There may be some ways in which you can best support the mental and physical well-being of the students in your classroom, your workplace, or with whom you interact regularly.  Please consider implementing these tips in your everyday interactions, syllabi, and assignments.

  • Help encourage good/adequate sleep, like having after-hours assignments due by 9 or 10pm rather than midnight or later.  Regularly having morning class also encourages an earlier bedtime.

  • Provide timely and detailed grade feedback throughout the block so students have an accurate understanding of their grade progress throughout the block, not just at the end.  The gradebook feature in Moodle is one way to keep students apprised of their grades throughout the block.  If you aren't able to use the Moodle gradebook function, giving students specific, grade by grade, information when they inquire is more beneficial than simply stating a letter grade of their current state, so that they can see where points have been lost and how many points remain to determine if they can still attain their goal grades.
  • The use of a block-long calendar in the syllabus with readings, assignments, and test/quiz dates included help students plan ahead and space their work out to not feel like they have to pull an all-nighter due to an unexpected assignment being sprung upon them.  While we do want our students to be able to work with ambiguity, the pace of the block plan does not lend itself well to students not being able to plan ahead.

  • Give students the grade they have earned.  Sometimes, the work students have demonstrated in your class deserves an F or a D, and while it may be stressful for them to see that grade, it is important that they are getting an accurate reflection of the work in the class, especially if this class is a pre-requisite for a future class they may want to take (as a higher grade could give them false hope that they can do well in that future class with the same amount of effort).  Giving them a higher grade that they did not earn will ultimately harm them in the long run, when they encounter a class that the professor does not feel bad for them.

  • Encourage regular exercise.  Students can go for a brisk walk, or even a jog or run, around campus or Mt. Vernon; play at the playground; ride a Purple bike; use the fitness center in the Thomas Commons; participate in IMs; play Frisbee golf; dance wherever the mood strikes; do sit ups, pushups, jumping jacks, etc., in their residence hall room; hike at the Pal.
  • Normalize failure.  It’s part of life.  It’s one way we learn.  If we keep avoiding it, we just get more and more anxious about it.  A grade of a C or below is not the end of the world.  Sometimes students need to fail, and not be given an undeserved grade by a sympathetic faculty member, as a wake-up call that something needs to change.
  • Encourage students to take advantage of resources on and off campus, including but not limited to:
    • On campus
      • Center for Teaching and Learning
        • Writing Studio
        • Quantitative Reasoning Studio
        • Academic Technology Studio
        • Consulting Librarians
      • Academic Support and Advising
      • Tutors
      • The many student organizations on campus – it’s not too late to join or just check out meetings and/or events
      • Chaplain for pastoral counseling
      • Yoga class Tuesdays at 3:20pm
      • Meditation sessions Fridays at 11:15am
      • Intramurals & Wellness Programs
      • Counseling Center for counseling, consultation, resource library, online resources, SAD light
      • Stress Free Room for relaxation, resources to learn stress and anxiety management (e.g., biofeedback)
      • Counseling Center programs (e.g., Week 3 of Block 3 is Mental Health Wellness Week)
      • Health Center for illness, sexual health, vaccines (get a flu shot!), consultation, online resources
      • The Toilet Paper
      • Health Center programs
      • Ink Pond (relax outside in nature)
    • Off campus