- What does ‘teacher self care’ mean to you?
- How do you look after yourself on the job during term time?
- What does your school’s management do to show the importance of teacher self care at your school, and how genuine do you think this is?
- What do you do during school holidays to show care for yourself
- What would you consider to be signs of adequate teacher self care and its lack?
- How secure is teacher self care during the current curriculum changes?
- Whose responsibility is teacher self care and why?
- How conducive is the education system to teacher self care? What are threats to teacher self care within the system?
As teachers, we are so engrossed in making sure that our pupils are well attended to (via our planning, assessments and 3 o’clock in the morning panic attacks about that resource we were meant to create), that the people we care the least about are…ourselves. I mean, when do we have time to stop and look after ourselves?
So, this session started by asking what ‘self-care’ means to the participants. A profound first response was provided by @jw_teach who declared, “Teacher self care to me means being mindful of how your wellbeing affects those you work with and teach” and the consensus feeling that is important that we look after ourselves so we can be more effective in our roles.
Pressures in school all count to the demands we put on ourselves. Grinch argued that, “assessment – marking – planning – display – all extra work driven by cowardice not evidence”. Whether you agree with this, or not, will depend on many factors, but Tina Murray asserted, “my belief is that if schools required to have and implement policy for stdnt w/ being; same applies to staff. Not lip service.”
The session progressed to asking how people look after themselves during term time. Various responses included: the gym; creating space for reflection; taking a walk at lunch rather than working through, and Jonathan Bailey shared the checklist below:
— Jonathan Bailey (@Jon_M_Bailey) December 17, 2015
In relation to how school manage their staff, James Hilton noted, “Considering staff are a school’s most important resource it surprising how few have a well-being policy”, but we’ll leave the final words to Mike Gunn who says, “If you genuinely want to do good for children, put yourself first. The less well you are, the worse you perform”