The main aim of the Staff & Students Well Being committee is to instil a stronger sense of identity, belonging and community within Faculty through activities that foster collaboration and facilitate interaction which, in turn, will lead to well-being at our work place, not just among us Academics and Non Academics but also among our students. Such a sense of well-being would also help us deliver a more coherent and congruent teacher education programme. The rationale and vision of the committee is to create a team spirit, not just within our Faculty between members of staff and with students, but also outside the Faculty, with the major stakeholders, namely the Ministry of Education and its Directories, the school communities and the community in general. This is in line with the Faculty’s vision to “seek collaboration and partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders”.
Why the Need?
In today’s world, wellbeing is considered a major factor in quality, performance and productivity and where a person's wellbeing reduces, so typically does his or her performance and effectiveness. At work, pressures involving deadlines, responsibilities, task complexities, challenges, relationships, can all seriously reduce our wellbeing, especially if we fail to recognise and deal with the risks.
From the students’ point of view, the need for belonging is not simply one of the most important needs of all students to function well in all types of learning environments but it may lead to academic motivation, engagement, and better performance.
A cooperative spirit cannot be achieved through a one-off program but is a component of work culture. For this to happen, it is important that a number of initiatives on various fronts are taken.
Our aim is to give our students a sense of belonging. One way of doing this is through the Student Teachers Association – MUST which must be given a specific role in Faculty life. We want to help the students become the real protagonists in our Faculty by offering our expertise and support.
The Physical Environment
In view of the fact that a new Faculty Building is on the horizon, we think it is very important to plan ahead and suggest “spaces” that would promote and encourage this cooperative spirit. A definite must is an open space where members of staff could meet over a coffee or a cup of tea in a comfortable and relaxed manner. Unfortunately this is sadly missed in our faculty and the way our offices are spread out in various parts of campus makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for members of the academic staff to meet, let alone to socialise. It is also important that once we have a new faculty building we set things right – in the sense of physical facilities/infrastructure. There is a need for various “specific spaces” within Faculty, for the benefit of both academics and students.
A Faculty Calendar of Events
At present, faculty life is characterised by the fact that students and members of staff from the various Departments find it hard to mix and collaborate together in projects due to a lack of “Faculty Events”. The committee will try and find ways how to sensitise members about what’s going on in the Faculty. One way of doing this is through the recently established FB page or by means of a “Faculty Calendar of Events” which will include academic and social events, both within and outside Faculty.
A Branding Exercise
The committee aims to portray a dynamic and proactive Faculty to all stakeholders and to try to lure the best students to our MTL course by making our mission statement visible to all, by giving more visibility to the Faculty on campus and by increasing our visibility in the larger community by means of the media.
The Staff and Student Well Being Committee believes that for Faculty to be able to “respect the diversity of students residing in Malta, their communities and families and their individual, professional, intellectual and emotional needs” as stated in its mission statement collegiality is indeed of fundamental importance. It is the only way faculty can seek and welcome a diverse group of students and staff, can value a multiplicity of opinions and backgrounds and can seek ways to incorporate the voices and experiences of all into its daily life.
Dr Mario Pace
Ms Moira Azzopardi Barbieri
Dr Vanessa Camilleri
Dr Isabelle Gatt
Dr Duncan Mercieca
Mr Carmel Navarro
Mr Ivan Riolo
2 MUST student representatives
Ms Manolita Puglisi