Teacher Health and Wellbeing – How to help with workload

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By Nicki Allman

Looking after our own health and wellbeing as teachers is essential especially when a key responsibility of the jobs we do is to look after the health and wellbeing of the young people in our care.

Teacher
Being healthy and having a good sense of wellbeing can lead to:
  • increased motivation
  • a positive outlook
  • feeling energised
  • being able to think clearly
  • increased morale and confidence
  • less sickness
  • being able to perform to the best of our abilities.

All this will have a positive effect on ourselves and those around us. It will cause less sick leave, be important in teacher retention and reduce cover costs for absent teachers. But ultimately it will lead to an improved ability to do the job of teaching as well as enabling children to have a greater chance of learning.

One aspect of being healthy and having good wellbeing is that of teacher workload. Recent analysis of government statistics by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in 2017, indicated that teachers in the UK work 12.1 hours beyond school working hours per week. Other studies indicate that UK teachers work up to four times the amount on issues such as marking, planning and general day to day administration compared to countries like Finland, potentially leading to increased stress levels and health issues of UK teachers.

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