Why we want to support the wellbeing of teachers and school staff

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With the recent focus on supporting student’s mental health, we recognise that there must also be a focus on staff wellbeing. After all, it’s hard to promote student wellbeing if staff wellbeing is low.

We acknowledge that longer term cultural change within schools in relation to staff wellbeing is a broad challenge and can take time. This website, therefore, focuses on more targeted things that you can do at an individual level with supporting resources to help you on your own wellbeing journey.

The benefits of investing in staff wellbeing

  • There is a direct association between teacher and student wellbeing.
  • Increased wellbeing is associated with an increase in performance.
  • Reduction in illness and absence
  • Better stress management
  • Increased job satisfaction

What is staff wellbeing?

Wellbeing is about our physical, mental and emotional health. The emphasis is on achieving balance – when we feel good across these areas our wellbeing is good. We can think about this in terms of scales with your wellbeing at the centre. Good wellbeing is achieved when there is a balance between the resources you have available and the challenges you face. When your challenges outweigh the resources you have, things can become off balance.

Our Teacher Wellbeing area aims to give you lots of ideas for resources to help support you when challenges come your way.

Mental Health

Mental health is something we all have – just like we all have physical health. Our mental health is dynamic and can vary from day to day and over time according to our experiences. It can be considered as a continuum ranging from healthy to unwell that may fluctuate across our lifetime. While someone may currently have good mental health, this doesn’t mean they won’t have difficulties in the future. Likewise, someone encountering difficulties with mental health may recover.

Mental Health is not the same for everyone – what affects one person may not affect another.

Our mental health and wellbeing are linked – our mental health influences our wellbeing and our wellbeing influences our mental health.

Teacher Wellbeing Battery

We can use the example of a battery to help us think about how our work affects our wellbeing. Imagine your energy is produced by a small battery inside your body. As you expend energy throughout the day, power is taken from the battery. Taking breaks, lunch and receiving praise about your work are examples of things that help recharge your battery and support you to function well. Without these, your battery will continue to drain and run out of power.

Five Ways to Wellbeing

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Five ways to wellbeing – this is a set of evidence-based actions to promote wellbeing. These are simple things that we can do on an everyday basis that can help to boost or maintain or wellbeing.

  1. Connect: relationships with other people are important to promote our wellbeing. Connecting to other people gives us a sense of belonging.
  2. Be Active: regular physical activity promotes emotional wellbeing. Exercise doesn’t need to be intense to be beneficial. Slow paced activities such as walking are beneficial as they provide opportunities for social interaction as well as providing exercise.
  3. Take Notice: paying more attention to the present moment helps strengthen our wellbeing. This mindfulness allows us to notice what’s happening in the present and become more aware of our thoughts, feelings and our body.
  4. Keep Learning: research shows that learning new skills can improve our wellbeing by increasing our confidence and self-esteem and gives us a sense of purpose by working towards goals.
  5. Give: acts of giving and kindness can help improve wellbeing by giving us a sense of reward or positivity and a sense of purpose.

We hope that you will find our resources, activities and links useful in keeping your battery topped up. We shall be adding content throughout the next 12 months so please keep coming back to see what new ideas, tips and activities are available.