The reason I feel so strongly about wellbeing is because it makes me sad to see so many good people struggling (and even drowning) in their roles.
I have worked with NQTs who quickly start feeling burnout and overwhelm with their new careers. I have spent time with experienced teachers who are struggling to adapt to the moving goalposts within the profession – and many of them are becoming (if they haven’t already) disillusioned with teaching.
And then there’s the headteachers I have worked with and coached. Speaking from experience, being a headteacher is, at the same time, the most rewarding and enriching job – as well as the most pressured, lonely and overwhelming role.
Some days, the only way I can describe what it’s like to be a headteacher is to quote Mr Scott from Star Trek: “it’s like trying to hit a bullet with a smaller bullet, whilst wearing a blindfold, riding a horse.” I am in no way surprised that there is a shortage of headteachers.
That is why through my work I am determined to supercharge our staff members so they can be well placed for the challenges ahead, through coaching headteachers to help make sure they stay in the profession to continue their amazing influence, and support teachers to be able to consistently teach great lessons.
I worked hard to develop systems and processes to enable my staff to best manage the psychological, emotional and social issues they face with the resources they have. This is what enabled high levels of wellbeing amongst staff – as well as the fact we taught people how to take personal responsibility for their attitude.
Ensuring that staff have high levels of wellbeing will also take steps towards safeguarding the wellbeing of those children who come to school in desperate search of seeing someone, anyone, with a positive attitude.
If you get wellbeing right for one group of people, then through the magic of compounding it can spread amongst an entire community – and genuinely change lives.