Teacher Wellness (TEWX)

TEWX 500   Achieving a Work-Life Balance in Teaching 3 credits

As with most jobs, teaching responsibilities can infiltrate your entire life if you let it. After-school activities, grading, and lesson planning can creep into your off hours and blur the lines between work and the rest of your life. Work–life balance means feeling engaged, effective, and satisfied in each aspect of life. In this course, you will develop a set of practical, customizable strategies to help you work smarter, not harder. Time management, organizational skills, and emotional groundedness are key skills that you will master to help you feel calm, in control, and able to focus on your students. You will learn to increase your productivity at work and feel more satisfied with your life both inside and outside the classroom. A balanced teacher is a teacher who can connect with, inspire, and help his or her students achieve personal and academic success. At the end of this course, you will have the skills you need to be present and effective both at school and beyond. This course is offered through Advancement Course.

TEWX 501   From Burnout to Productivity: Creating a Path for Teacher Wellness 3 credits

I’ve always been the type of teacher who’s tired at the end of the school year because I’ve given my all—every day—for the past nine months.” How many teachers can relate to this sentiment? Teacher burnout is an increasingly common phenomenon. Long hours, stressful environments, and intense expenditures of energy, brainpower, and compassion can all contribute to decreased health and wellness, especially over the course of multiple years. In this course, you will learn strategies for creating a healthy work–life balance, advocating for a more sustainable lifestyle, and improving your outlook and inspiration both inside and outside the classroom. Through a series of self-inventories and assessments, you will identify your sources of burnout and techniques for preventing and reversing it. In addition, you will learn how to bring these strategies to your students and colleagues to create an atmosphere of calm and productivity in your school. With the techniques you learn in this course, you will be better prepared to manage the stressors inherent to life as an educator to create a path to sustainable wellness. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

TEWX 502   Self-Care Strategies for Teachers 3 credits

Teaching is among the most stressful careers you can pursue because it requires you to manage others’ feelings and behaviors on a daily basis. From safety concerns to troubled students, you often face high-stress situations that can leave you feeling beat up and uninspired. Self-care is an essential practice for all teachers, but how do you know if your strategies are actually building you up so you can enjoy a long, healthy career in education? This course teaches you targeted strategies for self-care and wellness, starting with a comprehensive inventory of your whole self—personally, and as a teacher, parent, partner, friend, and community member. You will learn techniques for how to stop absorbing stressors, manage challenging situations, build long-term self-care strategies for all areas of your life, and track your progress through a series of somatic and emotional self-evaluations. This course gives you the opportunity to invest in yourself so you can build a more grounded, inspired, and sustainable career in education. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

TEWX 503   Stress Reduction for Better Teaching 3 credits

Being a teacher is often a stressful experience. Whether it is lesson planning, grading, communicating with parents, handling classroom management, helping troubled children, or dealing with colleagues, there are always competing needs for teachers’ time and energy. Even the most practiced teacher can become overwhelmed. In this course, you will learn how acute and chronic stress can impact not only your teaching, but also your body and your health. You’ll develop a personal stress profile and stress management portfolio, which includes how to identify what triggers your stress, how to build up tolerance, and how to respond in a healthy way. In addition, you’ll create exercises for helping both yourself and your students manage stress more effectively and build resilience in the face of specific challenges. With the skills you learn in this course, you will be able to fully enjoy the greatest job on earth and be healthier for yourself and completely present for your students. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

TEWX 504   Becoming a Calm, Happy Teacher 3 credits

Teachers have a multifaceted role that includes wearing many hats; being present in the lives of students, families, and colleagues; and taking care of others before themselves. Educators’ demanding career and giving spirit can lead to stress, burnout, dissatisfaction, frustration, and sadness if intentional practices are not implemented. As a way to support personal well-being and happiness, you’ll explore the power of positive psychology as tool to find a more balanced, calm approach to teaching that will give you more energy and vitality at work and at home. The techniques will help you create more life balance, so that you can cultivate more well-being for yourself and your classroom. The strategies will not only help you be more engaged, present, and fulfilled as a teacher, but you’ll also apply your learning to your classroom and your students. This course is offered through Advancement Courses.

