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To promote success in schools, focus on teacher well-being

May 7, 2019
Amy Roberts & Helyn Kim
The Brookings Insitution

Without question, teachers are central to student success. Anyone who has taught knows how rewarding it is to witness student learning. Teaching can also be one of the most stressful, demanding, and undersupported professions, leading to national teacher strikes, shortages, and high rates of turnover. In fact, research shows that 46% of teachers report high levels of daily stress, which affects their health, quality of life, and teaching performance, and costs U.S. schools billions of dollars each year. Although almost everyone understands the importance of student well-being and how teachers impact students, there is much less consideration for the well-being of teachers themselves. Even when teacher well-being is considered, it is often narrowly defined and something teachers are expected to “fix” on their own. In honor of National Teacher Day in the United States, we explore why a more holistic approach to teacher well-being is needed to optimize success in schools.