Modern Office

Module 3

Mental Health for Students and Teachers

Welcome to Module 3:

Mental Health for Students and Teachers

​     EDIT THIS....The goal of this module is to examine and understand how we can determine what our diverse students need to feel safe and represented in the material. Research tells us that creating and maintaining a positive learning environment; building a learning community; giving consistent feedback in a timely manner; and using the right technology to deliver the right content (Nafukho & Chakraborty, 2014) are key factors in strengthening student engagement in online courses. This module will provide you with the information and opportunities to develop your personalized pedagogical approach towards building healthy, safe, and inclusive Physical Education communities via distance learning.

The Big Ideas


Mental Health in PHE

Teaching has rapidly evolved and the pace of technological change means our pedagogy will always include a digital component.  Whether it's using google classroom, sharing and editing each other's work online, or working through an online activity, students need to become good digital citizens to communicate now and in the future.


Physical Educators are in a unique position to coach and teach digital skills for the 21C - skills such as teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, negotiation and more are all included in the World Economic Forum list of skills needed to thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution. As educators, it is our role to set the foundation of building blocks to help students become smart, conscientious, and innovative beings both behind the screen and in person.

Photo of 2 students holding an ipad with their faces on it - representing their student 'body' as a virtual student

Building Community

Building a classroom culture is one of the first things we do with a new class, whether it's face to face or in a virtual classroom. Creating a classroom climate built on respect, trust and communication is half classroom management, half modelling the expected behaviour and engaging your students with your teaching finesse and add a sprinkle of teaching experience.   Simply put "Get over yourself - challenge any fear of giving up control of the online space and grow to be a facilitator and let students come to the forefront" (Barber & Mann, 2022)

Below are a collection of teaching tips from Dynamic Engaging Learning Environments, W. Barber & A. Mann which is in print and will be published in the book Thriving Online: A Guide for Busy Educators.(Eds. B. Hunter, R. Kay, 2022)) 

Building communities with your students means also building a community within your own teaching departments.  The sooner we can stand in front of our classes and admit mistakes the sooner we can build trust with our students which is the starting point for creating a safe place and collaborative classroom. 


Below is the rest of the list of tips from the chapter: Dynamic Engaging Learning Environments, (W. Barber & A. Mann, 2022);

Activity #1 - Article: Read and Reflect

     he key to success is to start before you're ready."


                                                                                                                          Marie Forleo


Building a community is more than the superficial digital announcements on your school's platform where students post questions to you, ask about homework and submit assignments.  It involves student engagement during class, having them get to know each other, share positive and constructive criticism with each other and feel comfortable engaging in discussion in breakout rooms (virtual) or in table groups (face to face).

Understanding that the community you build online or in your classroom should be a brave, safe place for your students to share their ideas, express who they are without judgement and be acknowledged for their failures and perserverance as much as their successes.  Carol Dweck (2008) refers to this as "Growth Mindset" - finding the resilience to persevere, not expect things to be easy, but reaching out and keeping going together. And, in the spirit of building an online community with the other educators that are taking this module, this leads us to our first activity - an article that lets us educators know we are not alone in the battle to do a 360 and teach virtually with the drop of a coin.

Article - CBC Covid teaching.png

Activity #2 - Jamboard Teacher Confessions

After reading the stories from these 3 teachers we hope you can relate to them in some ways.  This activity is meant to be fun but also informative.  A place where you can share your learning experiences of teaching virtually, things you wish you had more help with and advice you would have given yourself at the beginning of your virtual teaching experience.

The purpose of this activity is to see and share your stories or success or failure with other teachers for the sole purpose of learning and building our community.  Please be mindful of your responses and practice good digital citizenship.

Activity #3 - Watch Video and Reflect

Many students have been using digital communities long before taking your class; through facebook, snapchat, tictok and youtube to name a few.  They intrinsically know what behaviour 'feels' good such as receiving a positive comment, or a 'shoutout' or levelling up on a gaming platform.  They also know what behaviour isn't good, as seen in the graph below 45% of U.S. teens reported 'feeling overwhelmed because of all the drama'.  In addition to this, 44% of U.S. teens 'unfollow' or 'unfriend' people with drama being the number one reason for doing so. 

graph teens feelings towards social media.png

M. Anderson & J. Jiang (2018, November 28). 2. Teens, friendships and online groups. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech.

Armed with this information, you should have a better idea of how building your own digital community could help your students.  Exposing students to a positive online environment and helping them build their Digital Citizenship will benefit them now as well as later on in life. 

