7 Rooms I Wish My School Had to Promote Teacher Mental Health

The things we really need …puppies and a speakeasy.

How to Improve Teacher Mental Health

If we’re sticking strictly to reality, there are lots of rooms I wish my school had. I would start with a teacher’s lounge that has multiple copiers, a bathroom with working hot water, and the list could go on and on. But what fun is reality? Here are the rooms I really wish you could find in my school building. If we had these, teacher mental health would be at an all-time high!

1. The Puppy Room

Having a bad day? Come cuddle with a pile of golden retriever and beagle puppies during your planning period! Students would be able to schedule time in this room, but it would be available to teachers any time they’re free.

 

2. The Sensory Deprivation Room

You plug your phone into one of the chargers provided at the door, then bask in silence, dim lighting, and an utter lack of sensory input. Do you hear that sound? That’s right; no. You don’t.

 

3. The Gym

I mean, we have one of those for the kids, but it smells like feet and is loud and full of, you know, students. It’d be nice if we had a small bank of treadmills and some space for a yoga class for teachers who would like to take advantage before and after school. I’m not one of them, but I’d include it in the blueprints for my colleagues’ sake.

 

4. The Primal Scream Room

It’s soundproof. The walls are padded.  There are punching bags and a whole array of cheap glasses available for shattering. I think this room would benefit both teachers and students because, let’s face it, that rage is going to come out somewhere. Wouldn’t it be nice if it wasn’t the classroom?

 

5. A Polarized Speakeasy

This one requires some explanation. First off, obviously, it would only serve alcohol after school. During the day, there would be an array of healthy smoothies instead. But it would also be divided into positive and negative zones. If you’re having a bad day and need to vent, head over to the negative side and avoid the Unikitties who are full of cheer and joy. But if you’re flying high from a great lesson and don’t want to hear a bunch of whining, join your more positive colleagues to talk about why you love your job.

 

6. The Gryffindor Common Room

Grading papers would be so much more appealing with a comfy chair, a roaring fire, and a house elf to bring me snacks.

 

7. The Garden

Not technically a room, but still part of the campus. Go take a stroll along the nature trail, pick a few flowers for your classroom, help yourself to a ripe cherry tomato. Get a little vitamin D before your third period class.

I don’t think my school will be making these major architectural changes any time soon. Probably my best bet is to find a student teacher who’s good at Pinterest-y stuff and let them make my classroom a little more awesome. But if I ever find a grant for millions of dollars with no stipulation on how it’s used, I’ll be out shopping for house elves and puppies.

What rooms would you add to improve teacher mental health? Let’s design our fantasy school!

Posted by Captain Awesome

Captain Awesome teaches seventh grade English at an urban charter school for refugee and immigrant kids. She is a big fan of books, social justice, holiday-flavored coffee creamers, righteous indignation, and Friday Night Lights.

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