Keynote speaker at the IEU’s forthcoming Support Staff Conference Work Well on 21 August is international speaker, educator, writer and consultant Dan Haesler.
A teacher for 20 years, Dan now specialises in the power of positive psychology. He is particularly passionate about reaching disengaged youth, but the IEU’s conference is not about student wellbeing, it is about staff.
“I look at what specific things people can do to ensure a balanced approach to wellbeing and social, emotional and mental health,” Dan said.
“I’ll be looking at the role of engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose.
“We need to think about how we can recognise accomplishments in our lives and how we can take time to get off the treadmill every now and then. The mentality isn’t just about getting things done but being able to take a step back and take stock of why you are doing things and where you are heading.”
Dan said technology was “sold to us” as a time saver, but in fact it takes up all of our time.
“You look at a bus stop, or at a kids’ football match. People are permanently plugged in and have lost the ability to stop for a while and recognise what they are doing and why and therefore gain a sense of satisfaction from doing things.”
Dan’s presentation focuses on the whole person rather than specific workplace issues.
“It’s about personal relationships with your own kids as well as students and other things. It’s broad so people can take what they want from it. It provides many different entry points into what wellbeing actually means and ways to enhance it, whether small specific interventions or grand changes to your life.”
Dan said some schools focus too much on performance, outcomes and competition rather than the wellbeing of staff and students.
“Wellbeing and engagement are words bandied around in schools without much understanding to be honest.”