What can be done to support teachers, boost recruitment, and improve retention? The overall mood in the teaching profession has dipped. The impact of COVID has been felt throughout the education sector and the increased workload has certainly had an impact.
The issue of recruitment and retention is a tough one. Staff who find the role negatively impacts their well-being will leave. This creates a gap that is difficult to fill due to challenging work conditions, resulting in low retention rates. And the cycle continues.
The National Education Union surveyed over 11,000 school and college staff in early 2021. They found that 70% said their workload had increased over the past year, with almost all respondents (95%) reporting they are worried about the impact on their wellbeing.
Here are 5 ways to improve the overall well-being of Teachers:
1.Make wellbeing a priority
The best way to improve the well-being of teachers is to make it a priority. Well-being is essential, not desirable. With so much going on it’s easy to push wellbeing aside, but this simply isn’t OK. If staff are doing well, this will have a direct impact on their students. Here are a few ideas:
– Offer free mindfulness classes such as Yoga and Pilates
– Create a relaxation room that is always available
– Organise social events
– Provide access to mental health resources
– Offer CPD opportunities
– Celebrate achievements, no matter how small
Communication is key in improving the well-being of teachers. Open and safe channels should be a priority giving staff the confidence to raise issues and offer feedback. Conduct regular surveys and try a weekly or monthly well-being meeting. Consider recording it so people can refer back and catch up if they weren’t able to attend.
3. Create a welcoming staff room
This one is simple but effective. Create a welcoming space where teachers can feel relaxed and escape throughout the day. Ensure there are sufficient facilities and reasonable space for everyone to eat lunch in peace, have time to themselves, or chat with colleagues.
4. Promote a healthy work/life balance
Teachers often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. But the pressure to get the increased workload done is tough. Of course, things are time-sensitive, but leaders should be realistic and reasonable. Everyone should have a healthy work/life balance that works for them. Discourage staff from answering emails at weekends and instead focus on staff taking this time to rest, enjoy hobbies, and spend time with family.
5. Work together
Together, we’re stronger. The vital work teachers do as a collective keeps the wheels of education turning. There are so many amazing teachers out there, and their well-being needs to be a priority to solve the ongoing problem. Teachers and school staff are doing incredible work. Let’s raise awareness, make voices heard, and put pressure on the powers that be to create working environments that support wellbeing and recognise a teacher’s true value.
At Colmore Recruitment, we match quality people with quality schools. Get in touch with our team to find out more about how we’re supporting teacher and staff wellbeing.