14 teachers met in a beautifully autumnal Stirling University campus at the end of October to explore teacher health and wellbeing, in the face of growing workload pressures and changing needs of the classroom.
Health and wellbeing of teachers is as pervasive a topic of conversation as the mental health needs of young people throughout EIS Professional Learning courses and events. In recognition, this was the first of four training days offered free to EIS members from October 19 – January 20, supported by the SUL Learning Fund.
What were the key learning points participants took away?
Peer support of one another is critical, as are spaces to be able to informally catch up, e.g. staff rooms.
Having a meaningful say in the whole school as a community would lead to teachers feeling more connected to tasks and targets, as they have a say in setting and measuring them.
Agreeing to undertake tasks should always be done on a voluntary basis, with a realistic understanding of what taking on tasks means to overall workload. Where tasks are taken on to enhance promotion opportunities, it is useful to consider job descriptions, and which tasks will help demonstrate skills and abilities.
What was useful for participants?
‘This was a great course and … it was much needed, given the workload issues just now and impact this is having.’
‘I now know I don’t have to do everything.’
‘Taking the time to reflect is really important.’
Where can I find out more about this topic?
See Me Scotland has produced a wealth of materials around health and wellbeing, including a range of videos of which ‘Are you ok video’ is one.
The Drama Triangle is a way of understanding relationships, interactions, leading to feeling more empowered in situations.