Image of Miruthula Queen Anbu

Miruthula Queen Anbu

Teaching Assistant


School of Kinesiology and Health Studies

People Directory Affiliation Category

Miru has always been so amazing with promoting student health and well-being. She starts every class with a mental health check in, which I think is really awesome! She always invites us to email her if we need someone to talk to, and is willing to provide us with any support we may need (ie extensions, breaks from class, etc). Miru is just an incredible woman. Her door is always open to whatever support you may need, whether it's help on an assignment, someone to vent to, or anything else. She prioritizes student mental health by doing check-in's at the start of every class and adjusting her lesson plan accordingly to make sure every student can be successful. Additionally, she is always so open and real about mental health. In short, Miru is an incredible individual who always puts student mental health first while promoting learning.

Anonymous Student

For me, mental health is about practicing self-compassion and empathy for ourselves and others. It is noticing how we interact with and within specific spaces, the people or community we are surrounded by, what activities we participate in, and most importantly, how we perceive mental health. It is remembering that when the symptoms of my mental illness (whether it be depression, anxiety, ADHD, and/or chronic pain) are getting worse, I have learned and am still learning to get help, keep boundaries that prioritize my well-being, and knowing that we have important role on this planet, and things will get better. Finally, it‚ is about being hopeful; for myself.

I usually start my tutorials with an anonymous mental check-in through Mentimeter, which will show up on the screen for all the students to see in real-time. Your students might think it is a bit weird at first, but this is what I tell them: use Mentimeter so that you can see you are not the only person who is feeling a certain way because we often feel lonely because we can‚'t see that others have similar feelings. In addition, it helps me gauge my student‚ mental health-wise, so we can pivot to the way of teaching that suits the energy they can bring today. Also, it helps students who prefer different methods of communicating their thoughts with a platform to engage in a way that builds their strengths while giving them room to build the confidence to talk and share ideas in class.

Next, I do an anonymous word grower to see what topics my students find confusing or difficult to understand. This way, instead of going into a new topic that is most likely part of the foundation of the tutorial, students can collaborate on these topics before moving on.

Finally, I check up on my students and remind them that I'm here to support them in every tutorial. Suppose I know that a student hasn't been engaging with tutorials similarly. If they're visibly upset and/or assignments have been coming in late, check-in's become a reminder for them to prioritize taking care of themselves first and then hand in tasks. Usually, I find that knowing what other courses your students are taking and when those tests and assignments help address some of the concerns above!

As TAs, educators, professors, and/or staff, we're a main point of contact between the university and the students, so we have an opportunity to check in on our students. From personal experience, I can tell you that all it takes is one person to make a big difference in someone's mental health journey.

--- Miruthula Queen Anbu