Summer Refreshers series shares tools for faculty returning to campus

Just as office workers and students are preparing to head back into offices and classrooms, W. P. Carey faculty and staff are also gearing up for the return to full in-person learning. As part of a Teaching and Learning Innovation mini-grant, Carola Grebitus, associate professor of food industry management at the Morrison School of Agribusiness, created a Summer Refreshers series focused on “Navigating Stress and Preparing to Teach In-Person Again.” The innovative sessions help faculty navigate stress and uncertainty using tools such as mindfulness, yoga, and meditation, all while zeroing in on creating conducive learning environments for ASU students.

“The past year has brought the importance of mental well-being and resilience into sharp relief. This series helps faculty build skills to support both themselves and their students through stressful and emotionally challenging times,” shared Grebitus.

The series welcomed local Arizona business owners to co-lead the workshops. The first workshop, titled “Teaching with Purpose,” was taught by Heath and Nicole Reed, co-founders of Living Metta. The instructors focused on creating learning environments where students and instructors felt safe to ask questions, display curiosity and compassion, and engage with more intention.

The second session, “Managing Emotions as You Teach,” was taught by Deb Althoff, owner of My Yoga Friend Deb. This workshop taught how emotions are held in the body and how to release them, breathing techniques and simple stretches, and prepared educators how to better understand students who might be grieving. “The emotions connected to grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, isolation, guilt, regret, and resentment) are heavy, and the weight of it all can make us feel stuck and unsure of how to move forward. Using yoga as a means to create a shift can be extremely empowering,” Althoff shared in the class.

The final two workshops of the series are upcoming on July 22 and Aug. 5. Faculty and staff from W. P. Carey and across ASU are welcome to attend. Recordings of the sessions, as well as complementary handouts, are available to anyone interested and can be applied to a variety of personal and professional settings.

Tools to Calm and Center the Mind for Teaching
Donna DiNunzio Martens, MS, BA, 500-ERYT, C-IAYT (Co-director and co-founder, Healing Emphasis Yoga Therapy Program)
July 22, 2021
Noon to 1 p.m.

Inspiring Yourself and Others through Teaching and Learning
Jeff Martens, BS, MFA, RYT, IAYT (Co-owner, Inner Vision Yoga)
Aug. 5, 2021
Noon to 1 p.m.

Email to RSVP for future sessions or get access to recordings of the first two workshops.

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