On a train coming back from Manchester seems the perfect time and place to be writing this post. Many thanks must go out to all those who have contributed over the course of the year. TLT14 inspired me to turn my learning into development and with an open mind and attitude it’s great to reflect on a year of thinking about well-being both on a personal level and beyond.
My original motivation was to try to put something positive back into the system. Having worked in a variety of schools in a variety of contexts I had found myself at the lowest ebb of my career. The temptation to walk away and find something else to do was almost overwhelming. As was the consideration to right some wrongs in a negative way. By embracing positivity and developing a can do mentality I found a more healthy way of dealing with the stresses and strains of my job and some of the toxic people I had encountered.
The SSAT National conference Teachmeet in Dec 2014 was the starting point for #teacher5aday with a rather grandiose claim that 2015 would be the year of well-being. Snow was falling on Stockport when I looked out of the train window contemplating what might be included in that first post and how the idea might develop. To my surprise January saw lots of teachers contribute their thoughts on how they were going to look after themselves with a total of sixty six teachers responding to the first challenge based around the 5 themes of #connect, #notice, #learn, #exercise and #volunteer. As the year developed I began to view my contribution as my own personal performance management document. Something that would help me develop as a teacher and a learner.
As I look back now I realise my outlook has changed considerably. My anger towards individuals has subsided. The temptation to write my view of events, about how bad things had become has gone. I now find focusing my energies on the positives and spending time with people who inspire me, rather than sap my energies, truly inspiring. However, after a year it’s now time for a rest. The single most uplifting aspect for me has been how more and more teachers have stepped up and supported #teacher5aday. Now is the time to step back and let others carry the baton, to develop their ideas and create a more healthy approach to looking after each other.
December for me will be a period of time to switch off and get ready for the New Year. For those who have taken part many thanks. Hopefully January will see more teachers (and others) pledge to spend more time looking after themselves so they can look after others more effectively.