Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsFriday evening would be the most exciting day in a week for many people, but not for Mary Lucas, a 35-year-old school teacher in London. There’s no real weekend for Mary. She needs to finish marking by the coming Monday then plan the lessons for the week ahead. Her workload takes over her personal time. On weekdays, she arrives at work at 7 in the morning, teaches 20 classes, and also mentors graduate teachers. She doesn’t head home until 7 pm. She feels she hasn’t stopped for the last 3 years. But she knows she’s going far beyond her own physical and mental limit… so fearing for her health, Mary Lucas is giving up her teaching career.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 secondsMary is not the only person who’s leaving the profession. UK Government data shows that nearly 40% of school teachers leave the job within one year of qualifying. The reasons are mainly the huge amount of workload, reduced funding, and little support from the senior staff. Also, reports show that two in 5 newly qualified teachers experience mental health problems early on in their careers. Stress, depression, mental health issues… those words have become common in recent years in the teaching profession. How does our work influence our psychological state and why does employee well-being at work matter to organisations?

Skip to 1 minute and 41 secondsIn this module on Work and Well-being, we will learn how an individual’s work is linked with his or her psychology… and that of their organization. You will appreciate how emotions and issues like stress and bullying impact their performance. You will explore theoretical approaches to well-being, key factors and methods for assessing mental health. Now, getting back to Mary Lucas, what kind of support could the school offer her? How did they miss the signs of stress? Your journey into work and well-being has just begun.

Welcome to the course

Wellbeing at Work: An Introduction is the first of five short courses forming the Work and Wellbeing program.

In this introductory video, you’ll meet Mary Lucas, a school teacher in London whose wellbeing is affected by her work. Her situation encapsulates many of the issues facing employees in the modern workplace and which we will cover in this course.

We look forward to exploring these topics with you over the next two weeks, as well as providing you with tools to understand how you might improve your own area of practice.

This week

Through this week’s activities, you will begin to explore the concept of wellbeing in a workplace context. Specifically, you will:

  • Learn what wellbeing is
  • Explore the historical context of wellbeing
  • Gain an overview of a number of theoretical approaches to wellbeing at work
  • Look at some of the positive and negative aspects of wellbeing at work

Note on the availability of online resources

Online texts from locate.coventry.ac.uk will only be available to learners who have signed up to take all the courses in the Program Work and Wellbeing.

Your task

What kind of support, if any, should the school offer to Mary Lucas?

Post your thoughts in the comments and ‘like’ or reply to posts you find useful or interesting.

Meet the team

Maria Charalampous

Your lead educator is Maria Charalampous, lecturer in Occupational and Business Psychology at Coventry University.

You can follow Maria by selecting the link to her FutureLearn profile page and selecting ‘follow’. That way, you’ll be able to see all the comments that she makes.

Alongside Maria, Evie Michailidis is your associate lecturer and Dominique Duberry is your course host. Both Evie and Dominique and will be providing support during the course.

Checking your progress

Don’t forget you can check your progress page by selecting the icon at the top of the step. There you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete.

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This video is from the free online course:

Wellbeing at Work: An Introduction

Coventry University