PROJECT ROCKIT’s Head of School Engagement Sarah reflects on the challenges that educators across the country have shared with her this year, and offers resources for teachers to look after their own wellbeing as the school year hits the colder months and higher pressure of semester two.
During the holidays I was grateful to be able to catch up with several adored friends of mine who are primary and secondary school teachers in Victoria. Amidst the flurry of coffees, bagels and overzealous cuddles from four legged friends, I was troubled by how difficult it was for them to truly switch off during the term break.
I was also reflecting on my conversations with educators as part of my role here at PROJECT ROCKIT, and the overwhelming similarities between their experiences in school over the last couple of years with challenges such as high staff illness and absence, stretched budgets, unsustainable workloads and an increase in instances of poor mental health and lack of connection between their students. There also seems to be a very present theme of issues related to the use of devices and social media platforms outside of the school environment that are bringing higher levels of bullying and conflict into the school environment, adding yet another serving to the already full plate of educators.
As term three swings into motion, the team and I have been reflecting on the ways that we connect with educators, and the significant changes that the school landscape continues to move through as a result of the last few years. We are so passionate about the young people and students we work with and are constantly looking for ways to support them through the challenges and triumphs of their schooling years, but I paused over the holidays and was stuck in a loop about a different thought…
… what are we doing to support and nurture our beloved educators?!
It is well known that educators and school communities play a significant role in supporting and developing student wellbeing, and also that educator and student wellbeing are interdependent. There is a considerable connection between the wellbeing and emotional health of educators with academic outcomes for their students, and an overall sense of fulfillment and purpose in the incredibly important role of being a teacher. Arecent study led by Andreas Schleicher describes teacher wellbeing as comprising four aspects including cognitive wellbeing, psychological wellbeing, physical wellbeing and social wellbeing, and that all of these key aspects are related to positive outcomes for both students and educators alike.
Here at PROJECT ROCKIT, we see the incredible work that you are doing daily to support your students, and we want to support YOU as the second half of the year settles in. We’ve put together a list of wellbeing resources designed specifically for educators for you below, and we’ve also created a bingo card for teacher wellbeing to make looking after yourselves a little bit more lively.
1. Educator Wellbeing Bingo
We challenge you to get through as many of these as you can across a full week, and let us know how you went!
Promoting educator wellbeing in your learning community is a shared responsibility. This Be You guide goes beyond self-care strategies, supporting leaders and Action Teams to create environments where all educators can thrive.