Activity #4- Padlet Community Dialog

What are your thoughts on building a Digital Community?  Don't know where to start?  This activity will cover these topics and more.  What better place to start experimenting with digital dialogue than right here through this course with teachers across Canada.  Building an online community with students doesn't only happen when students are 100% virtual, it also comes into play when you're teaching face-to-face because many schools boards are already using some type of learning management system such as Brightspace, Blackboard, Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom.  Creating a safe digital space for your students also includes these, and is perhaps more important - because sometimes students can act one way in person - but another way online.  Therefore it is up to us to set up the norms and perhaps that means to gradually release the responsibility of posting on the classroom digital platform or creating smaller digital groups, either way we want to hear your strategies!

After reading the blogs below, click on the padlet button and share an idea about how to built a safe virtual space and how you are engaging your students in a digital community. It can be an idea you are currently using or a co-worker may have recommended it.  You could also build off an idea you read in one of the blogs below, or heard it in a podcast.  Share your comments and help build this resource of tips and tricks

LearnWorld Blog - How to build an online learning community in 2021
Edutopia Blog - Fostering a strong community in a virtual classroom



After participating in the Jamboard from the previous activity, you may notice certain drawbacks to engaging with other in that manner.  Alternatly, if you were one of the last ones to post an idea, you had the benefit of reading the post from many other teachers which may have helped you develop a sense of autonomy belonging with this group of people you have never met before.  Now imagine those post-it notes happened in real time and you were able to dialog with people that are experiencing the same challenges you are facing. 

Watch this TEDTalk with your students in mind and keep these questions in mind

Building Tech Savvy Students

Not only did COVID take students out of the classrooms and force them to learn at home, but completely eliminated the support system they had at school for troubleshooting using technology.  So although the above quote is from 2010 it is still relevant and should be taken into consideration.

        tudents show basic computer and information handling    

competences which are occasionally put into practice in the classroom, while almost all of them are used at home; skills training comes mainly from outside school."


                                                                                                           Peña-López, Ismarel. (2010).


Tech in the classroom

Here are a few more tips to add to your tool belt to build digital citizenship in your face-to-face, hybrid or virtual classrooms.  

Prior to the first assignment, model how to submit.  You can also have them submit a 'test document' as an exit ticket

Create simple check lists when introducing a new tech.  Include the skills they need to know or have learned before leaving.  Here is a checklist from Chrombook Classroom that offers one for each grade division.


Protective Factors

Woman Typing

Technology will continue to change, often faster than we can keep up. To be an effective online educator, remember you are still teaching people, and learners come first. Often you will find a "just in time" solution, so, to quote the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (Adams, 1979) Don't Panic !  Our community of online teachers at PHE WISE is here to help !  Check out the ideas and resources below to see what might be the best fit for your teaching context.

Protective factors Pre and Post COVID

Protective factors are so important for our students to have and to understand how to use them.  The fact that students have been living through a pandemic doesn't change the types of protective factors they have nor does it change their importance.  They have been and will always be important to our students and ourselves....


Roles of Resilience, Peer Relatioships on Mental Health.png

talk about protective factors, what they are and introduce the worksheets for the students as activity,.. have teachers do the worksheet for themselves.  

Then speak about how protective factors build resilience and introduce the video.....





Teaching Virtually

Moving your teaching practice online is not only about the content but how you teach it and how your students will interact with the tech tools and be engaged in the lesson.  Teaching virtually is different than face-to-face and it may feel like going back to the drawing board and revamping your entire teaching style.  Although they are different, they share a lot of common core elements.


Movement Skills

Routine & Structure




​We all have concerns about whether or not students are mature enough, will they be accountable for their work or will they understand the assignment?   The answer is yes - and the real question is are they MOTIVATED to do the work?

Every student from K-12 has grown up with technology, they are engaged by it and will continue to learn, grow and work with technology into their adult lives.  As educators, it is our duty to set them up for success and teach them the 21C/4th Industrial Revolution skills they need to thrive in a complex world. 

The concerns about responsibility and accountability are on every teacher's mind, and physical educators are no different.  We need to set our standards high and expect our students to rise to the occasion because - they can!

Tech Tools

Here we have curated tech tools, apps, and other productivity tools you can use in your classroom for students and teachers because everyone needs to stay productive and organized in a digital world. Click on the word icon for the list of the below tech tools.



Fitness / Phys. Ed

Google Chrome Extensions

Just for fun



Canva is great for teachers and students alike.  Build info-graphics, presentations or any post for social media with this website.  It also allows people to work on projects together - Great for group work. Your students will love this site.

sweat deck.png

Sweat Deck is an APP is a simple way to switch up between exercises using a visual tool.  Challenge students to try to finish the entire deck!  Use as warm up, as an agility drill or simple fitness routine.


