Rediscovering Teacher Wellbeing

Rediscovering Teacher Wellbeing

Author: Kylie Dawson

Key takeaways: 

Remember teacher wellbeing? That was everywhere during the days of lockdowns and online teaching. As time has passed, the buzz has faded and it seems like it is no longer a priority, or even on the to-do list, in many schools. Which is kind of ironic, considering what 2023 has given us so far. I was going to write a list of all the additional challenges this year has brought and will continue to bring, but I would like to keep the tone positive. And with a pick and mix of shared and area-specific experiences, teachers already know what is adding to their mental and emotional loads.

Lots of lists exist out there already around ways to support your own wellbeing - set boundaries, eat healthy food, embrace ‘me’ time, take up yoga, say no! All very lofty ambitions, but also not always achievable - I mean, if sorting out wellbeing was that easy, we would all be doing it!

So, with non-contact time/school holidays coming right up and being the perfect time for some personal reflection, I am going to share a couple of things that helped me, in the hope that something might sound right for you.

I was always the ‘odd’ one who would return to school around the 3rd of January. I would have already spent some time on computer-related tasks  for my new class. While I couldn’t set the physical space up at that time,  due to carpet cleaning, I could tackle all that start of year admin work - name labels, reading and curriculum materials, wall displays to support the first units etc. Then, when everyone else was trickling in to set up for the school year, I was able to step away and take a break from thinking about school, ensuring that when I started the year, I started it as fresh as possible. The idea of returning so early might shock some, but if it works for you, don’t let the opinions of others deter you!

School holidays are an opportunity to take a break and prioritise yourself. Use the time to intentionally put ‘YOU’ at the centre and think about a couple of changes you could make to the way you do things that will enable you to return to the classroom ready to take on a new term.