How can schools sustain and support teacher wellbeing?

Research by Associate Professor Collie into factors supporting teacher wellbeing is not only shaping policies but also offering practical strategies for schools to enhance teacher wellbeing based on evidence.

Understanding the challenges teachers face, such as time pressure and disruptive student behavior, is crucial. However, fostering social support within schools, including supportive leadership and positive relationships with colleagues and students, significantly contributes to higher teacher wellbeing and reduces turnover intentions.

Strategies that can be looked into:

  • Schools can streamline teachers’ workload by minimizing administrative tasks and providing opportunities for teachers to have a say in decision-making processes. Encouraging collaboration among staff through common planning time, professional learning communities, and peer mentorships further enhances wellbeing.
  • Promoting high-quality interactions between teachers and students is paramount. Schools can achieve this by offering ongoing support, feedback, and professional development opportunities focused on improving student-teacher relationships.
  • Feedback plays a vital role in supporting teachers, especially in managing disruptive student behavior. Studies have shown that when teachers feel supported through feedback, they are more committed to their profession, regardless of their location.

These strategies align with teachers’ basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and connection, essential for their wellbeing and effectiveness in the classroom.

Improving teacher wellbeing not only benefits schools but also has a significant societal impact. It contributes to creating successful learning environments and positively influences students’ long-term outcomes, including academic, social, emotional, and financial wellbeing.

Schools play a crucial role in nurturing positive teacher wellbeing, ultimately benefiting society and future generations.