School Climate & Culture Action Center

In June 2017, educators from across Chicago “sounded the alarm” with their policy paper addressing the current state of school climate and culture. Since the paper’s launch, E4E-Chicago members have advocated for changes surrounding school climate and culture to prioritize restorative practices, social-emotional learning, and trauma-informed teaching.

Locally, E4E-Chicago hosted two sets of citywide problem-solving forums: once in November, and again in March in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools Office of Social and Emotional Learning (OSEL). Thanks to the hard work of E4E members, these problem-solving forums will continue this school year through the district’s OSEL!

In May 2018, two E4E-Chicago resolutions, House Resolution 795 (HR795) and  House Joint Resolution 115 (HJR115), passed the Illinois legislature! HR795 not only urges Illinois to support schools in obtaining and sustaining the resources, trainings, and ongoing professional development needed to promote supportive school climates and cultures, it is also largely based on the recommendations crafted by educators from our policy paper.

Additionally, HJR115 reaffirms Illinois’ commitment to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline by urging the U.S. Department of Education not to rescind guidance that currently helps public schools address student discipline without discriminating.

The 2017-2018 school year culminated with our In Class, Not Cuffs: A Chicago Town Hall, which continued advocacy surrounding HJR115 and gave E4E-Chicago members the chance to interact directly with two members from the U.S. Department of Education!

Now, as the 2018-2019 school year kicks off, E4E-Chicago members are shifting their focus toward mental health advocacy for educators and students. Check out this recap from World Mental Health Awareness Day event for educators, where E4E-Chicago members came together to  to reflect and plan on how they are going to prioritize their mental health this year.

Join the Conversation

 Did you know that the American Psychological Association has an entire module on how to specifically address teacher mental health? Check it out here.

According to a study from @pennstate and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, there are four main ways to help reduce teachers' stress: mentorship, workplace wellness, social and emotional learning, and mindfulness/stress management programs.  

In this article on teacher wellbeing, educators chime in to share their tips and tricks to reducing stress inside the classroom and finding a work-life balance. Check them out here.

According to the AFT's 2017 Educator Quality of Work Life Survey, 61 percent of educators feel either "always" or "often" stressed at work. How can we improve working conditions to improve mental health outcomes for educators?