The lovely Chris Chivers has reminded me that I haven’t blogged for this yet so I’d better hurry up ! The new year is nearly upon us!
I have blogged before on well-being and was honoured to have it picked up by Teacher Toolkit in his August round-up! Interestingly my HT has just asked me to co ordinate staff well-being and I plan to introduce this concept at our first staff meeting; you can’t function in a school like ours without it!
It will be interesting to see how staff react to it…..we are a close – knit team ….but without breaching confidentiality I can only say we have taken a bit of a battering over the last few months and there is a lot of work to be done ( I will say this is NOT about management; suffice to say the HT and myself have been put under a lot of stress which we’ve tried to deflect from colleagues! )
So….on to my personal challenge!
#connect……. My job is to connect with a whole spectrum of people…children, parents, colleagues, schools, CAMHS, CSC, other professionals……the list goes on and on! This is not always easy given the nature of our school but what keeps me going is having empathy and understanding for a variety of individuals who sometimes struggle to make the right choices…….the parent who wants the best but can’t live up to expectations, the Head teacher crying over a child in her school, the overstretched and harassed social worker besieged on all sides, the child who really, really wants to be good….these are the things that can eat you up bit by bit leaving a puff of smoke where your soul once was!!! At first it hurt me dreadfully but you need to focus on the job in hand and keep the child at the heart of everything you do or say.
What I am less good at is staying in touch with friends and seeing more of my family; at this time in my life work has the upper hand but I know I need to keep a balance. On the second of January I am meeting some old work friends so that is a start!
#exercise….. This is tricky! Once upon a time I was a super gym freak who lived on a cross- trainer and in a pool! These days I seem so tired and I don’t have the same energy levels. I know I should cut down on sugary treats and drink less alcohol but I love reading, tweeting and blogging….sedentary habits to say the least! However at school I am up and down our very long corridors and at home up and down two flights of stairs so I’m not completely vegged out! I would like to join a dance class so I need to get off my a**e and do something about it!!
#notice….. Not sure about this one…..I can be self – absorbed at home so I do need to be more proactive and not always retreat to my virtual world! Hubby said just now he gets more reaction from talking to our foster-cat Eli……oops!!!!
#learn…… This is nice and easy from a professional point of view…..I am learning all the time….I champion mental health issues in children and contribute to a national working party….I am also making myself into an expert in SEND and regularly advise mainstream colleagues. I am also a CAF champion and train others. At home I am learning all the time on Twitter and have taken resources into school that I have found……I also learn from fellow tweeps and am looking forward to attending NRocks 2015 in June…..my first teachmeet! This is fab for well- being as I will get to meet my lovely tweepals face to face! I have met some….Cherryl has visited my PRU which was exciting…..and I was lucky to be invited to OFSTED to see and speak to Mike Cladingbowl in the company of Cherryl and Mary and Chrismcd and Debra and Stephen and @thoughtweavers…..the power of Twitter!
#volunteer…… I’m lucky in my job that I get the opportunity from time to time to freely volunteer my services to support mainstream colleagues in a different way ie training in specific areas , giving help and advice to NQTs. But….That’s a bit sneaky as it still falls under my work remit! I’d like to say I volunteered in a soup kitchen or at a cat rescue home but I don’t sadly! It would be nice to get outdoors so perhaps I need to look around for something completely different. However as well as being a manager (governor) at the PRU I have now become a governor at a local special school after a plea from the HT for a critical friend in terms of education! I took delivery of the welcome pack the other day and just hope I can do the role justice!!!
I would just like to finish by saying thanks to @MartynReah for his sterling work curating #teacher5aday and #sharingiscaring and giving us the chance to focus on the positive side of teaching! This is such an important and rewarding job so well done sir!!
It just remains to wish you all a happy and healthy 2015! See some of you oop north in June! Yay!!