NewsTeacher's Desk

Prioritising wellbeing for effective education

Daniela Falecki discusses how to put yourself first, and improve the quality of your teaching, and your students' learning.

‘I can barely keep my head above water. How could I possibly thrive at work?’ If you’re a teacher, I’ll bet you’re asking yourself this question.

We enter the profession to help young people grow and learn, but find ourselves in a system that values compliance over care. Our days are spent prioritising others, leaving us little time to rest and restore. The truth is we nurture the wellbeing of our students, but neglect our own.

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If you want to become the teacher you always dreamed of being, you need to nourish your wellbeing with strategies to help you thrive.

People who thrive at work report less burnout because they can generate resources rather than deplete them. Thriving makes us more likely to experiment with new ideas and seek new ways of working. When people feel energised, they engage in proactive behaviours helping them better manage daily challenges. Thriving people generally feel they are co-creating their environment, which builds further resources such as high quality connections (Spreitzer, G., et al., 2004).

Just as fertiliser enhances the growth and vitality of plants, learning to THRIVE can have the potential to revitalise our passion, resilience and wellbeing at work. It’s not about being perfect or being a machine, its having the social and emotional skills to respect ourselves as a human being not a human doing. This means acting with awareness, compassion and care.

teacher wellbeing
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In my new book “THRIVE – Practical Strategies to nourish Teacher Wellbeing” I share over thirty strategies to help you enjoy your work more.

THRIVE is an acronym that gives us a toolbox of resources to help you feel better and function well at work. This includes:

  • Exploring how we use (T) time
  • Observing how we think in our (H) head
  • Establishing supportive (R) relationships
  • Noticing our positive (I) impact
  • Connecting to our (V) values
  • Regulating our (E) emotions

Each concept represents a key element that, when implemented with intention and purpose, can significantly transform how we think, feel and respond at work. Drawing on science to help us shift the narrative from stress to wellbeing as well as practical strategies to help us do our job well. After all, wellbeing at work is not the sole responsibility of individuals but a shared collective between workplace processes and people.

This book is not just a manual of techniques and practices. It is an invitation to embark on a transformative journey — one that encompasses personal growth, professional development and the realisation of you as a human being first and a teacher second.

Daniela Falecki

Daniela Falecki is founder and director of Teacher Wellbeing ( She is known as the ‘keep-it-real’ teacher who specialises in positive psychology. Her passionate, practical approach makes her a sought-after speaker, sharing stories from her 20 years of experience in schools.

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  1. Thanks Daniela
    I’m loving this growing focus on teacher’s thriving to support their wellbeing as opposed to the old model of alleviating stress and burnout. Thanks for highlighting this significant issue.
    We need teachers that can thrive. Thriving teachers are the biggest influence student wellbeing and learning, but as you mention, educational systems are expanding the roles of teachers and taking teachers away from their primary role of teaching. Thriving as a teacher is complicated by a decrease in teacher autonomy, an unreasonable set of expected competencies, preoccupation with high stakes standardised testing, incessant intensification of workloads, negative public image, a devaluing of the profession and poor salaries. Systems that value compliance over care have resulted in concerningly high early career teacher attrition rates, less teacher education programs in universities and most concerning, poor teacher wellbeing.
    I support you and your ideas to support teachers to thrive in an environment that is becoming increasingly challenging to thrive in. I urge teachers to nourish their wellbeing by finding what works for them so that they can be healthy and motivated teachers nurturing happy and successful students.

  2. Thanks, Damien, for your support. Educator wellbeing is certainly complicated as we teachers are left juggling so many things that directly impact our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. I completely agree with you that systems need to move from compliance to care if we want not only our profession to thrive but our young people too.

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