Is your school focused on the health of teachers?
The Allegheny County district in Pittsburgh made the wellness of educators a priority in order to improve health across the district, the Education Week video team reports.
“The adults are role models in the school district, and if we’re going to say that we value wellness among our students, social-emotional health, physical health, nutrition—the adults have to lead by example,” said Superintendent Bob Scherrer in the video.
After he noticed health insurance costs increasing and other data reflecting the poor health of the district’s staff members, he created an exercise plan that included challenging teachers to run the Pittsburgh Marathon in relay teams.
“Our core business every day is kids. That’s what we do. That’s why we got into education. That’s what we love,” Scherrer said. “But [part of that is] taking care of those adults who are impacting the lives of those students each and every day.”
In a 2013 opinion essay for Education Week, two university professors wrote about the importance of wellness for educators. “A healthier teacher workforce translates into less absenteeism, higher retention rates, and improved productivity,” they wrIte. “It is also safe to claim that healthier teachers are happier teachers and thus better equipped to handle the demands and stress of teaching.”
More on Teacher Wellness:
- Teachers, Take Care of Yourselves (Opinion)
- Helping Teachers Get Healthier (Opinion)
- New School Health Model Incorporates ‘Whole Child’ Principles
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.