MENTAL HEALTH

Utah’s first lady hosts conference for educators focusing on mental health

Jul 19, 2023, 12:06 PM | Updated: Jul 20, 2023, 6:03 am

SANDY, Utah — On Wednesday, hundreds of teachers and community leaders from across the state gathered in Sandy to prepare for the school year inwardly.

The “Show Up for Teachers” conference focuses on Utah’s teacher’s mental health. Teachers constantly give to others, including their students, school, and community.

When giving and going for so long, they need to recharge their own batteries. This conference encouraged and helped teachers with the tools to do that.

“You’re always super excited and ready for the beginning of the year,” said Amanda Cox, a third-grade teacher at Jackling Elementary School.

The school year, though, is not a sprint.

“By the middle of the year, you’re starting to get burnt out. Things are getting really tough, and by the end of the year, you’re like, ‘When is summer break?'” she said.

Cox is one of the more than 2,600 teachers and community leaders prepping for the entire race.

“Try to keep up the enthusiasm, and the engagement, and the fun for everybody,” she said.

As part of her “Show Up” initiative, Utah first lady Abby Cox hosted the conference focusing on emotional and mental well-being for teachers.

“Just trying to make sure that we fill in the holes that students are still missing from COVID, which unfortunately is still affecting them. A lot of them are having problems with reading and math, which are your basics. Just trying to make sure we fill in all those holes as best we can to make them successful the rest of their life,” Cox said.

‘Show Up’ for service event encourages summer volunteering

Some educators are just getting started.

“I am from Spain. Elementary teacher. Third grade,” said Azcarate, a Spanish DLI with Alta View Elementary.

A first-year teacher in Utah, he said teaching is as much inside the classroom as it is outside and within oneself.

“Being a teacher is not just about content. It’s about showing and demonstrating that you are balanced. Coming here is so rewarding for me, and I think later at class, you can implement all these things, and students will learn with you,” Azcarate expressed.

Breakout sessions and expo opportunities happened throughout the day. This comes just weeks before many schools head back to the classroom.

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Utah’s first lady hosts conference for educators focusing on mental health