Supporting Students’ Self-Care Virtually

Supporting Students’ Self-Care Virtually

It’s important to practice self-care, but doing so on a regular basis can be challenging at the best of times! One way you can develop your own self-care practices, as well as teach these practices to students, is to embed them into the lessons you are teaching. There are many ways you can help students build self-care routines that will help them do their best learning. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Encourage students to make a plan each day:
    • Who will I connect with today?
    • When will I get into nature today?
    • How will I move my body today?
    • What am I grateful for today?
    • How will I be creative today?
  • Share reflection questions for students to respond to at the end of the day (or the next morning):
    • When was my brain most focused?
    • How did my brain/body indicate it was time to move?
    • Was there a time that I had to persevere? How did I do it?
  • One way you can best support students during these challenging times is to make sure that each student has a trusted adult to whom they can voice questions and feelings. Hosting “office hours” if you are teaching online or placing short phone calls can let students know you are there for them.
  • Use hopeful language when you speak to students. Practice using envisioning language to model for them what their own self-talk should sound like: full of optimism, hope, and positivity.
  • Give students a chance to engage in their own learning. Consider letting them show their learning in different ways, based on what tools they have readily available. Keeping in mind that one goal you have for your students is that they become lifelong learners, think about ways that you can provide opportunities for them to show how they are continuing to learn even when they aren’t at school.
  • Ask students how you can help them. Repeatedly asking this question will help students develop an understanding of what they need and how to ask for it. A powerful self-care practice you can teach your students is how to advocate for themselves and take the risk to ask.

Self-care is always important for managing stress and worry, and it is especially critical during the most challenging times. Finding opportunities to teach students what self-care is and how to practice it regularly will provide many lifelong skills that will positively impact your students.


Written by Sarah Fillion, Director of Consulting & Certification at Center for Responsive Schools
Tags: Reflection, self-care, Virtual Learning

83 Replies to “Supporting Students’ Self-Care Virtually”

  • I like the clear examples of your suggestions. It is important to help look at the mental well-being of the child so their mind is open to learning.

  • I agree with a lot if what was said. I give my students a schedule and we keep busy and engaged all day. My students have often said the day went fast and I feel good. I am very interested in what people/children need in different circumstances. I had a child during last year during virtual call me to tell me they had a bad dream and couldn’t sleep because they were afraid. I asked the child where do you want to meet me tonight in your dreams, ex-Disney Land, a farm, the beach… They would tell me and then when they are falling asleep they are focused on meeting and hanging out with their teacher in a fun happy place. It helped a lot. Show them how much you care, they know when you don’t.

  • Thank you for providing a checklist of questions that I can use to keep the students grounded. I love the envisioning language that help the students ‘see’ what they are capable of.

  • I like having the students think about their best time of the the day and being aware of when they need to move

  • I love to give my students a chance to engage in their own learning. I let them show their learning in different ways, their way. The tools they have readily available. One goal I have seen is for students to become lifelong learners, think about ways that you can provide opportunities for them to continue to learn even when they aren’t at school.

  • Even though I am the instructor (the adult in the room), I too need a little encouragement along life’s journey. There are days that my students may do or say something that inspires me to go on a just a little further. Kind words and gestures can have a greater impact than you can imagine.

  • I will be teaching lower level sped Ss math. This will be the first time teaching the lower level Ss. This article is making think more about ways to keep these kiddos maintaining a positive attitude

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