Hands down, educators are a school’s most important resource — from classroom teachers to Education Support Professionals (ESPs) to Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISPs) and administrators — without you, school does not exist.
No matter what your role, it is essential that you take care of yourself, and that there are systems in place at school to help you. You’re not the only one who will benefit from caring for yourself – the students and the entire school community will too.
School employee wellness programs can re-energize you about your career and life, help you feel more engaged and increase your overall feeling of well-being. Imagine getting up for work and being excited to see what the day ahead holds!
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”
– Mandy Hale
For counties and districts, SEW programs can improve staff productivity, decrease employee absenteeism, and decrease employee health care costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of course, healthy school employees mean more attention and devotion to education, which everybody wants! NEA Healthy Futures wants to help. We believe that the health and safety of our students, educators, and learning environments are essential to great public schools.
Here are three of the main areas we would like to help members address for school employee wellness:
Stress Management: Stress is usually a part of any job, but perhaps even more so for NEA members, who feel the impact of their own life stressors while trying to help recognize and manage those of the students and colleagues around them. In school environments, feelings of stress may be heightened due conditions in the classroom or facility, lack of support, lack of resources and more. However, chronic stress impairs performance and is harmful to your health. Learn about symptoms of stress and what you can do about it.
Obesity: Poor diet and lack of physical activity may result from the demands of work and life. As school employees, you focus so much on helping students that sometimes your own needs may not be prioritized. But, unhealthy educators aren’t able to maximize their impact. Learn more about the issue of obesity and what can be done to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Organizing Strategies around Health and Wellness: NEA members, students and the communities where they live have the right to safe and healthy school environments. Health and safety concerns affect everyone in a school, which makes it ideal to organize around. Learn more about what your local or state association can do when it comes to addressing health and wellness concerns as bargaining issues.
**Anonymous Survey**: Share your experiences and SEW needs with our online survey. This will help us continue to build programs in the areas of most interest and highest need. (No personal, identifying information is asked or transferred).