5 Tips for Staff Wellbeing from a Principal
Robbie O Connell
We’re delighted to have Robbie contribute to theis blog piece about staff wellbeing. Robbie recently presented at our virtual CPD conference “Placing Wellbeing at the Heart of Schools“. He spoke about whole-school approaches to wellbeing, because as principal, it is crucial he takes all members of the school community into consideration. His talk was inspiring and we all wanted to work at his school after!
Ireland’s National Workplace Well-being Day takes place on Friday April 29th 2022. Now in its eight year, the day itself intends to simply celebrate & acknowledge staff across various workplace settings.
Workplaces should recognise and celebrate the day in a way that best supports their own dynamic and be careful not to fall into the trap of celebrating well-being on only one day of the year to mark this day! Well-being is not and should not be a gimmick or PR stunt!
Well-being should be a constant consideration in all workplaces with an emphasis on putting the well into being as much as possible as the well-being of all is ultimately a basic human need.
Over 2000 years ago, Aristotle said that ‘Happiness is the meaning of life, the whole aim and end of human existence, today in 2022 this is still the case.
Schools who have not to date placed much of an emphasis on well-being can use this day to springboard their intentions going forward.
We cannot put children first within the school system if we put staff last and as school principal this is always to the forefront of my mind.
A happy, valued, acknowledged and included staff leads to a positive working environment for all. A Happy and content staff leads to happy and content children therefore enhancing their teaching and learning experience.
The following are some practical ideas for of how to celebrate National Workplace Well- being Day within schools based on The 5 Ways to Well-being:
2. Be Active!
Play uplifting music over the school intercom first thing in the morning and at break times to get everybody moving, singing and dancing!
P.S. Check out our blog piece on “How to Prioritise Your Life” HERE.
3. Take Notice
Survey ALL staff with regard to what’s going well and what’s not going so well for them and how school management can assist in any way. This fosters a supporting environment and could and should be done termly. Staff need to know they are listened to and included in the decisions.
Provide ALL staff with a pack of well-being resources which will enhance their physical, mental and social well-being giving them choice and ownership of their own well-being.
Podcast, book, webinar, course, demo recommendations are examples of what could be included in this resource pack.
Psst.. a few Rahoo articles you might like to include:
Or links to free CPD for Teachers HERE!
The most important point of information to share with ALL staff would be The 5 Ways to Well-being which is an evidenced-based model that highlights key aspects in shaping our wellbeing.
They can be summarised as connect, take notice, give, keep learning and be active.
Connect: Talk with someone in your family, colleagues or group of friends and really listen to what he or she has to say. Perhaps ask about something that happened at work, at a club or perhaps how he or she is feeling today and why that is.
Be Active: Do something active with your family, colleagues or friends like going for a walk or playing a game that gets you moving.
Take notice: Take a bit of time to notice things around you, perhaps have a mindful moment, notice what you can see, hear, smell, feel. Perhaps notice what the people around you are up to, how they are feeling or acting.
Keep learning: We’re learning new things all of the time. See if you can find out about something new, or an interesting fact, perhaps learn a new skill.
Give: Think of an opportunity to show kindness to someone else. Being kind to others actually makes you feel good so it’s a kindness for you as much as the person on the receiving end!
Wishing you all an eventful National Workplace Well-being Day on the 29th April, KEEP SMILING!
Robbie O’ Connell
Primary school Principal
@Positiveprimaryprincipal ; https://www.instagram.com/positiveprimaryprincipal/?hl=en
Linktree : https://linktr.ee/Positiveprimaryprincipal
This is always a hot topic for teachers and so important to get it right.
Here are some mistakes that teachers have shared with us when they did our EPV Summer Course on Classroom Management with Niamh Byrne, Irish Primary Teacher.
We have dipped in and out of the CPD course to learn what to do instead!
Why do we remember the words of lyrics we haven’t heard in years? Why do some experiences stick in our heads more than others? Something made them memorable!
Make your lessons stick by trying to make some aspect of it different. This could be as simple as playing music (we have played classical music when students were working independently in the past) or hooking them into the lesson with mystery tasks or controversial questions that spark debate.
When planning ask yourself: What can I do to make this lesson memorable?
Trying to keep calm when things are not going well in the classroom can be such a struggle. It is overwhelming to try and support students with their emotions and behaviours – as well as our own.
Susan Gavin, course author of EPV Summer Course “Supporting Students with Challenging Behaviour” has put a comprehensive course together to help us pre-empt issues and creating systems and ways of working that stop things escalating negatively.
Trina Golden – Primary Principal of a new school, Owenabue Educate Together in Carrigaline, Cork. Previously the Principal of Ennis Educate Together. Passionate about equality based education, additional needs, educational disadvantage and trauma informed approaches.
Okay so we’ve all been there – a job post comes up on your screen that you hadn’t seen before and the deadline is that day!
You quickly rush the application to get it in before 3pm and pray to Beyonce (she’s like God, right?) that it’s acceptable!