Skip to main content
Full Menu
Classroom Cafe - Hero

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 13 -

Feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety have been heightened during the pandemic, creating the perfect storm for an increase in substance use and other addictive behaviors. In this episode of the Classroom Café podcast, Anthony Rizzuto of the Seafield Treatment Center on Long Island, a master social worker, alcoholism and substance abuse counselor and national speaker, will discuss how these stressors can affect you and your loved ones and how best to cope with them. He'll give you strategies for managing emotions without resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms and explain how you can support others in these difficult times.


Previous episodes

Season 2, Episode 12 -

The year 2020 has been tough. The pandemic has taken a toll on our emotional well-being, whether we have suffered the loss of a loved one or we miss our normal work routines and time spent with family and friends. In this episode of the Classroom Café podcast, mental health speaker and best-selling author Mike Veny shares the profound mental health journey he has been on since childhood. His insights will help educators to develop tools and techniques for self-care and to support students and their families as they deal with the stresses of the pandemic. Listen in and start 2021 with an outlook that promotes emotional well-being and resilience.

Season 2, Episode 11 -

The holidays are a time of joy — and for many, a time of stress and anxiety, too. The year 2020 has brought an array of new challenges, including how to celebrate safely during a pandemic. What is the best way to manage? With careful thought and preparation. In this episode of the Classroom Café podcast, Jonathan Benz, a New York City-based behavioral health professional, shares tips, strategies and scenarios to help you plan for a safe and celebratory holiday season.

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

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.