Investing in Teacher Wellness: Recovering from the Pandemic

As classical educators, we know how to teach to cultivate virtue and wisdom in our students yet there are times where we or our colleagues struggle to thrive professionally. Last year teachers across the country were forced to pivot at a moment’s notice due to the pandemic. Since then, there has been a disruption in the status quo for good and for ill. Teachers are continually asked to wear many hats and the pandemic exacerbated existing challenges in the culture of our schools. Many teachers have experienced anxiety and contemplated leaving the profession. It has become a challenge to recruit and retain teachers as fewer and fewer people pursue the profession. Come to this workshop to learn how administrators and teacher leaders can help support the faculty’s spiritual, mental, and emotional health. We will share a multitude of resources and practical tips that will reduce teacher burnout and turnover, and increase faculty and staff morale.

Jeffrey Andre

Jeffrey Andre is the assistant dean and a teacher at the Eccessial School at Saint Alban’s. He is a passionate, K-6, licensed teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools in the state of Florida from grades 2 to 6. Jeffrey was first introduced to Classical Education in 2013 when he joined the faculty of The Geneva School in Winter Park. Jeffrey graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Florida’s ProTeach program. He is currently working on another Master’s degree in theological studies from Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando. Jeffrey has served over five years on the board of the Christian Study Center of Gainesville where their mission is to intersect faith and academic discourse. Jeffrey is passionate about teacher development and wellness, school policy, and curriculum design. He knows the importance of cultural competence and brings a wide range of pedagogical practices to best meet the needs of each student. Jeffrey loves children’s books and relating stories to the greater narrative of God’s redemptive story. Jeffrey and his wife Colleen live in Winter Park and have two little boys.

Alicia VanDerhoof

Alicia VanDerhoof is a 6th-grade teacher and team lead at The Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida. She has had the desire to teach for as long as she can remember, whether it was “helping” her first-grade teacher manage the class or playing school in the basement with her sisters. Her passion for teaching classically is owed to her Savior and also to her role model, her father, who has served as her teacher in and out of the classroom. Alicia graduated from Grove City College, PA, in 2018 where she received a BA in English and a minor in classical education. She graduated cum laude and with honors in English. During her three years at her current school, Alicia has enjoyed teaching 6th graders, introducing and developing new curriculum, and growing in her understanding of what it means to teach classically. Hailing from Michigan, Alicia is used to the “mitten’s” four beautiful seasons and lush forests. Her summers are spent on the water with her family where they perfect the art of tubing, wakeboarding, surfing, and other water sports. In her leisure time, Alicia enjoys playing board games, reading, hosting tea parties, swimming, and spending time with her family.