Naturally, teachers are a caring species with many of us putting our students’ wellbeing before our own. Yet our wellbeing is as important as theirs. Happy teachers are the foundation of a school. Look after them and they are capable of looking after everything else.
Yet despite this, too many teachers are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety and poor mental health as a result of the role. In the period 2016-2017, 1860 cases per 100,000 teachers were reported by the Health and Safety Executive to have experienced work-related stress in a 12-month period – and that’s just those who reported it!
As schools become more aware of the issue and its impact on retention and recruitment, more is being done to support wellbeing. However, too often these are token gestures: wellbeing days, cake at break and similar acts of kindness. Unfortunately, as nice as they are, token gestures of care do not go far enough to support and maintain a healthy work-life balance; more needs to be done by school leaders.
That said, it is also our responsibility as individuals to look after ourselves and ensure our wellbeing is maintained and work-life balance developed.
I've shared my ideas for strategies you could use in a downloadable resource.
(This article was first published as a newsletter on 4/1/19.)