Kate Marriott
What does ‘well-being’ actually mean in the teaching profession and is it possible to achieve and maintain?

Teaching is known to be one of the most demanding and challenging professions with many teachers experiencing burnout and the profession as a whole experiencing a high attrition rate.

So what can school leaders do to ensure they prioritise wellbeing for their staff? In her article Supporting teachers to support learners: Prioritising teacher wellbeing for optimal student outcomes, Cara Carey looks at six areas of research from mental health to managing workload, in an attempt to outline methods of practice to ensure teachers have the capacity to effectively create better learning environments.

As well as looking into empirical research into wellbeing, it’s always good to see what school leaders are doing to improve standards for their staff. Jan Balon – Headteacher at London Academy of Excellence, agreed to share some strategies with us:
At London Academy of Excellence, we have;

1) A very proactive flexible working policy for teachers and non-teachers, right from the point of advertising (where we'd almost always advertise roles as full or part time), to interview, to regular reminders about the possibility of flexible working requests. This means that nearly 50% of our staff work part time, which has a significant impact on wellbeing in our experience.

2) A line management policy which makes wellbeing (of both staff and students) the first item in all meetings, with flexible application of leave of absence policies the norm.

3) An engaged staff consultative group who meet regularly with me to ensure that staff voice genuinely feeds into the development planning cycle for the school.

4) A (small but important) culture of staff thank yous in every Friday briefing (staff nominate each other) and one nominee is chosen each week for a small prize, with other nominees all receiving a thank you email every Friday. We've done this for more than two years and it is really good for staff morale!

To be honest, more important than any of this is a culture and values which nearly all staff understand and buy into. We try very hard to frame everything we do in terms of the agreed goals of the school. If it doesn't fit with our mission don't do it. 

What is Online Learning?

In online learning, students attend classes on the Internet and involve in real interactions with teachers and students at the other end. Students can attend the curriculum at their own pace and easily access the class from anywhere.

Online Learning is a reality and gradually becoming part of formal education. This educational model appeals especially to anyone who can’t attend a physical faculty or school. Online Learning also hops the national boundaries and is offered for dispersed college students that can have a wider choice of online programs.

How does online learning work? Learning management systems (LMS) provide an accessible exchange of information between professors and students. Τhis way, students can view learning material at their leisure or even attend scheduled conferences or lectures.

Concerning test-taking, learners can submit course assignments through the LMS, participate in a discussion, or submit other tasks. Lastly, professors may provide feedback to the student through comments or emails when using this LMS.