What can *you* do for the well-being of teachers?

WISE is officially releasing a new report on teachers’ well-being, although they already shared it with the world in November last year. You can read everything here.

One of the more interesting parts of this literature study combined with case studies is the answer to the question of what everybody can do to help the teachers and to help to make the job more attractive:

  • Parents can contribute to teacher wellbeing by communicating with their children’s teachers and recognizing and praising teachers when deserved. They can prepare their children to behave well at school and respect their teachers, which will make teachers’ jobs easier.
  • Teachers can improve their own wellbeing through deep and meaningful engagement in their work. For example, they can praise students and encourage them to apply for awards and participate in competitions. Teachers can take advantage of professional development opportunities and volunteer to serve in school-wide or district-wide committees. Interacting with other teachers is important, including sharing what they know with each other and asking for help when needed. Ideally, teachers take care of themselves on a regular basis and reserve some personal or family time for themselves. A number of skills can help teacher wellbeing, including learning how to manage emotions, practicing mindfulness-based stress reduction skills, and keeping the big picture in mind when experiencing frustration or other negative emotions.
    => I do think this is focusing more on working on coping than on trying to get rid of the stress factors.
  • Principals play a significant role in promoting teacher wellbeing. They help create a positive work environment and ways for teachers to positively interact with each other. Principals can promote teacher wellbeing by clearly stating the school’s goals, fostering a sense of unity, and focusing on promoting good student behavior. They can praise teachers for good work, ask about their wellbeing, and allow them flexibility when reasonable. To minimize teacher burnout, principals can give teachers a large degree of autonomy in the classroom, minimize the amount of administrative and bureaucratic work, and give them school-wide responsibilities.
  • Education authorities provide professional development for teachers, not only in teaching methods but also in emotional regulation strategies and classroom management. To promote teacher wellbeing, education authorities can create programs to publicly recognize teachers and principals. Meaningful feedback to teachers from inspectors can be helpful. Financial stability and resources to meet personal needs, as well as positive work environments, all promote teacher wellbeing. Reducing administrative work assigned to teachers and revising policies on leave-taking and working hours for more flexibility can lower the possibility of burn out.

But also:

Finally, everyone can contribute to teacher wellbeing by showing respect for teachers and letting our past teachers know they matter, especially those who made a difference in our lives. Everyone can support and advocate for incentives for teachers. This shows respect for teachers and boosts their motivation.

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