The Anxiety Riddle – This article originally appeared in Issue 49 of the UKEd Magazine. Click here to view.
Emotions are contagious.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a school could be a place where teachers feel inspired and can’t wait to reach the classroom each morning?
Even better if lessons are fun for everyone involved: knowledge-based and founded on a principle of ‘learning from the best that has ever been said and written’?
A place where teachers’ interests and specialisms can find their way into the fabric of provision before, during and after school each day. The week would be crammed with ‘extra-curricular’ activities for everyone to enjoy.
Teachers could be encouraged to leave school promptly at the end of days when they need to, as marking and feedback is done ‘in situ’ by a team that is working tirelessly to help children understand how to improve.
How about a focus on discipline? Absolute clarity and rules that everyone understands supported by a common language taken from the behaviour policy that all adults share. They know what to say. Pupils know what they mean.
And leadership…respectful, at all levels. Effective, empathetic but unflinching in demanding high expectations from all. Consistent and fair: leaders are architects of wisdom – the kind of wisdom that can grow and thrive throughout the school.
Assessment is like a compass: guiding, measuring and helping to point the way. But it isn’t stressful. Being lost is stressful. Finding the way is exciting. It’s an adventure.
To make this happen we’d have to let go of some pretty deep-rooted anxieties, right? But what, then might we be passing on to our pupils?
Yann Martel wrote: ‘I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go’.
It’s a riddle.
@cmac_uk Headteacher – London, UK
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