Staff Wellbeing Challenge

Term 1 had been extremely busy as we developed new curriculum structures and collaborative ways of working all whilst continuing to design great learning experiences for our students at AGE. Our teachers at AGE were starting to feel the strain of this as we approached the end of term. In recognition of this, I shared Te Whare Tapa Whā with the staff and talked about the need for maintaining all aspects of our wellbeing.

Image via Te Ara

For the holidays, I set a challenge for us all to think of what we could do to work on our physical, spiritual, mental and social wellbeing. Here’s how I set about rebalancing my hauora/wellbeing over the recent school break.

Taha Tinana – Physical health

The trusty steed parked at work

In the first week of school holidays I took advantage of the long end of Summer/fine start of Autumn to ride my bike to work each day. Having a bit less time pressure made this an easy way to add more exercise into my week. It isn’t a long bike ride to work but I really enjoyed starting and ending my day by cruising past clogged traffic as I rode along a mix of roads and bike paths to reach work. Now, I just have to find a way to make this happen more during term time!

Taha Wairua – Spiritual Health

Some stone balancing in my favourite place in the world

I’m not a strictly religious person so spiritual health takes on a more holistic view for me. Waipu Cove is a very special place for me and spending time there seems to rejuvenate me and give me energy. It is like some sort of touchstone. I spent 5 days there with my family at Easter surfing, bike riding, exploring and reading (more about this aspect below). Just getting the chance to spend a week relaxing and exploring the beach with my family was just the remedy for a busy start to the year!

Taha Hinengaro – Mental Health

Book plus time in the sun = bliss!

I enjoy reading regularly throughout the year but having a break from work does allow for extended periods of reading. My reading routine in school holidays always seems to involve a run on fiction that does not require a lot of thinking – I like to think of it as mental chewing gum – before moving on to some educational or leadership reading. I read a couple of quick spy/political thriller type novels in the first week of the break while we were still working. Then when we went to Waipu I had the chance to enjoy Intuition, The Day of the Triffids (incidentally, not a great book to read and then walk around a half empty campground at night…), my daughter’s Malory Towers book and dig deeper into Free to Learn by Peter Gray.

Taha Whānau – Social Health

A successful Geocache hunt with my awesome whānau (family).

This is the easiest to share. Overall this year, I feel that I have held this aspect of my hauora in better balance than I have in the past. My new role is at a school much more local to where I live, so I now regularly get to have breakfast with my family before going to work. Even if I have late nights every now and then, it doesn’t impact as much as I am around far more often in the mornings. In the holidays of course, this time was extended. We had a great time exploring the beach, geocaching, going for a night walk to view the stars and I got to help my son learn to ride his bike without training wheels and help my daughter learn to surf. My partner, Theresa, and I even got to spend quality time together while the kids played around the camp ground.

Of course, the challenge in all of this is now maintaining my hauora/wellbeing whilst not on leave. But I am starting Term 2 feeling like I have my wellbeing in check – a great feeling to have!



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