There are certain workplace things that have to be in place as a ‘basic’ in order to feed your wellbeing.
Teachers work in very different environments but the basics remain the same and if they aren’t there then speak up.
The 5 rights of a healthy school environment are:
- Right practice
- Right relationships
- Right environment
- Right leadership
- Right livelihood
1. Right practice
Right practice is about teaching in a way that works for you. This means having the professional freedom to experiment with different strategies and ways of teaching without having to seek approval. If you are looking over your shoulder when trying something new then this isn’t right.
When teachers work in an environment where their practice is respected and there is no one creating obstacles then you are in a good place.
2. Right relationships
The right relationships are crucial to your wellbeing and that means working in an environment that embraces collaboration and teamwork.
As a teacher you have the basic right to work relationships that are positive, healthy, supportive, kind, compassionate, cooperative, and collaborative.
A toxic workplace is something we dread but this doesn’t exist when our relationships are imbued with respect and collegiality.
3. Right environment
A school has to make you happy. You spend a huge chunk of your time there and so your basic right is to feel valued. Your school needs to be free of bullying, harassment, intimidation, discrimination, avoidance, authoritarian leadership and disrespect.
Your school environment should be physically and psychologically healthy so that you can be the best teacher you can be.
4. Right leadership
Your Senior Leadership Team have a huge responsibility because they have to ensure the ship is a happy one where everyone’s best interests are at the heart of the organisation.
When leadership is effective, then personal and professional growth are valued and encouraged, and leaders take responsibility for their staff to grow and develop.
The best leaders have their finger on the pulses of all staff and create a dynamic environment where people are valued and problems are nipped in the bud.
5. Right livelihood
You have the right to earn your livelihood in an environment that meets your needs so that you can serve the school population with pride.
When you have the right conditions and the right people around you then your overall wellbeing is fed physically, psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Happy, healthy, and satisfied teachers will deliver better care and more effective teaching.