Coaching & Leadership Development
“I’m Tired of Wearing a Mask” – The Impact of COVID on Headteachers

“I’m Tired of Wearing a Mask” – The Impact of COVID on Headteachers

  This blog comes from our associate coach, organisational expert and former school governor, Ben Gibbs.   “We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile” Paul Laurence Dunbar – From ‘We Wear The Mask’   It’s fair to say that we have all experienced the COVID-19 pandemic differently.   Depending on our context, our background, our character, and on the set of demands we found ourselves facing as school leaders, we each carry a different set of memories and lessons for our own practice from the last year.   In my work just over the last month, I’ve spoken to a school leader who had 20 children and 2 staff test positive on the Sunday after the June half term, another who was reeling from the COVID-related death of a parent with 4 children at her school, and another whose school has had less than a handful of cases since the pandemic began.   As I reflect back even further on the conversations I’ve had with school leaders throughout the last 12 months, there has been a common theme that has stood out for me.  It has been the theme of masks and how Heads have had to wear different ones at different times over the course of the pandemic.   By masks, I’m not talking about the protective PPE masks with which we’re all now familiar, but the metaphorical sort that leaders use to cover-up or repress their own fears when faced with anxiety and uncertainty.   Over...