Rarely in a workplace setting do the answers to ‘What is your purpose?’ come so quickly as they did at Wesley College’s recent staff professional development days.
As educators, teachers are driven by a strong sense of purpose and there are many moments in their daily lives – as they see their students grow and succeed – which can remind them of the impact they have on young people.
It’s vital then, that teachers are supported to be their best selves and to care for their own wellbeing, particularly at a time when there are new demands on teaching, most recently in the form of remote teaching.
Over two days, staff participated in a series of workshops designed to develop their understanding of ‘resilience’ and provide tools for improving their own wellbeing. Understanding resilience, its importance and impact is crucial for staff who are custodians of our students’ welfare.
Staff prepared mental fitness personal action plans with Cognative Solutions, creating actionable plans to improve or maintain their social, emotional, physical, psychological and workplace wellbeing, and to affirm their purpose or meaning as an educator or non-teaching member of College staff.
Grow Your Mind unpacked the meaning of resilience and strategies to help achieve mindfulness in a busy life with staff. Occasionally, staff found themselves out of their comfort zone, up on stage rapping a resilience song or acting in front of colleagues – putting their newfound learning about resilience to the test.
Keynote speaker Ben Crowe gave an insightful speech on the power of purpose, courage mantras and approaching others with kindness on Day 2. Crowe has worked with elite athletes such as Ashleigh Barty and business leaders from Toyota and Facebook, and now nearly 900 staff from Wesley College!
While it’s not unusual to see yoga, dance and volleyball taking place at a school, it’s a rare sight to see so many staff doing those activities together! Physical activity has a profound impact on wellbeing, and staff were busy challenging their minds and bodies at fun fitness and mindfulness sessions.
While the latter part of the two days were also taken up with time for cross-College faculty planning and other forms of professional development, the emphasis on wellbeing across the two days was a strong indicator of Wesley’s commitment to cultural change, and the wellbeing of our staff and students. A staff-wide survey, conducted by Cognative Solutions, will provide a further temperature test of staff wellbeing and inform other initiatives for greater staff balance and wellbeing. A wide range of wellbeing initiatives have been introduced across the staff and student space, and we look forward to sharing more of them as the year progresses.
Read more about Wesley College’s extensive professional development programs.