Classroom Cafe

Classroom Café is a podcast created by the UFT Member Assistance Program to support the well-being of public school educators and the social-emotional health of their students.

Classroom Café is all about brewing the conversation with fellow educators. We cover everything from mindfulness meditation to confronting substance use – either your own, your students or a loved one — to navigating interpersonal relationships in challenging times.

Selma Williams is the host. A new episode is released on the final Monday of each month.

Listen to Classroom Café wherever you get your podcasts. It’s available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and SoundCloud.

Current episode

Season 3, Episode 10 -

Art can be a way of expressing our thoughts and feelings when words come up short. In this episode of Classroom Café, we explore art as a way to alleviate stress, help us process trauma and get to know ourselves better. Listen in as our special guests Caitlin Hanvey, a creative art therapist, and Asha Hanna, a Brooklyn-based artist, discuss their experiences using art as a form of therapy for both children and adults.


Previous episodes

Season 3, Episode 9 -

Food plays a role in our emotional, physical and even psychological health. In this episode of Classroom Café, Leeann Rybakov, a health coach who is certified in functional medicine, will discuss how we can make healthier choices to support our overall well-being. Rybakov will share some practical and time-saving food choices that will nourish our bodies and spare our wallets.

Season 3, Episode 8 -

Mindfulness strategies can help teenagers take back some control over their emotions and overall mental health. In this episode of Classroom Café, Lexi Mulee, a licensed mental health clinician who works with teens, will discuss some short, innovative approaches to mindfulness that pique teens’ interest, including mindfulness meditation. This is a technique that can calm anxieties and help both teens and adults manage their emotions.

Season 3, Episode 7 -

Teenagers test limits and push boundaries. But some behaviors, such as withdrawing from friends and family or increased anger and mood swings, may indicate your teenager or child is struggling with their mental health. In this episode of Classroom Café, we are joined by Lexi Mulee, a licensed mental health clinician and the founder of Wise Mind Counseling. Mulee specializes in working with teens and will discuss ways to build positive relationships with them as well as the warning signs that your student may need help.

Season 3, Episode 6 -

Grief is an intensely personal experience, which can look very different from one person to the next. There is no "right" way to grieve. In this episode of the Classroom Café podcast, we are joined by Ashley Groesbeck, a clinical social worker, and Alain Metellus, the UFT’s director of crisis intervention, for a discussion of ways we can validate the experience for the bereaved and help them, or ourselves, to accept and move through the grieving process.

Season 3, Episode 5 -

What does addiction look like, and how can our personal biases, experiences and judgments affect the way we view this illness? In this episode of the Classroom Café podcast, we are joined by Steven Sulzer, a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, educator and credentialed substance use disorder counselor. He will share his own experience as well as tools and resources we can use when a family member or loved one may be dealing with substance misuse.


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