of reality, not only had they to juggle with the interrupted curriculum, syllabus and school activities, and deal with personal struggles at home, teachers had to learn to adapt to a “new” teaching environment with inadequate facilities and resources. The competing demands of needs, both at work and at home, are ahead of their psychological and emotional needs.
So much attention has been paid for education continuity, yet so little to teachers’ preparedness during these challenging times. To survive the shift, mental health should be placed as a priority. It is important for leaders to support the teachers by not just acknowledging their emotional needs, but also investing in teachers’ training to afford a whole new learning ecosystem.
Join us at the LEARNWith Expert series and get practical well-being tips and guidelines in prioritizing mental health needs for an appropriate balanced life.
Llewelyn Issa B. dela Cruz
Program Manager, Education Advocacy and Research Department
Ms. Llewelyn Issa B. dela Cruz is the current Program Manager of PMHA’s primary program, the Education Advocacy and Research Department (EARD). Her team is at the forefront of PMHA’s effort to promote mental health, prevent mental disorders and encourage people to become advocates by providing lectures and learning sessions to various members of the community. She has provided various lectures on Mental Health Psychosocial Support as well as Psychological First Aid to health workers and professionals.
Ms. Dela Cruz earned her Master’s Degree in Education Major in Guidance from the University of the Philippines. She is a Registered Psychologist and Guidance Counselor, and a Clinical Psychology practitioner for the last 23 years. She has conducted assessment and provided psychosocial intervention to people with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disability and other Neurodevelopmental Disorders. She also practices psychotherapy and has helped adolescent and adult clients who were diagnosed with Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety Disorders.
Prof Sandra M. Chafouleas
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
Sandra M. Chafouleas, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology and Co-Director of the Collaboratory on School and Child Health at the University of Connecticut. She authors a Psychology Today blog on promoting student well-being. Her work focuses on assisting schools in implementation of evidence-informed policies and practices that support the whole child, with specific expertise in strategies to strengthen mental health and emotional well-being.
Dr. Chafouleas is a fellow in both the American Psychological Association and Association for Psychological Science. Prior to becoming a university trainer, Dr. Chafouleas worked as a school psychologist and administrator in a variety of settings supporting the needs of children with behavior disorders.