Coaching & Leadership Development
What happens when Headteachers drop the Leadership Mask?

What happens when Headteachers drop the Leadership Mask?

If you are head teacher, then I am sure, this image will speak volumes to you! You know exactly what it takes each and every day to step into the role of Head teacher and enter a system that so often forgets that you are human. A system, which despite all the well-intentioned rhetoric, expects you to constantly withstand the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’. And, no matter how fast and furious they might be, requires that you always come out victorious, with an ever-present smile on your face.   However, I am sure you know as a Head, many a time life just isn’t like that. Those slings and arrows, whether from a colleague, an inspector, a parent or a Governor, can hurt. They can pierce the soul and leave you feeling utterly down-spirited and disheartened.   It is because of this fact and working closely as we do, with Head teachers, that we decided to host our termly Headteacher’s Nurture Meals. We wanted to do something, that clearly said to Head teachers,    ‘You are of value; you are of worth and you have the right to have your needs met’   We are always very clear in our purpose. This was designed not to be one of those Head teacher gathering where individuals met with their peers, but still felt the need to be to wear their leadership mask or suit of armour, for fear of being judged or criticised for anything that they might say. We wanted to make sure this was different.   Different…. But how? Well … we create a loose framework for discussion, but in the...
Read all your Favourite Blogs from Day 16-24 of Winter Wellbeing Calendar!

Read all your Favourite Blogs from Day 16-24 of Winter Wellbeing Calendar!

We really hope you have enjoyed days 16-24 of our Winter Wellbeing Blog (we know we have) and to celebrate such a wonderful set of blogs, we thought we’d give you a chance to nominate your favourite, the one that inspired you, turned your day around or gave it a bit of winter magic.    Here’s a reminder of the great blogs we’ve seen with some stand-out points that we thought were great! Day 16 – Remember Your Traffic Control – Stop, pause and reflect on what can you do over the coming weeks to slow yourself down when you’re feeling tired and busy preparing for a holiday which has its own demands on your energy levels. (Tim Small) Read Day 17 – Someone to Talk to –  It’s really important to have someone you are able to ‘offload’ to about the frustrations of work. Ideally, this is someone in school, who can also share the same with you. Someone you feel that you can confide in and who won’t let you get things out of proportion. Here are 3 tips to make this work! (Mary Myatt) Read Day 18 – How to Make the Most of the Holidays – We work hard in schools.  We have, and deserve, good holidays.  How can you make the most of holidays so you start the new term refreshed? Here are 5 tips to help you do just this… (Jill Berry) Read Day 19 – Getting back to your big WHY – The big WHY re-energises me, gives me more Wellbeing balance, reminds me of my purpose for being in school, and brings back my #Teacher5aday mojo! (Tim Clarke) Read Day...
Our Winter Well-being Blog Calendar

Our Winter Well-being Blog Calendar

What is Our Winter Wellbeing Calendar all about?   Whilst the Christmas period is seen as the time of the year for joy and celebration, what’s often not recognised, is that it can be a particularly tiring and stressful time of the year for school leaders and teachers. The plays and special assemblies are all wonderful cause for celebration. However, the continuous run of late nights, mixed in with the everyday pressures of school life can take their toll! That’s why this year, we thought we’d try to lend a ‘virtual’ helping hand! To help make December just that little bit less stressful and more joyful for you, with our first ever, Winter Wellbeing Advent Calendar.   What can you expect?   The Calendar will involve 24 days of mini-blogs/thoughts for the day designed to offer you encouragement, support and useful advice to help you stay positive right through to Christmas day. These mini-blogs will be provided by inspiring educators, focused around a different theme of Well-being in education. We have enlisted top educational thought-leaders, bloggers, coaches, authors and inspiring school leaders to bring you a fantastic calendar of wellbeing wisdom, thought-provoking questions for reflection, and words of encouragement and inspiration. Here is the list of the next 12 days of blogs for the Calendar:   Our Calendar will also be run in collaboration with #Teacher5aday (Twitter Teacher Wellbeing initiative set up by Martyn Reah) and @Tim_JumpClarke’s Winter challenge calendar, which consists of 24 winter challenges, to help you relax and be more compassionate to yourself and those around you this Christmas. How does it work? The first window will be opened...
What Every Headteacher should be told before they’re appointed!

What Every Headteacher should be told before they’re appointed!

Recently, I’ve been pondering one question: How do Headteachers find the time and space to develop the aptitudes necessary to show up as their true authentic and best self, when they are in a profession that requires;- – A deeply forensic approach to the analysis of pupil outcomes – Lightning quick responses to demands of all kinds and, – Consistently high levels of visibility   The answer I most often hear in response to this question, is:   ‘There quite simply isn’t enough time to focus on me. I spend all of my time and more [i.e. evenings and weekends] focusing on school improvement, because that’s what I’m here to do – to focus on the children and teachers, not me.”   When I hear this response, I find myself thinking, that sounds just like me when I was a Head. When I was told only one side of the School Leadership Story.   It’s all about the job description, or is it?   Before I was appointed to my first post as a Headteacher around seventeen years ago, I read and believed that I fully understood the Job description and person spec. I wrote an application form that demonstrated my leadership skills, knowledge and experience.   I performed so well at interview [despite being eight and a half months pregnant], that I convinced the panel, I could do what the job was asking of me on paper and take the school out of Special Measures…   And therein lies the rub. Did you fall for it too? Did you mistakenly believe that when you applied for the Head teacher role,...
4 Great Summer Reads That’ll Help You in the Year Ahead

4 Great Summer Reads That’ll Help You in the Year Ahead

1. Mental Health and Wellbeing in The Learning and Teaching Environment Edited by Colin R. Martin, Mick P. Fleming and Hugh Smith                                                                                       This paradigm-shifting book draws on expertise from key opinion leaders within the academic research fields of education and mental health. The book considers the relationship between mental health and education in an evidence-based and practice-focused way. It is the first book of its kind to examine the complex problems associated with today’s high-stress, high-emotion learning and teaching environments which affects both learners and leaders of learning alike.It is an important and timely text that offers new hope in tackling the alarming mental health crisis in our schools and colleges. The book bears witness to the fact that with a growing number of students struggling with mental health problems and with schools full of pupils with a wide diversity of abilities, behaviours, needs and diagnosable conditions, teaching and school leadership have become some of the most challenging and stressful jobs imaginable. Crucially, the text also highlights the serious impact which the behaviour of pupils, teacher and school leaders can have on each other. We now understand that relationships in schools are fundamental to intellectual and behavioural growth for pupils and that many significant mental health problems of adults have their origins in childhood. In light of this, it is vital that those in education have all the tools and support necessary...