Sleep: the secret of teacher wellbeing.

22 May 2020

This week is mental health awareness week, and I have two brilliant episodes of ‘The Well Teacher Podcast’ to share – both of which explore areas central to our mental health.

The first is with psychology teacher and deputy head Mark Healy. Mark has developed a career long fascination with exploring the role of sleep in education, and has shared his findings in conferences across the UK.

As we explore in our conversation: sleep is absolutely vital to not only our ability to perform in the classroom, but also to our mental health. I confess early in this episode my own alterior motive for getting Mark on the show: I have struggled with sleep issues for a number of years. This chapter ‘Tackling Teacher Insomnia’ from my first book ‘Slow Teaching,‘ explored this and some strategies that have worked well for me.

After we examine the impact workload can have on teacher wellbeing and sleep, Mark is gracious enough to share not only his own school’s approach to improving teacher sleep, but also condense the research down into 10 key findings for how we can improve our sleep. Finally, we also examine how we can support the young people in our classrooms to improve their sleep habits.

Mark has also set up a brilliant project with Robin Macpherson, called ‘The Gaitherin’. Tomorrow, Saturday 23rd of May, Mark will be presenting on the role of sleep during the pandemic. The presentation will be online at 10 o’clock, followed by thirty minutes of questions. You can find the presentations here. 

 

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Jamie Thom

English teacher, host of @TES English teaching podcast. Author of 'Slow Teaching.' MEd in Practitioner Enquiry, doctorate student #StrathEdD. Runner.

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