Coaching & Leadership Development
How to Keep Your Teachers Happy, Passionate and Motivated

How to Keep Your Teachers Happy, Passionate and Motivated

  Recently, I have been reflecting on this key quote from Headteacher, Chris Dyson’s blog “This is What Teachers Need: Love and Smiles”.    “The biggest resource and the biggest impact on success in any school are the teachers and the TA’s, and so their well-being is paramount.”   I think Chris’ idea that school improvement is a deeply human pursuit really hits the nail on the head. To transform our schools, we must take care of those who show up every day for our children.   Reflecting on Chris’ own leadership practice, it is evident that he brings out the best in his staff by enabling them to feel valued, supported and that they belong.   These are essential needs that we all have in our lives and they are intimately connected with our well-being, our motivation and how well we perform at work. If we want to get the best out of our teachers, like Chris – I believe we have to find ways for these three essential needs to be met.   So, in what other ways (other than those Chris outlines) can school leaders help teachers to feel these three things? 1. Help them to feel valued   Research has shown that when our efforts and achievements are recognised and seen to be valued, we not only feel better about ourselves but our brain functions are also optimised. Therefore, a staff member who feels valued and is operating at their best, is far more likely to go the extra mile.   By rewarding individual effort, for going above and beyond in activities both in and outside...
The 3 Key Lessons of “Education for the Soul” 2017

The 3 Key Lessons of “Education for the Soul” 2017

    As a coach, I trust myself to be able to create the type of 1:1 spaces where it is safe for the soul to be seen.   Spaces where School Leaders can come out from behind their leadership masks and explore what it means to live lives of authenticity and integrity, amidst the challenges and complexities of day to day school life.   However, in hosting the ‘Education for the Soul’ Conference, I faced a new challenge.   Could a ‘conference’ setting replicate a place of safety for the deep work of school leadership and soul to come together and be seen? One rogue ego and my hopes for the conference would have failed.   One misplaced word or comment, then people would have retreated into themselves, and found no solace, comfort or acceptance in the presence of others.   But I needn’t have feared. Everyone present had bought into the message. Everyone present was prepared to take a risk.   Individuals let go of their leadership masks and allowed true humanity, companionship and hope to come together; in service of one another and in service of shared hopes, dreams and ambitions for our children and our schools.   Personally, it was a deeply humbling experience. To be in the presence of so many wonderful individuals who were prepared to:   – Take a risk – Ask of themselves challenging questions – Think about school leadership differently – Go on a deeper learning journey with themselves and others   And perhaps, most importantly, I witnessed  individuals who were prepared to let go of the belief that ‘self-care is a...
“Education for the Soul” 2018 Conference Manifesto

“Education for the Soul” 2018 Conference Manifesto

    I feel these days, amidst the growing results-driven culture of education today (with league tables and OFSTED ratings), that there’s often little opportunity for our schools leaders to discuss and share what they believe in.   There’s little chance for them to discuss what it takes to lead and have deep conversations about how education should be and how we can give children the best possible chance in life.   So I thought I’d take this chance to share what I believe, in the hope that this inspires other leaders to revisit their hope for education…   I believe that our children learn from their teachers and school leaders, more than just what is written in their textbooks….   I believe when our teachers and school leaders have hope and a positive outlook, our children learn to believe in a better future.   I believe when our teachers and school leaders value and make their well-being a priority, our children learn to look after themselves.   I believe when our teachers and school leaders have their values nurtured, our children learn to live and stand up for what they believe in.   I believe that when our teachers and leaders are supported to lead with authenticity, our children learn to be truly themselves.   Above all, I believe when our teachers and school leaders flourish, our children flourish too.   That’s why on the 18th October 2018, we hosted Headteachers & School Leaders from across the country for our “Education for the Soul” 2018 Conference designed to help leaders to explore and discuss what matters most to them (their values,...
This is what teachers need: Smiles and Love

This is what teachers need: Smiles and Love

This blog comes from Headteacher of Parklands Primary School and Passionate School Well-being advocate, Chris Dyson (@ChrisDysonHT)   The biggest resource and the biggest impact on success in any school is the teachers and the TA’s. So wellbeing of this vital resource is paramount to a schools success. True you can be a totalitarian dictator and get performance through criticism, capability, pressure and shouting … but this has the effect of an increase of ‘stress’ on the teacher.   Stress = worry. Worry = anxiety. Anxiety = no risks. No risks = boring lessons. Boring lessons = lack of inspiration. Lack of inspiration = a negative experience for the students.. and a long, long, long year ahead.   At my school we pride ourselves in putting the children first. To do this, the most important resource to their potential being met is the teachers. A happy teacher is free to risk take; free to innovate without the need to be drown in paper…. or to be told by the SLT… “we don’t do it like that..” True some non-negotiables have to be agreed but (for example)  planning being handed in the previous Friday? No! The best planning is completed after the previous lesson… that’s how things change for the better over 10 years.   A happy teacher is a teacher who can love their school and love their home life. So to promote wellbeing at my school, ALL staff who have an opportunity to attend Sports Day or the Xmas Concert or the celebration Star of the Week with their own children, they are allowed to do so WITH pay. It is little...
How to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs

How to Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs

  Our beliefs are assumed truths. They are our inner statements about ourselves in which we are emotionally invested. They have shaped us and probably unbeknown to many of us they have been with us since childhood.   Picked up almost by osmosis from those who have had greatest influence upon us in our formative years. Our beliefs are like a hidden undercurrent that has influenced much of who we are today.   “Our beliefs may not exist in our minds as explicit propositions. They may be so implicit in our thinking that we are hardly aware of them at all; yet they clearly lie behind our actions.”   Self-limiting beliefs are the ones which have the greatest potential for impacting negatively upon you achieving your full potential. We develop limiting beliefs to protect us from future pain.   Usually they develop [in our formative years] in response to painful experiences. From these experiences we create our own, often skewed generalisation about life.   These generalisations become deeply imbedded in our subconscious and then manifest as limiting beliefs that influence much of what we think, say and do…   Example of Limiting Beliefs Limiting Behaviours resulting from belief I am powerless Not standing up for your self Nothing I say is worth being listened to Not speaking up Everything I do has to be perfect Becoming risk averse I am worthless Act defensively I can’t handle conflict Giving into others   When we allow our lives to be shaped by these limiting beliefs, the behaviours that we adopt reinforce our own beliefs and so we become expert in creating...