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Teachers, who’s looking after you?

Despite being at times, a very rewarding career, Teaching has never been a walk in the park. Regardless of what age group you work with, the education sector has plenty of challenges to overcome. Whether it’s a change to the curriculum, workload or safe-guarding processes: some say that these challenges and changes keep the job interesting, others disagree. What we want to know is Teachers, who’s looking after you?

What do the statistics say?

According to a survey conducted by the National Education Union, a third of young and new teachers are leaving before 5 years of service. Over 2019/20, a whopping 29,523 teachers left the profession in the UK according to GOV.uk. Could this just be a result of the pandemic, or is this a result of something else?

Mental health has never been more important for students: with the adaptation of remote learning, the disruption of exam timelines, and social distancing rules and guidelines being changed with minimal notice. But what about the wellbeing and mental health of Teachers?

Self-care and mindfulness are no doubt last on a long list of priorities as a teacher. We have already spoken about how to prevent back-to-school burnout in another blog post of ours, but what else can we do to look after Teachers? Of course, there are plenty of charities and organisations such as Education Support and the Teaching Staff Trust who can offer advice, guidance and sometimes financial aid for teachers going through a bit of a tough time. You may also be able to confide in your colleagues or head of education for support – but the bottom line is the only person who can truly prioritise your mental health is you.

Lyreco have supported the Education Sector for decades, by providing bespoke account support, classroom and workplace supplies, and elevating the hassle of procurement so you can focus on what matters most – teaching. We wanted to further share our expertise by providing a list of our top tips, to help you prioritise your own mental health when working in the education sector.

Our top tips to relieve stress, and prioritise
your own mental health as a Teacher

Allocate time, and limit pre-and-post workday activity

It’s no secret that with lesson preparations, marking and research – teaching is one of the many professions where it’s easy to fall in the trap of doing out-of-hours work, to get ahead of game. Although this may feel beneficial at the time (and is sometimes unavoidable), it’s important to try and clock off when the day finishes to give yourself time to recover. A happy teacher, inspires and uplifts students – so be sure to allocate enough time for important reports or activity during the work day so that you can enjoy your evenings and relax.

Demonstrate good habits

Imagine as a teacher, that you are a candle – igniting the positivity and ambition within your classroom. The pressure and organisation of leadership and tuition may cause you to flicker now and then. One day you may feel bright and up-beat, another you may feel slightly dim and run-down. By promoting a positive attitude within your classroom, and demonstrating good habits, your students will act like smaller candles and re-ignite your flame if you’re feeling a little low. Try encouraging your students to practice good habits such as empathising with each other, listening attentively to each other, and tidying after themselves.

Focus on what you can control

Teaching is all about forward thinking and planning – however by doing that, sometimes it may feel overwhelming contemplating what may be around the corner. Try focusing on the present as much as possible. Taking breaks and venturing outdoors can be great ways to re-focus on what’s important and gather a new perspective on what you can control. At the end of the day, worrying about the future is spending time and energy you could be using today.

Create a comfortable work environment

Regardless of where you work, it’s important to make sure you’re working as comfortably and effective as possible to prevent injury or strain. If you’ve changed your work environment over the last year, it may be time to conduct a DSE assessment and invest in some ergonomically friendly office equipment. There’s no better way to increase productivity, and reduce work-related ailments than by carrying out a simple DSE assessment – and taking the time to create a comfortable environment to work in.

Top tip: Creating a comfortable environment isn’t only about furniture and equipment, it’s about being inspired and finding a workflow that works best for you. If you’re feeling inspired and confident at your workstation, this will have a knock-on effect and inspire your students too.

To find out more about how Lyreco can support your education needs, click here.

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