Student Mental Wellness Check-Ins

I wanted to put this out there as midterms roll around for many of US teachers (for us this will be the first midterms in 2 years so my students are freakin' out a bit)!

I am always worrying about my students' mental wellbeing and their access to resources that will strengthen their ability to care for themselves both mentally and physically and I've found that anonymous surveys (Google Forms, Microsoft Forms, etc.) are excellent ways to check in and see what students need the most from you or from their peers.

Each quarter, I give my students an online form to fill out and then I dedicate one to two class periods to discussing the results. It may seem like a waste of class time, but I've actually found (anecdotally, of course) that my students are more productive, more kind to each other, and more patient post-survey. Above all other things, it makes my students feel cared for, which they have self-reported time and time again in these surveys, and that's really why I do it.

Here is the survey that my Bio I students received today in case you are interested in implementing this system:

Remember it is of the utmost importance that A) these surveys be anonymous and B) there is teacher follow through with results. Giving the survey and then not spending time debriefing with students will almost certainly not have the same effect - I promise the students will notice the time investment, if they are anything like mine.

This is one part of my classroom self-care lessons and is probably my favorite part, because it lets me connect with their students. I will be writing a post about the other portions of my self-care lessons this week - so stay tuned!