TEWX 505   A Year in the Life of a School Leader: A Roadmap to Success 3 credits

Research has emphasized the importance of school leadership in improving outcomes for a school and its students. But make no mistake: This is not the school leader as drill sergeant, or the charismatic leader whose skill-set is impossible to replicate. Instead, it is a school leader who is capable of transforming a school environment so that its students and teachers can flourish. — The Hechinger ReportSchool leaders have the potential to shape their schools for the better by designing a curriculum rooted in best practices, positively impacting student achievement, and analyzing and implementing effective strategies and plans that advance school improvement efforts. Administrators and teacher leaders should have the fundamental knowledge and willingness to utilize best practices in their professional learning communities and should also provide coaching and mentoring to their peers. By demonstrating knowledge, skills, and willingness, leaders can use a variety of leadership styles, execute effective communication skills, and motivate and resolve conflicts effectively. In this course, you will explore the various strategies that create an effective leader. By viewing a year at a glance, you will develop the leadership skills needed for each quarter of the school year: fall, winter, spring, and summer. You will learn the value of school leadership in your school’s community and how you can establish yourself in a leadership role that can help support students, teachers, families, and the entire school community. Additionally, you will gain effective tools to create authentic learning experiences that will promote a positive school culture, support the development of professional learning communities, and further the involvement of parents and community in participatory learning. With the knowledge and skills from this course, you will be able to hone your leadership skills so you can positively impact and serve your colleagues and improve your team, school, and district.

TEWX 506   Creating an Effective Instructional Coaching Program for Your School 3 credits

Instructional coaching can be a difficult topic to navigate. On the one hand, teachers value collaboration and hearing new ideas from other educators, but on the other hand, teachers’ motivation and buy-in can plummet if they feel like coaching adds to their stress or puts their hard work under unnecessary scrutiny. In this course, you’ll learn how to create and sustain an effective instructional coaching model and build a culture of coaching and professional development to promote teacher and student success. You’ll examine strategies for establishing trust, open communication, and a positive outlook among teachers, and for overcoming potential points of resistance between teachers and school leaders. In addition, you’ll evaluate various technology resources, organizational tools, coaching strategies, reflective practices, and feedback methods to curate a program that suits the needs of all educators. By the end of this course, you will have a clear, organized strategy for introducing a coaching model that excites teachers and empowers them to grow.

TEWX 507   Recruiting, Retaining, and Reengaging Excellent 3 credits

Studies from the Learning Policy Institute show that U.S. teachers leave the profession at twice the rate of teachers in other high-achieving countries, and that this attrition rate costs schools $7.8 billion a year. The crisis is growing each year, but few resources exist for how to combat it. In this course, you’ll discover best practices for attracting, hiring, coaching, and nurturing excellent teachers. You’ll learn how to find the best applicants for your positions, assess whether applicants are a good fit for a position, and design effective job postings and interview questions. For your existing staff, you’ll review strategies for making good teachers into great ones, including conducting effective observations, providing meaningful coaching, and helping teachers set and meet goals that are important to them. Finally, you’ll take a deep dive into the issue of burnout, including how to prevent it and how to intervene when teachers show signs of wanting to quit. By investing your time in this course, you will be able to proactively build and keep a great staff for years to come, saving yourself time and headaches down the road.

TEWX 508   Creating Work–Life Harmony in Teaching 1 credit

Teachers have heard about work–life balance for years, and for many, the idea has caused nothing but guilt and frustration. After all, the boundaries between “work” and “life” can easily blur, and it doesn’t always make sense to try to devote equal amounts of time and energy to both. Instead of trying to achieve perfect balance at all times, work–life harmony seeks to help every part of your life coexist in a way that’s both satisfying and attainable. In this course, you’ll learn how to create work–life harmony using an integrated and holistic approach that helps you blend work and play more seamlessly into your life. With an eye on increasing your passion for teaching, you’ll explore effective methods of determining how and where to invest your time and energy, and how to handle disruptions to your schedule. In addition, you’ll get practical tools for managing the time-consuming parts of your job such as emails and paperwork, and for coping with stressors through healthy physical and emotional habits. Using the techniques from this course, you’ll be able to create a personalized set of practices that will help you maximize what’s most important in your personal and professional life.

TEWX 509   Achieving Work-Life Harmony in Teaching 3 credits

In 2020, many teachers conducted class from home for the first time, highlighting a reality that educators have known for decades: In teaching, the line between “work” and “life” is often blurry at best. Many teachers have tried (in vain) to chase an ill-defined sense of balance—but the reality is, both work and life are more fluid than that. A better approach is to find a way to mesh the spheres of your life to create a sense of harmony in how you spend your time and energy. In this course, you will explore three forms of energy: physical, emotional, and mental energy, and how to continually monitor their impact on your work and personal life. You’ll develop a deeper understanding of stress as both a positive and negative force in your life, and find ways to ease negative stress through excellent workload organization and targeted self-care activities. In addition, you’ll learn how to mitigate the damaging effects of extreme stress and personal or societal hardships, including the challenges of teaching remotely, away from the energy of your students. By the end of this course, you’ll have a personalized plan to promote harmony in your own life as well as your students’ and colleagues’. Note: If you have taken the Advancement Courses online course Achieving Work-Life Balance in Teaching, we advise you not to take this course because its contents are similar. You may, instead, take one of our other courses in teacher wellness.