What about teacher well-being?

A recent news article about an Australian Primary School teacher who was stabbed by an 11 year old student has brought the topic of teacher well-being and safety back into the limelight. While this behaviour is extreme and we don’t hear about it much, it may be more common than we think. “The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey found one in three principals was physically attacked and that almost half (45 per cent) were threatened with violence in 2018, compared with 38 per cent in 2011.” (https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/principal-health-safety-and-wellbeing)

The well-being of our teaching staff is equally as important as the well-being of our students, and it’s incidents like these that serve as a reminder for all teachers, principals and school staff to be mindful of their safety and their own well-being.

As we enter the ‘silly season’ and the final countdown till the Christmas holiday period, we thought we’d help you with your mental well-being by posting a few ideas that we have used or other teachers have used. You may have a few ideas of your own to use. We’d love to hear them!

  • Vitamin D is good for so many things. So is fresh air. Get some sun and spend some time outdoors doing something you love. Read, stare at the clouds, meditate, walk, run, swim, sleep - just get out there.

  • Put your phone and your laptop AWAY and out of sight for a day or two, or more. Concentrate on you and forget about work and social media.

  • Reconnect with your family. It’s way too easy to take them for granted.

  • Reconnect with old friends, or friends you’ve not seen in a while.

  • Join a library and read, read, read. You could of course buy a book or download a digital one, but buying books can be costly and there’s no substitute for holding and having that old familiar smell of a proper book.

  • Slow down. Take the time to ‘smell the roses’.

  • Live theatre and/or live music is an ideal way to escape the day-to-day humdrum and experience life differently. If there's a good show on, spoil yourself and go see it. It won’t be showing forever!

  • Go somewhere new – get out of your routine.

  • Have a nap.

  • Get a good sleep. Go to bed when you’re tired, get up when you wake up.

  • Buy yourself a gift and go get that facial, or massage, or manicure, or all of the above!

It’s all too easy to forget to look after ourselves. But remember, you’re no good to anyone if you’re unwell, burnt out, over stressed, exhausted, unhappy. Look out for yourself, care for your well-being, and be safe.


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