New paper explains how investing in teacher lounges and workrooms can reduce stress, increase retention, boost academic outcomes and attract new teachers
Addressing the increased rates of teacher burnout and resignations is an ongoing priority for school leaders. While a supportive work environment is often cited as an important factor, the role that teachers’ lounges and workrooms can play is generally overlooked. In its latest white paper, MiEN Company explains how investing in spaces where teachers can relax and recharge as well as work reduces their stress, boosts staff retention and attracts new teachers.
Titled “Supporting Educators’ Professional Health and Wellness with Reimagined Teacher Spaces,” the white paper discusses the effects of job-related stress such as decreased teacher efficacy and higher teacher turnover. It also shares research on the benefits of designing stress-free spaces for teachers, including increased job satisfaction, improved health and well-being, increased morale, reduced absenteeism, higher levels of overall well-being and positive impacts on student outcomes
“Teacher burnout is predictive of student academic outcomes, including being correlated with lower levels of effective student learning and lower motivation,” said Vice President of Education for MiEN Company, Dr. Christina Counts. “Not only does rehabbing the teachers’ lounge improve morale and overall well-being, but more relaxed teachers are also more effective at their jobs.”
“Supporting Educators’ Professional Health and Wellness” shares ideas and best practices for updating teachers’ workrooms and lounges. The white paper also provides readers with a list of questions that can help guide plans for designing or redesigning teacher spaces.
For schools that don’t have the luxury of making those spaces separate, the white paper includes suggestions on how to create one comfortably multifunctional space. Readers can also review the experiences and ideas of two New Jersey schools – Kresson Elementary School and the Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT). For example, lunch tables in the ACIT lounge now turn into computer plug-in stations and some of the tables have whiteboard tops to help teachers collaborate during prep periods.
“Upgrading their workroom or lounges is a clear message to teachers that they are valued and appreciated,” said Counts. “The expense of the redesign pays off in their improved morale, emotional wellbeing, effectiveness at their jobs and ultimately students’ academic achievement.”
“Supporting Educators’ Professional Health and Wellness with Reimagined Teacher Spaces” can be downloaded at https://miencompany.com/resources/whitepapers/.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.