Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC) for Educators


Teachers, school psychologists, counselors, social workers, and building administrators have long been on the front lines of engaging with students with mental health needs. These needs are vast; in fact, 1 in 6 youths ages 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year, according to NAMI. Given the amount of time children and adolescents spend at school, educators are often the first point of contact regarding mental illness. This can lead to burnout and compassion fatigue.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, school personnel have seen a slate of novel challenges, including:

  • working with students via new, remote modalities;
  • helping students while their families or caregivers face health, employment, or financial strain related to the pandemic;
  • and providing a compassionate voice for students who have been isolated from their peers for long periods. 

These new variables only add to the emotional load already carried by these professionals, many of whom have endured or continue to endure pandemic-related trauma in their own lives. The Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC) for Educators can help educators and their organizations navigate these unprecedented times and overcome barriers to well-being that persist even in non-pandemic years. Through self-paced learning or institutional efforts, ARC provides the structure that is often missing from meaningful well-being programming.

The ARC was initially developed in 2013 by Clayton Cook, PhD, and Gail Joseph, PhD, for pre- and in-service teachers1. It was later adapted for the Mid-America MHTTC by Aria Fiat, PhD and Andrew Thayer, PhD.

Download The Value of Teacher Well-Being: A Research Brief, developed in collaboration with the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH), to learn more.

Module Outline

0. Introduction to the Adult Resilience Curriculum (ARC)

1. Understanding the Psychobiology of Stress and Well-Being

2. Creating Safe and Supportive Environments

3. Clarifying, Aligning With, and Committing to One's Values

4. Cultivating Awareness Through Mindfulness-Based Practices

5. Connecting Meaningfully with Others

6. Fostering Pleasant Emotions and Experiences

7. Coping with Difficult Thoughts, Feelings, and Experiences

8. Feeling Good Physically Through Nutrition, Movement, and Sleep

9. Rejuvenating Through Relaxation, Recreation, and Routines

10. Bringing It All Together: A Wellness Plan for the Future


ARC learners are expected to engage with the "core" modules — Modules 1-5 and Module 10 — at minimum. Modules 0 and 1 introduce the ARC framework and cover foundational knowledge of stress and well-being. Modules 2-5 cover non-negotiable well-being concepts including organizational (contextual) well-being, values identification, mindfulness, and connection. In Module 10, learners reflect upon the skills they've acquired and create an individual wellness plan for the future.

Each module is equipped with corresponding activities for learners to complete. The activities are intrinsic to the curriculum package, and therefore learners are strongly encouraged to complete them.


1Cook, C. R., Miller, F. G., Fiat, A., Renshaw, T., Frye, M., Joseph, G. E., & Decano, P. (2017). Promoting secondary teachers’ well-being and intentions to implement evidence- based practices: randomized evaluation of the achiever resilience curriculum. Psychology in the Schools, 54(1), 13-28. []

You might also like:

Professional Well-Being

Copyright © 2024 Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network