Words of wisdom have been filling the room at the 2023 EdWeek Leadership Symposium in Washington, DC. Nate Thompson, Director of Social, Emotional, and Behavior Services for Littleton Public Schools in Littleton, Colorado, shared this recommendation, “To be happy, we’ve got to go deeper than self-care,” during the “Successful Responses to the Student Mental Health Crisis” session.
Mr. Thompson shared the stage with Andria Amador, Senior Director of Behavioral Health Services for Boston Public Schools, who has made a career of ensuring that students in need of mental health support are identified through their universal screening program. And both of these career professionals identified strong relationships between educators and educators and students as imperative for success in education.
The crisis is real; school leaders are looking for support. One statistic during the conference that stood out to me is 73% of principals surveyed reported that student mental health was a major challenge they expected to encounter this upcoming school year – this was their top concern above all others. Educator recruitment and motivation were high as well. So….to bring us back to Mr. Thompson’s message—what is deeper than self-care? How do we solve these challenges
One possible solution is the evidence-based practice of Positive Psychology and using the Theory of Wellbeing, or PERMA+ (Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Mattering, and Accomplishment, +Health), to promote wellbeing for educators and students. What if we integrated these wellbeing practices into educator support and student instruction?
It’s been an inspirational few days, being in a room with hundreds of educators who are passionately committed to student success and clearly understand the importance of educator wellbeing, but they need support.
Proof Positive is all about improving wellbeing outcomes for educators and students, especially those with autism. Join us in the movement where together, we can create a world where wellbeing wins.
Patricia Wright, Executive Director at Proof Positive