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This week on rab­ble radio, Dr. Lisa Everitt joins Kiah Lucero to talk about the emo­tion­al labour and burnout that teach­ers and edu­ca­tion assis­tants in Cana­da are fac­ing. The two also dis­cuss the HEART­care” plan – a research project aimed at improv­ing edu­ca­tor well-being.

About our guest and the HEART­care project

Dr. Lisa Everitt has worked as an exec­u­tive staff offi­cer with the Alber­ta Teach­ers Asso­ci­a­tion since 2006. Everitt has held sev­er­al roles at the asso­ci­a­tion and has devel­oped exper­tise in labour rela­tions, employ­ee ben­e­fits plans, edu­ca­tion­al research, and women in lead­er­ship. Pri­or to join­ing the Asso­ci­a­tion, Everitt taught high school math­e­mat­ics in the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries and Alber­ta. While her inter­est in com­pas­sion fatigue, emo­tion­al labour and edu­ca­tor burnout includes an aca­d­e­m­ic per­spec­tive, it also has been informed by her work as a teacher work­ing with vul­ner­a­ble young peo­ple as well as her expe­ri­ence assist­ing teach­ers and school lead­ers strug­gling with men­tal emo­tion­al health.

Research con­duct­ed by the asso­ci­a­tion over the course of the COVID19 pan­dem­ic revealed high lev­els of moral dis­tress, symp­toms of burnout, and com­pas­sion stress for Alber­ta teach­ers. This ses­sion focus­es on the find­ings of these stud­ies and address­es HEART­care plan­ning, a guide based on col­lec­tive com­pas­sion to plan for men­tal emo­tion­al well­ness for teach­ers and school lead­ers. The HEART­care plan was designed by Dr. Astrid Kendrick of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary fol­low­ing an Alber­ta Teach­ers Asso­ci­a­tion and Alber­ta School Employ­ee Ben­e­fit Plan spon­sored two year study that exam­ined the con­se­quences of pro­vid­ing emo­tion­al labour at work.