Why time outdoors can improve teacher wellbeing.

10th March 2020

 

Time spent outside has massive benefits on children’s mental health – but what about teacher wellbeing?

 

A huge part of the Outdoor Classroom Day mission is showing how time spent outdoors can have a profound impact on health and wellbeing. In fact, a huge 88% of teachers said that children are happier after playing outdoors in our 2018 Muddy Hands report – and yet half of children worldwide get less than an hour of outdoor play a day.

However, something that doesn’t get as much attention is the benefits that daily outdoor activity has on teachers.

Here in the UK and ROI, teacher retention is dropping year on year. We know that fantastic, passionate teachers are leaving the profession due to stress, overwork and funding cuts. And we want to do everything we can to support them.

Teacher wellbeing and retention go hand in hand.

A happy teacher makes for a happy classroom. This matters because:

  • Improved teacher wellbeing will lead to less teacher absences and disjointed lessons from substitute teachers
  • It improves job satisfaction for the teacher who will hence provide more engaging lessons
  • It creates a stable environment for children to learn
  • It builds and encourages a supportive and respectful school community
  • It allows for more resilient teaching professionals who can better support student mental health

 

It is our aim to make the Outdoor Classroom Day movement a catalyst for happier, healthier teachers (as well as their students).

We know that getting outside lowers stress, blood pressure and heart rate, while encouraging physical activity and boosting mood.

The teachers supporting the Outdoor Classroom Day movement know this is a genuine benefit for their students – but many don’t see it for themselves.

The good news is that you can easily bring time outside of the classroom into your everyday plans.

1. When children go outside for playtime, join them!

Could you take a moment to walk around the playground, even just for ten minutes?

2. Experiment with taking lessons outdoors – not just on Outdoor Classroom Day.

Our Resources Library is packed full of lesson ideas to make teaching outside easy.

3. Launch a daily mile.

Sporty? Why not start a daily mile in the playground before school starts for any kids who want to stretch their legs before the bell goes?

4. Set outdoor homework.

Involve parents by setting outdoor homework for students to complete. Complete the homework yourself as an example to bring into the classroom!

Over to you!

What would you add to the list? Is this something you’re already doing to support both student and your personal wellbeing? Let us know!

Don’t forget to share this article with another teacher who you think might benefit from it – and while you’re there, remember to SIGN UP for this year’s Outdoor Classroom Day movement!

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Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Wohoo! Top marks for signing up!

Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!