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.
Listen to "Losing My Voice with Kim Cooper" on Spreaker.As a teacher, your voice is one of your most powerful tools in the classroom. But what happens if you were to lose it? Kimberly Cooper, a special education resource teacher in Saskatchewan, recounts how losing her voice due to chronic stress set her on a new path towards self-care and creating a healthier work culture.
Listen to "Recess for Everyone ft. Dr. Shannon Kell" on Spreaker. As educators, we often think that work time and leisure time don’t really mix. We tend not to view spending time in the outdoors as “productive.” In reality, stress levels decrease when we go outside, and an effective break is necessary if you’re looking to conquer that to-do list of yours. So how can we change mindsets where both students and staff are motivated to go outside? There are small ways that we can incorporate the outdoors into our everyday work lives.
Listen to "Self-Reg is Not Just For Kids ft. Marie Edwards" on Spreaker. Have you checked-in with yourself today? Self-regulation can’t be effectively taught to students unless the adults teaching them how to self-regulate can do it for themselves first. As an educator, it's important to check-in with how you're feeling as you transition into work mode and into your classroom each day. That means identifying any personal stressors you might be experiencing – and knowing how best to cope.
Listen to "3 Steps to Districtwide Staff Well-Being" on Spreaker. Featuring Kristen Brock, Rosetta Doolan, Amanda LaBoucane, Gail Markin, Byron Robbie, Theresa Verdiel, and Jackie Brown. When you’re constantly encountering negative situations in the workplace, your mental health can take a hit. How do we look after each other’s well-being as colleagues in the education system? Collectively, we can get to the root of what’s helping (or hindering) our well-being at work.
Listen to "Beyond the Cone of Silence" on Spreaker.Featuring Gail Markin, Charlie Naylor, and Theresa Verdiel. Three B.C. school districts held a series of focus groups that asked staff these four questions: “What does well-being mean to you?” “What in your personal life helps or hinders your well-being?” “What in your school or district helps your well-being?” and “What would you like to see done differently?” If you could share this kind of feedback with your colleagues, what would you say?
Listen to "So you want me to talk?" on Spreaker.Featuring Gail Markin, Theresa Verdiel, Kristen Brock, Cindy Andrew, and Charlie Naylor. Beginning the conversation isn’t difficult. To engage staff in conversations about well-being, we need to listen to their stories and lived experiences. We also need to focus on what makes them ‘well,’ what got them into the education profession to begin with, and what they’re most passionate about – including what we can do to make all of that a reality at work.
Listen to "What does it mean to change "the system?”" on Spreaker. featuring Cindy Andrew, Tawnie Gaudreau, Byron Robbie, and David Strange. If we want to change the system, then we need to first understand it. The research is clear – staff who have a positive sense of well-being can better support the well-being and success of the students in their classroom. So how can the education system invest in all those who interact with students each and every day?