Workplace and Relationships

Relationships are at the heart of educational work. Building strong pedagogical relationships with students and professional connections with colleagues forms the foundation of HEARTcare and positive occupational wellbeing.

Image created by Art Contest Winner Kirsty Ball

Positive workplace culture is characterized by responsive leadership, collegial relationships between staff members, meaningful educational relationships between educators and children and youth, and an openness to difficult conversation.

Schools can be a wonderful place to work!

Toxic workplace cultures are characterized by superficial relationships, dysfunctional or unresponsive leadership, unwillingness to have honest conversations, and strained relationships between educators and children and youth.

One way to assess your school culture is through the Joint Consortium for School Health planner. Comprehensive School Health is an internationally recognized framework to assess and promote wellness in educational settings.

Ready to do more? Try out this comprehensive school health online course or find more information on the comprehensive school health hub.

Take a trauma-informed approach to developing safe and caring schools for both students and staff.

Leadership isn’t always about a person’s work role. Any educational worker can provide leadership in their workplace with students, administrators, or colleagues.

Ways to promote a healthy leadership culture include:

  • Supporting positive, non-formal leadership from staff members
  • Encouraging socializing between staff members with different job roles and responsibilities.
  • Welcoming new staff and visitors by providing opportunities to network and learn about the school culture.
  • Modelling healthy behaviors such as taking breaks, setting boundaries, and caring for others.
  • Training in effective mentorship for people in formal and informal leadership roles
  • Learn about Hargreaves and O’Connor’s leadership framework: collaborative professionalism
  • Providing helpful feedback to colleagues and staff
  • Different leadership theories exist, and two that you can explore are teacher leadership or systems leadership.

Positive school cultures embrace thoughtful and meaningful innovation to decrease workload and that benefits the daily life of students, staff, and leaders.

Innovative pedagogy can inspire passion in educational workers.

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