International research consistently demonstrates that teaching is one of the most stressful professions (Kyriacou, 2001), and poor working conditions and wellbeing are correlated with teacher attrition (Bianchi, Mayor, Schonfeld, & Laurent, 2016; Leithwood, 2006). Research into teacher wellbeing overwhelmingly focuses on stress, depression and burnout, with little research into enabling teachers to flourish. Teacher wellbeing research is often conducted within schools already implementing positive education programs, mostly private schools (White & Murray, 2015; Slemp et al., 2017), and there is little research into enabling teachers to flourish in other contexts, such as public schools.
This New Zealand case study in a large state secondary school is the first in the country to examine what enables teachers to flourish. This research moves beyond investigating how to prevent poor wellbeing, to considering what enables teachers to flourish, using a PERMA-profiler (Butler & Kern, 2016) to measure wellbeing, interviews and participant journals.
This presentation explores teachers experiences of wellbeing, and key factors influencing their wellbeing. The focus on the actions of others that impact a teachers wellbeing has lead to recommendations about what educational leaders can do to promote teacher flourishing within a school. These educational leadership practices are shared in the presentation.