Top takeaways from the book: Teacher Wellbeing, by Amy Green

By Diana Wilkes

In her insightful book Teacher Wellbeing, Amy Green delves deep into a topic close to every educator’s heart. She doesn’t just scratch the surface: she offers valuable insights and practical strategies that will resonate with both teachers and senior leaders in schools, and she does this in an easy to access, 180 page read.

While there are numerous takeaways from this book, here are the 5 things that stuck with me:

Shared Responsibility: Green makes it clear that the responsibility for teacher wellbeing lies not just with school leaders or individual educators, but with all of us, collectively. It’s about recognising how our school environment either supports or hinders each individual. In her book she lays out clear guidelines for educators to examine their own everyday wellbeing, and for leaders and teams to delve into the systems and structures that support collective efficacy.

Image by: from: Teacher Wellbeing by Amy Green

She writes: Teacher wellbeing is a collective responsibility. We need to tackle it from both ends, both personally and professionally, on our own and together. This means the time you give to teacher wellbeing needs to be well thought out , and the strategies implemented allow both the everyday and workplace aspects to meet in the middle. 

Image by: from: Teacher Wellbeing by Amy Green

Beyond Quick Fixes: We’ve all seen band-aid solutions that fail to address the root causes of burnout and stress. Green challenges us to move beyond these temporary fixes and instead implement long-term, sustainable strategies that truly support teacher wellbeing. She asks:

Are strategies in your school to support wellbeing designed to be long-term, sustainable solutions, adapted to the individual? Or are they reactive, quick-fix, one-size-fits-all approaches?

Do the strategies focus on improving physical, mental and social wellbeing, or do they centre more around opportunities for social events? Do they promote ways to better manage stress, be productive and work to your strengths? Do they allow you to contribute to the community, or do they take time away from doing what is really needed.?” p19

Image by: from: Teacher Wellbeing by Amy Green

Building Awareness and Knowledge: “Understanding the complexities of teacher wellbeing is essential for both educators and leaders. She advocates that schools and teachers have been overly focused on subjective wellbeing- those hedonistic short term, extrinsic , quick fix activities that we are all quite familiar with. However, she argues we need to go beyond the pursuit of happiness, knowing that wellbeing also means the ability to face challenges.

Evaluating School Systems: As leaders, it’s crucial to examine our school’s systems, structures, and processes. Are they conducive to teacher wellbeing? From planning time to behaviour management processes, every aspect should be scrutinised for its impact on teacher health and productivity.

We need to build a culture of seeking and speaking, start to ask questions regarding how we work and if it supports staff wellbeing, and be ready to make changes to ensure we have better ways of working, improved systems, structure and processes, psychological safe working environments and collaborative engaged teams.

Image by: from: Teacher Wellbeing by Amy Green

Practical Guidance for Change: With chapter summaries and actionable “Theory into Action” sections, Green provides the tools and strategies needed to enact real change. Whether you’re a teacher looking to prioritize your own wellbeing or a leader striving to create a healthier school environment, this book offers valuable guidance.

Image by: from: Teacher Wellbeing by Amy Green

Reference: Green, A. (2022). Teacher Wellbeing. Amba Press.