“Let your roots grow down into Him and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7
Promoting and establishing teacher well-being is the foundation of a strong healthy organisational culture. Without prioritising teacher well-being it becomes challenging for children’s well-being to be at the centre of their educational experience. This internal evaluation tool is designed to enable centres to look closely at their organisational wellness and teacher well-being. It creates an opportunity to reflect on and create meaning about what this looks like from a Christ-centred perspective. It is a tool that allows all staff to take shared responsibility for improvements that the whole community can benefit from. “Teacher well-being is both an individual and a collective responsibility. It is holistic – and focuses on the spiritual, physical, mental and social wellness of teachers as professionals” (Education Council, n.d., para. 5). The Thrive tool is designed to be used alongside other documents such as Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 2017), He Pou Tātaki (Education Review Office, 2013), Ngā Arohaehae Whai Hua: Self Review Guidelines (Ministry of Education, 2006), and Effective Internal Evaluation for Improvement (Education Review Office, 2016).
It is our hope that at the heart of your centre’s organisational culture will be an intentionality towards fulfilling and embodying your unique Christian vision, with the purpose to serve your local community and to excel as Christian professionals. It is our desire that centres fulfil their special character and are salt and light in our nation. Our current social and political climate brings with it many challenges that add to the complexity and demands on teachers. In order to maintain and hold onto the special character of our centres it is imperative that we take a holistic view of teacher well-being and recognise its importance. “…focusing on well-being gives teachers the strength and optimism to challenge and change the way they work without burning out or giving up” (Education Council, n.d., para. 3).
Well-being cannot be seen as a stand-alone issue. In fact, it seems apparent that looking at the bigger picture and considering the development of a professional learning culture, will have a longer lasting positive impact on teacher well-being. The term well-being, has often been viewed as merely linked to building staff morale. However, working with such a restricted or narrow understanding of the term will only have superficial and short term benefits rather than holistically enriching the teacher as a professional.
As members of one body, CECEAA centres have the opportunity to support each other and be far more connected in their journey. We hope this tool will help provide a platform for connections