Screen castify is a recording technology that records your computer screen and all the mouse movement or gestures you show.  Also allows you to record a voice over which is a teaching tool for tutorials or providing digital feedback.

Comic Life transforms simple media text into a work of art.  Allowing students to create a simple media text or comic strip, they can upload their own images to comic life.  Adding a unique twist to the way we look at creative writing.

Primary Physical Education podcast that interviews inspiring practitioners from the primary sector.  Sharing the latest in excellent practice and favourite PE resources and discussing what makes PE & Sport such an important tool to engage and enhance learning.

podcast- PE Umbrella.png

Popplet is the ultimate concept map creator.  Use it individually for an assignment or as a study guide or use it with a group.  Popplet helps you connect ideas, collaborate on a project and brainstorm new ideas by sharing your popplets.


Darebee is a free website that houses tones of printable workout cards.  Ranging from superhero exercises and cross fit to full month exercises challenges and even a meditation collection.  Great resource for any fitness class! 


Edpuzzle is a unique video editing platform that allows teachers to add questions, delete sections, give voice overs, you can also view student responses and analytic of completion. Also available as a CHROME Extension.

Nearpod is a presentation platform that allows the presentation to be viewed across any device.  The presenter has control over the slides so audience can just sit back and enjoy the presentation.

This website is made by a PE teacher who posts a bunch of resources, games and even has a few playlists on there.  There are lots of games and activities in his blogs posts.  Also or a quick and dirty tips and games he also has a twitter, tictok, and Instagram accounts. 

Chrome Toby.png

TOBY is a productivity tool that allows your to save your open tabs and organize them in collections.  Open TOBY to view all your tabs and restore your last session.  Simpler and more organized than bookmarking your tabs. Chrome extension link for Toby.

for Chrome

Pixton is comic creation software online , that allows students to design and create their own comic.  Paired together with any curriculum, Pixton can be a great tool in the middle of a student centered learning environment.

This weekly Podcast features interviews with physical education discussing topics relevant health and physical education. The goals of this podcast are to provide you with tips from leaders in the profession, challenge your thinking, and give you new ideas to try in your classes.

podcast-Shape America.png

This podcast discusses research, theory and current issues in the fields of health and physical education in an easy to understand way. Their aim is to make research accessible to educators and university students from all over the globe.

podcast-Research in PHE.png

Activity # - Tech Tools and Resources

Considering the pedagogy strategies you know and some we've already talked about it's time to re-vamp and breathe new life into them.  New technology, resources, and ideas are being developed every day that educators across Canada can use in their classrooms.


Think about your most useful tech tool that has either made a difference in how you teach or something you are just sinking your teeth into but you feel that others should know about it.


In the spirit of introducing new tech tools, we ask that you share your tech tool, website or application on Wakelet (which is similar to padlet but offers different layouts and includes an accessibility feature).  Watch the short video for an intro or dive right in, the choice is yours.

This article summarizes several approaches that look specifically at improving student engagement in an online class.  Key topics include how students interact with content, collaborate with one another, and the communication that takes place within the online course. 

When you read this article consider what adjustments you have made over the last few years, whether it was teaching virtually, hybrid or face to face.  

Below is a summary of the 5 student engagement strategies from this article.  If you hover over them you will reveal some tips for implementing them in your Health and Physical Education class.   

Pic - Strengthening Student engagement online.png

Activity # - Read and Reflect

creating and

maintaining positive learning environment;


  • Open communication with students (building team environment in class)

  • Digital citizenship (constructive feedback, no put downs)

  • Communication with students and parents

  • Setting norms and expectations

  • Building a safe online environment

  • Open communication with students (building team environment in class)

  • Digital citizenship (constructive feedback, no put downs)


building learning community;

  • Community Dialog 

  • Fun, interactive activities (gamification)

  • Sharing Digital Moments (something they are proud of)

  • Giving students choices


giving consistent feedback in timely manner;

  • Q&A time outside of class for real time answers

  • Peer assessment with conversational feedback (coach to athlete scenarios)

  • Open communication with students (building team environment in class)

  • Digital citizenship (constructive feedback, no put downs)


practicing flexibility using right technology to deliver the right content;

  • Current tech to deliver content (hunt on tic tok for health video and critique them

  • Give students options when using tech

  • Open communication with students (building team environment in class)

  • Digital citizenship (constructive feedback, no put downs)


providing proper support system

  • User Friendly software for students

  • New software; provide support (teacher or peer) for troubleshooting

Activity # - Post on Padlet

Research has shown that students want a positive learning community with proper tech supports and timely feedback given on their assignments.  What have you seen in your practice that can add to the research about how to engage students in an online, hybrid learning environment?

