Permission to Pump the Brakes - PEBC
Phenomenal Teaching

Explore the PEBC's Phenomenal Teaching Framework.

Each episode will take a closer look how the strands of the framework come to life in classrooms and schools. Join us as we unpack Planning, Community, Workshop, Thinking Strategies, Discourse & Assessment.

Permission to Pump the Brakes

Brooke O’Drobinak and Beth Kelley join PEBC’s Phenomenal Teaching Podcast with Michelle Morris Jones to share perspectives and practices to help educators ‘make it to Monday” during this incredibly challenging time. First and foremost, it is important to recognize that we are in the midst of a “mental health tsunami” and all of our feelings, reactions, and actions are NORMAL as we are all processing stress and trauma in different ways and at different times. Some days we might feel great and have tons of efficacy and energy to burn; while other days we might find ourselves quite low and culling through the Help Wanteds. Nervous systems are taxed, reserves are depleted and many educators are finding that there is no resolution to the stress cycle, in other words it feels like there is no time for rest.

So what can we do? Educators can beat the stress cycle by reestablishing community, practicing prioritization, and making time for rest or rejuvenation At school we can slow down and cut back, practice prioritization by not adding more initiatives, and invest in creating meaningful connections with colleagues and students. Teachers and students are learning how to “do school” all over again and that takes a lot of energy and grace. At the personal level, we must prioritize our health and take care of our bodies so that we can show up as the most effective educators we can be. This might include incorporating a mindfulness practice, tapping into opportunities to be creative, getting more sleep, finding time for movement or tending to one’s diet with more focus than before. Give yourself permission to rest! Pump the brakes!!!

Thinking About Creating a Self Care Plan? Check out this guide.
Thinking About Cultivating a Mindset of Possibility for yourself or colleagues? Check out this checklist.

Beth Kelley, MA, LPC, is a psychotherapist, who spent most of her 18 year career in schools working as a school-based therapist. Additionally she owned a private practice, worked in community mental health, and as a clinical supervisor. Currently, Beth is a consultant for schools and organizations interested in deepening their commitment to caring for their most precious resource, their people…by developing more holistic, relationship based, human centered models.


Brooke O’Drobinak, MA, has been in education for more than 25 years at various levels. She is currently working in Aurora Public Schools. She served in school administration for the prior 13 years at a high-functioning, inner-city Denver high school. Her work is founded on the belief that students and relationships are at the heart of school communities. She also deeply values the critical roles that professional learning and leadership play in supporting all students, and their teachers.


PEBC is a nonprofit organization that is proud to provide free quality content to educators. If you would like to support our work by sponsoring this podcast, please contact Michelle Jones at [email protected].