Healthy staff; Wellness workshop finishes series
Published 10:21 am Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Austin Public Schools staff has focused on wellbeing since the back-to-school kickoff in September, and Tuesday night they finished with a workshop all about the physical side of things.
“Tonight is what we call the culmination of our, really, semester-long look at wellness for staff,” Woodson Kindergarten Principal Jessica Cabeen said.
Beginning with a guest speaker at fall orientation, Austin staff have been able to participate in several different workshops, with the idea being that when the wellbeing of the staff is addressed, they in turn become more effective educators.
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Tuesday’s workshop focused on physical wellbeing and was held at 4:30 p.m. at Woodson Kindergarten Center.
The open house style event for all APS staff and their families allowed staff to meet with fitness and wellness experts from the community.
Several health facilities brought equipment and demonstrated exercises, Jen Haugen shared tips on healthy treats and human resources staff assisted people with the insurance reimbursement process. The workshops have focused on five key principals: emotional, financial, spiritual, occupational and physical wellbeing. Organizers brought in pastors, financial planners and other people to give a better insight and awareness of how to better care for themselves.
“Tonight’s really an opportunity for us to get to know some of the local fitness places in town and healthy eating from Jen Haugen, and really hoping that we instill some healthy practices for ourselves,” Cabeen said. “So we really wanted staff to come through and take five to 10 minutes for themselves.”
For Chris Kasak, a teacher at Woodson, Tuesday’s workshop was about focusing on her own health.
“I think the biggest thing is just focusing on your personal and physical health,” she said. “Also it is team building with our staff. This has been a nice little collection of people that come together and are trying to keep themselves healthy.”
Woodson staff also participated in a book study during the semester on “The Power of a Teacher” by Adam L. Saenz, which dealt with taking care of the teachers before the teachers could take care of their students.
“It was ongoing and we had journals we were using and our leader led us through different aspects of his book,” Kasak said. “And what’s a neat part of the book is that it gets to the teacher right away.”
Cabeen hoped the study and the workshops helped, as she has a personal passion for personal wellness.
“Just taking time for themselves, the importance of ‘we can’t be good for our kids unless we’re good for ourselves first,’” she said.