SYSTEM – Pedagogy, Responsibility, & Policy

The system refers to interventions that are larger than a staff team.

It includes school boards, professional associations or unions, and the governmental departments that guide and direct the work of educational workers through direct policies or informal expectations, tendencies, or practices.

When system priorities are unclear, muddled, or contradictory, individuals can flounder and feel helpless or hopeless to make a difference in the lives of their colleagues and students.

When systems articulate clear priorities and fund, support, and resource them adequately, individuals can flourish.

Image Created by Art Contest Winner Sarah Murray

School boards or professional associations can mandate that educators include an occupational health goal in their yearly professional plans. The Alberta Teachers Association has a digital self-reflection tool that can be used to get yourself started.


The work of reconciliation in Canada is work that supersedes individual efforts and requires collective action. Working to apply Indigenous knowledge and practices as mandated by the Teaching Quality Standard is one key system intervention.

System interventions include:

Photo by Astrid Kendrick

Resources that support building collective wellbeing at work:

  • The College of Alberta School Superintendents Workplace Wellness series
  • The work wellness series produced by Canada Life
  • The Well at Work initiative by the EdCan Network
  • The PodClass learning initiative by EverActive Schools – The first series, Conversations on School Health, is a collaboration with the Werklund School of Education that looks at maximizing the health and well-being of students and teachers.
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