ASSET for High-Stress Times


Field Notes from ASSET’s partnership with North High School

Beth Lakin, an eleventh grade English teacher at North High School, has been an ASSET champion since the early days when we hosted summer institute PDs and kept the curriculum in an excel spreadsheet.

Beth is the real MVP. She’s grown ASSET from her single classroom to making the program a school-wide initiative with the help of her principal’s support.

Last summer, Tessa and Beth were planning how the program would be implemented school-wide; they determined the English department would lead the charge and commit to implementing ASSET once a week on block days.

When they presented this plan to Scott, North’s principal, he took it a step further. Scott came up with the idea that ASSET tools would be implemented in every single class during high-stress days (like the PSATS, midterms, etc.). If North was going to prioritize their students’ mental health, they had to take a systemic approach.

ASSET tools needed to be implemented during times when students needed them the most.

Before the school year began, Brent and Tessa presented ASSET to the entire staff of North High School. They shared a few tools teachers could use during the high-stress times and created a custom school-wide implementation schedule.

Thanks to North, ASSET now supports partner schools in designing implementations on high-stress days.


About the Author

Tessa Zimmerman grew up experiencing severe anxiety in the classroom. It wasn’t until she received a full scholarship to a private high school that she learned the tools to cope with stress and anxiety. Tessa founded ASSET to bring equity to education and make sure all teachers have the tools to help their students cope with stress and anxiety. She has been recognized by Forbes as a “wildly successful millennial with an untraditional education.” In 2017, Tessa’s first book, I Am Tessa, was published by One Idea Press. As the single and childless member of the team, Tessa enjoys her free time, hot yoga practice, and cooking with friends.


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