Ensuring that our Headteachers are given the proper support to thrive in their roles is central to the work of Integrity Coaching.
Teaching is often described as being one of the caring professions.
Yet it has always struck me as strange that although the profession as a whole may be good at caring for the young people in its charge, it has a very poor record of caring for the adults on whose shoulders weigh the greater responsibility of caring for our children.
For too long now, the needs of those on the frontline in our schools have been neglected and that’s why in this podcast, I explored:
- The types of questions Heads need to be asked to support their own emotional health and well-being
- Why we need to support Heads to ‘step up’ to the role in a new way
- How Heads can learn to take greater control of their emotional responses to stress
Hopefully, when you listen to it, you’ll understand why I believe we are letting our Heads down!
Supporting yourself in the role
When you are working in a school, engaging day-to-day with children and their families, teachers, support staff, Governors and other adults, you know that in addition to expending great amounts of mental and physical energy, you expend equal (if not more) amounts of energy meeting the emotional needs of others.
If you don’t invest the time in meeting your needs, you can end up carrying a huge emotional debt and become increasingly emotionally overdrawn, with no readily identifiable means for bringing your emotional account back into credit.
This is particularly dangerous if you’re like most Heads in our school system, you’re incredibly under-supported. There’s no one you can talk to who really gets your job and all the stresses that come with it, leaving you stuck with coping mechanisms and busy-ness to get you through the day — not a great set up for good leadership.
As a result, you run the risk of emotional ‘burn out’. When this begins to happen, not only do we experience extreme levels of mental and emotional exhaustion that can be debilitating, but we also can begin to derive less satisfaction from our lives.
Having been a Head myself, I know all too well what this feels like and equally what must be done to prevent it!
It is for this reason, that I now offer free “Coaching for the Soul” support calls, for Heads who feel that they could benefit from a confidential space that will allow them to:
- Talk through the challenges they’re facing and find solutions
- Receive support and encouragement in their current situation
- Reflect on recent events and the impact they are having
- Gain clarity around their thoughts and plan a way forward