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Five ways to improve your wellbeing as a teacher

28 June 2017

You spend a lot of time thinking about what’s best for your students – but how much time do you spend thinking about what’s best for you? Thinking about your own wellbeing is not only important for your productivity and effectiveness, but it also enables you to focus on your teaching practice and improve outcomes for your students.

1. Learn to say no

Saying yes to every event, responsibility and experience sounds like a great way to make the most of every opportunity at your fingertips. In reality, it’s a sure-fire way to burn out fast. After a few years of teaching, pacing your extracurricular activities may come naturally, however, lots of teachers still struggle to say no. Give yourself permission to turn things down and relax instead.

2. Ask for direction

Getting advice and guidance shouldn’t be restricted to mentor-mentee relationships. Recognising when you don’t know the best way to approach something is a great way to learn and grow as a teacher. Plus, it takes away the stress of trying to do everything on your own – which is good for your wellbeing.

3. Reflect on your role

Taking the time to actually think about what you like and don’t like is an important part of teacher wellbeing at every career stage. Perhaps you’ve taken on a school leadership position only to realise that you miss the classroom. Or perhaps there are parts of your job you no longer enjoy. You can’t engage your students unless you want to be in the room with them, so constant reflection is good for your wellbeing and theirs.

4. Build positive working relationships

As humans, so much of our wellbeing is social. While you may be surrounded by students all day, it’s still important to build those strong, social relationships at work. Not only does it make asking for help easier, but it gives you someone to bounce off as you grow and develop as a teacher. Plus, you may even find someone to help you with classroom observation or other teaching strategies.

Similarly, building networks beyond your immediate school community is great for your wellbeing and professional growth. Studying a Master of Education online is a great way to meet teaching professionals from around Australia and the globe.

5. Give yourself permission to fail

Failure is part of the process. While the stakes are high – especially in the classroom – you have to give yourself permission to get things wrong. While you should always learn from these mistakes, don’t be afraid to let them go, too. Beating yourself up is unproductive and leads to poor professional wellbeing. By letting go of guilt and prioritising yourself, you’re committing to being a better teacher.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve as a teacher, consider studying a masters degree in education at Southern Cross University Online. Learn more about our leading online programs or speak to one of our expert Student Enrolment Advisors today on 1300 589 882.