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Well teachers teach well.

It's a straightforward premise.

Teacher wellbeing should be a given the same kind of attention teacher training gets.


The two depend on each other. 

But teacher wellbeing isn't so easy to just 'do'. There are lots of different things that affect teachers. And it can be complex.


So in a bid to convert thinking into action, this page outlines four key ​parts of teacher wellbeing that I find to be uniquely significant for teachers. 

If you enjoy grappling with these ideas, building on them and/or turning them into tangible ways we can improve teacher wellbeing, do reach out. 

Many of these thoughts underpin the philosophy and premise of Well Teachers. 

It's a bit like a puzzle. 

Teacher wellbeing, that is.

And each person's puzzle is unique.
And sometimes we've got pieces missing.
Sometimes the base is unsteady.
Sometimes the pieces keep falling off.
Sometimes, along the way, you lose pieces of your puzzle altogether, and never quite get over it. (The type of pieces that are really hard to replace.) 

Over time, I drew some conclusions that a few key pieces of the wellbeing puzzle are uniquely significant for teachers. I share them here: 


The ability to speak of your four core elements in a succinct way. The ability to do this without shyness or shame. 


Being able to identify what guilt free rest means to you, on your own terms. And, can you create space for it? Do you have the mental peace for it?


Having your money foundations established. Having enough to fuel your personal hobbies and knowing you have enough to give you the mental peace to take the rest you need. 


The pursuit of a hobby that lights you up yet also puts you in the learner seat, challenges you and provides a chance for you to meet new people and make new friends. 

Of course, there are more pieces to the wellbeing puzzle.

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It's not that the four above are the only ones.​

It's just that over time, I've found them to be practical enough, and very impactful, for teachers to get started with right away.


And it is in taking action on finding - and seeing - the various pieces of your own wellbeing puzzle of that you can really start to feel well. 

Here are some more pieces:


Being in good physical & mental health, knowing how to sustain and nourish your body & mind and understanding the kind of exercise you enjoy and can do on a regular basis. This is a uniquely complex piece all by itself, for everyone, regardless of profession.


Recognising your roots and reconciling this with the local and global systems of our world. Understanding how and when racism shows up, and how to proactively counter it. Identifying  your own various aspects of privilege and leveraging it. 


Intentionally building lasting connection with those who share your values and principles. A wide and varied group of friends is vital for our wellbeing. 


Bullying: we're all going to experience this at some point or another. Do we have adequate support pieces in place to help us navigate the choppy waters this throws us into? 

Skills Mastery

Having ways to sustainably work on mastery and development of facilitation, teaching and professional skills. It's so important to help you feel confident at work and in what you do. 


We can't escape it: it's a part of our lives, and ultimately, affects our wellbeing. This is about having the tools and strategies to negotiate organisational politics and/or workplace bullying in a school-setting.


Having a stable family dynamic and feeling safe and comfortable in your home. This piece alone can negatively affect so much of one's sense of wellbeing if there are issues here.

See another piece?

This is a work in progress, and it is the kind of thing I'd love to talk about, analyse and discuss more.


To help get started - and stay the course - with any of these pieces of the wellbeing puzzle people need nudges. 

And to nudge each other, you need a meeting place.

That's where a Well comes in.


All communities need a kind of 'well' to gather round, meet and greet each other. 


That's what ​Well Teachers is. 


It's a place where we can gather, feel nourished, exchange ideas, and be assured we are among others who share our values and principles.

This video by Aketch Joy Winnie helps convey the purpose of a well perfectly, in which she shares: 

"The well is a place where people come together, we get to know how the other is doing. We don't just come here to fetch water. Community involves sacrifice and people coming together intentionally to meet one another - in places like... the well."

Watch her explain how this works in Uganda.

We also need to be actively declaring  and protecting spaces that are apartheid-free.

Teachers are expected to keep teaching and taking care of the most vulnerable parts of society, no matter what crisis is taking place.


At present, we are witnessing a live-streamed genocide in Gaza, and across the Global South. Many teachers are experiencing ongoing distress by this. 


Before I left Cambridge, I asked a colleague who was involved in activism around dismantling apartheid in South Africa this question:

"In the absence of sanctions on Israel, what is the next best thing we should do to end this?"

And she said:

Community-led initiatives.


This is the most vital thing to do beyond sanctions.


So I believe the next best thing we can do is to find each other.

We need to feel safe enough to start tackling this, one thought, one conversation, and one lesson at a time. 

So the idea here is:

If we find a place we belong, a place we are safe to learn and grow: we can join up and contribute to changing how this goes down in history. 

Want to build on these thoughts?

We cannot wait for someone else to teach us out of this.


If you've got ideas to share and are working on your own contributions to teacher wellbeing or ending apartheid, I'd love to join up and hear them. Be in touch! Or, consider joining Well Teachers, where we have a private space dedicated to thought leadership around this vital topic.

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