What are the aspects of ideal teacher well-being?
Is it a dream too far?
Since the summer I have started saying yes when I get asked to do things.
Stuff which I would normally find difficult to do.
Write a contribution for a book. My spelling, punctuation and grammar are not my strong point.
Present to a room of strangers on a subject I think I know very little about. (I was the boy at school who blushed red when he was asked a question). The memories still send me into a panic and have left deep scars.
With experience and my new-found mentality, however, I think I now know how to deal with it, get it done and then enjoy the feeling.
So six days ago I was given the opportunity to stand in for Mark Healy @cijane02 at #TLT14. Yesterday, myself and Tania Harding @taniaf77, presented on theme of well-being. Thanks must go to Mark for the resources, idea and pep talk. Tania for her patience, good humour and buckets of support. To Rachel Jones for inspiring me to do these things and also to Mary Isherwood who originally planted the seed about spending time looking after the well-being of teachers.
Below is a list of ideas which came from our 45 minute presentation. Hopefully you will find something which makes you think and a few things to try at your school. Who says schools shouldn’t be fun?:-
- Disagree with this? – Happy teachers + happy students = better results
- Debate this – The quality of any educational system can never exceed the quality of its teachers or their teaching
- New (ish) definition – Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own abilities can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community (WHO 2004)
- Share this idea – STRESS = the GAP between the demands of life’s events & our *perceived* ability to cope
- Stressors – but what can you control?
- Train people well enough so they can leave / treat them well enough so they don’t want to
- Do what you love love what you do
- Look for external validation which includes EWB e.g. IIP and H and S and do them with meaning
- Who are the rocks? Know when to lean on the rock
- Who are the hoovers? Know how to resist being sucked in by a hoover
- Get your ideas down on paper and clear your head
- PRIORITISING AND EFFICIENCY – top tips / sharing is caring / plan your day /dealing with the worst job first
- Spend some time thinking about you
- Create a policy like this and then live it every day
More information here – http://wp.me/p4VbxY-1U
- Do a happiness survey
- Find out about the happiness hypothesis, the PENN resiliency programme and emerging programmes in the UK
- Get flu jabs sorted
- Provide health insurance
- Employ HR staff
- Thank people
- Provide EWB cpd
- Give family days
- Support staff attending funerals
- Provide opportunities to eat together
- If teachers are free period 6 let them go home
- Set up an EWB committee
- Support staff to pursue their interests and celebrate them in work
- Employ a Mental Health ‘Nurse’ in your school, for staff & pupils
- Consider what you can control – what you can’t (Robert Sapolsky’s work)
- Identify your ‘stressors’ – ESSENTIAL
- Manage your time well AND when you say NO more – not just another 30 minutes
- Pick the negotiables- SOMETIMES you have to say NO
- Embrace mistakes – or at least don’t drown in perfectionism
- Understand the difference between caring and worrying – be positive
- Accept the things you can’t change- BUT can influence
- Read – New Economics Foundation (NEF) Centre for Wellbeing- 5 Steps to Wellbeing http://t.co/gkJJhXqIUV
So what’s your 5 a day essentials for teacher well-being? Top 10 well-being tips? Listen to this for some final ideas http://audioboo.fm/boos/2575736?
The next steps for the newly formed #teamewb are to run a #TLTea party, on Tuesday the 2nd of December at Jane Austen’s house near Alton in Hampshire, so we can continue the conversations. Hopefully the attendees of our session have taken any idea to research and two actions to complete in their schools. Hopefully we can find out how those ideas have made a difference in December.