Stop, look, and listen

As a kaiako, you role model and practice what you teach. That includes reflecting on your hauora and focusing on the building blocks of your Te Whare Tapa Whā - as you do with tamariki!

Hauora is about feeling good, functioning well, and relating well with others.

Ask yourself 'What works for you?' and DO more of it. You are the expert when it comes to you and your needs and knowing the things you love.

These soft skills of self-care, self-talk, and compassion are implicitly caught by tamariki.

You taking care of your hauora powerfully role-models emotional intelligence.

Te Whare Tapa Whā hauora reflection

Carve out space to slow down and check-in on yourself. This builds self-awareness which is your best wellbeing tool.

These handy Te Whare Tapa Whā or Fonofale worksheets provide you a scaffold to self-knowledge and reflection time on what helps you feel ka pai.

It's also a goodie to use as an example resource for tamariki when facilitating this as a class activity.

Wellbeing workbooks - one for you, and one to use across your team

Here's a real gem, the wellbeing workbooks! If you haven't found them before - a wellbeing workbook for use across your team and a goodie for staff meetings and a wellbeing workbook just for your reflections and learning.

A little bit of wellbeing everyday supports you to continue being awesome!

Five Ways to Wellbeing

Sparklers is based on Five Ways to Wellbeing, simple actions which, research shows, will improve the way you’re feeling if you practice them often.

Connect, me whakawhanaunga

With your friends, whānau, and the people around you.

Investing in our relationships builds a sense of belonging and connectedness.

Be active, me kori tonu:
Our brain and mind love it when we’re active. Move your body, get outside - doing physical activity you enjoy will move your mood.

Take notice, me aro tonu:

Enjoy the moment, notice the world around you, cultivate mindfulness.

For example, listen to the physical sensations of your body that signals how you are and when you need rest.

Paying more attention to the present moment, to our thoughts and feelings, and to the world around us boosts our wellbeing.

Learn, me ako tonu:

Be curious and seek out new experiences. Solve puzzles, read for fun, make art or music - this is exercising your brain.

Give, tukua:

Practice kindness; give your time, words and actions.

For example, giving your time to a colleague during morning tea and providing a chance for them to share what's going on.

We all experience the sense of appreciation and connection that comes from giving. It's a feeling that arises within us when our gift is received by another.

Building these actions into your everyday life can improve your hauora and boost your resilience; and many of these will already be an important part of your students’ world at school.

To learn more about Five Ways to Wellbeing, check out this simple guide from The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.


To help boost your wellbeing, it’s shown that teachers need to find some strategies to learn to say "taihoa" and pay attention. Fiona Humphries tells the teachers she works with that “mahi is like a beast – if you feed it, it will keep growing”.

Here’s a few starting points:

  • Listen to the physical sensations of your body that signals how you are and when you need rest.
  • Set boundaries, particularly around email. Pick times that suit you to focus on emails, and otherwise leave emails alone.
  • Boundary your time and walk away from work. Set routines to wind up and wind down the day. 
  • Can’t stop thinking about mahi? Have physical or digital notes for thought you can revisit (or not) later. Get it out of your head.
  • Work smarter not harder e.g. lean into student-led initiatives (think classroom décor to showcase mahi of tamariki) or/and commit to healthy sleep hygiene for quality sleep - get support if this can’t be achieved.
  • Commit to healthy sleep hygiene for quality sleep.

Looking after you

Check out our top tips for surviving, thriving and bringing your A-game!

Learn more