Teachers’ Back-to-School Anxiety – Art Therapy Helps

I recently posted information about my associate Ally’s work with children and art therapy for school anxiety. Thank you to one of my followers for mentioning that teachers also feel apprehensive about returning to school. Teachers have back-to-school anxiety too! Many teachers use Art Therapy Guelph and have coverage for the service. There are challenges like every profession. However, COVID made it difficult for teachers to plan their lessons. The government claimed there was support to help teachers navigate online learning. Teachers, parents, and students felt the frustration of moving back and forth between in-person and online lessons. However, this was just public lip service, and no support was given. Like various service workers, teachers felt unsupported during the pandemic when they were exposed to 30 plus children without proper social distancing. Some were worried for themselves and for their aging or ill family and friends. Many students fell behind academically during the pandemic, and they were rolled forward. The struggle is real.

Imagine working in an older building without air-conditioning and having 30 plus children. As the heat increases so does agitation. Focus decreases. You are having your morning cup of joe and you are thinking about starting work next week. Your class is too large. You know you cannot support the children with the attention they each deserve, and the way schools should. As you take your next sip of coffee, a feeling of dread comes over you when you also recognize that a high percentage of your class require special support and/or have conduct disorders. You still have flashbacks to a boy who regularly threw chairs and assaulted fellow students and you. There is no guidance counsellor in your school. A teacher friend of mine said that one school counsellor serves a whole region and public-school nurses no longer exist. Last year you spent hours doing lesson plans, marking at home and you had a lot going on in your personal life. You still do. You are caring for your aging parents. Your adult child and their toddler just moved home due to divorce or loss of a job.

Like everyone, teachers need support and healthy ways to de-stress. Don’t forget self care. Some helpful ways are journaling, meditation, or yoga. If you have trouble sleeping, be sure to create a calm bedtime ritual. Turn off the television and don’t eat an hour or two before bed. Try sipping a relaxing herbal tea like skullcap, chamomile, lavender, or passionflower. Take a warm rose or lavender and Epsom salt bath. Daily exercise releases stress hormones called cortisol. Art therapy is a fantastic tool to unpack stress. It fortifies one’s soul with creativity. Many of my clients work as teachers and find it a nice way to de stress and learn coping tools for on the job. My teachers often share them with their pupils. It’s a win-win situation.

I offer one on one consultations online and in person. This fall we have some new art therapy groups in the works. Keep an eye on our page or sign up for our online newsletter. For more information on how we can support you, contact us today for a free get acquainted chat, contact us today.