Q1 – How important is work life balance in education?
Q2 – How important is student well being in education?
Q3 – What is the biggest positives that impacts on staff well being?
Q4 – What are the obstacles to maintaining staff well being?
Q5 – What are the impacts of maintain a good work life balance?
Q6 – How do you maintain a sense of well being whilst working?
The discussion began with by at schools and individuals. The purpose of this UKEDChat was to look how teachers look after themselves and the students within their classes. The aim was to look at how individuals manage their workload and how they make sure they achieve a good work life balance. Something that is often difficult within education. The intention was to investigate work life balance can be achieved and how other manage their time.
The chat began by looking whether well being can be achieved within an educational environment. The general consensus here was that it is possible if there is a Senior Leadership Team (SLT) that support and nurtures you. The discussion continued and was very one sided at this point; everyone agreed that well being is very important and something all leaders need to strive to get right.
Next we looked at students well being and there was a split in opinion here. Some believed that it was up to the student to find well being within secondary education and above but in primary schools is in the staff’s responsibility. Many believed that as the students get older then need to become more emotional resilient and so there well being needs to become part of there remit. Whereas on the other side, some say that it’s the staff’s reasonability for all ages. They suggest that as we all need line mangers etc. to guide the way, a student, whatever their age, needs to have teachers who look out for them and make sure their emotional and physical well being is being considered. After all we all need someone to look out for us!
The discussion then turned to practical examples of how wellbeing can be achieved. There was lots of talk here about trying to forget about school when you get home. Although there were lots comments that stated that this is far easier said then done. Others talked about emails and how the need to send emails in the evening often leads to staff working more then they need to. This was an interesting point for me, and an area I would like to see appear within another EdChat. I believe there is some scope for discussion here. Should there be a cut off point for sending emails to others within the school? Is there an acceptable time and place for messages? If there is an unacceptable time for sending messages, when is it?
Another interesting point that came out of the conversations were the fact many educators do not mind doing work in the evenings etc. The issue here is that they do mind doing work that they think is irrelevant and does not make them a better teacher. Lots of educator’s commented that many of the jobs they are asked to do does not add to there teaching so they are reluctant to do them. This again I believe could make quite an interesting discussion.
Overall the feeling was well being was very important and if staff are too bogged down within other things then it takes away from their main purpose; which is to teach and to provide for their students. Many educators within the talk comment how if they had more time to teach they would feel a lot happier and thus there well being would be good.