Ian teaches in a way that is courteous of mental health concerns and issues and ensures that adequate support is provided for students. Ian Fanning provides resources and support for different groups on campus, checks in on his students and makes sure we are doing ok.
Professor Fanning reminds students to "check in" with themselves regularly and expresses empathy and understanding always. Differences in learning and communication are embraced. He is open, honest, generous and accepting, a great listener and cheerleader. He makes learning interesting, fun and accessible.
For me, mental health is about finding a path to self-love and coming to a place of knowing you are important. Self-care and love of self are critical in today's busy world. Sometimes we need time for self-care when struggling to fulfill commitments and responsibilities. Mental health is also about having our struggles, situations, experiences, and emotions validated by others through meaningful, supportive and accountable relationships.
I focus on the holistic aspects of education rather than just a strict cognitive focus. We are whole human beings, and we bring our emotions and mental health to our learning experiences. I try to work with students to understand their situation. I also ask students to be accountable for their mental health - I always try to be flexible and to listen to each student and their unique situation. Educators have a leadership role but part of that is having compassion. If we can include a compassionate approach in our teaching, then we are modeling this for the students. Our students also teach us a lot about teaching when they share open and honestly about themselves.
--- Dr. Ian Fanning