The Well Teacher: Everything Teachers Need to Know to be Well and Stay Well in the Classroom

By Wade and Andrée Repta

In 2018, Humanworks published an excellent resource entitled The Well Teacher by Wade and Andrée Repta. Humanworks, located in Burnaby, British Columbia, consults with unions, insurers, corporations, individuals, compensation boards, and associations to “assist individuals and businesses to improve personal and/or corporate efficacy.” They provide personalized and comprehensive wellness initiatives, which address imbalance and identify opportunities for developing enhanced health and vitality.

The Well Teacher draws on resources from education unions across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, Senate Standing Committee and the Conference Board of Canada Reports, as well as medical and education journals.

This resource references other education worker job classes, but focuses mainly on teachers. However, the teacher focus does draw in various perspectives including elementary, secondary, special education, and specific subject areas and should not be discounted. This would be an excellent resource to give branch representatives, local office leaders, and any new teacher wanting to understand the dynamics affecting their wellness over the lifespan of their career.

The Well Teacher is clearly laid out, moderately repetitive, contains YouTube links, printable sheets, and additional resources for users looking for more resources. The book is filled with colour-coded chapters, easy to follow graphic features, and a host of tools including: planning tools (the Wellness Map, Wellness Checklist, Wellness Pie), How-tos, Key Takeaways, Thought Trackers, Vocal Exercises, and a Safety Plan for teachers with disabilities. There is a significant emphasis on developing goals that connect to the aforementioned tools and the book takes readers through the process of thinking about, setting, and making actionable their personal wellness goals. Ultimately, this book has an element of accountability that transforms common sense into personal practice for any worker struggling. It would be easy to dismiss The Well Teacher as yet another self-help missive, however, the research and Canadian context, as well as the statistics will read like an educator’s diary. It gives voice to dynamics that we are almost desensitized to since it is our work reality. For anyone heading back to school who is not quite recharged from the 2018–19 year, The Well Teacher may give you a framework to get yourself on track.

About Nanci Henderson
Nanci Henderson is a teacher in District 24, Waterloo.

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