Here at Education 4 Equity, we know that teachers frequently have a lot of stress to deal with. To help with that, we’ve put together this free resource to provide 5 simple steps every teacher can take to relieve toxic teaching stress.

1. Teach mindfulness. 

One way to teach mindfulness is to teach children to be grateful and show gratitude, which requires helping them to look at their situations from a point of appreciation rather than from a deficit. This helps build a growth mindset, foster positive thoughts, and relieve teacher stress. 

An easy activity to use in the classroom is that of the gratitude jar. Simply print the PDF from the link provided and make copies for your students. Have them write, draw, and color in the jar with things that they are grateful for.

Here’s the link:


Recommended courses: Habits of Mind for Academic Success & Beyond, Creating a Conducive Learning Environment through Building Healthy Relationships, Classroom Management

2. Incorporate habits of mind. 

One habit of mind that many children struggle with is impulsivity. This can create a lot of anxiety for a teacher when students routinely react to situations in the classroom without realizing how their behavior affects others around them. 

A simple way to help your students understand impulsivity is to have them take a simple “Are you more proactive or reactive?” quiz. Then help them learn what things are under their control and what things are beyond their control, so they can make positive choices and have less reactionary behavior in your classroom.

Have your students try this activity:


Recommended courses: Habits of Mind for Academic Success & Beyond


3. Utilize brain breaks. 

According to John Ratey, M.D., author of SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and The Brain, “Exercise is the single most powerful tool that you have to optimize your brain function.” Spending two minutes to play a short movement video for your students and allowing them to get-up and move, can greatly improve their ability to focus for the next hour. 

Here’s a short video that you can try:


Recommended courses: Movement for Improvement, Arts Integration for Equity and Excellence: Music


4. Develop positive relationships

One of the best ways to reduce teacher stress is by building positive relationships with your students. Try Rob Plevin’s (of Needs Focused Teaching) 20-day Relationship Challenge. It is a fun challenge that helps you actively develop a positive relationship with your students.

Click this link to view the Plevin’s 20-day Relationship Challenge:


Recommended courses: Creating a Conducive Learning Environment through Building Healthy Relationships, Classroom Management, Personalizing Learning


5. Incorporate equity in the classroom.

Incorporating equity in your classroom can help relieve your stress by giving each student the support they need to be successful and thrive. One of the questions we hear the most is, “What’s the difference between equality and equity?” The short answer is equality focuses on generic, group focused, and equal practices, while equity focuses on differentiation, individual focused, and fair teaching practices.

Watch this short video to learn more about how to incorporate equity in your classroom today:

Recommended courses: Personalizing Learning, ELD for Equity & Excellence, Closing Gaps in Education and Achievement