Teacher: Hands up who is ready to learn about multiplying fractions? (scans classroom)
Whole Class: Me! Me! Me! (All but 3 children raise their hands)
Teacher: Sorry kids, 3 of your classmates aren’t ready so we will have to wait until they are.
Student 1: But isn’t learning Maths important?
Teacher: It is, but it will be difficult if everyone doesn’t want to learn, so you will have to miss out for now.
Whole Class (mutters): Awww this isn’t fair! I want to be good at Maths! Why can’t we just learn it anyway?!
Teacher: I know, I know… Maybe next year.
Recently I have had a few conversations with school leaders and teachers wanting to improve and focus on Teacher Wellbeing at their schools, only to have them mention how difficult it will be because some of their teachers just aren’t interested. They feel it will be challenging to get everyone on board, to get every teacher to do the work and that focusing on whole school change and achieving a consistent and embedded approach to Teacher Wellbeing can’t be done right now.
Some of the messages from those who aren’t yet ready to jump on board include:
- Teacher Wellbeing won’t change unless the system does, so what is the point?
- I don’t have time for all this Wellbeing nonsense.
- You should fix it. I shouldn’t have to do anything.
I know there are some frustrations around Teacher Wellbeing, and for too long, it hasn’t been done right, but it’s now time for you to change that. For the sake of all teachers, and schools, you simply can’t avoid this issue because a few teachers aren’t ready.
As a collective, we have a choice, and as an individual, you do too. You can sit around and wait for the system to change (that won’t be anytime soon), you can claim you don’t have time (you do) and you can expect and demand someone else fix your wellbeing (they don’t have to).
None of these strategies are going to work.
Or you can choose to take responsibility for your own wellbeing and make the commitment that tending to it requires.
So if you are a school leader, I encourage you to help your staff realise they need to take responsibility for their own wellbeing, and I encourage you to realise your job is to simply make sure they have the tools and strategies needed to transform their wellbeing (hint: the tools you need are not yoga and meeting-free weeks).
As with any new initiative, program or approach being rolled out in a school first time around, there will be some who resist, who feel it isn’t for them and who want to watch from the side lines and that’s OK. Find your champions, let them thrive, the others will want to be part of the team soon enough, especially when they realise it is a winning team.
Want to make Teacher Wellbeing a winner in your school? Sign up for a Teacher Wellbeing Partnership here.
If you want to know more, let’s have a chat.
Book a time here.