Listen to "School is a workplace ft. Grant Frost" on Spreaker. School is a learning environment for students – but it’s also a workplace for adults where far too many K-12 staff are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and burnout. In this episode, educator and union leader Grant Frost discusses the important role of school leaders and districts in establishing healthy working conditions.
Listen to "Positive Psychology in the K-12 Workplace ft. Tamara Lechner" on Spreaker. Tamara Lechner, Director of the Center for Positive Education, discusses the benefits of positive psychology in the work of K-12 school leaders and staff. Find out how incorporating the tenets of positive psychology into school team practices can lead to more meaningful conversations, team bonding, and a shared vision that will heighten everyone’s sense of well-being in the K-12 workplace.
Listen to "Teaching and Learning from home ft. Jennifer Forristal" on Spreaker.COVID-19 has brought educators and their families together in the same space almost all day, every day. Homes are now living spaces, working spaces, and learning spaces, where educators are constantly switching between different tasks and wearing multiple hats. Dr. Jennifer Forristal, a school wellness specialist, discusses some of the challenges educators are currently facing and shares important strategies that they can use to look after their well-being as they work from home.
Listen to "Why teacher self-care is not a thing ft. Patrice Palmer" on Spreaker. Stress and burnout led Patrice Palmer to leave the teaching profession after a 20 year-long career. Although she had attempted to return to part-time teaching, Patrice never regained her passion. Why does teacher self-sacrifice appear to be the norm rather than the exception? In this episode, Patrice Palmer explains why it’s critical to avoid burning out in the first place and to find ways to practice self-care amid the demands of the teaching profession.
Listen to "The Ups and Downs of Co-Teaching Ft. Christine Hanna and Laura De Simone" on Spreaker.What happens when the dynamics of working with a colleague in the classroom aren’t all what you expected it to be? In this episode, Christine Hanna and Laura De Simone talk about having to navigate each other’s different teaching styles and trying to find where they both fit in their co-teaching partnership — which in the beginning wasn’t always easy. The turning point? Having a conversation.
Listen to "Making a Drastic Change in my Teaching Career ft. Laura De Simone" on Spreaker.For the first ten years of her career, Laura De Simone was one of the most motivated and inspired teachers who simply wanted to change kids’ lives. Somewhere along the way, though, she started to feel tired and reached a point of resentment from working long hours and neglecting other parts of her life beyond work. Ultimately, ongoing stress led to job dissatisfaction and burnout, which pushed her to make a drastic change in her life.
Listen to "The Action-Driven Change Framework ft. Alexandra Fortier" on Spreaker.What processes could help a school figure out what’s standing in the way of a healthy working environment? What if we simply don’t know what the problem is? The Action-Driven Change Framework can be helpful in identifying solutions that meet your school’s needs. As a school community, ask yourself: (1) What’s the story?, (2) What’s the problem?, (3) What’s the plan?, and (4) What’s next?. Let’s be clear – no long-term solutions to improve workplace well-being are ever one-size-fits-all.
Listen to "Racism and K-12 Workplace Well-Being ft Rohan Thompson" on Spreaker.How is racism a workplace wellness issue? Most workplace wellness programs are focused on the individual - helping people deal with stress, workload, and enhancing their communication skills. Often, the solution is to provide tools such as webinars, programs, and employee benefits. While these programs and tools are all great, they often ignore how organizations can actually be environments that increase stress and mental health issues among racialized peoples. The onus is often put on the individual to tend to their own-well-being while rarely acknowledging how racism can impact employee mental health and wellness.
Listen to "What Does It Mean To Flourish in Schools? ft. Dr. Sabre Cherkowski" on Spreaker.What are the earliest signs of burnout? What are the daily practices of educators who have positive mental health and are able to handle stress well? How would you support a teacher’s happiness at school, and how important do you think happiness is to a teacher’s overall well-being? In this episode, Dr. Sabre Cherkowski discusses what it means to “flourish” at work, and answers some common questions about K-12 workplace well-being.
Listen to "Principal SEL: What's it look like? ft. Dr. Mark T. Greenberg" on Spreaker.One of the best predictors of teachers leaving their school and the profession altogether is the quality of their principal. A high quality principal has the ability to develop strong relationships with teachers, to be a good listener, and to set goals for the school to be a healthy, caring, and supportive environment. Unfortunately, most principals don’t have training in this area, while the focus of their training remains on test scores, accountability, and instructional leadership – rather than on how to be the social emotional leader of their school.
Listen to "Are education systems designed to care for teachers? ft. Dr. Mark T. Greenberg" on Spreaker.While there are strategies that can help teachers become more resilient and better manage job stress – like yoga programs, nutrition lessons, and initiatives that encourage physical activity – these strategies often don’t target the root causes of stress. If teachers are experiencing very high rates of stress that’s impacting student learning and causing them to leave the profession, then we need to shift our focus to organizational approaches – changing whole school cultures, redesigning jobs to reduce workload, and engaging teachers in a participatory environment. Our education systems aren’t designed to care for teachers.
Listen to "Empowering Staff to Drive Well-Being Forward featuring Diana Jemieff" on Spreaker.In a previous podcast, we spoke with Kimberly Cooper, a special education resource teacher in Saskatchewan, who lost her voice due to chronic stress. In this episode, we catch-up with Kimberly’s principal, Diana Jemieff, to dive deeper into how she empowers and supports staff in co-creating and taking the lead on school-wide well-being initiatives. In doing so, Diana has created a healthier workplace culture and a sense of shared ownership, based on the foundational belief that investing in staff is the most important investment.