Improve Teacher Wellbeing- Ofsted’s new Inspection Framework gives greater recognition to schools’ work to support the personal development of pupils, such as the opportunities they have to learn about eating healthily and maintaining an active lifestyle. Inspectors will expect to see schools delivering a broad, ambitious education, including opportunities to be active during the school day and through extracurricular activities. Schools should consider how they use their PE and Sport Premium to support this.
These top tips are based on the work of the Mental Health Foundation.
Mentally healthy schools are the result of a huge amount of work and constant work by the whole school community. No matter how much your school currently does to support mental health, there are still things school staff can do to help themselves.
1. YOUR Mental Health
Use the 5 Ways to Wellbeing yourself! It’s difficult for anyone to support someone else if they are not mentally well themselves.
Having this inside knowledge of how the 5 ways to wellbeing has helped you can gain a bigger insight on how it can be adapted for your classroom and pupils as well.
We all have times when our mental health moves along the mental health spectrum.
Taking the time to talk to people you trust such as friends or family can really help in developing those connections and support networks by letting yourself you are not on your own. In addition, remember that if necessary, seek GP advice on how you are feeling.
- Use the resources available to teachers such as the Education Support Partnership or their free helpline is 08000 562 561 to improve teacher wellbeing.
3. Talk about Mental Health
Life still goes on after the school gates shut in the evening, it is important to communicate your feelings throughout this time and remember.
“There are no teachers who have perfect lessons every day, never doubting themselves. We teach children, after all, and children are not perfect human beings. So reach out to others, realize that you are not alone and that most teachers who seem like they have it all together probably have off days as well.”
It’s important to show this to your pupils, talk to them about mental health in a non-stigmatising way, explaining that mental health can affect us all, and it is more like a spectrum. We can have bad days- but they do not define us, they are actually an opportunity to grow. We feel our bad days so innately because we take pride in what we do- that is the mark of someone who is willing to make a difference. Even if it doesn’t feel like it that day!
4. 5 Ways to Wellbeing
The 5 Ways to Wellbeing are simple to understand. They can be integrated into the classroom, by creating a display board or by using each of the ways as a daily theme one day a week. If you teach RSE/PSHE take a look at the Guide to Life.
If a pupil shares their worries, listen rather than giving advice. If you have any concerns about their safety, follow your school’s safeguarding policy and discuss with your designated safeguarding lead.