Teacher wellbeing is positively related to student outcomes: A study by Jennings and Greenberg (2009) found that when teachers participated in mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, their emotional exhaustion decreased and their self-compassion increased, leading to improved classroom organization, better student behavior, and higher academic achievement.
Teacher burnout has negative effects on students: A study by Li and Lerner (2011) found that teacher burnout was negatively associated with student achievement, with burnout being a stronger predictor of academic performance than teacher qualifications or experience.
Teacher wellbeing is linked to job satisfaction and retention: A study by Hakanen et al. (2006) found that teachers who had high levels of work engagement (a positive work-related state of mind characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption) had higher job satisfaction and were more likely to remain in the teaching profession.
Teacher stress and anxiety can impact the classroom environment: A study by Kyriacou and Sutcliffe (1978) found that when teachers experienced high levels of stress and anxiety, they were more likely to be critical and negative towards their students, leading to a more negative classroom environment.
How well being
There are several evidence-based ways that wellbeing can be improved for both teachers and students. Here are some examples:
Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness-based interventions have been found to be effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and burnout among teachers. A study by Burke et al. (2010) found that teachers who participated in a mindfulness program had lower levels of stress and higher levels of self-compassion and job satisfaction.
Social support: Social support from colleagues and supervisors can help buffer the negative effects of stress and promote wellbeing among teachers. A study by Lee et al. (2019) found that teacher social support was positively associated with job satisfaction and negatively associated with burnout.
Workload management: Teachers who have a manageable workload and are given autonomy over their work are more likely to experience job satisfaction and wellbeing. A study by Ingersoll and Strong (2011) found that high levels of teacher autonomy and job control were associated with lower levels of stress and greater job satisfaction.
Positive teacher-student relationships: Positive relationships between teachers and students can promote wellbeing by increasing students' sense of belonging and connectedness to school. A study by Wang and Eccles (2013) found that positive teacher-student relationships were associated with higher levels of academic motivation and better academic outcomes.
Social-emotional learning (SEL): SEL programs promote social and emotional competence among students, which can lead to better academic outcomes and greater wellbeing. A meta-analysis by Durlak et al. (2011) found that SEL programs had a significant positive impact on students' academic achievement, social-emotional skills, and overall wellbeing.
Physical activity and outdoor play: Regular physical activity and outdoor play have been shown to promote wellbeing among students. A study by Biddiss and Irwin (2010) found that children who participated in physical activity and outdoor play had better mental health outcomes, including reduced stress and anxiety.
Overall, these examples demonstrate that wellbeing can be improved for teachers and students through a variety of evidence-based interventions, including mindfulness practices, social support, workload management, positive teacher-student relationships, SEL programs, and physical activity and outdoor play.
Practices of Mindfulness and Physical activities
There are several mindfulness practices that are effective and backed by research. Here are some examples:
Mindful breathing: Mindful breathing is a simple yet powerful practice that involves focusing on the breath and observing the sensations in the body. A study by Khoury et al. (2015) found that mindfulness-based interventions that included mindful breathing were effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Body scan: The body scan involves systematically bringing attention to different parts of the body and observing any sensations without judgment. A study by Zhang et al. (2016) found that body scan meditation was effective in reducing stress and improving mental health outcomes among adults.
Loving-kindness meditation: Loving-kindness meditation involves directing positive thoughts and feelings towards oneself and others. A study by Hutcherson et al. (2008) found that loving-kindness meditation increased feelings of social connection and positive emotions.
Mindful walking: Mindful walking involves paying attention to the sensations in the feet and legs while walking, and observing the environment without judgment. A study by Burke et al. (2010) found that mindfulness-based interventions that included mindful walking were effective in reducing stress and improving job satisfaction among teachers.
Mindful eating: Mindful eating involves bringing awareness to the experience of eating, including the taste, texture, and smell of food. A study by Framson et al. (2009) found that mindful eating was effective in reducing overeating and improving weight management outcomes.
These mindfulness practices have been shown to be effective in reducing stress, improving mental health outcomes, and promoting wellbeing. It's important to note that mindfulness practices should be practiced regularly to see the full benefits, and it's recommended to work with a trained mindfulness instructor or therapist to ensure proper technique and guidance.
Some other physical activities that helps improve our mental health and well being are ;
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. A study by Boutcher (2011) found that HIIT was effective in improving cardiovascular health, metabolic function, and overall fitness.
Resistance Training: Resistance training involves using weights or other forms of resistance to build muscle strength and endurance. A study by Westcott (2012) found that resistance training was effective in improving muscle strength, bone density, and overall physical function in older adults.
Yoga: Yoga is a form of exercise that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. A study by Ross et al. (2010) found that yoga was effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, and improving overall physical health.
Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercise involves sustained physical activity that raises the heart rate and improves cardiovascular health. A study by Haskell et al. (2007) found that regular aerobic exercise was effective in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Tai Chi: Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that involves slow, gentle movements and deep breathing. A study by Wang et al. (2010) found that Tai Chi was effective in improving balance, flexibility, and overall physical function in older adults.
These physical exercises have been shown to be effective in improving physical health, reducing the risk of chronic disease, and promoting overall wellbeing. It's important to note that physical exercise should be done regularly and should be tailored to individual fitness levels and health conditions. It's recommended to work with a trained fitness professional or healthcare provider to ensure proper technique and guidance.
Author; Anju De Alwis, Managing Director at Ultimate Access Education
Keynote speaker and founding director of an education company Ultimate Access, based in UAE. Doctoral candidate researching the topic of Blockchain in Education. Senior executive with extensive experience in the corporate commercial world. Experienced in partnering with senior executives to carry out research activities related to emerging technologies such as Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning, alternate financing, DeFi (de-centralised finance) with industry partnerships. Qualifications Manchester Business School - MBA Chartered Institute of Management Accountants CIMA - UK Chartered Global Management Accountants CGMA CPA - Australia Chartered Institute of Marketing - UK I hold the following leadership positions at both CIMA UK and CPA Australia; CIMA UK - Global Council Member CIMA UK - Member of Thought Leadership & Business Ethics Committee CPA Australia - Member of Ethics and Professional Standards Centre of Excellence.