The wellbeing of teachers
Wellbeing seems to have become a buzzword throughout 2019, with terms like ‘self-care’ and ‘self-love’ growing in popularity. But in the midst of the craze, it is easy to forget what it is all about, and how important wellness and good mental health are - particularly in the world of Education.
It is no surprise that the demands of teaching and the fast-paced nature of education can take a toll on the mental health of a teacher, especially if the support system around them isn’t as strong as it could be. But what role do we, as a recruitment business, play in supporting the teachers we have placed and the businesses that we work with? How can we make this world a better one, and have teachers staying in education for longer?
At the start of 2019, it was declared that the government had set up an initiative to improve the mental health and wellbeing in the education sector. The Advisory Group was set up in partnership with MIND to investigate and improve the way in which wellness is seen in the sector.
But as far as we can see, the problem still persists and we want to change that.
As recruiters, it is important for us that the people we place find passion in their place of work, that they feel valued and progress into a career they love. Education is our speciality, but we see it all too many times where members of staff are inundated with work or feel they have no one to speak to.
Oftentimes, the support is there, but accessing it can be tricky, or there is a sense of stigma attached to reaching out to the support system at the school or college. This is what we want to end.
Teachers are wonderful and they are responsible for shaping students into the humans they become. If they feel stressed or pressured, they won’t be performing at their best, and therefore the students will not be getting the best. This could be a tragedy in the making.
By speaking out, we can make the gap between struggle and support smaller, and give the teachers and students a better chance at education.
The industry needs better communication, which gives room for difficult conversations and the reassurance that help is at the other end, as opposed to the fear of job loss or lost confidence. We are committed to the people we place and will be on hand to speak, even if you are no longer new to your role, if we can help, we will.
We also want a call for better resilience training and for teachers to be given those coping tools that could make their lives so much easier. From workshops to e-learning, when you have the tools to tackle wellbeing and mental health, it much less feels like a battle and becomes more manageable.
It is no surprise that workload plays a huge part in these challenges, but when budgets are smaller and deadlines are tighter, it can be hard to say ‘no’ when something is becoming tricky as a teacher. There should be no shame in reaching out for help and pushing back on projects that do more harm than good.
We want to make wellbeing a key part of education, and change the perception that has been blanketed over the sector. We know it won’t be an easy task but we are prepared for the journey and we are lucky to have great allies on our side within the industry. Together, we can make sure the teachers and education providers of the present and the future are fully equipped and empowered to deal with the daily challenges of teaching, and are free to reap the rewards of teaching too.
Albert Einstein said, “I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” In order for this to be true, we need to create the conditions where teachers are able to offer that without question or doubt.
At Dovetail and Slate, we are working and looking to a future of better wellbeing and mental health for our teachers, and we will work with our providers to make this a reality. If you want to chat further about the wellbeing of teachers, we are only a phone call away.