WWAM: What are you doing about workload and wellbeing?

With WWAM now underway, schools are still letting us know how they are addressing workload and member wellbeing issues. Here are more examples.

Collinsville State High School

Our school employs a large proportion of beginning teachers and we are conscious that the time they spend at this school may determine if they remain in education or not. We are committed to improving staff health and wellbeing by incorporating a range of physical activities to promote individual health and social activities and a sense of belonging and team spirit.

We have collaborated with Collinsville State School and Scottville State School to facilitate the NESLI Teacher Wellbeing Toolkit as part of our professional learning agendas. This program is assisting staff in understanding what wellbeing is and how to effectively manage it.

We have hosted a range of afternoon and weekend activities for staff to promote an active and healthy lifestyle and build team spirit. These events have included bushwalking, cricket, paddle boarding, swimming and yoga. We have also hosted a range of social events to promote a sense of belonging, including a Welcome Back BBQ at the start of every term, staff morning teas, a Happy Holidays dinner at the end of every term, and a Christmas in July progressive dinner. We also promote and encourage active participation in sporting and social community events.

Bunker’s Hill State School

We have a “Wicked Wednesday”, where we share a chat and morning tea three times a term. We also attend social outings to celebrate another successful term, have a healthy tuckshop run by one of our parents, a fitness “Boot camp” open to staff and community members in our school hall once a week, and we are considering having a walking session around the school or oval involving staff and students.

Queens Beach State School

On workload reduction, Queens Beach SS has focused on: less collection of data (data that is not really purposeful or used for informing); weekly collaborative year level planning sessions to reduce individual teacher planning demands; use of a school-based staff member to release teachers to plan/complete Probe/PM reading records/do “know and do” tables; and the use of extra teacher-aides through I4S funding to assist in larger oversized classes.

The school’s approach to staff wellbeing has included: beginning of the year "get to know you" activities; "shout outs" (teachers write nice things about each other on sticky notes on the staffroom wall); end of term events/celebrations for staff; monthly morning teas for staff birthdays; fortnightly after-school drinks and debriefing sessions; and a buddy system, under which buddies do nice things for each other, such as giving small gifts, offering a helping hand etc.

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 8, 3 November 2017, p11