Crisis-Conscious Teaching Toolkit:

Four key things to consider when teaching during a crisis


(Life under COVID is isolating; your class can be a source of support for your students through relationships with you and each other.)


(A defining element of a traumatic experience is loss of control and a sense of powerlessness. Helping students develop a sense of control is important for coping.)

Cognitive Overload

(Extraneous stimuli created by a crisis can increase the cognitive load imposed on students, making it more difficult for them to process information and learn.)

Class activities related to the crisis

(Connections to the current crises can increase students’ engagement in learning and help them understand how these events impact themselves and others.)

Information compiled and synthesized by Carol Lawton, Psychology; Elliott Blumenthal, Biology; Isabel Nunez, Education; Marcia Dixson, Academic Affairs; Rachel Ramsey, CELT; and Yvonne Zubovic, Mathematics

Other Resources

Teaching during COVID

University of Michigan's Responding to Difficult Moments

8 ways to be more inclusive in your Zoom Teaching from Chronicle of Higher Education

Teaching and Learning During COVID-19 

5 Takeaways From My Covid-19 Remote Teaching  

Teaching in Times of Crisis

FLUX Pedagogy: Transforming Teaching & Learning during Coronavirus

Teaching through a pandemic: Mindset for this moment

Teacher Interrupted: Leaning into Social Emotional Learning during the COVID-19 Crisis

Supporting students in a crisis

Creating Brave Spaces within and through Student- Faculty Pedagogical Partnerships

Supporting students through Coronavirus  

Hope Matters: Inside HigherEd article about supporting students during times of uncertainty

Focusing on Student Well-being in Times of Crisis

Washington Post article: Trauma informed approach to teching through coronavirus - for students everywhere, online or not

Care and Connection: Understanding the Lived Experiences during COVID-19

Race Awareness Activites from School of Education Rama Cousik

Coronavirus Racism article from Teaching Tolerance

Trauma Aware Teaching Checklist