Focus group interview with VET professionals – their wellbeing and the challenges faced
Being one of the beneficiary partners in the international project VET-WELL, Mental Health Perspectives finally got a chance to delve deeper into VET teachers‘ mental health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, in Lithuania teachers’ mental health gets very little attention overall, not to mention VET teachers that are usually left aside. Thus, gathering around for an online talk with even 12 VET teachers was a unique and highly valued opportunity.
Throughout the talk teachers shared their experiences and insight about many spheres of their work – the modern understanding of what is a “good teacher”, what are their sources for motivation and job satisfaction, what things support them emotionally at work. It seemed that the source of all these positive things that provide emotional support to VET teachers were good social connections – with administration, colleagues, students. On the other hand, things like low salaries, high workload, unnecessary bureaucracy, internal misunderstandings seem to cause a lot of frustration, stress and lassitude. Familiarizing with this situation reassured once again the relevancy of the VET Well project – equipping VET professionals with resources and skills may help them to deal effectively with the challenges of their work environment and consequently increase the quality of work and create a positive mental health and wellbeing culture in their schools.
Mental Health Perspectives are working to achieve these goals with international partners from the UK, Bulgaria, Poland, and Italy. The project is funded by Erasmus+ programme.