MREA Member Benefit Proves Valuable to District Leadership

As Bob Indihar, executive Director of Minnesota Rural Education Association, crossed the state visiting member districts during the 2021/22 school year, one thing was clear; the pandemic had taken a toll on educator stress and exhaustion across the state and country, leaving many educators needing support and self-care. As teacher resignations started to rise, MREA wanted to be part of the solution that would help educators regroup and attend to their own stress and coping, and in turn, be ready to come back to school in the fall with resilience and renewed spirit.

MREA vetted EmpowerU’s unique resilience and mental wellbeing program designed for educators and found it to be very powerful. “What makes this course truly impactful,” said MREA Executive Director Bob Indihar, “is that it drives action to create change.” Seeing great potential in the program, MREA generously made three seats available to each member district at no cost.  Over 100 administrators and teachers participated in the self-paced, online resilience lessons with embedded support that helps educators apply what they learned to their goals and challenges.

As the evaluation to the program started to roll-in, the impact of the program exceeded MREA’s expectations::  

  • 100% of educators rated the course as helpful to their wellbeing
  • 100% rated the 1:1 coaching support as critical to their growth
  • 97% would recommend the course to a colleague
  • 99% made progress toward their personal goals.

Michelle Koch, dean of students at Menagha Public Schools, was one of our many educators who completed the course.  “The EmpowerU course was amazing,” said Koch.  “Understanding our emotions and reactions to emotions are valuable skills and a message we need right now.  Every minute of my time with EmpowerU was positive, focused on what I could do and what I could control.  It was incredible.  I am going to shout from the rooftops what a powerful and purposeful program this is.”

If your district hasn’t been able to utilize the EmpowerU seats made available by MREA, there’s still time to get started.  Educators can register for the Fall session anytime now through the end of December and are expected to complete the self-paced program within 12 weeks of starting.  In addition to being a great tool for overall teacher wellbeing, member schools had great success using the program for PD, new teacher programs and building-wide PLC.  Sign up here to take advantage of this great MREA member benefit. If you’d like to learn more about EmpowerU’s educator or PreK-12 Tier 1 & 2 student programs, contact Betsy Bahn (612-987-8098).

MREA Member Benefit Programs

MREA partners with some of the best organizations in their industries to bring discounts to MREA members. Current partners include:

  • EmpowerUEmpowerU program helps students become self-directed, confident learners who can take charge of their thoughts and emotions, building vital resilience skills that lead to success.
  • Vaaler InsuranceVaaler Insurance provides insurance and risk management services to Minnesota school districts and higher education institutions with a focus on property, casualty, auto, cyber, and workers compensation insurance coverages.
  • OnToCollegeOnToCollege provides support for school districts to help prepare their students to take the ACT. The goal is to better position students for post-secondary school admissions and scholarships.

About EmpowerU 

EmpowerU was designed by a team of licensed mental health clinicians to address the large-scale feelings of stress, burnout and fatigue felt by so many educators over the past few years.  “We created this training to help educators put the oxygen mask on themselves first so they could better support their students,” said Katie Dorn, CEO and co-founder of EmpowerU. 

The on-demand, self-paced course is available via any internet-connected device (phone, computer, tablet).  The training takes 10-12 clock hours to complete, which our educators typically spread out over 4-6 weeks, and is clock hour eligible for both teachers and administrators. It’s broken into modules that build proficiency in the areas of self identity, motivations and habits, inner coach, emotional regulation and community. 

Educators set goals at the beginning of the course and are encouraged by their personal 1:1 coach to take steps toward completing those goals.  EmpowerU coaches, who are all master degree counselors and therapists, provide daily feedback via the EmpowerU dashboard.    

EmpowerU K-12 programs for students uses this same methodology to improve student self-regulation, motivation and resilience – and in turn – school success and behaviors.