Teacher learns mindfulness, shares skills with students
Madison Anthony grew up in small-town Ohio, so her 2019 move to the biggest city in Tennessee took some adjusting. The 26-year-old kindergarten teacher also started a job at Cane Ridge Elementary and got married that year.
The combination of a new city, job and family in a short span of time was a lot to deal with.
“It was really hard for me to cope,” Madison says. “I wasn’t sure how I could be the best teacher I could be and still manage my time and all the feelings I was having.”
Help arrived in the form of a Synchronous Health Connect with Karla® flyer she noticed in her school’s mailroom.
Madison downloaded the Karla app and scheduled her first virtual counseling appointment through it. She was paired with a compassionate professional who understood her struggles. And because their sessions were done remotely, through video or online chat, access was easy.
“I know I can reach out to her any time,” Madison says.
And although they’ve never met in person, Madison feels an important connection.
“I’m sure she meets with a lot of teachers and hears a lot of stories, but she remembers personal details about me and things that I’ve been going through,” she says. “She’s so kind. And I really feel like I can open up and talk to her.”
The coping skills Madison learned through therapy also helped her get through the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s now teaching some of those skills to her students, including ways to calm her kids when things get chaotic.
“I implement mindful breathing,” she says. “We’ll breathe together and say, ‘My mind is calm.’ And each time we say it a little quieter, until we’re not saying it any more at all and it’s silent in the room. Then we can go back to what we were doing.”
Madison now speaks with her therapist every other week and will eventually see her only as needed. She believes others can find similar help with the program.
“Even if you think you don’t need it, you probably do,” she says. “I think every teacher could benefit from it.
“I can actually be myself because now I’m not so busy trying to figure out how to deal with my feelings,” she continues. “I know how to handle them, so I’m more enthusiastic. I’m more available. I’m more present in the moment with my spouse, my family and my students.”
Connect with Karla is available to employees, dependents and retirees enrolled in the Certificated Employee Health Plan.
Cane Ridge Elementary