In January 2023, I published a research report about the impact of relationships on teaching and found that 80.6% of teachers and former teachers of the nearly 3,000 surveyed felt teaching has or had a negative impact on their personal relationships.
This is just one of the many startling figures you will find in the full research report. This issue is clearly significant, but it isn’t getting enough attention and it needs a spotlight shining down on it if things are to improve.
As part of my report, I spoke with a few experts, Wellbeing in Education Expert and Founder of HealthyToolkit, Andrew Cowley ; Clinical Psychologist and youHQ Wellbeing Director Alistair Baillie; and Psychologist, Psychosexual Therapist, and CORST Professional Standards Manager, Jo Coker.
They shared concerns about:
What can organisations do about it?
Only 27.8% of teachers surveyed felt their organisation provided support to help them foster personal relationships, for example, by providing support for mental health and wellbeing that in turn positively impacts on personal relationships. This figure should be much, much higher.
There are lots of things leaders can implement to better support teachers, but here are just seven for your school to get started with right now.
For advice individuals can take to support their own individual personal relationships; along with teachers’ experiences, and reasons for impact read the full report. You may also want to listen to my interview on Teachers Talk Radio discussing the findings of the report and what the needed next steps are with Educator and Data Scientist Caroline Keep.
Let’s take action to help teachers foster personal relationships for improved mental health and wellbeing, better retention and recruitment, and to value them as individuals outside of ‘the teacher.’