The staff at the Center for Teaching and Learning acknowledge that crisis enters our lives more often than we wish and that it is often a challenge to address in the classroom.  Our community and your leadership are critical during this time and we are here to support you thinking about how to work and be with your students in the classroom. 

You and your students may experience an array of responses to crisis and loss and there are many ways that you can create a classroom environment that supports students (and yourself) during these times.  Please reach out to us if you have any questions or need further support in creating a positive learning environment that acknowledges and honors our human experience of loss.

Please also reach out if you know a resource that should be added.


There are several useful things we can do as educators for our students in times of crisis. Here are two suggested steps to consider:

  • Acknowledge the crisis
  • Be mindful of cognitive load -- both yours and your students' 

The resource list below will help you consider what language and strategies to use in your approach to acknowledging a crisis or a loss in our community and remaining intellectually engaged while remaining flexible.


Center for Restorative Practice (Amherst College)

Teaching in Times of Crisis (Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching Resource)

stop talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education (Merculieff and Roderick, 2013, University of Alaska Anchorage)

What to Say After a Student Dies (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Advice, Oct. 2017)

Amherst Uprising Information & Sources (Amherst College Frost Library Resource Guide)

Teaching in Response to the Election (Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching Resource)


We encourage any faculty who have concerns about a student to contact their Class Dean as soon as possible.

We encourage faculty to also connect students who articulate that they are struggling with appropriate campus resources.