Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Well-being as a Pedagogical Priority

Many Yale students managed to learn and thrive during the pandemic because faculty were attentive to their well-being, showed heightened compassion, and acknowledged the many challenges they faced. Although specific methods may evolve as classrooms return to in-person teaching, we strongly encourage instructors to continue to prioritize student well-being – and their own. Following are suggestions and resources to support this valuable work.

Pre-Course Survey

Distributing a pre-course survey will help instructors get to know their students and get a sense of the class before the first day. Open-ended questions often elicit valuable information about student identity as it relates to the course, and allow students to choose if, and how much, to share. One method to protect anonymity is to distribute index cards on which students may write their answers. View a list of example questions you can ask students.

Residential College Deans

The Dean is the chief academic advisor for undergraduate students in each college, and also the primary contact for concerns about student wellness. If students are missing class, not handing in assignments, or otherwise seem troubled and in need of attention, faculty should contact the students’ dean (each student’s dean or students’ deans). The names of the residential college deans and heads of college and of their administrative assistants, together with their contact information, may be found in the Yale College Dean’s Office Directory. Faculty can determine each of their student’s residential college affiliation in the photo roster on Canvas.

The Good Life Center at Yale

The Good Life Center is the official student wellness center of Yale University and is supported by the Yale Well Initiative. The Center’s mission is two-fold: to empower students with evidence-based skills that foster mental, physical, social, and emotional well-being, and to cultivate a campus culture that promotes wellness as a fundamental, accessible human right. Visit the Good Life Center website.

Belonging at Yale

Belonging at Yale supports our community’s ongoing and long-term efforts to increase diversity, ensure equity, and enhance a sense of inclusion and belonging for everyone. In order to thrive, we must all communicate and collaborate in good faith, engage in critical reflection, hold ourselves and others accountable for our actions, and address any conflict that may arise. Visit the Belonging at Yale website.

Student Financial Support for Classroom or Other Essential Items

The Yale College Dean’s Office provides support for First-Generation Low-Income (FGLI) students in need of laptops, winter coats and other essentials. Additionally, Yale provides a funding portal, Safety Net, for emergencies and unexpected expenses. Yale supports undocumented students on campus and more information can be found here.

Faculty well-being

Faculty well-being is equally as important. Yale provides many valuable benefits and resources to help instructors and their families. Yale’s Signature Benefits provides counseling support, financial planning assistance, and help with balancing family and work responsibilities. Learn more about Personal Wellness, Financial Wellness, and WorkLife.