A culture of wellbeing
How are you doing? How are you feeling? What is life like for you?
Wellbeing will look and feel different for us all. Inviting individuals to share what wellbeing means to them will support schools and organisations to collectively create a clearly defined wellbeing community, that can consciously put the wellbeing of others at the centre for both students and staff. Listen. Really listen. Exhaust and extend your listening to everyone, the whole school community, so you can start to see their life, through their lens. That is where I believe a culture of wellbeing can begin, by building and growing strong sustainable relationships, initiating meaningful conversations and developing a shared language that is accessible to all. A culture of wellbeing cannot be left to interpretation and needs a clearly defined set of principles that encapsulates all of the ‘listening’ and intelligence we gather from hearing what life is like for each other. Understanding the narrative of others and their perceived reality will help schools and organisations to collaboratively build a wellbeing structure of strength.
Morrison and Vorhaus (2012) share in their findings that children and young people with higher levels of emotional, behavioural, social and wellbeing abilities have higher levels of academic achievements and are more engaged in school. Is this not what we want for our children and young people? Managing emotions for us all can be tricky at times. We all need a space to share our voice. This was amplified hugely over the sixteen years I worked in schools and I knew something had to be done. It was my mission to ensure staff had a space to share their voice, one of the key offerings as a leader in education I provided – coaching. It is the same for our children and young people. The more we can offer young people a space to share their voice, identify emotions and feelings as they navigate through life and provide them with Mind Of My Own’s digital participation tools, we can support their academic engagement, work ethic, commitment and fundamentally school success (Durlak et al., 2011). Find out more about what wellbeing can look like in your school by getting your copy of: The Big Book Of Whole School Wellbeing
The ‘I’ factor
Over the years I have described and drawn parallels of being a teacher to that of an actress, being on a theatrical stage and a TV presenter! When I was invited to join Teacher Hug Radio to be interviewed by the incredible Lena, I of course accepted and leapt into the air with excitement! Wellbeing was the topic of conversation on Lena’s: The I factor in your wellbeing show which seemed a perfect topic for me to share my experience of working for over a decade and a half in schools and most recently the journey of setting up a brand new school as the Co-Headteacher to now working with Mind Of My Own. My passion about bringing the world of education and wellbeing coupled with the use of digital participation tools together, to help young people seemed a great place to start.
Research from The Children’s Society provides the backdrop for my commitment both socially and morally to ensure young people have the right support and are given the tools to share their voice,
Low well-being has been linked to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. It can impact our relationships with family and friends and how we feel about and interact with the world around us.
If you have enjoyed this short read, please do make use of the free resources I have created (links below). I am so happy to share my experiences with you to support your wellbeing journey and to explain how I translated wellbeing principles into an education philosophy.
Self-Care and Inspiration
As I have already mentioned, wellbeing will look and feel different for us all. My simple suggestions of how I stay well, might help you too, click here for the free download to find out what three things I do, what I read and listen to, so my wellbeing is being looked after.
My Education Philosophy
I have sculpted a personal education philosophy that I have categorised into three main areas, active engagement, making it relevant and social responsibility. The key fundamentals to how I achieve this can be read and downloaded here.
If you would like to connect with me and talk more about all things wellbeing and to learn how Mind Of My Own can help the staff and students in your school, college and organisation, get in touch:
Twitter: @MindOfMyOwnApp or @susieetdl