Consider the following questions when reflecting and consolidating the information from the article, then post your answer on the padlet.

  1. Do some engagement strategies pair better with different pedagogy styles? 

  2. Does your pedagogy, virtual or face to face satisfy any of the above categories?

  3. How might you adopt some of these engagement strategies when teaching face to face?


Sir Ken Robinson touches on several key ideas in this TedTalk such as Linear Education and Conformity.  He discusses getting out of the manufactoring model of education and instead of expecting every student to be the same, we celebrate and nurture their unique talents. 

Ted Talk


     hat human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it's an organic process and you cannot predict the outcome of human development, all you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish"

                                                                   Sir Ken Robinson

As physical educators, you may have experience being physically literate athletes at some point in your elementary or high school careers and you understand the importance of every individual's role on a team.   


Athletics has the potential to bring out the best in everyone, through teaching them to receive constructive criticism, self-assessing their performance, and not to mention working collaboratively in a team.  A lot of skills that athletes learn from being involved in sports are also labeled as being global learning competencies, however, the difficulty is that not every student navigates towards athletics nor does every student find athletics fun or interesting.  So engaging them in our phys. ed. classes will not only help them learn to live healthy lives but will also teach them the skills they will need to thrive in their future workplace. 

Global Learning Competencies

Global learning competencies have already been integrated into the education sector and in classrooms across the country.  Although each province and territory has made some adjustments to the competencies to fit their own curriculum and education outcomes the main theme remains consistent with Canada's global competencies which are;

  • critical thinking and problem solving

  • innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship

  • learning to learn/self-awareness and self-direction

  • collaboration

  • communication

  • global citizenship and sustainability

Integrating these global learning competencies with our curriculum is what will guide us to develop engaging learning environments for our students, whether they are in the gymnasium, online fitness class, or in health class virtually, or face to face.  Not only are we teaching students the skills that will help them thrive in our classrooms but we will also be preparing them to build the skills they will need in the workforce. 


The World Economic Forum's article "These are the top 10 skills of tomorrow-and how long it will take to learn them"  talks about how "Critical thinking and problem-solving top the list of skills employers believe will grow in prominence in the next five years."

This reinforces the importance of why engaging our students in digital spaces will help them develop a sense of confidence or growth mindset when troubleshooting and working with technology.  Below you will find the top 10 skills listed in the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report.

These are ALL skills that students can build in Health and Physical Education classes !

top ten compentency skills 2.png

Speaking about building confidence in technology, the next Ted Talk is from a 17-year-old who started a tech company at age 14 and is now running workshops for schools in Australia.  His perspective of what skills he needed to know in the real world and what skills he was learning in school reiterate what was mentioned in the Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum.

Activity - Ted Talk & Share on Slides

Students of today need the tools for 'tomorrow'.  They will be working in the 4th Industrial Revolution, with technology, Artificial Intelligence, and robotics leading the way.  Teaching them how to interact with the new world they will be growing up in will give them the skills they use as contributing members of society.

The question for the future of education remains; how we can help them learn the tools they will need for tomorrow, today?

Compare and contrast what skills you are focusing on in your classrooms, to the list of skills provided by the World Economic Forum above. Do you see any overlapping ideas?  Any assignments that can be adjusted more into a discovery project rather than written paper?

As physical educators, we have an extra challenge when implementing these new skills because of the nature of our subject and the location of our 'classroom'.  However, with a little support from one another we can develop unique lessons, units and assignments that can teach students the skills of the 4th Industrial Revolution by embedding these skills naturally in to the HPE curriculum.



We know you aim to empower your students, engage them and encourage them to be life long physical literacy advocates.  Lets collect lesson plans, unit plans and resources you can share with your students will help them feel in charge of their own fitness journey while teaching them the skills for their future, putting students in the drivers seat of their own success.


21st Learning Competencies - Lesson Plans.png

Sport Education and Gamification

The pedagogy practices of using gamification throughout your units, or having your students plan, run and participate in their own tournament have much to offer your students.  This module focuses on what steps you can take towards implementing some of these concepts into your class today.

Pedagogy and Gamification in Physical Education


"The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service." - Google

You probably already use elements of this in your classes, so let's look at some specific examples to familiarize yourself with the term, hover your mouse over each box - to reveal the answer, to see the connection, to view the example

  • Open communication with students (building team environment in class)

  • Digital citizenship (constructive feedback, no put downs)

  • Positive point system

  • Giving students options for assignments

  • <