Supporting staff wellbeing in schools: 5 online courses for teachers
Feeling stressed both in and out of the classroom? Try one of our online wellbeing courses for teachers and prioritise your own mental health.
Being a teacher is hugely rewarding, but it isn’t an easy job. Often, it can be described as taking on the role of an educator, social worker, therapist and mentor, all in one. While impactful, this can often prove stressful.
That’s why we’ve selected five of our best online wellbeing courses for teachers, covering mindfulness techniques, stress management, nutrition and the importance of play in everyday life. But first, we’ll discuss why the wellbeing of teachers is so important.
Why we need to prioritise the wellbeing of teachers
A 2022 teaching survey by the National Education Union (NEU) found that 44% of England’s state-school teachers plan to quit by 2027. What’s more, survey results show that two-thirds of teachers in state-funded schools in England feel stressed at least 60% of the time.
Worrying figures like these have drawn attention to the current state of teaching in the UK, and many teachers are pushing for reforms related to salaries, working conditions and state school funding.
What is painstakingly clear, is that the mental health and wellbeing of teachers must be considered in all of this. After all, teachers play an absolutely vital role in schools, and education is so fundamentally important in a healthy and functioning society.
So, while we can’t necessarily treat the root causes of stress within the teaching profession with an online course, we can try to alleviate some of the anxieties teachers are facing. We’ve selected five online courses that may help teachers feel less stressed, whether they’re at work or trying to relax at home.
Five wellbeing and mental health courses for teachers
1. Mindful Wellbeing for Teachers with Stress and Anxiety by the University of Aberdeen
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious in your teaching role, you don’t have to just grin and bear it. Mindfulness techniques have been proven to reduce stress levels, and this course by the University of Aberdeen is designed especially for teachers.
You’ll explore the scientific principles behind mindfulness, learn practical techniques to reduce stress, and explore compassionate practice and mindful self-care.
With the guidance of expert mindfulness educators, you’ll learn how to continually apply mindfulness and reflective practices to your everyday life in the classroom. While this won’t tackle the cause of your stress, you’ll be better equipped to deal with it.
2. Exploring Play: The Importance of Play in Everyday Life by the University of Sheffield
As a teacher, it’s important to be in touch with your playful side. Not only will this benefit the children you teach, but it may actually benefit you too. For example, did you know that adult play can improve your ability to deal with stress? Uncover more insight into the impact of play on this course by the University of Sheffield.
You’ll be encouraged to think differently about play, including how it helps us learn and why it’s beneficial. The course will cover topics such as outdoor play, modern technology and play, and how play relates to things like gender, trauma and disability.
Overall, you’ll gain a better understanding of the nature and value of play across different cultures and communities, regardless of age. You may even feel inspired to treat your inner child and indulge in a type of play that works for you.
3. Workplace Wellbeing: How to Build Confidence and Manage Stress by the Lulea University of Technology
Are you lacking confidence as a teacher, or struggling to deal with stress in your teaching job? These are common challenges, but that doesn’t make them any less difficult. That’s what this course by the Luleå University of Technology in Sweden is for.
It offers a practical angle to wellbeing at work, with handy tips and advice that you can implement immediately. Ultimately, you’ll learn how to identify negative emotions, reflect on your feelings and then take steps to counteract them.
You’ll discover tools for stress management, building self-esteem, task prioritisation, and healthy relationships, all of which should make your life and career that little bit easier.
4. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Identify the Patterns Undermining Your Confidence by the University of Southern Queensland
For newly qualified teachers in particular, imposter syndrome can feel paralysing. Those with imposter syndrome describe it as feeling like a fraud who doesn’t deserve their own success. For teachers, this can present as feeling underqualified, incapable of handling a classroom, and undeserving of praise or recognition.
If any of those feelings resonate with you, this course by the University of Southern Queensland may help. You’ll learn to identify and address negative thoughts and behaviour patterns that undermine your confidence, and develop your own leadership style and behaviours.
On the course, you’ll gain the tools you need to overcome any hurdles related to imposter syndrome and feelings of inadequacy, helping you to thrive in your teaching career.
5. Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition by Deakin University and the Food & Mood Centre
We’ve all heard it before – having a healthy diet can do wonders for our physical health. However, did you know that the food you eat can also have a dramatic impact on your mental and brain health?
Teachers may find it difficult to make time for nutritious and tasty food. They often spend so much time thinking about their students that it can be easy to forget about their own wellbeing. However, in the end, children will also benefit from their teachers feeling healthier, happier and more energised.
This Deakin University course explores the relationship between food and mood, helping you to think more deeply about how your food choices may affect how you feel on any given day. With evidence, examples, strategies and resources to help you make positive food changes, this course is essential learning.
Further support for teachers dealing with stress
If you’re looking for further support, at work or otherwise, we have a wide range of mental health and psychology courses on FutureLearn. Whether you want to take better care of yourself or learn how to support your students, our courses will offer expert guidance and knowledge.
However, if you’re struggling with your mental health, please speak to your loved ones and reach out to a professional for support. Your GP, or a therapist, will be able to give you personalised advice and recommendations so that you can continue thriving in your teaching career.