The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) in the United States have recognised the importance of Teacher Wellness initiatives. An article by psychologist and author Adam Sáenz in the latest edition of Principal magazine highlights “Principals play a key role in this crucial—but overlooked—aspect of staff development.”
“Kids can’t do their best in school if they are stressed—or, for that matter, if they’re tired, hungry, or shaken by a situation at home. Turns out, the same is true of teachers. In occupations like teaching, or any kind of public service or mental health field, self-care is just too neglected,” says Sáenz, author of The Power of a Teacher, a handbook for educators on practicing teacher wellness. The book, a guide to help teachers maintain physical, emotional, financial, and occupational well-being, sprang from his work as a school psychologist.
School Principals that recognise the importance of teacher wellness start the new school year with an emphasis on physical health. Whilst this is a great place to start and is timely with many people having made new year’s resolutions, the mental health of staff who work in schools is also vital. Happy School articles are designed to assist with both the physical as well as the mental health of staff who work in schools.
Teacher Wellness is An Investment
It is important that staff wellbeing is recognised and supported as a school priority. Rather than being seen as an expense, initiatives to support the allround wellness of school staff should be seen as an investment. “If we can keep teachers healthy, then every student benefits from that,” Sáenz says. “The most effective intervention for every student is a healthy teacher living a balanced life.”
It is essential that principals buy into the return on investment that they will get by encouraging teachers to maintain balance and wellbeing.
You can read more from the NAESP article here.