Well Being = Teaching Well
Before each new academic year, schools and language centers undergo comprehensive preparations. Staff members perform role-specific system checks, covering building readiness, operational systems, seating availability, and teacher allocation.
Meanwhile, teachers attend to tasks like curriculum development, syllabi design, weekly planning, placement testing, and first-week ice-breaker activities. All this is to ensure the smooth beginning and continuation of the academic year. Social and emotional aspects of students’ learning luckily play an increasingly important role. Management, school directors, and the entire staff must also take great care in catering to student well-being in the classroom.
Despite all these efforts, however, one crucial component of effective teaching is often ignored or not prioritized enough: the well-being of the teacher.
“Investing in the well-being of teachers is not only ethically important but also a practical necessity for creating a thriving educational environment.”
It goes without saying that the well-being of teachers plays a vital role in the overall achievement and efficacy of any educational framework. When teachers prioritize their well-being and organizations support them, it yields numerous benefits:
- Higher levels of job satisfaction and self-fulfillment leading to less burnout, improved mental and physical health, and higher teacher retention rates, attracting more qualified teachers to increased longevity in their careers,
- Fostering a life-long learning enthusiasm of the teachers, leading to increased motivation for professional growth,
- Elevating the quality of education thanks to effective instruction delivery and a positive learning environment,
- Setting an example for students by demonstrating self-care, resilience, and work-life balance,
- Instilling valuable life skills in students through the observation of teacher habits and behaviors,
- Increasing student engagement and performance, both socially and academically, through improved teacher well-being,
- Cultivating a positive school culture producing well-rounded individuals poised to meaningfully contribute to society.
Investing in the well-being of teachers is not only ethically important but also a practical necessity for creating a thriving educational environment. Neglecting their well-being is to squander a valuable long-term investment that is too precious to lose.
11 Tips to Improve Teacher Well-being
Individuals have the responsibility of creating opportunities to enhance their sense of well-being. Teachers, who often wear several different hats in their professional and personal lives, have the biggest responsibility for self-care to effectively assist, guide and teach others. Being aware of this, teachers need to acquire habits to look after their well-being by following some of the tips listed below:
- Connect and belong: become a part of a community to have a stronger sense of purpose and belonging, especially if you are away from family and loved ones. Engage in meaningful, lengthy conversations, actively listening to others' stories.
- Reflect and learn: embrace your mistakes and move on. Reflecting on what went wrong and extracting lessons from “heat experiences” is a great opportunity for further improvement and to build resilience.
- Forgive and let go: set yourself free of negative memories. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made as well and let go of the need to control things all the time because you simply cannot.
- Embrace emotions: even though it might be tough at times. If it is time to grieve, do that. Ignored emotions will not go away but come out later in a variety of ways that are difficult to comprehend.
- Give generously: offer your time, skills, expertise, and availability. It can be as simple as making a delicious sandwich or sparing 10 minutes to actively listen to someone who only needs to be heard.
- Practice self-kindness: be generous to yourself, appreciate every single achievement. Have a personal space and time to look after yourself only. When you are kind to yourself, you will be kind to others, and this will lead to a chain reaction.
- Consider mindfulness: be mindful of how you are feeling, the changes around you, changing seasons, birds, scent of a coffee or a child’s smile and enjoy.
- Set time for daily reflection: have a 10-minute reflection time every day, reflecting on what made you feel good and not so good that day. Remember to celebrate your achievements!
- Practice lifelong learning: be a life-long learner by taking online courses, learning a new language, or trying new recipes every other day. These will offer you more achievements to appreciate. On the professional side, look for workshops and webinars. Why not register for our new Teacher Webinar Series?
- Stay Active: try to be active as much as you can and spend some time outdoors, exercise on a regular basis spicing it up with some yoga and meditation to relax.
- Prioritize Well-Being: get enough quality sleep, eat well and drink plenty of water (not just coffee!).
It would not be wise to try to start implementing all these tips all at once. Try to focus on the ones you are already doing but do them more consciously, remembering you are doing that for your own well-being. Add a new one to your list every other week and appreciate the effort you put into this. Keep reminding yourselves that your well-being is essential for the well-being of your students and your beloved ones. Do not underestimate your power. You are an influencer and an enabler, and your well-being will help make all systems run smoothly this academic year.