Learn All About Educator Well-Being
It's very important for teachers to work on and protect their own well-being. This will also help them improve and grow as professionals. In this article, learn all about educator well-being.
In an educational environment, the top priority is to establish and maintain student well-being. However, educator well-being should also be a priority. In addition to the need to take care of educators’ health, you must remember that low well-being may affect the teaching-learning process.
What do we mean when we speak of educator well-being?
In general, a person feels well-being when they’re in a physical and mental state that provides them with tranquility and satisfaction. Now, each person achieves these feelings in very different ways, be it due to your environment, your personality, etc. And, indeed, it’ll also depend on your career.
That being said, how do educators achieve well-being? Antonia Aelterman, professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at Ghent University, and a group of professionals developed a definition of educator well-being,
For them, well-being expresses a positive emotional state, which is the result of the harmony between the sum of specific environmental factors, on the one hand, and the personal needs and expectations of educators, on the other.
“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water.”
– Bruce Lee –
What people need to achieve well-being
As the New Economics Foundation points out, well-being requires two main elements: feeling good and functioning well. On the one hand, people seek to find happiness. Thus, we require satisfaction and enjoyment.
However, on the other hand, our functioning in the world is equally important for well-being. In other words, we need to be aware that not only our existence makes sense but that we’re also competent and useful to the world.
Therefore, and ultimately, educators not only need to meet a series of positive physical and mental conditions, as their role as educators directly affects their well-being.
Tips for educator well-being
- Identify what’s important to you. Determining what you need to feel good helps you reflect on what you must change in your life in order to achieve well-being.
- Also, set realistic professional and personal expectations. You must be aware of what you’re capable of doing and what you’re not capable of doing. Without a doubt, if you create expectations that you’re unlikely to achieve, the subsequent feeling of frustration and incompetence will be devastating.
- Undertake or participate in professional projects. It doesn’t matter if it’s a research project or a cultural activity with your students. Remember that the important thing is finding a way to show your worth as an educator.
- Finally, follow a healthy lifestyle. Following a balanced diet and exercising are essential for your physical and mental well-being.
“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.”
– Karl A. Menninger –
Neglecting the health and well-being of educators affects student interaction and, ultimately, impairs the quality of teaching. In addition, there’s a risk of burnout, for example.
It’s essential to care for your own well-being as an educator. This way, you’ll become a better professional and improve as a person to achieve a better version of yourself.