Report from the Field – Jen Schongalla – 1

Jen Schongalla in this message to the group – sent to my email address at so that it can appear as a post and not a comment – hits upon the very same thing I was thinking about this morning. Many of us are agreeing here that the mental health thing is not just A thread here but could be THE thread of the 2017-2018 academic year. What she talks about below is definitely happening:

Here’s Jen:

Hey y’all!

I am currently uploading my 3 videos on a youtube channel. It is unlisted for now, until I figure out all teh privacy stuff. These are not “awesome, look at my fantastic class” vids. Just me tryna figure shit out.

I will send links when done uploading!

Also preparing an outline (?) for a presentation / collaboration with …??? ( ihave some ideas) for a session on the elephant in the room. aka teacher well being / stress management / trauma / classroom community

I don’t know the title or the format yet, but am feeling a serious pull to do this, and just got back from fabulous TCI Maine where sooooo many of the conversations are about “management” and “behavior” and overload and all that. A young teacher I met said “I spent the weekend writing a story for mystudents. It was great, but i can’t spend my weekends doing this. IT’s not sustainable.” HELL NO IT AINT! And the sort of “hazing” vibe I sometimes feel from older teachers where “you gotta pay your dues and in 10 years you will get a break.” UM NOPE. We need to change this narrative.

I feel like we need an intentional session on this in our trainings and workshops. I’m no expert. Nobody is. And I have some experience. Since I am old and all! Would love to facilitate and collaborate on weaving in intentional self care practices in our classrooms. Or at very least shine the light of awareness on this particular brand of suffering, so that we recognize the power we have to shift it. I hope to connect with a couple peeps to collaborate on this project / session / workshop or whatever it evolves into.

This is not separate from all the CI strategies. INvisibles, OWI, 5 or 6 point star systems is intended to make our lives easier, so we can invite joy and connection into our lives and our students’ lives.I feel like more intentional focus on trauma sensitive strategies and minimizing suffering in general, will enhance our teaching practice and help us balance our life energy. I plan to do this in a way that does not sound “woo woo” and is based on neuroscience. 

Again, I am no expert. And I feel the worlds colliding in terms of the “CI universe” and the “yoga universe” and the “trauma sensitive teaching” universe ( I got to participate in this training last spring in my district and have an exceptional contact to help me with this.) All one. And I get requests from people for ideas on some of the yoga type stuff in class, so I will share the imperfection of what I do. I am mostly slinging stuff into the air to see what sticks! 

Processing a TON right now and committing to taking action rather than my usual spinning on it.



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