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How to support teacher wellbeing

How leaders can support their teachers’ wellbeing post-pandemic

Date posted : 17 January 2022

Teaching is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling vocations, but the huge responsibilities it entails can take their toll on teachers’ mental wellbeing.

Teacher wellbeing can often be overlooked by leaders and the teacher themselves. Mental health issues have been intensified considerably in the wake of COVID-19, with 52% of teachers saying that their mental health deteriorated during the pandemic. Here at Teaching Personnel, we understand the importance of mental wellbeing and we’ve provided these top tips that leaders can use to support their staff in such turbulent times.

Provide teachers with a more manageable workload

There are a range of steps that leaders can take to manage the wellbeing of teachers in a post-pandemic world and reducing their workload can have a major positive impact on their mental health.

Excessive workloads and built-up deadlines can lead to a snowballing of work that results in stress, anxiety and feelings of exhaustion. Managing workloads is a responsibility that must be shared between the teachers and the employer. With an efficient culture of collaboration and teamwork in place, workloads can be distributed throughout the team, providing each teacher with a manageable amount of work.

A teacher’s workload can also be reduced by providing them with access to extra resources and technology that can reduce the time taken to complete tasks. For example, there are a range of resources that can:

  • Reduce marking time
  • Help teachers keep track of student data and progress
  • Streamline communication with parents and peers
  • Provide the opportunity for flexible working

If schools can implement changes in technology and resources, they can take a significant step towards improving teacher wellbeing.

Create a more open culture

Creating an open working environment and a culture where teachers are encouraged to talk about their wellbeing is crucial to supporting mental health issues. It’s worth keeping in mind that teachers may not be aware of the support available to them until you reach out.

Promoting an open culture can be as simple as sending staff an email to let them know where they can go to talk about their wellbeing. Encourage them to be open about their work-life, or personal life if they desire, and take advantage of what can be a vital support network.

Once your staff are aware that they can be open and share information about their current state, you can then begin to find solutions to work-related issues and, in turn, improve their wellbeing.

Let teachers know that they are appreciated

This may go without saying but praising teachers and showing how much they are appreciated can go a long way towards supporting their mental wellbeing. Teacher appreciation can be shown in many ways including, providing any extra resources that they need, complementing them for their hard work through difficult times and celebrating any milestones or achievements.

Creating a culture of recognition helps employees see that their company values them and their contributions to the success of their team and the company overall. This is particularly important for teachers as it helps them build a sense of security in their value to the school, motivating them to continue great work which, in turn, benefits the students.

Provide training for staff

Recognition of issues regarding mental health and the importance of tackling them head-on is more important than ever. It’s imperative that all employees, particularly leaders, help to identify when a member of staff needs support. Schools can provide their staff with further training to help them enhance their empathy skills and show them how they can help if a fellow colleague is in need.

Schools can also improve teacher wellbeing by providing their staff with vital training on managing stress and recognising signs that a colleague may be experiencing mental health issues. Training modules should promote a healthy work-life balance culture, introduce coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety, and offer employees more support than ever.

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