Looking after wellbeing is linked to job satisfaction, positive emotions, professional growth and successful outcomes for learners.
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.
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
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.
Sancta Maria College: A culture of wellbeing for every teacher, staff member and learner
Wellbeing for success: a resource for schools (Education Review Office)
Bullying Prevention Toolkit (Worksafe New Zealand)
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.
Reports and studies
Te Whare Tapa Whā Māori Health Model | Hauora Māori (Durie, M., 1994)
Burnout and wellbeing: Testing the Copenhagen burnout inventory in New Zealand teachers (Milfont, T. L., Denny, S., Ameratunga, S., Robinson, E., & Merry, S., 2008)
Report to the NZ Principals Federation: Stress and Wellbeing among New Zealand principals (Hodgen, E.; Wylie, C., 2018)
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.