Symposium 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Wellbeing: The Nexus For Student And Teacher Achievement And Happiness (#28)

Faye McCallum 1
  1. The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Teachers have positive long-term impact of quality, are major contributors to educational excellence, student learning outcomes and overall satisfaction. Yet the first Australian Teacher’s Report Card in 2017 found that whilst 96% of teachers consider teaching to be rewarding, 48% reported feeling stressed ‘most of the time’ with 12% indicating they are ‘rarely stressed’.  With 404,580 staff employed in Australian schools (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018); and, 728,700 in Canada (Statistics Canada 2017) issues of declining teacher wellbeing and inclining teacher attrition, as well as the hyper-politicisation of teachers’ work, is reported in these Western countries. This presentation reports on research exploring teachers’ wellbeing across a sample of 806 Australian teachers and 250 teaching staff in Canada. An online teacher wellbeing survey was conducted and included items adapted from published wellbeing scales. Teacher wellbeing was defined across four themes of: health; life/work balance; feelings of happiness; and, being free of stress. The findings evidenced that teacher wellbeing was most highly associated with; schools prioritising teacher wellbeing; teacher’s perception of their degree of autonomy over their work, and the role of school leadership. This research aims to influence policy-makers in putting wellbeing at the heart of their policies and practice.