Well-Being in schools – Who’s to blame? via @nickotkdV

The following extract is from Mrs Barton’s blog site “Headsmart… Reflections of a Head teacher” – https://headsmart.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/when-will-schools-learn/

“There was a very interesting discussion and debate on the teaching and learning culture in schools and how it impact on staff morale and wellbeing on #ukedchat tonight.

Discussion came up about how schools expect so much of teachers, but put the pressure on by focusing on attainment and the things that Ofsted require rather than focusing on the things that the children in each school context actually need.  It was clear that those partaking in the discussion were very much in favour of the latter and challenging the ‘status quo’ that Ofsted bring.  Yet, why is it that the feeling from so many is that schools are sapping dry our dynamic teachers and forcing them to abide by ‘standards’ set by external bodies?  When will schools learn?”

That is an interesting question posed at the end.

When will schools learn?

Here is my take on well-being and emotional resilience.

Teachers need to be able to teach.

Teacher’s health needs to be such that they are able to teach.

My Partner’s dad is a doctor and he always say that if you are unwell the worse thing you can do is continue to do what you are doing. The illness you have is your bodies was of telling you that you need to stop, or that you need to change something about what you are doing.

We all listen to our bodies when they tell us we are unwell!

Why don’t we listen to our mind?

Teaching is the same. For me the fact you are entrusted with teaching and shaping the educational outcomes for 30 young mind means you need to fit and healthy. By fit and healthy I mean, physically and mentally. A teacher needs to embody what they are teaching. I hate seeing teachers that are so tired they cannot do their job properly.

Whose fault is this?

Who is to blame?

  • The teachers….
  • The Senior leaders….
  • The governors…..
  • The government…

I am not writing this to try a apportion blame to someone. The emotional well being of your school is everyone’s concern. Everyone needs to be sharing the vision of a school that will succeed through collaboration and commitment to change.

So to the question again – When will schools learn?

To answer this – School’s do not need to learn, the people within these instructions need to learn that change can happen without destroying teachers confidence, self-belief and morale. Schools need to see that a happy school is a “good” school and that in a good school teacher tend to be more committed. In a happy school teachers and other adult are willing to go the extra mile. They are willing to work that little bit extra.

In addition Senior Leader do not need to spend their lives scrutinising, evaluating and observing staff as within a happy school things get done. Teacher are willing to take on responsibility and share the burdens that managing a school brings.

Talking personally, I know this fact to be true. When teachers are happy, satisfied and valued they are more likely to go the extra mile.

So when will schools learn? – When staff start to wake up to the world around them!

Thank you for reading.

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About Nick Overton 7 Articles
Nick Overton is the UKEdChat ambassador for the East Midlands region of England.
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