Staff Wellbeing: What’s Your Plan?

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Did you know that June is Employee Wellbeing Month? Neither did I quite frankly! 😊 There is even an official hashtag— so give #mywellbeingmonth a follow and see what’s going on out there!  Now that we all know about this, let’s talk a bit more about it and how we can work to integrate this mindset into our schools, specifically for our staff.

In June 2009, Virgin Pulse launched National Employee Wellness Month and this year marks the 11th year of celebration. The minor name change doesn’t change the focus of the initiative—helping to create healthier, happier employees and human beings.  So, how are you working toward creating this type of climate in your buildings?

In many school districts, June marks the end of the year, so what better time to begin thinking about this focus for the next school year?  Creating a school culture of wellness and wellbeing is an essential role of a building-level leader. We talk a lot about SEL (social-emotional learning), and its importance for our students, but what about our teachers?  Let’s delve a little deeper into some ideas that could spark your own focus on employee wellbeing next school year.

  1. Reconnect to Your Purpose; Reignite Your Passion

It’s important to revisit this at the start of each school year—find your “why”. The why may change, but we must always start there as a staff.

  1. Team Build

When I was a building-level administrator, we started each school year with a team building activity on our teachers first day back in August. It just started the year off on a good foot! It could be big or small, but just bringing people together for some good old-fashioned fun (with no strings attached!) is important. Bowling, a picnic/cookout, an ice cream outing, golf, a scavenger hunt around the community, minute to win it activities… the sky is the limit! Depending on your funds, or lack thereof, you have many options. Look to local business to donate activities or food—you’d be amazed at what people are willing to give for teachers!

  1. Start a Gratitude Journal

I have to admit I didn’t do this, but I sure wish I had! How cool would it be if you, as a leader, started a journal sharing what you’re grateful each month, week, or day? Then share it with your staff! Just letting them know you focus on gratitude and kindness will spread the joy and wellbeing in your building.

  1. Daily Deals

At one of my schools, we coined the term “staff daily deals”. We “treated” our staff to these sporadically throughout the school year. Jeans day, hot chocolate bar in the office, cookies at the staff meeting, a treat cart going teacher to teacher in the afternoon for a pick-me-up… you get the idea! These “daily deals” were small, but the impact on wellbeing was huge!

So, tell me how you plan to focus on employee wellbeing? Big or small—share your ideas in the comments below!

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About the author: Katy Garvey

Katy Garvey is the Social Learning Manager for Source for Learning, the non-profit parent company of TeachersFirst. She began her education career teaching Spanish before entering into administration. A former middle school principal, Katy spends her free time exercising and with her family.


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