Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166


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Wellness Continuum for Educators

Sophie De Haan, Behavioral Health Systems Navigator

A few weeks ago, we started exploring the concept of the wellness continuum in humans. Today, we zoom in to specifically focus on wellness in educators. As an educator, you may find you are sacrificing yourself--mind, body, wellbeing, spirit, time and health--to serve your students, colleagues, schools and/or your district.

The International Journal of Leadership Education, states that “teacher wellness influences school culture and climate, instruction, and students’ academic, personal, and emotional development.” (Sackney, Noonan, and Miller.) 

Educators are often implored to focus on the whole child, including social and emotional wellbeing but may not feel they have time, energy, resources or permission to focus on their whole selves.

Below is a list of dimensions of wellness related to educators. When these dimensions feel fulfilled, we are better able to function in life and meet our responsibilities at an optimum level.

What do you need to feel a greater sense of wellness in your life? Share your ideas with us. 

Maybe the concept of wellness doesn’t resonate with you at all, and that’s perfectly fine, too. In a country steeped in white supremacy, wellness can feel completely out of reach (and even talking about it may feel out of touch) if we don’t feel valued for who we are or what we do. What would support look like for you?

Dimensions of Educator Wellness

Educator Dimension Definition Functions
Emotional Awareness, acceptance, expression and management of emotions. Adjustment, coping, communication, maintaining relationships
Environmental Perceptions of working environment, including temperature, lighting, safety, decor, cleanliness and comfort. Reduces stress and promotes individual health and happiness, leading to productivity.
Intellectual Engaging the mind, continually learning, and developing and applying knowledge. Feeds creativity and inspiration.
Physical Functional operation of the body, achieved through conventional aspects of healthy living such as exercise, diet and sleeping habits. Establishes balance, improves productivity.
Social The degree to which individuals interact within their communities to improve their social environments. Makes a productive work environment, propagates a happier and healthier working community.
Spiritual Ability to find purpose in life and profession and to practice one's value system. Addresses one's beliefs, ethics, and philosophy not limited to one's religious beliefs. Influences an individual's sense of belonging, interpersonal relationships and professional drive.
Occupational The ability to contribute unique skills and formal education to personally meaningful work. A sense of self-efficacy to perform job responsibilities effectively and contribute to the school community. Another component is a sense of upward mobility in the profession, which relates to job satisfaction and engagement.
Financial Economic stability and ability to make informed financial decisions. Includes the ability to live comfortably, invest in savings, save for retirement, and prepare for unexpected emergencies. Financial concerns have the ability to influence one's decisions and interactions within the work environment and in one's personal life.