The homestretch is near as many of us are just weeks away from the end of the 2020/2021 school year.  We are sending this note to remind everyone of the importance of well-being and also a heartfelt thank you for your extraordinary efforts in being the strength of our school communities.

Research over the past eight months highlights that Alberta’s principals, teachers and support staff are not alright, experiencing alarming levels of compassion fatigue and burnout1. In an effort to remain committed to our personal and collective well-being, Ever Active Schools encourages you to give attention to the following areas in your professional and personal practice and work to influence a healthy system of well-being within our school communities:


  • Adding time for health and physical education does not impact academic achievement negatively2,3. Consider how you can incorporate additional time for health and physical education or physical activity programming – it could be as little as one extra period per week or as simple as a scheduled, outdoor walking break for 10-15 minutes!
  • For school communities able to access substitute teachers: how can their presence be used to provide additional well-being programming, or provide relief or release time for staff?
  • Schools across the province have exercised compassion with staff by reformatting meeting schedules. Some examples include:
    • Time for self-directed activities
    • Increased opportunities to connect in small groups (e.g., teaching/grade teams)
    • Flexibility to join meetings on-site and/or remotely, while being physically active
  • Differentiate the frequency and volume of your gratitude practice.
    • Think differently about WHAT to express gratitude for:
      • Something you have learned or that inspired you>
      • A fond memory you have shared with another
      • An act of kindness towards you or performed by you
  • Get playful with HOW you express your gratitude:
    • Send a hand-made card or handwritten note in the mail
    • Make an impromptu telephone call or video call
    • Type or create a visual (pic, video) and IM or DM via social media


  • Research during the pandemic is helping draw attention to pervasive feelings of loneliness and isolation4. To maintain and strengthen our sense of connection with self and others, we can make active listening a daily practice: connect by recognizing and celebrating who you are listening to. To exercise your skills, explore listening in one of three ways (for more, check out the Deep Listening Podcast):
    1. At least once a day, make an intention to listen for one of the following: facts, emotions or inferences.
    2. After listening, share with the speaker what you learned (or what you think you learned) and think of a positive question you could ask to continue the conversation.
    3. For yourself, make the time to reflect on how the listening experience felt for you (strengths, challenges, ah-ha moments!)
  • Use a buddy system. Perhaps it’s as formal as a mentoring relationship, or a more casual, staff partner check-in by phone or in-person, if possible. Switch up the partners weekly to promote touch-points with a variety of people. Provide conversation prompts to help stimulate chatter and let participants guide the talk-time.
  • Dr. Dean Dudley recently emphasized the need to be socially connected in movement experiences. As a response to feelings of loneliness and isolation, experience joy in movement with another – a friend, relative, partner, child, neighbour or pet.


  • Dr. Shannon Kell with Mount Royal University proposes solo time as a way to connect with yourself and the outdoors, and to help students identify and foster a subjective connectedness with nature.
  • Consider a school-wide, outdoor Daily Physical Activity (DPA) experience. Choose a selection of follow-the-leader style dances or simple-to-follow fitness routines for a 20-30 minute outdoor event in a large open space. Classes can practise individually. Have a small team of staff and students guide the whole school with the music PUMPING!
  • Ever Active Schools offers programming to diversify engagement in the outdoors, including:

Ever Active Schools is one of many partners here to help as best we can. Please reach out and keep in touch. Be well and stay connected. Thank you for doing the best you can!

For an interactive way to utilize some of these recommendations, try our Well-being Bingo! Until June 4, submit your card showing a completed BINGO and a photo of you doing something for your wellness for a chance to win one of five copies of our newest resource.

Download the bingo card

Leave a Comment