In the recently released OECD’s Better Life Index 2012 report, Australia took the top spot as one of the world’s happiest countries. The report measured income, housing and life satisfaction to gauge the satisfaction or happiness of people living in these countries.
I love the use of life satisfaction. Instead of thinking about work-life balance we should aim for work-life satisfaction. We should get satisfaction from our work as well as the other roles we play – parent, partner, coach, friend, son / daughter, neighbor, community member etc.
Most people when asked what they want from their work, apart form money to pay the bills, list a sense of satisfaction that their work is important, they make a difference, are good at what they do and that their work is appreciated.
People who work in schools therefore should feel a ‘built-in’ sense of satisfaction. The work of staff in schools is clearly important and does make a difference in the lives of others. However for many staff in schools the other two factors may be missing. Many staff do not receive enough feedback about their work. They presume that they are good at their job (“No one has said anything, so I must be!”) and many only receive appreciation at the end of the year.
Providing structured processes to provide feedback to teachers to help them be the best teacher they can be is not only good for that teacher’s morale, it’s great for students too!
Living in Australia – teaching in our schools – that should be as good as it gets!