“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
This year, I have the opportunity to take on another role as Head of Staff Well-being while continuing as the PYP Coordinator. The Staff Well-being at XLIS is not new. Our HR department, under the leadership of Ms. Kathy Wei, has been implementing programs and strategies to support the staff in the different areas of well-being such as onboarding program, welcome package, family, and staff events such as welcome back dinner, birthdays, baby showers, weddings, Christmas dinner, triathlon, trip to Terracotta Warriors, end of the school year dinner, Teacher’s Day, International Women’s Day, medical and funeral assistance, and crisis support to name a few.
As we all know, the pandemic has brought staff well-being into the spotlight more than ever. The biggest lesson we have learned during the COVID-19 crisis is that the most valuable thing is our ability to be resilient and maintain our mental balance in facing change and dealing with unfamiliar situations. At XLIS, we overcame the most difficult times through our sense of community, staying connected, and providing emotional and practical support to all stakeholders.
The Staff Well-being at XLIS is developing. Well-being is a holistic approach that includes physical and mental health. At XLIS, we aim to maintain a caring and positive environment for our staff and students. This year, our priority is to establish a system and define the culture and vision, including values and beliefs that underpin well-being. We hope to develop a strategic approach to fostering and promoting well-being within our school.
In my first email to all staff, I pointed out that the community and teamwork drive the most successful wellness program. At XLIS, we are fortunate to have a diverse community of staff from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds. One of our goals is to create a culture where diversity is shared and celebrated and promote a sense of belonging.
As we develop our well-being program, we will focus on the following aspects of well-being, as shown below. The social part of our framework is centered around building a sense of community in alignment with our mission and vision.
We will expand our programs and strategies based on the five ways to well-being namely:
- A Diet of Learning – Trying new things and challenging yourself
- Giving – Volunteering and doing something nice for others
- Taking Notice – Being aware of the world around and reflecting on your experiences
- Connecting – Making time for relationships with friends, family, colleagues and elsewhere within the community
- Being Active – Exercising and physical activity
We encourage our staff to contribute and give suggestions to help us create programs that will become an exciting part of our XLIS Culture!
The first event under the well-being program was the family triathlon held during the summer break. The idea came from Kevin McGarry, our HPE teacher, and CAS Coordinator. The event provided an opportunity for families to engage in different activities such as swimming, running, and biking, bringing together returning and new staff from across the whole school and enjoying food from other countries shared by the attendees.
Recently, we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Day, which is Teacher’s Day in China. It is essential that teachers feel valued and recognized for their hard work and dedication. What makes it special this year is that teachers received notes and personalized gifts such as mugs with their pictures embedded in it and portraits. The school lunch, a combination of western and local food, was served to celebrate the special Day. Teacher’s Day will continue to be a significant event at XLIS to show our appreciation and honor our teachers for all that they do and their contribution to the school.
Being Active, Connecting, and A Diet of Learning has been the focus of our well-being initiatives. Some events have been planned in the upcoming months to highlight Taking Notice and Giving. Keep well!
Click here for more details.
Maria Zialcita (Head of All Staff Well-being & PYP Coordinator)