The Check-In


One way to get students to pay attention to their emotional health is to institute a brief “check-in” on a regular basis

How it Works

  • Make an announcement to the class by saying something like this:
    • “We’re all going to take a few moments to “check in” with ourselves. This is a chance for each of us to recognize how we’re feeling and acknowledge any worries or concerns that may be bothering us.”
    • “On a scale of one to ten with ten feeling on top of the world, rate how you’re feeling right now.”
    • Now let’s do a deep breathing activity – taking slow, deliberate breaths by inhaling for 4 seconds and exhaling for 6 seconds. We will do this for one minute.
    • After doing this exercise, now rate your mood again.
    • You don’t have to share your number with anyone.  But if it’s particularly low today (say, four or lower), I’m available [SPECIFIC TIME] if you want to talk.”
  • If desired, distribute the Student Check-In Worksheet to facilitate this exercise and provide more detail.

Alternative Exercises

If more time is available, students can be invited to share one-word descriptions of their feelings (“stressed, worried, excited, tired”), followed by a more in-depth coping skills exercise.


This brief intervention gives students a safe space to recognize their feelings and concerns.  When used at the beginning of class, it may be enough to help students let go of some of their anxiety and focus on class.