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Can one rotten apple spoil the bunch? Curriculum change project plan: Teacher Wellness

Identify a curriculum change in the world. Then design, develop, implement and evaluate the curriculum change.

Joanne Polec

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of Can one rotten apple spoil the bunch? Curriculum change project plan: Teacher Wellness

Context of Curriculum Site: Drive, Goals & Aims: Activities: Evaluation of
CurriculumPlan: Possible significance, challenges and benefits Core - background notes, human resources, equipment and materials required for curriculum change: Human resources: me, colleagues (including teachers, support staff and administration).
Equipment and materials: time dedicated to planning, putting into action and reflection (both by oneself and with others), creation of teacher wellness groups, quality personal time, the opportunity for professional development, access to forms of basic exercise/ fitness programs and meditation, and avenues and contacts for mental and emotional wellness. Type of institution: A high school (grades 10-12) that underwent a huge administrative shift six years ago. Also, there have been changes to how the school is run - dual campus, and flexibility pilot program - in addition to the fact that we run on the Copernican system. Right now, teachers, including me, are struggling to maintain a balance between their personal lives and the demands of the profession.
Level: high school teachers, educational assistants, support staff and administration.
Categories: Curriculum of Self The intention would be to establish and develop healthier, more positive methods of coping with stress and negativity.
By taking the time to plan, put into action and reflect on strategies and coping techniques, a constructive and affirming atmosphere can replace the toxic and destructive one. Can one rotten apple spoil the bunch? Design: Because there are five areas to address, we must first decipher how each one of us interprets "wellness." Then we need to identify factors that impact our own wellness.
Development: What can teachers do to improve their wellness? This question needs to be addressed in themes of A- Choices, B- Support, and C- Working Conditions and sub-themes of optimism and pessimism, balance, personal support, professional and administrative support, duties and responsibilities, and other working conditions issues, personal and professional isolation, need for change and desire to move forward, and personal responsibility versus contributing factors.
Also, the creation of a wellness coordinator, and a wellness team would be beneficial to oversee and promote motivation toward specific goals.
i) formative - individual testimonials, narratives, and round-table discussions
ii) summative - weight loss, less hours spent at the school and/or dedicated to co-curricular, regular monthly social events for staff to attend, less teachers taking "sick days"
iii) involving participants in evaluation - teachers would be the participants
iv) timeline/schedule - one school year from mid-August to the end of June Three main themes:
1. Choices - Teachers who strive for balance, especially by knowing when to step away from stress and the demands of teaching, as well as negative situations.
2. Support - Teachers who offer and seek support from all the available sources around them.
3. Working Conditions - Teachers who understand themselves and their working conditions sufficiently to know which conditions, factors and issues they can control and the ones they will need to cope with because those issues are beyond their control. Teachers who foster positive working environments and school culture equals positive role models for kids equals positive and happy kids! Curriculum of Well-being and Holistic Teacher Wellness Enduring Curriculum Questions:
"Who is the self that teaches?"
"What is the relationship of the teacher
to the teaching?" My personal curriculum questions:
"How do I learn that I do not have to be everything to everyone?"
"How do I take care of me - socially, intellectually, spiritually, physically and emotionally?"
"How do I find a balance between my personal life and my professional life?"
"How do I change my own attitude, my teaching practice, my relationships with my colleagues and with students to reflect a positive atmosphere in my school?"
"What can I do to improve and maintain my wellness?" "IF YOU'RE NOT GOOD TO YOURSELF, YOU'RE NO GOOD TO YOUR STUDENTS." Subjects: personal curriculum which, in turn, affects all subjects
Response to need: There have been many teachers who have taken stress-leaves or have been subject to teacher burn-out in addition to a lack of enthusiasm within the school. Teachers are tired, blaming each other for things not done or done wrong, and are losing sight of why we are there in the first place. I, personally, have felt the negativity permeate my own thoughts and I have often felt my own attitude and teaching practice affected by it.
Rationale: By identifying the areas that require attention (planning) and by implementing change to teacher wellness (plan-to-action), I, and other teachers, will gain strategies to "indwell" between the personal and the professional an maintain a healthy balance/ lifestyle (result). Most importantly, in reflection of this process, there may be a shift from the negative, unsupporting atmosphere one that is more positive and supportive. It is then that restorative inner work can take place. "IT'S UP TO US TO PRIORITIZE OUR OWN WELLNESS." "Celebrate the small victories of every day because they are there and if you're only looking for the big victories, you're going to feel let down." Background: In order for wellness to occur, teachers must first define it. To me, wellness is the interrelationship between all living things, the value of a person's lifestyle choices, and the nature of personal responsibility (Dunn, 1961, 1977). There are five dimensions which include social, intellectual, spiritual, physical and emotional (Ardell & O'Donnell, 1992). More recently, the dimensions of time, environment (Schafer, 1996) and occupation have been added (Boston University Wellness Center, 2001). Refer to references for more supporting articles. Social and professional development committees could work with the wellness committee to promote these dimensions.
Other ways to promote wellness would be through team-teaching and teacher collaboration, wellness-themed PD days, mini-sessions during staff meetings, professionals brought in (doctors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, etc.), and peer/ colleague support through counselors, mentors, exercise partners, etc. Step-by-step implementation: 1. Create a presentation that drives home the benefits of taking care of oneself.
2. Discuss and identify the specific health areas that one would like to improve on.
3. Plan on providing avenues to promote all five dimensions: physical, social, mental/ intellectual, emotional, and spiritual.
4. Analyze and evaluate results.
5. Reflect. The Dimensions:
physical - exercise - implement a basic fitness program which can include walking/ jogging around the school block and/or utilizing the fitness center. Basically, find ways to reconnect with the body and experience the joy of movement, recreation and exercise
physical - nutrition and healthy eating - learn about food content and the importance of reading labels, maintain ideal weight. subtle changes in eating patterns are easy to adopt and have a critical impact on health. Healthy snacking is a great way to stay fit, avoid fatigue and set a good example. social - make teacher wellness groups and schedule regular meetings to share information, plan and reflect. Utilize collegial relationships to celebrate success and collaborate effectively. Focus on: How often do you share your highlights with others? Create a culture of support. mental, emotional and intellectual - make connections to health-care professionals in the community to promote mental and emotional wellness. Use yoga, T'ai Chi and progressive muscle relaxation to cope with stress control. Take quality personal time; it only takes 5 minutes a day to generate feelings of serenity, energy and purpose. Start putting your needs first. Spend time with family. It's okay to leave on time! The misconception that staying late will result in better teaching can be toxic. Set healthy boundaries to avoid burnout. Spend time with nature. Take professional development opportunities to register for workshops and conferences. "SELF-CARE ALLOWS YOU TO FEEL YOUR BEST AND CREATE A CLIMATE OF CREATIVITY, RESPECT, AND ENTHUSIASM IN THE CLASSROOM." "THE WISE MAN SHOULD CONSIDER THAT HEALTH IS THE GREATEST OF HUMAN BLESSINGS. LET FOOD BE YOUR MEDICINE." - HIPPOCRATES "ONLY BY GOOD EXAMPLE, YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD." - PADRE PIO "I FINALLY REALIZED THAT THE ONLY THING I OWE TO THE UNIVERSE IS TO BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY, THAT WELLNESS WITHIN ONESELF IS THE SUREST WAY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE WELLNESS OF OTHERS." Coping with stress...seems so simple... so you want to be a teacher... A wordle that depicts how important wellness is:
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