Teacher stress may be high but you are not alone. Here are some tools to help you get back on track with loving what you do & having the energy to keep doing it
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We all want to think we are great at our job, and most of us are. But, how can we go from good to great? How can we achieve more in less time and be more efficient in the process?
In order to grow and improve we must know where we are. In order to do this, we can take a Wellbeing Audit of staff to determine which areas of wellbeing we are already doing well and which areas we need to strengthen.
You can download our FREE TEACHER WELLBEING AUDIT to see how you and your staff rate. In this survey we use Martin Seligman’s 5 Pillars of wellbeing known as PERMA to give you a guide and starting point. For more reliable and valid measures of wellbeing you can use Working on Wellbeing developed by Professor Aaron Jarden
Creating a Wellbeing Classroom
Checkout this slideshow with some ideas for how you can build a Wellbeing Classroom
Some strategies to get you moving;
1. Track Positive emotions
Did you know that teachers are really good to supporting others but note very good at supporting themselves? Research shows that tracking positive emotions can actually broaden your outlook on build resilience. Click here to checkout the best gratitude apps you can use to track the good stuff that happens each day.
2. Know your strengths
We all have things that we are innately good at, things that we do effortlessly and enjoy. Knowing your specific character strengths will go a long way to actually helping you feel more satisfied at work. This has actually been proven and is one of the founding principles in Positive Psychology. Take the VIA FREE Test now
3. Have a goal
The truth is if you don’t where you are going, chances are you will never get there. We often want more or want less but rarely set a realistic goal to give ourselves direction. Instead we get caught on the rat wheel moving very fast but going nowhere. If you want more time and energy but less stress, then set a goal that supports that direction. Download your FREE goal setting workbook
4. Develop a support network
You don’t have to do it on your own. We are a social being, just look at the rise of “social-media” to see how important it is for us to feel connected to others. Who are the people that support you most? Who are the people who inspire you and lift you to be a better person? We all need support, this is where having a coach is great as they have the strategies to meet your specific needs and are committed to believing in you and your dreams until you have the confidence to believe and see it yourself.
5. Take action
All dreams stay floating in the air until grounded in action. Coaching is very strategy based where specific actions are set that move you towards your goal. These strategies help you move from stepping stone to stepping stone and before you know it, you have crossed the river successfully. If you want to learn to be a coach or mentor, checkout Growth Coaching International where ex-teachers and ex-Principals share the tools and strategies of leaders.
6. GROW Coaching Model
The GROW coaching model is one of the most commonly used models today because it is simple, easy and useful. GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options and Way forward. In a nutshell it will help you or others direct your attention to what it is you want, possible obstacles or challenges occurring now, options and possibility as well as a plan for how you will move forward. Download a FREE COPY of the iGROW Coaching Model for Teacher Wellbeing.
7. Self Care
Self-care is crucial as educators. We spend so much time caring for others that we forget we too need caring for. Remember when you go an airplane and the safety speech says “If travelling with children, please be sure to put your own oxygen mask on before doing there’s”. This is because you are no use to anyone if you are half dead. The same goes for the classroom. You cannot be full of energy and engaging, if you are exhausted, drained and ready to collapse. The wonderful news is that it is easier than you think. Here are 8 simple ways to start caring for yourself. They are simple and you know them, but will you prioritize yourself to restore your wellbeing. TW Resource – Self Care
8. Practice Mindfulness
Just as we do not get fit from going to the gym once, we do not better manage emotions by practicing mindfulness only in PD’s. There are ,any incredible and FREE apps your can use such as Smiling Mind or simply search Mindfuness in the Google Play of App Store. Another great app is HeadSpace.
9. Building a GROWTH MINDSET in the classroom
Learning is a process of experiences in success and failure. More and more research is showing that how teachers give feedback has a dramatic impact in how students think about their learning. Do you praise the result or the effort applied? Here is an Building a Growth Mindset in the classroom HANDOUT
10. Working with Character Strengths
At the heart of positive psychology lies understanding our character strengths. While we each have all 24 strengths inside us, our uniqueness is comprised of the order in which these strengths are ranked, which forms our true character. Seligman and Peterson’s research indicates that when we identify and plan ways to use of top 5 strengths known as signature strengths we experience greater life satisfaction and wellbeing. Take the free VIA strengths test first. Once you know your top 5 strengths you can download the Teacher wellbeing – Character Strengths Classification. Finally, plan ways you can use your strengths in the classroom with these Teacher Wellbeing – Applying Character Strengths in the Classroom.
11. PERMA – Creating a Wellbeing classroom
Wellbeing is not something that just happens but must be explicitly taught. The PERMA Model is a globally recognizes model that addresses key 5 domains of wellbeing. Here are some tools that follow Martin Seligman’s PERMA TW Resource – PERMA for a Wellbeing Classroom. Give yourself the gift of wellbeing as together you flourish.
12. PERMA – for Teachers
We all know teaching can be stressful with us having to be involved in about 1000 interpersonal contacts every day (Holmes 2005). The quality of this contact can either jeopardize or enhance wellbeing. Given we as educators want to make valuable contributions to the lives of others, it is imperative we are able to support our own wellbeing in the process. Here are some tools that follow Martin Seligman’s PERMA Model of wellbeing. TW Resource – PERMA for Teacher Wellbeing
If you need some small daily reminders their is always our Teacher Wellbeing Cards – 52 cards to use either on your own or with others as small habits that build your wellbeing.
To show you what I mean, here are some other coaching resources that you might find useful as a leader and manager of other people.