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Happy teacher, happy students

Image: Supplied

Happy teacher, happy students

Ensuring the wellbeing of its teachers, Bear Bark has created an environment that sees happy teachers mould enquiring young minds.

Happy teacher, happy students

The role of a teacher is rewarding yet comes with many challenges. Teaching helps develop us as individuals – we experience growth physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Yet, there are many more pressures on today’s teachers including the impact of new technology and social media, the rise of reported mental health issues amongst students, a lack of resources, increasingly demanding parents and various socio-cultural issues to contend with.

Research suggests that teachers are coming under increased strain at school, many seeking mental health councilling. In short, the profession of teaching requires much more than many other jobs, and much more needs to be done to support our teachers. 

Teachers play a vital role in the community and they collectively need to be supported so that they can do their job. When we place value in wellness amongst our teachers, we empower them to find ways to balance the demands of teaching by developing a holistic approach to overall wellbeing that spans both personal and professional life.

It is with this perspective that the community-centered Bear Park approaches teacher wellbeing – a shared responsibility between both the individual, workplace, and community. The feeling of family life is something the family-run early childhood education provider seek to extend in each of its Auckland and Dunedin centres.

For the second year running, Bear Park has worked with Suzi Nevell at Sweet 7 to host regular Teacher Wellness workshops to invest in their teachers’ overall wellbeing as educational leaders that are healthy in both mind and body.

These Teacher Wellness workshops are an ongoing initiative, as the family-run, early childhood learning institution recognises wellbeing as integral to the life of its teaching professionals.

Benefits for students

From the design and layout of its centres and the encouragement of personal development to a healthy balance of teachers and students, Bear park works collaboratively with its teachers to actively ensure their wellbeing.

By creating a healthy environment, the benefits to students of happy teachers are enormous, including:

  • Greater opportunities for one on one time with children
  • A more supportive teaching environment
  • Proactive and stimulating childcare
  • Small groups to encourage in-depth learning experiences
  • On the floor mentoring by other experienced teachers

For more on the Bear Park philosophy and its Te Whāriki curriculum, click here.

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