Teacher Well-Being
Course Outline

Course Fee: $270
Course Numbers: EED x701 24112, SED x701 24157
Standard Course Time: 45 hours
Semester Credits: Three (3) academic credits at the post-baccalaureate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Cal Poly Humboldt (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Special Topics

This course has been developed and optimized for online delivery using the licensed title Teacher Well-Being - Looking after yourself and your career in the classroom, published by Routledge and authored by Elizabeth Holmes.

Introduction/Course Description:

There can be few teachers who do not have a solid understanding of what negative stress means, born of genuine felt experience. If it is not the pressures of the job while at school, it is the perpetual need to take work home that eats into our sense of control and overall job satisfaction. Clearly, there is a delicate balance to be found between the buzz of the opportunities that the teaching profession can offer, through new initiatives and ideas such as teacher creativity and citizenship, and negative stress and burnout.

The inherent tension between the individual and institutional approaches to teacher well-being is ever present in the profession. Who should accept full responsibility? Teacher Well-being does not seek to provide an answer to this question; nor does it lay out a stress management policy that can slot on to the shelf among other school policies. Neither does it present a specific and limited goal for you to pursue. It does, however, seek to engage teachers in committing to an investment in what could ultimately ease any negative stress and promote a sustainable sense of well-being. This is surely an investment paying the highest dividends.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

Module One: All About Well-Being

Learning Objectives
Students will learn the definition of:

  • Well-being
  • Emotional well-being
  • Mental and intellectual well-being
  • Spiritual well-being

Project 1: Growing your WELL-BEING
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two: Stress, the Good and the Bad

Learning Objectives
Students will explore:

  • Definitions and perceptions of stress
  • The physiological stress response
  • The effects of stress
  • Stress and well-being

Project 2: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three: Well-Being and Stress in Teaching - The Obvious Causes

Learning Objectives
Students will examine:

  • Obvious causes of negative stress in the teaching profession
  • Workload
  • Administration
  • The home-work interface
  • Locus of control
  • Accountability and inspection
  • Quantity of interpersonal contacts
  • Behavior and indiscipline
  • Physical working environment
  • Workplace bullying
  • Powerlessness
  • The information age
  • Under utilization of skills

Project 3: Digging Deeper into Your Awareness of Stress
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four: Well-Being and Stress in Teaching - The Hidden Causes

Learning Objectives
Students will examine:

  • The teaching psyche
  • The emotional attachment of teaching
  • The public image of teachers
  • Fear of being ‘found out’
  • Limited opportunities of reflection
  • Reluctance to seek help
  • Isolation
  • The need for perfection
  • Aggressive parents, colleagues or students
  • An ideal

Project 4: Digging EVEN DEEPER into Your Awareness of Stress
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Five: All About Communication

Learning Objectives
Students will reflect on:

  • Communication with colleagues
  • Assertiveness, passiveness or aggressiveness
  • Developing your skills of assertion
  • Body language
  • Coping with conflict
  • Feedback
  • Golden rules of communication with colleagues

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Six: Enhancing Personal Well-Being at School

Learning Objectives
Students will investigate:

  • Emotional literacy
  • Workplace bullying
  • Time management
  • Working with other adults in your classroom
  • Looking after your voice
  • Blood sugar maintenance
  • Humor
  • Taking time off
  • Counseling

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Seven: Well-Being and Career Development

Learning Objectives
Students will gain an understanding of:

  • Keeping an eye on your career
  • The personal and professional mindset
  • Strategic career planning
  • Career satisfaction

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Eight: Well-Being and Life - The Wider Picture

Learning Objectives
Students will explore:

  • Well-being and nutrition
  • Nutrition for stress
  • Nutrition to combat negative stress
  • Reclaiming and maintaining your health
  • Boosting immunity
  • Exercise
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep
  • Affirmations
  • Leisure time
  • Feeding your sense of spiritual well-being
  • Writing for health

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Nine: At a Glance - The Way to Well-Being

Learning Objectives
Students will become familiar with:

  • 30 At a glance tips

Project 5: Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

Multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?

--- Sample Course Project ---

Project #2 Overview

In Module 2, we learned that stress leads to physiological responses in your body. These responses are clear evidence that your body is seeking to maintain homeostasis (or equilibrium), and without them your body would have no mechanisms with which to counteract the varying degrees of stress that each day throws at it. We also became familiar with the effects of stress and how to recognize the signs of stress.

Several thinkers on stress and stress management have categorized the concept of stress, splitting it typically as follows:

  • Stress resulting from anticipation: fear of what’s to come, worry and anxiety.
  • Stress as a response to a current situation: it’s happening now, and you have to react.
  • Stress from the past: it happened a while ago, but is still large in your mind and seemingly impossible to let go.
  • Chronic stress: it’s an on-going situation, or reaction to a specific event, the impact of which is lingering.

For this project:

Think of yourself and the impact of stress in your life, both personal and professional. Then take a moment to answer these questions:

  • Of the above bullet points outlining the 'concepts of stress', which apply to you? Why?
  • Do you have more effects/symptoms in the body or mind?

For Your Written Project Reflection Submission

After taking some time to analyze your sources of stress by answering the questions outlined above for this project, reflect on your findings using the following bullet points as a guide:

  • Were you aware of the magnitude of your stress at school and home? If not, what has shifted?
  • Has your stress increased or decreased over the years? How so?
  • What will you do with the awareness of your sources of stress?
  • How are you currently managing your stress?

Visit the Module Projects section located within the Course Dashboard, and take a moment to share your findings by submitting your written project reflection.

Cal Poly Humboldt Credit Specifics

  • Academic Credit through Cal Poly Humboldt (CPH) is offered after successful completion of each course.
  • The 700 series semester credit is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for credentialed teachers which do not require admission to a graduate program.
  • Courses are letter graded on official transcripts from CPH.
  • CPH is the northernmost and westernmost institution in the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.
  • CPH is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions.

Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.