dallas isd

Teachers Form Partnerships Across District Lines to Help Each Other Manage Stress

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Now that students are largely back in the classroom, teachers are struggling to catch them up after a year and a half hiatus. In many cases, it’s not going well. Wayne Carter reports.

 Her words aren't easy to swallow.

"We see the gaps and are working so hard to close the gaps however it's just not happening," said Yuridiana Lewis, eighth-grade teacher, Medrano Junior High.

Lewis said fighting back from the pandemic isn't going as well as everyone hoped.

"They just aren't there, they have a year and a half that they missed and we're expecting them to be on that level," she said.

Hugely dedicated to moving the needle, and not seeing it happen fast enough Lewis comes home sometimes defeated. 

"There are times I'm just like 'I can't,' she said.  "I sit on the couch, get me a good pizza and just breathe."

Dallas Education Foundation teamed up with the group, The Educator Collective to help teachers like Lewis cope. It's not just mediation or listening to a counselor but educators listening to each other.

"The opportunity to connect with educators who are not just on their campus but the entire Dallas community, to see they're not alone in this," said Courtney Rogers, Executive Director, The Educator Collective.

Dallas first tried it during the 2019 tornadoes when teachers at impacted schools were struggling to cope with the pressure. The exodus of teachers stopped, positivity improved, so now Dallas ISD is working with the group to bring this to teachers all over the district. 

"We saw the results. We saw the impact, not just feedback but tangible results around. We know they're more likely to sustain their careers in the classroom amidst all this attrition in the area," said Rogers.

Lewis said she is breathing, meditating, but also sharing lesson plans, tips and tricks, with teachers across North Texas. It's helped her see and find a path as the community works together, trying to right this ship and bring students back to the right learning level.