Private school teachers are about twice as likely to leave private schools as public school teachers are to leave public schools and turnover rates among private school teachers have increased even more rapidly than those of public school teachers. One study shows how teacher stress is correlated with lower levels of student effective learning and lower motivation.
One comprehensive study found that wellness programs for employees at schools that focus on a broad array of wellness components such as nutrition, physical activity, and stress management “have been shown to increase teacher morale, improve perceptions of being able to handle job stress, reduce absenteeism, and result in higher levels of overall well-being.” This study also found documented cost savings and impacts on student outcomes related to having healthy teachers and school staff.Some of the key aspects needed in a wellness program for the staff at an independent school include:
Multiple components of wellness rather than just one or two components
A work environment that incorporates wellness into regular parts of the work day
Open communication that fosters a culture that prioritizes the reduction of stress.
Technology that can help wellness programs engage with more people and encourage participation
Bring together the entire school community, including staff, students and parents to support community-wide wellness goals
Measurement opportunities that track individual and group progress toward specific goals
Independent schools are uniquely positioned to broaden wellness initiatives to include staff and to reap the benefits of this approach to illness prevention that will extend far beyond flu season.
For more information about how your independent school may design a comprehensive wellness program for faculty and staff, review recommendations from the CDC on The Whole Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model and the the Healthy Schools Program Framework (HSPF) from The Alliance for a Healthier Generation.