Overview

Teaching is exciting and dynamic. It stretches teachers physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. Teaching can test professional ability and even test the strength of hearts and minds. 

In short, teaching requires much more than many other jobs.

A focus on wellbeing helps individual teachers and employers manage the demands of teaching and live a good life. That is not to say other factors do not need to be addressed, but focusing on wellbeing gives teachers the strength and optimism to challenge and change the way they work without burning out or giving up.

A workplace that supports the holistic wellbeing of its employees has higher retention rates, increased loyalty, increased conscientiousness and less sickness. 

Teacher wellbeing is both an individual and collective responsibility. It is holistic - it focuses on the spiritual, physical, mental and social wellness of teachers as professionals. In practice it looks different from person to person and place to place.

Whilst care has been taken in curating this selection of resources, the Teaching Council does not endorse the following links and is not responsible for their quality or rigour.

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Case studies: New Zealand ECE, kura and schools promoting teacher wellbeing

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori Te Whānau Tahi: Shared values are the glue that holds a kura together

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Christchurch-based Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whānau Tahi looks after the wellbeing of the youngest tamariki all the way to kaumātua using principals of Te Aho Matua and their kura values to inform a 'code of being'. The kura believes their tamariki cannot be the best they can be if staff do not feel valued and happy.

Read how the hauora of students, kaimahi, kaiako, tumuaki, kaumātua, Board members and whānau is looked after.

Sancta Maria College: A culture of wellbeing for every teacher, staff member and learner

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Auckland's Sancta Maria College addressed teacher wellbeing after teachers were found to be floundering due to workload intensity, demands on time and an unbalanced approach. They created a booklet, The Good New Habits Book, to help staff develop new habits to look after themselves, with weekly activities, tips and strategies. 

Share with us an innovative way your colleagues or setting are supporting one another.

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Podcasts

Teaching Today Podcast: Teacher wellbeing

This episode focuses on teacher wellbeing and brings together Professor Meihana Durie and psychologist Jacqui Maguire to discuss the importance of teachers taking care of themselves and each other, and keeping emotional intelligence in check.

Teaching Today Podcast: Professional boundaries

Teachers grapple with professional boundaries on a daily basis. Expert John Parsons speaks about real-life examples and gives his tips on how boundaries can help teachers navigate complex relationships, protect themselves, preserve mental health and emotional energy and uphold standards and values.

Apps

Grateful: a prompt base gratitude app. Researchers at the Harvard Medical School have found that, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

Headspace: provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training to over 6 million people. Guided sessions are provided online, or via their mobile apps. Meditation has been shown to reduce levels of stress and levels of perceived stress. 

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