Teacher survey: Reading, wellbeing and supporting students

Our annual reader survey has just closed for another year. For seven years now, we’ve invited you to share your feedback, ideas and stories with us so you can help shape our content for the upcoming year.

Your input is so valuable to us, and each year our team look forward to reading every single response we receive. In this article, we’re sharing just a few of the highlight responses we received, and, of course, the winner of the prize for completing the survey.

Topics of interest

In response to our question, what topics have you found most interesting? we had a variety of responses, but some common themes centred around mathematics, reading, wellbeing and leadership. A primary school educator in Queensland had this to say:

Articles relating to curriculum that can have an immediate benefit in supporting teachers that have practical ideas for various subjects. I have enjoyed the maths videos by Holly Millican.

And, a secondary school teacher in New South Wales shared how they use our resources on reading:

I have delved into research articles about reading for pleasure to support our reading program, supplying evidence from that research to students, teachers and parents.

In terms of what you’d like to see us cover more in the future, many of you said you’d like more information on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, inclusive education and behaviour management.

We also asked what kind of content you prefer engaging with, and many of you also let us know that you enjoy listening to our podcast episodes. As one reader shared: ‘listening to the podcast allows me to stay up to date with the latest research and information regarding the profession’.

Taking care of your own wellbeing

For many years now, our readers have let us know how important their own wellbeing is to them, and how difficult it can be to juggle the stress of teaching with prioritising wellbeing outside of the classroom. This consistent feedback was a large motivator to create our new publication, Wellbeing by Teacher.

A question that has featured in our survey since the launch of Wellbeing by Teacher is: outside of school, what strategies do you use to maintain a healthy mind and body, and to care for your overall wellbeing? Here’s just one example from a primary school teacher in Victoria who shared their perspective with us:

Try to set work 'boundaries' by walking away from the computer or workplace for a bit, where possible. Also having a daily routine helps knowing what is happening, particularly important during lockdowns.

Advice to other educators

A highlight for the editorial team is reading your responses our question: Looking back on your experience as an educator, if you could share one piece of advice with your peers, what would it be?

You always share such a variety of responses with us. In this year’s survey, one primary school teacher from New South Wales shared some words of wisdom for beginner teachers. They said: ‘In the first years of teacher, just do your best and be open to the new and plentiful learning. It is hard to adjust but being kind to yourself if so important!’

Another teacher focused on the importance of collaboration:

‘Communicate and collaborate to improve your practice and that of your colleagues.’

Today we are also delighted to announce the winner of the prize all our survey entrants living in Australia were automatically entered into. The winner of the $500 VISA prepaid gift card is teacher Janelle Ryan from Drake, New South Wales.

If you’d like to share any feedback with Teacher, you can get in touch with us via email, at teachereditorial@acer.org.