It has certainly been a bumpy, scary road for teachers over these past few school years, and with the pandemic’s fifth wave underway, it likely isn’t about to get any easier.
With that in mind, the Delta school district wants to know what’s working and what needs improving when it comes to supporting their employee’s mental health and wellness.
“We know that if educators are really well and they’re feeling really great, it’s a really good predictor of kids doing well in school ... We really do want an engaged, empowered and healthy workforce,” said Nicole Braid, Principal of Recruitment, Retention and Wellness, to Delta School Board’s trustees during their Jan. 11 meeting.
While presenting on the district’s Employee Wellness strategy, Braid summarized the conversations her team had with teachers, principals and vice principals, exempt and support staff in 2021 about what factors contributed to staff feeling “at their best.”
Categorized into self-specific, site-specific, and system-specific factors, district staff highlighted the importance of having the time to take care of themselves, maintaining work-life balance, having strong, supportive relationships with other staff members and being able to access support from the district when needed.
The vision for employee wellness in Delta schools is, “improving the health and quality of life of employees by creating an environment where every employee’s well-being and mental health flourishes,” said Braid.
In addition to having those conversations, in 2021 they worked on building an employee wellness website with different wellness resources, established peer support coordinators to support teachers, engaged with an elementary and secondary school to establish staff wellness goals and held five district-wide and school-specific sessions outlining their employee family assistance program Lifeworks, said Braid.
This month, they will be sending out an employee mental health and wellness survey to the entire district to provide additional direction and focus to their current strategy.
They also plan on meeting with all of Delta’s schools in the future to come up with school-specific wellness goals, as each school may have different areas they’d like to focus on.
“It is so critical that everybody – educators and support staff in our district and our leadership – have these opportunities for these important discussions. We’re so well underway in this work, but I’m so excited to see what’s next,” said trustee Laura Dixon following the presentation.