I’ve had too many conversations with teachers who believe that the whole, “Pastoral care, touchy feely, emotional, welfare, wellbeing stuff” isn’t what they signed up for when they decided to become a teacher.
As strange as you and or I – I’m assuming we’re on the same page given you subscribe to, or have come across this blog – might find these musings ourselves, I’m sure you’ll be able to point to one or two colleagues in your staffroom who might utter such things given the chance.
But that’s ok. Because most schools have dedicated members of staff who do the really hard yards with those kids who are struggling. Teams of pastoral staff, counselors and perhaps chaplains do great work looking after these kids’ needs.
However, what about those kids who fly under the radar? Those who we think are doing ok?
Positive Psychology enables us to do much better than “OK”. It helps us to flourish.
If we take Martin Seligman’s PERMA model for wellbeing, we can see that every teacher can enhance the wellbeing of their students simply by being a great teacher.
By doing exactly what they signed up for – and doing it well – they can enhance students’ levels of:
Positive Emotions – By making lessons enjoyable.
Engagement – This is – after all – what good teachers do. They engage their students in learning.
Relationships – Any teacher worth their salt knows that relationships are at the heart of great teaching.
Meaning – Be able to answer, “But why are we doing this?” with a more convincing answer than, “You’ll need it when you’re older.”
Accomplishment – Good teachers can show students (even the less academically minded ones – how and where they are improving.
So encourage great teaching, and without even knowing it, every teacher will be a wellbeing teacher!
Author: Dan Haesler, he is a teacher, consultant, and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars. He is the co-developer of Happy Schools and blogs at http://danhaesler.com/ and tweets at @danhaesler