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March 1, 2021

Readers React

Reader responses to recent issues of EL.

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Social Emotional Learning

December 2020/January 2021: Mental Health for Educators

Care Is the Issue

Great topic this month—and ALL free material (online). Take a minute to have a glass of water, breathe, and read some ideas related to care. Thanks, ASCD, for this gift!

Paula Kluth (@PaulaKluth)

I commend EL's unprecedented series of articles on teachers facing and dealing with what my generation called "burnout." One bit of advice I share with the student teachers and interns I supervise at a local university is: When your boss gives you "just one more thing to do," express great enthusiasm for it and then ask, "Which of my present responsibilities will you remove from my job to free me up to take on that project?"

Bill Younglove, Lakewood, California

Empowering Black Educators

"We have to stop believing that our work, our exertion, is our only worth—a lie told to us by an economic system founded on whiteness, founded on Black stolen labor." Dena Simmons spittin' heat in this article ["Honoring Black Educators' Right to Heal and Thrive"].

Deconstructing Male Fragility (@dcmfpodcast1)

"Liberation occurs in environments where Black female teachers can be themselves." ["Breaking Through the 'Burden of Strength'"] Thanks for this, Kel Hughes Jones, and to EL magazine for recognizing the work Black women are doing in schools and how to support us in making schools these spaces.

Kim Parker (@TchKimPossible)

SEL for Teachers

Shoutout to Allison Rodman, Alissa Farias and Shannon Szymczak for your article ["When Netflix Isn't Enough"]. It's so true that schools need to attend to the social-emotional needs of educators and not just students. The guiding questions for reflection are on point.

Elyse Hahne (@Hahne_Elyse)

Speaking Out About Mental Illness

Everyone needs to check out Sydney Chaffee's brave and vulnerable piece about teacher mental health ["Opening Up About Mental Illness"]. She is one of the nation's top teachers, and her voice on this topic is so important.

Henry Seton (@HenrySeton)

Putting Yourself First

It's about a mindset you have EVERY day you wake up! Understanding your "why" and staying the course all while maintaining the work/life balance. "I have to take care of myself first before I can begin to help others." —Baruti Kafele ["The Mental Balancing Act for School Leaders"]

Billy Cook (@BillyCookJr21)

Care During Change

I have read this piece ["Coping with Change and Uncertainty" by Phyllis L. Fagell] several times and highly recommend it to all teachers. Six ways that educators can cope and be a reassuring source of strength for students when the only constant right now is change and uncertainty.

Tara Christie Kinsey (@tara_kinsey)

Editors' note: To support educators during this challenging school year, ASCD is providing free online access to our Mental Health for Educators issue through June 2021.


The title of Lauren Porosoff's article in the February 2021 EL misrepresented an aspect of the author's intended meaning. The article's message is that teachers can present to peers even if they feel vulnerable. The online title has been changed to reflect that point.

Love (or dislike) something in a recent issue of EL? We want to hear about it! Write to us at or on Twitter.

Printed reactions may be edited for clarity and length.

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