As a Cyclone community, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. We have been impacted on a personal, local, national, and global level by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent and continued acts of racial and xenophobic violence.
Students studying in the Student Innovation Center at Iowa State University
CELT Teaching Tip • September 24, 2020
Promoting Healthy Community, Ideas from Student Counseling Director Christopher Hanes
As a Cyclone community, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. We have been impacted on a personal, local, national, and global level by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent and continued acts of racial and xenophobic violence. These stressors and events have impacted us all in unpredictable and significant ways. Our daily lives' rhythm and routines that help ground us and often support our wellness continue to be disrupted. Identifying new coping strategies and wellness strategies can serve as an effective way to navigate these ongoing challenges. As members of our Cyclone community, we work to create a space for growth, learning, and wellness as we pursue our academic mission. The following tips offer how to help promote a healthy community for you, your students, and together as Cyclones. 
  1. Promote Awareness: Identify signs of distress and know steps you can take to support yourself. Identify resources on campus and in the community that is available to help you when needed. You are not on an island in these situations. Many partners on campus are available to provide consultation, including Student Counseling Services, Office of Student Assistance, and others.
  2. Make a Statement: Whether in class or the community, acknowledge the stress of our current climate and crisis, normalize that its normal to struggle in times of crisis, and promote engagement and positive messaging around mental health support. We find that the best predictor of help-seeking is social norms and attitudes. By cultivating healthy discussions, you can help foster a culture of wellness and help-seeking.
  3. Set a routine: Check in with yourself regarding your needs at this time. How am I doing? Am I finding a balance? What are my needs regarding sleep, eating, and exercise? Create a workable schedule to achieve a balance and commit to it.
  4. Connect:  Find a connection in some form in your community. Establishing a connection and belongingness within a community is an essential predictor of success and wellness, especially on a college campus. Recognize that the community you find might be similar or different from what you expect. Be open to new ways of connecting with others.
  5. Set Limits: Set limits on exposure to news, social media, and other outlets. Stay informed with current issues but keep it within limits. Identify what is in your control about the current situation and let others go.
  6. Be Kind to Yourself: Identify ways to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Engage in meaningful and values-based activities to refuel yourself. Accept your thoughts and feelings, and embrace your struggles with kindness and self-compassion.
  7. Promote Efficacy: Identify ways that you can accomplish tasks or meaningful goals in your daily lives. Personal and community based initiatives are powerful. 


Christopher Hanes, Director
Iowa State University | Student Health and Wellness
Support student mental health and well-being webinar
(Oct. 1, 1:10-2 p.m.)

Chris Hanes, Director, Student Counseling Services, and Erin Baldwin, Assistant Vice President, Student Health and Wellness, will discuss the increasing complexity of student mental health and well-being needs on college campuses through exploring current data and student needs. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the challenges they’ve experienced in their setting. Finally, we will share both strategic and operational tactics that we can use—register to participate via Webex.
Midterm grade submissions starts Sept. 26 and are due Oct. 9
Review and use the steps in the Grade Submission in Canvas guide.
Meghan Gillette

Dr. Meghan Gillette, CELT Faculty Affiliate, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, has spent 12 years at Iowa State. Meghan’s advice for teaching:

When I first started teaching, I was young (I was in graduate school) and I didn’t consciously realize it at the time, but I think I was worried the students wouldn’t respect me since I was not that much older than them and hadn’t yet finished my PhD. While I was friendly, I was quite strict and stern about every little thing, even things that ultimately didn’t matter. As a result of feeling insecure, I tried to control things. I think I thought this would make them respect me but in actuality it just stressed them out. And when students are stressed out, it’s harder for them to learn, and they’re less likely to be able to achieve the expectations you’ve set and to seek help from you.

As I became more secure as an instructor (and honestly more secure with myself as a person), I became less controlling and more warm and approachable, and really focused on having high expectations about things that mattered (i.e. deadlines, attendance, working well in a team, working toward and achieving correct answers, etc.), and let go of trivial things. This attitude change was beneficial not only for students but also for myself. I gave myself more grace and enjoyed teaching more. My students more eagerly met the expectations I’d set for them in their behavior and their assignments, because the atmosphere was more relaxed and they felt supported when working on hard questions.

So, my tip would be: do a self-check for any insecurities you might be feeling about teaching, and ensure that those insecurities aren’t leading you to be overly-controlling in the classroom (which isn’t productive). If you find that they are, I suggest delving into Dr. Brené Brown’s work about vulnerability, bravery, courage, and kindness. It’s transformative!
Register to attend the online Team-Based Learning (TBL) Workshop Series, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28 (2:15-4:15 p.m.)

Meghan Gillette, Associate Professor of Teaching (HDFS) and CELT Faculty Affiliate, will provide a virtual Online TBL Workshop Series. This workshop is for instructors (and those who support them) who already utilize Team Based Learning in their face-to-face classes and are interested in guidance for how to move the face-to-face TBL classroom online. By the end of the series, participants will:
  • identify conceptual decisions about how the course will be delivered, the flow of activities, etc.
  • make critical decisions about their course (i.e., how to provide feedback, how to deliver mini-lectures, attendance policies, etc.)
  • set up an Individual Readiness Assurance Test (iRAT), Team Readiness Assurance Test (tRAT), and application exercise in Canvas
  • explore best practices to avoid novice mistakes and stay in compliance with online teaching guidelines
  • feel empowered to use technology (including Canvas and other tools within it) to support their pedagogy
Download CELT 2020 Fall Programming
CELT offers face-to-face one-off workshops/webinars, longer-term teaching and learning circles on selected topics, and facilitation of teaching and learning communities. Our program listing with descriptions and registration information may be found on the corresponding page on CELT’s upcoming events page or CELT’s programming schedule via ISU’s Events Calendar website.

To view events by topic area, download the CELT 2020 Fall Programming (PDF).
Technology tools on a desk
Choose your instructional tool adventure
(30-minute teaching topics)
Each program focuses on various instructional strategies found on the CELT website and demonstrates practical ways to incorporate these tools in a Canvas course. 30-minute teaching topics held on the following days (3-3:30 p.m.) Registration information is found on each event ISU calendar entry below:
Stay up-to-date on the instructional tools
Review CELT's News & Updates for upcoming changes to the ISU-approved learning technologies. Questions? email
Where to go for support
A red button with a question mark and Help in white writing
For help with the Canvas, contact Canvas Support via the ?Help menu in Canvas:
  • Chat with Canvas Support use the live chat tool
  • Ticket support. Open the ?Help menu in Canvas and click Report a Problem
  • 24/7 phone support. Call 515-294-4000 (listen to prompts to connect to Canvas support).
  • Find answers to common questions in the Canvas Instructor Guides.
  • Use the resources in the Canvas @ ISU site.

For technical support, contact the ISU Solution Center:
  • Email
  • Call 515-294-4000 and follow the prompts to receive support from Solution Center staff

To receive one-to-one assistance for teaching with technology, contact the CELT Instructional Designers
  • Connect with our CELT instructional designers for support or pedagogical consultations by emailing; this will also create a ServiceNow ticket for easy tracking.
  • Additionally, you may wish to contact one of the support units directly. Please note which program, department, or college each unit serves and contact the unit for your area.
Prefer a Print version?
To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with the web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for September 24, 2020 (PDF) (