It is well known that teachers and educators have, perhaps, one of the most stressful but also very important professions. That is why, with their help came the online training “The well-being of teachers: a conscious journey”, which is part of the “Happy Teachers” program for Romania, an initiative created by Simona Baciu, co-author of the book “The Teacher in You”. The courses started in February 2020 and will continue this year until it reaches all the counties in the country, having as partners Herlitz Romania and Azomures.
During a press conference that took place in the meeting room of the Privo Hotel in Târgu Mureș on Tuesday, April 13th, the initiator of the program said that it aims to talk about the mental health of teachers, something about which, so far, too little has been discussed in Romania. The first event dedicated to the well-being of teachers took place on February 15, 2020, in Târgu Mureș.
“This program came to the needs of the teachers. We, as teachers, want to invest in the people, in the teachers who form our children. Hence the idea of this program is “Happy teachers for Romania”. We prepared the first seminar with 30 school principals to whom we presented the program and the importance of the well-being of the emotional and mental health of the teacher. We are not used to talking about this. That meeting was received with very great openness. It gave us courage and we organized the first meeting with 40 teachers. I want to start by recognizing the contribution and trust that Herlitz Romania and Pelican had in teachers. I would also like to welcome the partnership with Azomures who have come with us and who trust that Romania’s teachers deserve to be supported. We started with a lot of enthusiasm, with 40 teachers and 30 principals and school inspectors. Our dream was to deliver a series of workshops for 150 teachers and 50 school leaders over the next 5 months. Then came the pandemic and we adapted to the new conditions. That’s how we created this 5-week online course, where teachers work every day to learn and implement a new educational culture. We had 60 places ready to be able to provide assistance and guidance to each teacher. To our surprise and joy, over 150 teachers signed up and it was very difficult for us to make a separation”, said Simona Baciu.
A mission for the future
The primary desire of the program is to offer teachers an innovative course, based on neuroscience research on the topic of social-emotional development, resilience, and well-being. Teachers will learn techniques that combine kindness and self-care with emotional and physical health, which will be reflected in the students’ academic behavior and results.
“The purpose of our program is to offer support to the teachers and educators, teachers in pre-university education to help them overcome the moments when we say ‘we can no longer. To look at those moments as moments of growth and moments when they can learn about them. Because when we learn about ourselves we teach our students about life. As an open invitation to what we call the social-emotional development, both of the child and of us as teachers. For the first time in Romania, we started talking about the emotional health of the teacher and the student and we want to tell you that we have many echoes. When we become aware of ourselves, we begin to take the first steps to find solutions”, said Simona Baciu.