Empowering Educators: Laura Mooiman’s Approach to Fostering Teacher Wellbeing through Restorative Practices

It’s a well-acknowledged fact: teaching can be one of the most stress-laden professions. With mounting workloads, escalating accountabilities, and students with multifaceted needs, teachers often find themselves at the brink. This not only impacts their personal wellbeing but, as a ripple effect, the students they guide. Laura Mooiman’s enlightening session provided an innovative perspective on addressing these challenges head-on, focusing on bolstering teacher wellbeing through the prism of Restorative Practices.

Laura Mooiman is no stranger to the realm of education and wellbeing. An LCSW with an impressive track record spanning over two decades, she’s been pivotal in enhancing school cultures, safety protocols, and student behavior. Her extensive tenure as the Director for the Wellness Program in Napa, California, and her involvement in the implementation of Restorative Practices and PBIS, has given her a vantage point like few others. Armed with accolades such as the US Congressional Recognition for Outstanding Service, Laura’s expertise is undebatable.

Diving deep into the heart of her presentation, Laura began by presenting the alarming statistics – teaching being globally recognized as a stress-inducing profession. To counter this, she proposed a paradigm shift, advocating for the incorporation of Restorative Practices not just as a student-centric strategy, but as a means to rejuvenate teachers and address the foundational causes of their stress.

The core of her message revolved around the pivotal role of healthy relationships among staff and students. As Laura rightly pointed out, these relationships significantly influence teacher wellbeing. Restorative Practices, in her view, offers a strategic, sustainable avenue to enhance these relationships, providing self-care modalities that move beyond the superficial and delve into the actual stressors.

During her session, attendees were introduced to the five dimensions of wellbeing, designed to bolster resilience among educators. Participants also had the opportunity to engage with wellbeing checklists, offering them an introspective view of their own mental and emotional states. But what set Laura’s presentation apart was the buffet of actionable strategies she provided, tailored to promote self-care both at an individual and institutional level.

For many in attendance, the session was transformative. It wasn’t just another lecture on the importance of self-care. Instead, Laura’s approach was a holistic blend of understanding the root causes of educator stress and offering tangible solutions. She emphasized the collective responsibility schools bear in ensuring the mental and emotional wellbeing of their educators.

In retrospect, Laura Mooiman’s presentation was more than a mere knowledge-sharing exercise. It was a clarion call, urging educational institutions to reevaluate their internal dynamics, understand the intrinsic value of their educators’ wellbeing, and adopt Restorative Practices as a potent tool for holistic improvement.

In a world where burnout and stress are increasingly becoming the norm, Laura’s voice resonated as a beacon of hope, championing the cause of educator wellbeing, ensuring that those who shape the future are themselves shaped in a nurturing, supportive environment.