Teacher, Take Care: A Guide to Well-Being and Workplace Wellness for Educators

Portage & Main. Oct. 2022. 224p. ed. by Lawson, Jennifer E., ed. pap. $32. ISBN 9781774920299.
This extraordinary book focusing on teacher wellness connects Indigenous practices and the Sacred Hoop, a representation of how some Indigenous peoples view the world that is defined and discussed at the beginning of the text, with the everyday challenges of teaching while maintaining a healthy balance. It is an “invitation to explore self-awareness and self-care for teachers, while also exploring workplace wellness on a larger scale.” Because of the demands of teaching, educators often ignore their own needs and don’t take the time to focus on their own mental, physical, and emotional health. To counteract that tendency, this book takes readers through all aspects of emotional and physical well-being. Composed of 13 chapters written by experienced Canadian educators and health professionals, it highlights the educators’ personal experiences on topics including well-being, mindfulness, high-quality relationships, caring for our bodies, stress, burnout, and self-care. Embedded in each chapter are notes by Knowledge Keeper Richelle North Star Scott and Elder Stanley Kipling that connect to Indigenous teachings. There are also opportunities to reflect and respond throughout the chapters. The experiences shared are authentic, and they will resonate with teachers and motivate them to take time to be intentional about their own health and well-being. This is a book to read from beginning to end, or in any order. It’ll be one that readers will refer to again and again to help maintain balance in their lives. As contributor Joyce Sunada shares, “If you don’t take time for your wellness, you will be forced to take time for your illness.”
VERDICT Highly recommended. All teachers and administrators need to have a copy of this book to help prioritize their well-being.

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