It is no secret that teachers work hard and put the utmost care into providing the best education possible to their pupils. Therefore, it’s important that they take care of their own wellbeing so that they can perform to the best of their abilities.
One way which teachers can manage any stress and maintain their health, both physical and mental, is through regular exercise.
Whilst it can be challenging to fit a workout or run into a busy teaching schedule, it is well worth it for the rise in energy levels and other benefits this can bring. Keep reading to hear all about the benefits that regular exercise can have for teachers…
The importance of teacher wellbeing
Since independent schools are fortunate to have high teacher-to-child ratio, they get the opportunity to know each pupil on an individual level. As a result of this, teachers are able to form strong bonds with pupils, providing pastoral care and support beyond the classroom.
Teachers will often take on roles in extra-curricular activities such as sports, arts or music clubs. All of this helps pupils to feel safe and happy in their school environments – knowing that staff are there at all times to support their personal and academic development.
Find out more about how teachers in independent schools go the extra mile by reading our blog here.
Of course, teachers can’t effectively support their pupils if they aren’t looking after themselves and their own wellbeing properly – this is where exercise can offer so many benefits.
Top tips anyone can use to benefit their health
Committing to just 30 minutes of exercise per day is proven to have exponential health benefits for everyone - and for teachers, this comes with its own set of benefits. Even just a short walk at lunchtime is enough to get the blood pumping and take a break from the classroom.
Stressors that occur throughout a school day may often be out of our control, but the way that teachers respond to stress can be positive. When we exercise, the level of norepinephrine in our body increases. This is a chemical that can moderate our brain’s response to stress and improve how we deal with it.
During exam time, teachers can find themselves with papers to mark on top of their class homework for the week, which can make it difficult to switch off at night and experience a full and restful sleep. A bit of exercise before bed will help to tire your body and mind for a deeper sleep and enable increased levels of patience and concentration the following day.
Higher level of happiness
Having a general state of happiness will allow a teacher to be more effective in the classroom, as it will improve their own motivation and how they interact with pupils. As many studies have shown, even light exercise releases endorphins - the chemicals that bring us feelings of wellbeing and elation.
Setting fitness goals embeds a sense of control over our own health and moving towards or achieving them improves our trust and confidence in our own abilities, which will carry through to our teaching. More confidence allows us to make better decisions and achieve classroom tasks more effectively as well as modelling a healthy level of self-esteem to pupils.
Exercise has been linked to a larger hippocampus - the area of the brain that is responsible for memory and learning. Whilst exercising, blood flow to the brain is improved which promotes the health of nerve cells and cardiovascular exercise can even create new brain cells.
Taking a keen interest in the health and wellbeing of our teachers is one of the advantages of teaching in an independent school. Read about the others in our blog here.