RMIT shares best practices to support English teacher wellbeing

RMIT shares best practices to support English teacher wellbeing

While many educational institutions have been committed to supporting students as they transition to online learning and process the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to also support the wellbeing of teachers during this period.

At the recent online International English Australia EdTech SIG Symposium – Teaching English in Transformative Times, two RMIT University Wellbeing Working Group members shared emerging best practice in English teacher wellbeing.

Activities to support English teacher wellbeing

RMIT Danang Centre Manager, New Initiatives Karen Benson said that due to the current situation, RMIT’s School of English & University Pathways (SEUP) quickly recognised an urgent need for a school-wide wellbeing response to ensure cognitive and emotional supports were in place for teachers.

“With an aim to build a culture of a supportive and trusting workplace, the school developed the SEUP Health and Wellbeing Community program,” Ms Benson said.

“To support its establishment, school management also attended a number of webinars by wellbeing industry experts in order to establish what additional supports educators required, alongside introducing flexible working arrangements.”

RMIT Senior Educator, English for University May Barbree emphasised the importance of harnessing technology to foster engagement and positive relationships to ensure various types of support were in place.

“A key component of the wellbeing program is looking at how technology could enable connection,” Ms Barbree said. “SEUP uses an internal university social platform to foster connections across our teams in three locations.

“Through the platform, the teaching, management and professional teams share wellbeing advice, run staff engagement activities and discuss initiatives to increase wellbeing in the SEUP community. We focus on being inclusive, interactive, and omnidirectional, and utilise connectivism and the positive features of 21st-century learning and teaching."

news-rmit-shares-best-practices-to-support-english RMIT’s School of English & University Pathways managers, senior educators and professional staff across three locations regularly meet online to ensure the wellbeing of the University’s English teaching staff.

Mental health and wellbeing advice

Danang is currently the hardest hit location from the second wave of COVID-19 in-community transmissions in Vietnam, putting mental health and wellbeing under pressure like never before.

RMIT Senior Manager, Wellbeing Ela Partoredjo shared advice for teachers on looking after their mental health during this time.

“Embedding self-care activities such as physical activity, catching up with friends online, and setting boundaries around work can support teachers to improve and maintain their personal wellbeing.

“These activities should be paired with knowledge of and access to formal support networks, such as employee assistance programs,” Ms Partoredjo said.

Ms Partoredjo also suggested that educational institution leaders consider peer mentoring and encourage professional relationships among staff.

“In these unsettling times, mental health and wellbeing activities for teachers should be embedded into the school’s operations and delivered continuously as a whole.”

Story: Thuy Le

  • Wellbeing
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  • International

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