We’re often contacted by a school’s newly-appointed Staff Wellbeing Lead to help point them in the direction of good practice; towards relevant resources; or to offer advice around ideas they themselves have; or things they’ve noticed other schools adopting. When it comes to teacher wellbeing, staff wellbeing; to reducing teacher-workload or improving teacher work-life balance, it can get a bit overwhelming; definitely a tad foggy. And it’s safe-to-say that the majority of staff faced with this new-found challenge of improving staff wellbeing are a little lost in the task. What tends to happen is this conga-effect of ‘I saw this in/on [insert name of school, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, school-resource provider or website] and looked great!’ or ‘They’ve introduced [insert generic approach to wellbeing] down the road – shouldn’t we be doing this if they are?’
In actual fact, there aren’t THAT many things you can do that get even close to addressing staff wellbeing at a level where you’re truly engaged and making a difference. So schools spend money they’ve earmarked for reducing workload, on things that offer hourly or daily wellbeing-boosts without addressing any of the underlying issues damaging to staff wellbeing and threatening to staff retention or recruitment. But their efforts look good on paper…right?
Introducing EPIC FARTS – The Teacher Wellbeing Pack: our cute take on the popular children’s card-game used throughout schools to demonstrate understanding of book characters, Aztec gods/goddesses or places of worship (you know the one!). It isn’t an assassination on anything you may have tried or used before – the fact you’ve cared enough can sometimes provide the vital short-term wellbeing boost you needed last week. Remember that – like in your classrooms – there’s no recognised best-way. But we’ve been privileged over the last two years to have been in round-the-clock contact with thousands of teachers around the world; all passionate about teacher wellbeing; and all offering feedback that’s helped shape the content of this humble offering.
Here, we review common and lesser-known approaches, materials and ideas seen as useful to help improve teacher wellbeing and reduce teacher workload. If it helps remove a little of the haze; if it alerts you to ideas or resources to help you in your role or setting then its achieved its purpose. If it helps school-leaders take a more considered approach; or engage in staff-wellbeing in a (slightly) more constructive way, then we can at least say its had an impact. Get in touch. Share the cards; share your thoughts. Have we missed anything? We can always add cards!? And here’s to a heathier and happier teaching profession. It is time.