Making teacher and staff well-being a priority

It’s no surprise if you’re a school employee that putting the kids first is just part of the job. While we admire the dedication of our teachers and staff, it’s easy to forget that the job of teaching and supporting kids can be emotionally and physically demanding.

“Employee wellness is a key to student success,” says Laura Widdice, RN, director of health services for the Renton School District. “When teachers and other staff are worried about their health, they are not fully present to support our students in learning and growing. School systems can have a profound impact on improving employee wellness, often with relatively small changes.”

That’s why Kaiser Permanente includes staff well-being as a priority within its Thriving Schools focus. Our upcoming “Way to Staff Well-being in Schools” workshop series is designed to support a learning community among education professionals. At each of the 3 sessions, participants will learn to strengthen the well-being of both themselves and their school community.

Creating a Culture of Well-Being

Session 1 focuses on the 5 domains of staff resiliency in the school environment. Participants will learn about the RISE index (Resiliency in School Environments), which provides a way to assess the self-care, collective care, trauma awareness, and systems and policy support of adults in a school setting.

Building Healthy Habits for You and Your School

Session 2 will help participants create individual and collective healthy habits to kick off the new year. Participants will learn about tools and resources to create positive school environments that support smart habits like healthy eating and active living.

Putting Staff First: Individual and Collective Self-care

Session 3 will focus on resilience and stress reduction for the self and for the collective staff. Tools will include mindfulness in the classroom, tips on staff room makeovers, and self and collective care practices.

Traci Cotton, a teacher from Jackson Elementary School in Everett, had this to say after attending an introductory session hosted by Kaiser Permanente in June: “‘Little by little, over and over.’ I picked up this quote at our workshop, and I think it’s a great reminder as we strive to take better care of ourselves so we can better serve others.”

If you or someone you know works in K–12 education and is interested in attending the workshops, register here.

Read more about the Thriving Schools programs

Educational Theatre
School-based health centers
School attendance


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