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Welcome to the Classroom Café podcast series, where it’s all about brewing the conversation with fellow new educators. These special podcasts are brought to you by the UFT and the union’s Member Assistance Program (MAP). May this podcast series inspire you...nourish you...and motivate you.

The full series of "Classroom Café" podcasts is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and SoundCloud.

For more information, contact MAP at or by telephone at 212-701-9620.

Current episode

Season 2, Episode 10 -

The coronavirus pandemic has upended our lives in many ways, affecting everything from work to leisure activities. In this episode of the Classroom Café podcast, Christine Whelan, who teaches classes on well-being at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, shares strategies for finding your purpose, even during a pandemic. Learn what happens to you when you embrace a purpose mindset and connect to something bigger, and find out how to do that. To learn more about Christine, visit her website at

Previous episodes

Season 2, Episode 9 -

During this pandemic, relationships matter more than ever. In this episode of the Classroom Cafe podcast, we share tips for managing interpersonal relationships during these challenging times. Join us as we talk with Krista Rizzo, a transformational life coach, motivational speaker and author who specializes in relationships. To learn more about Krista Rizzo, visit her website at Why Am I Yelling?

Season 2, Episode 8 -

The start of this school year poses challenges, concerns and stressors that are unique and different from any other school year. In this episode, three UFT members share their experiences and perspectives on returning to their school buildings and on teaching remotely. Learn strategies for dealing with your own feelings of stress, anxiety and fear from these intrepid New York City educators.

Season 2, Episode 7 -

Grieving the loss of a loved one, whether a family member, friend or colleague, can be complicated and difficult. Grieving during a pandemic is more complicated still. Listen in as Alan Fruzzetti, Ph.D., a psychologist from McLean Hospital and cofounder of the Center for Trauma and Stress Education, shares his insights. While there is no “right” way to grieve, in this episode, we will learn strategies for coping with grief and loss so it isn’t overwhelming.

Season 2, Episode 6 -

In this special podcast episode for UFT retirees, hear how retired UFT members throughout the country are experiencing life during this pandemic and learn strategies that retirees are using to cope with the new reality. “We want our retired members to know your union is here for you and you’re not alone,” said Retired Teachers Chapter Leader Tom Murphy. “Listen in to our conversation as one way to stay together while remaining socially distant.” The podcast features Murphy; Christopher Chin, the director of Retiree Social Services; and Donesa Jackson and Patti Vitucci of the UFT’s Florida retiree section.

Season 2, Episode 5 -

Learn tips and strategies about creating boundaries, setting routines and virtually supporting students in the remote era from Doreen Ng, the director of mental health at the UFT’s United Community Schools program, and Christopher Chin, the director of the union’s Retiree Social Services Department. In this interview with Lindsay Strickler-Levine, a licensed counselor with the union’s Member Assistance Program, Ng and Chin also discuss why finding a “win” every day is an important self-care tool.

Learn more about how the UFT Member Assistance Program is helping union members cope with the COVID-19 pandemic through individual consultations, virtual support groups and online resources at Membership Assistance Program.