#teacher5aday

On Thursday night I presented at the Specialist School and Academies Trust (#SSATNC14) Teachmeet. The theme of my 5 minute presentation was on the issue of staff well-being. This was a mini version of the presentation Mark Healy (@cijane02) was due to present at David Fawcett (@davidfawcett27) and Jen Lud’s (@MissJLud) TLT14, which myself and Tania Harding (@taniaf77) delivered on his behalf.

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It is an idea I have returned to this half term (at our TLT14 tea party last week) which links to my theory that a happy staff equals happy students.

Simple but who knows!

I often wonder if the job of leadership is to look after the staff. The teachers you have in the building. The ones who look after your students. It appears as though the recruitment crisis will (is) start(ing) to bite sooner rather than later. If we continue to treat our staff with disrespect in a complex and rapidly changing system will we have enough to keep the system going? Experienced colleagues I know are leaving the profession after 10, 20 and 30 years plus. Newly qualified staff retention continues to be a concern.

As an off shoot of the first #TMconnectED colleagues at my school have worked on the John Muir award (http://www.jmt.org/jmaward-home.asp) this half term to support our key Year 11 students as they prepare for their maths and English exams. Coincidentally the themes which appear in the award also appear in the New Economics Foundation (NEF) Centre for Wellbeing- 5 Steps to Wellbeing (Http://issuu.com/neweconomicsfoundation/docs/five_ways_to_well-being) which provides a framework for staff and students to develop their well-being.

I think Mr Muir was ahead of his time!

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Mark Healy presents his view of mental health rooted in research. His arguments appear to me to have a resonance in the workplace at the moment. He suggests that positive well-being of students and staff are the different sides of the same coin (http://audioboom.com/boos/2575736-teacher-well-being-stress).

How much energy and effort do we put into looking after our students compared to the efforts we put into looking after ourselves?

Some headteachers have commented on this subject recently. John Tomsett (@johntomsett) (http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jul/01/school-staff-wellbeing-headteacher-leaders) and Stephen Tierney (@LeadingLearner) (http://leadinglearner.me/2013/10/23/5minwellbeingplan-by-leadinglearner-and-teachertoolkit/) have expressed their thoughts in the National Press and on their blogs.

Mary Isherwood (@Mishwood1) also taught me a collection of effective techniques about developing whole school well-being (http://wp.me/p4VbxY-1U) in her #sharingiscaring guest post.

At the centre of the discussion are the core values of your school ……….

What would your students say they are?

What would your staff say they are?

What do you think they are?

I think in the best organisations core values are clear to spot and easy to define. Not written in a policy or in a glossy brochure but on the faces of the people who go to the buildings and spend their time together.

We-Need-You

So to address the imbalance of teacher well-being and our predisposition to put everyone else first I challenge anyone willing to listen to make a change. For the month of January is the month of resolution (sorry Stephen). If the collective minds in the profession can suggest that grading a 20 minute lessons is the work of fools, then surely we can do something about looking after ourselves a bit more.

If we are happier will our students be happier?

Special emotional well-being super heroes have been recruited. Ready to share what they are going to do in January to model best practice. Their challenges will be chosen and completed under the banners of …..

#connect

#exercise

#notice

#learn

#volunteer

The #teacher5aday hashtag has been launched. To collect everyone’s contributions. Hopefully you will be inspired to join in.

If not I will wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and see you on the other side of January.

Healthy regards,

Martyn

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50 thoughts on “#teacher5aday

  1. Reblogged this on Adventures in School Leadership and commented:
    Coming on the back of last week’s post, this super blog post about teacher well-being links to school values. A school must value the people within it. Of all ages. Working to ensure that the effort to support each other is balanced is one of the increasing challenges we face…

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  2. Brilliant stuff, Martyn.

    Your comment: “I often wonder if the job of leadership is to look after the staff. The teachers you have in the building. The ones who look after your students” reminded me of Kev Bartle’s post about SLT managing inspection and needing to look after the staff so the staff could look after the pupils. Kev said: “I’ll be brutally honest here and say that not many things irk me more than senior managers saying that the job of leadership “is all about the kids”. It isn’t. For me the job of leadership “is all about the adults” and the job of teaching “is all about the kids”.” That made me rethink comments I’ve made in the past about it being all about the children. Too simplistic, I realised.

    Kev’s full post is here, for interest:
    http://dailygenius.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/doing-ofsted-as-a-member-of-slt/

    And I’m certainly happy to support and publicise #teacher5aday. Will blog about it via @staffrm in January.

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  3. Great post Martyn – I like the simplicity and thoughtfulness in the New Economics Foundation (NEF) Centre for Wellbeing- 5 Steps to Well-being framework – and use it in my work with schools in NZ – Is a great catalyst for rethinking things that escape our attention – How would we change what we do if well-being mattered most?

    You can see this question raised with respect to science in this science and citizenship presentation

    The bigger question is the one you raise in this post – How would we “do school” if well-being mattered? Student well-being, staff well-being, family well-being and community well-being.

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  4. Reblogged this on timjumpclarke and commented:
    A well timed and thoughtful initiative.
    With increasing pressure term on term, with an increase in retrials to occupational health, with an increase in the number of teachers leaving the profession early…
    Wellbeing is crucial.

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  5. I will be speaking to 100 + Primary NQTs on Tuesday. This challenge, this essential quest to look after ourselves and look after each other, has inspired me. Together we are stronger.

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