5 Handy Tips from Teachers for Improved Mental Wellbeing
Teaching is a rewarding job. We are the people who inspire, motivate, guide and help to differentiate right from wrong. We are strong influencers in today’s world. After all, helping upcoming generations with their education and future is fulfilling. Here at Educate Group, we know that exact feeling – we are all teachers too.
Yet, with this level of responsibility, it seems that the mental wellbeing of teachers is suffering, which is slowly reducing the UK’s teaching workforce. Not only this, it could be reducing the desirability of teaching as a career choice for the next generation.
From workplace burnout and support cuts, to the changing recruitment requirements from schools, the world of teaching has changed. It’s placing pressure on both mental wellbeing and performance. Although a small proportion of teachers are currently affected, it’s important that we acknowledge this and take personal steps to help make it easier for us all before it becomes a widespread issue.
Being a teacher doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Teaching will always be a really positive and impactful job. If you’re currently suffering with your mental health, there is a way to help turn this around. Through our aim to improve the educational sector, we have put together a useful guide on how you can remain an influencer, an inspirer, a go-to character, whilst prioritising yourself as a person. Read our 5 handy tips for improved mental wellbeing in teaching.
The rise of mental health problems in teaching
Before we delve into key tips for improved mental wellbeing, it’s important that we briefly visit the main areas, affecting teachers.
There’s been a large amount of research shared over the years. Yet, the main focus so far has been placed on supporting children emotionally. However, as mental health is now a prevalent topic in today’s society, affecting more and more people, it’s important to consider the mental wellbeing of our teachers – after all, you are responsible for protecting, guiding and educating our children and young adults.
Recent data shares how 1 in 20 teachers across the UK currently suffer from a long-lasting mental health problem. This rise has impacted the profession, with a proportion of individuals hanging up their teaching hats for good.
This discouraging news is down to a number of factors, placing pressure on the mental wellbeing of teachers. Workplace burnout is one of the key contributing factors, causing panic attacks and anxiety. The mental wellbeing of teachers is also suffering as a result of adapted government recruitment requirements, placing little emphasis on classroom visits and involvement while training.
To reverse this unfortunate impact on the profession, it is the duty of teaching bodies and individual schools to improve the mental wellbeing of teachers. Yet, there are ways that we as teachers can make this job better. There are steps we can take to improve our own experiences, with the hope to help other teachers. Here are our 5 self-help tips that you can utilise to improve your own mental wellbeing.
Valuable advice for improved mental wellbeing
At Educate Group, not only are we expert recruiters, we are all teachers too. We know too well how the educational world has changed. We’ve seen the impacts it has brought, particularly in relation to the mental wellbeing of teachers.
Yet, it’s not all bad – there are many benefits and rewards for becoming a teacher in today’s society, helping to make a real difference. Like any job, stresses and pressures are likely. It’s how we as teachers control those stresses that can make a difference to our profession.
Through our experience, we want to share our handy tips for prioritising mental wellbeing, while maintaining the love for our jobs. Here are some tips for improved mental wellbeing, to use inside the classroom and out…
1. Set clear boundaries between the classroom and personal life
Without clear boundaries, it’s likely that life will merge from inside the classroom to outside. It’s common that workplace stresses or overwhelming workloads will follow and impact your personal life.
Many professionals will avoid letting their personal life impact their work. Yet, why do so many of us, as teachers, allow this crossover to rule our personal lives?
Setting and sticking to clear boundaries will promote improved mental wellbeing. Whether that’s turning your phone off once you arrive home, setting weekly work goals, or giving yourself some more ‘me time’.
2. Remember your purpose as a teacher
As teachers, we can easily get caught up in lots of things including lesson plans, marking and the progress of our students. All of this can cause stress, impacting our mental wellbeing.
Of course, the fundamentals of teaching are important. Yet, it’s even more important for teachers to ooze passion.
Reconnect with your purpose. Ask yourself, why you became a teacher? Refreshing your memory and opting for a greater presence in the classroom should motivate you and in turn, improve your mental wellbeing.
3. Practise what you teach
Teachers are very good at teaching, at guiding, at recommending, yet we can sometimes be the worst students. With big concerns around the mental health of our students, we promote the importance of opening up; we share the need for balance; we reassure students that everything will fall into place; boundaries between hard work and rewards are commonly set.
Yet we fail to follow this guidance ourselves, making our jobs harder. For improved mental wellbeing as teachers, we must actively practise what we teach.
4. Prioritise your own health
As humans, we commonly let life get in the way. We make excuses; we think we have little time; other ‘important jobs are commonly prioritised before our health.
Yet, without our health, what are we? It’s time to achieve improved mental wellbeing as teachers by prioritising our health and fitness, our minds and our ability to stay connected to who we are outside of the classroom.
It’s important that we have healthy relationships with our life outside of teaching. Helping to improve our mental wellbeing once we pop on our teaching hat.
5. Sharing is caring
If you’re suffering mentally, speaking out is vital. Although this may feel challenging at first, speaking out will reduce the pressure you’re feeling. The sooner you can do this, the sooner you’ll experience improved mental wellbeing.
Yet, speaking out will not only help you, but it could also help your fellow teachers. Uniting as one, promoting an internal support network will improve your life as a teacher. Hold regular wellness events or an open-door culture, where a quick cup of tea and chat is the norm. Sharing is caring in this challenging but rewarding profession.
Although the profession of teaching may be taking a knock currently, we can help ourselves by actively attempting to improve our own mental wellbeing. Following our tips, will help to alleviate some of those stresses.
If you are currently struggling, we highly recommend reaching out to colleagues, or even professional support.
If you’re passionate about making a difference in the education world and would love to become a teacher yourself, see our teacher training opportunities here at Educate Group.