So, it is getting to that stressful time of year when people think we are winding down for the summer, but have so many things to do this year as well as start preparing for the next. And, there it is, that word again. Stress. Something that we teachers are becoming more and more accustomed to.
Let’s face it, the job isn’t getting any easier and won’t until we do something about it. Pressures on expectations, from parents, cuts, policy changes and the less than stellar time the profession has had in the press recently. It is all adding up, and I don’t know about you, but this is the first time I’m starting to feel that my job is having an impact on my own health and wellbeing. All you need to do is look at staff rooms up and down Scotland to see that I, or you, aren’t alone in this. Missing lunch to do work? Not taking your full breaks? Having more marking at the end of the day than seems manageable? Then taking that work home? Plus all the ‘other’ and ‘extra’ things you need to do?
Yup. Next school year I have had it with feeling like that. Something needs to change, and we need to start somewhere. Just as I was feeling this, in walked Twinkl, the fantastic teacher resource website, with the Staff Health and Wellbeing Award.
At Twinkl, we believe that healthy and happy staff lead to a positive environment, where children come to school eager to learn and progress. – Twinkl
Finally, someone gets it! Just a shame this isn’t coming from on high in local and Scottish government. The award makes provision to support us, make suggestions to start improving our health and wellbeing at work. Encourage us to think of our health and wellbeing and put it first. Around social media, posts and mantras are asking who the most important person in the classroom is. Who? You, the teacher. If we aren’t putting our own needs into perspective, how can we possibly be working at our best and in turn, give the best and get the best from pupils? While the award is great, I see it as a starting point, a tool to be used to discuss with school management and guidelines to get started. It takes into account leadership, policy development and staff culture. Also, who wouldn’t like to boast they won an award for actively considering the wellbeing of their staff with a lovely badge to use? This though doesn’t just impact teaching staff, but all staff within the school.
Over the next few weeks, I will be looking to get this going within my school and next year will be working towards the award. First things first, be doing an audit of what my particular establishment is already doing, what we need to improve upon and look at what we need to start. Here, I will be documenting and sharing our Journey to Wellbeing.
Enjoy your work free bank holiday weekend!
Images thanks to Twinkl
Disclaimer: Twinkl is providing a free subscription in return for this blog series.