In 2021, Taos Municipal Schools debuted dedicated relaxation spaces for teachers who have confronted staff shortages, enormous workloads, and a flood of pandemic-related disruptions. A few months later, students got some wellness spaces of their own—and now other New Mexico schools can too.. Read more
Taos High School Eases Pandemic-Related Stress for Teachers With Recharge Rooms
- Local Champion: Taos High School
- Date Funded: September 24, 2021
- Grant Amount: $8,950
The high-stress environment teachers are working in—frequent COVID-19-related changes, staff shortages, and overwhelming workloads—creates concern for their mental health, for student success, and teacher retention. In fact, at Taos High School 10 teachers chose not to return to teach in the 2021-22 school year. When a group of educators raised these concerns, Taos High School sought support from LOR for an innovative solution: creating a relaxing “recharge room” for Taos High School staff. These recharge rooms feature amenities like massage and lounge chairs, treadmills, hammocks, and yoga equipment, and are in line with recommendations from researchers that school districts focus on creating wellness support systems for staff.
“Already, the recharge rooms have really brought people together to plan for creating a comfortable and relaxing space,” Taos High School principal CJ Grace says. “People have shifted in their interactions and slowed down. It’s allowed us to care for each other differently than we were used to in a school with over 800 people onsite each day.”
The success of Taos High School’s pilot recharge room resulted in Taos Municipal Schools, with some support from LOR, expanding the program and putting recharge rooms in six more schools.
In The News
Taos High Teachers Get a New Space to Recharge (Taos News)