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Teacher, Take Care

A Guide to Well-Being and Workplace Wellness for Educators

Table of contents


Blessing Elder Stan Kipling

Introduction Shannon Gander and Richelle North Star Scott

1. The Evolution of Teacher, Take Care Jennifer Lawson

2. Permission to Be Well Laura Doney and Dana Fulwiler

3. Making Sense of Mindfulness Keith MacPherson

4. Restoring the Circle: One Indigenous Perspective on Wellness Lisa Dumas Neufeld

5. Physical Well-Being: Caring for Our Bodies With Compassion, Not By Comparison Megan Hunter

6. Just Breathe: Strategies for Well-Being Cher Brasok

7. Finding Joy(ce): My Journey From Burnout to Wisdom and Well-Being Joyce Sunada

8. Building Relationships for Well-Being Jennifer Lawson, with Shannon Gander, Lisa Dumas Neufeld, and Kelsey McDonald

9. Arts-Based Wellness: Creative Strategies for Care Jackie Gagne

10. Bringing Our Voices Together: Classroom Wellness for All Monika Rosney and Richelle North Star Scott

11. Thank You for Being a Friend: A Story of Collegial Support Kelsey McDonald

12. The Principal’s Principles: School Leadership for Staff Well-Being Sandra Melo

13: An Invitation for Leaders in Education: Creating Psychologically Safe Work Environments Jennifer Lawson, with Megan Hunter, Shannon Gander, and Kelsey McDonald

Conclusion Jennifer Lawson

Written by teachers for teachers, this comprehensive resource provides strategies to improve educator wellness and foster positive mental health in the workplace.


Teaching can be a highly satisfying profession, but it can also be overwhelming. Stress management. Self-care. Mental well-being. Mindfulness. These words have become all too familiar, but what do they actually mean for you? And how can they help without adding to your to-do list?

All teachers have different experiences and different needs. Through stories by diverse educators, this professional resource invites you to try different wellness strategies, explore varying perspectives, and consider new ideas of what it means to “be well.”

Grounded in servant leadership and a holistic model, each chapter connects to Indigenous perspectives of wellness through remarks from Elder Stanley Kipling and Knowledge Keeper Richelle North Star Scott.


  • Short-listed, Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Awards, Book Design 2023


With compassion and clarity, this book provides both the insights and tools that will help to meaningfully improve teacher well-being. Always encouraging and grounded in a deep awareness of our connections to one another, this book's wisdom is valuable and important.

Stephanie Harrison, well-being expert and founder of The New Happy

Easy to read and hard to put down! In a time when we seem perpetually stressed, we are too often offered one-size-fits-all quick fixes, when what we really need are thoughtful, engaging, diverse, and easy-to-use toolkits, giving us the freedom to choose what works for us. Teacher, Take Care is just that kind of toolkit, and has quickly become a personal and professional mental health go-to resource!

Sharon Blady, PhD, CEO of Speak Up: Mental Health & Neurodiversity, former Minister of Health in Manitoba

This book speaks to the hearts and minds of educators who, at the center of their practice, must create the conditions for flourishing learning environments. The emphasis on well-being and workplace wellness is a timely reminder that to create the conditions for children and youth to flourish, educators must attend to their own wellness and self-care individually and collectively as part of the broader educational landscape. Written accessibly with thoughtful reflection questions, the book gives permission for educators to breathe. It also emphasizes that workplace well-being is essential to both teachers' own physical and emotional health, but also that of the students they serve.

Dianne Gereluk, Dean of Education, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

No one can take care of others when they are not taking care of themselves. For this reason, perhaps nothing is more important for teachers than attending to and understanding how to achieve their own wellness. Jennifer Lawson's Teacher, Take Care is an essential guide for how to fulfill one's potential as an educator while educating others to do so as well. This book is good medicine for those working in one of the hardest professions in the world.

Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Professor, Department of Indigenous Studies, University of Manitoba

The guide, created by teachers for teachers, includes self-care tips, strategies to spot burnout warning signs and support colleagues, and ideas on implementing “psychologically safe work environments” based on national standards. Each chapter starts with a teacher’s personal story about their well-being challenges.

Maggie Macintosh, The Winnipeg Free Press

If...your intention is to take better care of yourself, a new book...written specifically for teachers may be helpful. If you are feeling stressed and out of balance in your life, you will relate to the challenges faced by the contributors and will find practical strategies that they used for regaining balance. Exercises for reflecting and responding to the text appear frequently, and the use of the Indigenous Sacred Circle helps to ground the teachings in physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual awareness.

Diana Mumford, Canadian Teacher Magazine

Among CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens 2023, Ideal for Teachers


Whether you are already feeling burnt out, or you are managing personal self-care, Teacher, Take Care is an excellent read to explore a variety of perspectives and consider what it means to “be well”.

MB Teacher