Find a little happiness

I’ve just found a little happiness. It’s back!  I just finished watching the Apprentice with my family- coaxing child 1 and 2 to sit together and watch- and found that it worked like a mega stress reliever. On a weekend spent catching up with the never ending ‘to-do list: report documents, assessment calendars,  emails and, and, and… it reminded me that probably several other senior leaders are working hard, at home and trying to accomplish completion of said ‘to-do’ list tasks.

Speaking to a friend who said that I seem to have the work/life balance right, I corrected her saying that I didn’t have it right at all but had decided that the balance was not a 50-50 split and accepted that. That right there makes the difference. Coupled with taking time out to find a little happiness between tasks is crucial in maintaining our resilience and mental well-being and serves to refuel our emotional and psychological tanks so we can carry on.

Some days of the working week,  I manage to find a little happiness do this by escaping the office and popping into the lessons of the best teachers and the bright-eyed, knowledge-thirsty students, or to take away the consuming monotony of the computer screen and the office.

So as I return to do a few last minute things on the laptop, I just want to encourage all hardworking teachers, senior leaders and  heads to try to find a little happiness in your day, everyday.


Teacher – live life on purpose

I’ll be honest, I’ve sneaked a peek at my emails during this summer holiday. Okay some of you might be horrified to see that I’ve done this or even disagree with the fact that this should even be a possibility during the ‘sacred’ 6-weeks. A very good friend of mine doesn’t  have work emails on her mobile phone, good for her. Hopefully one day I will bring myself to remove mine but actually it’s aids my productivity and so I’m okay with that. That is until it becomes something that I keep automatically doing. So I took the time out to put that right and put a status on my WhatsApp to let others know that I would only be doing things that would distract me from looking at my mobile phone. 

The purpose of this would be to also allowed me to spend more time doing things that do not require the use on my mobile phone, or anything digital for that matter. I’ve even instigated a screen-free day with my own children so I intend to try to model that, after writing this of course. So today is going to be a day that I focus on living my life on purpose and what do I mean? Well, I suppose it means having a plan and allowing it to be delivered as it can be without putting the pressure or stress on it been done and enjoying every part of the plan of the day to fix bits that may start with me just remunerating in my bed till 1030 in the morning, I love this and deciding I’m getting up and spending the day with my family. With two days to go till the A-level results day and having in my mind that I need to be in school the next day I’m going to live my life on purpose today, starting with getting stuck into something I never have time to do, painting our out house as I write, my son is badgering me right now to do it.  

Hopefully I’ll carry on living on purpose for the remaining weeks of this wonderful summer holiday enjoy your day everyone. So like me, I hope all teachers living life on purpose during this time. Let’s enjoy the time you consider ‘wasting’ or simply enjoying, who knows what treasures the day will bring.

Reflecting On … Accessing and Conducting Research.

As we spoke about encouraging a culture of action research st our SLT meeting today, I find this article very timely.

I’d really like to see the culture in my school become one where individuals take it upon themselves to conduct action research to ignite their passion whilst moving the school into unimaginable progress and success in the quality of teaching and staff and student relationships.

Source: Reflecting On … Accessing and Conducting Research.

Please protect our profession 

” How are we supposed to learn properly if the curriculum keeps constantly changing?” (My son, number 2, age 9)

Reading this article

as a fellow deputy head, I became overwhelmed with sadness. Not because I feel sad at the potential loss of yet another fellow colleague from the teaching army, but this time at the sheer challenge of being a parent of a child in the Guinea pig year 6.

Only two days ago I had to comfort a tearful 11 year old who happens to be my son, and reassure him that the testing and the results would not make me love him less. Nor that the testing or result define who he is or will even become but are just moments in his journey through this confused education system.

Suffice to say that I considered just then, that the pressure and anxiety that my son was exuding, could only have been as a result of the current climate in many primary schools across the country. There must be an ever growing number of teachers sharing the same feelings of exhaustion, confusion, disillusionment and pressure that is inexplicitly, unintentionally yet subliminally transferring to the children.

 This also means there must be several mothers (and fathers), like me, consoling, comforting, encouraging and protecting their pre-secondary school children in the hope that not too much damage is being done to their child, their friends and in fact their whole generation. What has become of educating the whole child? I wonder how many other teachers of year 6 children are feeling the strain and making for the exit doors?

 Can the government not see that the profession is heading for a crises? We need good teachers and good head teachers. The prospect of gaining this seems to be slipping by and by with each new day and every new change of mind , idea and initiative. Considering my aspiration to be a head, I would like to think that I would be bold enough to protect not just the children’s wellbeing and state of mind to endure changes ‘in the curriculum’ as my 9 year old stated, but also to protect the status and nobility of the profession, the high regard it ought to be held by and most  importantly, the teachers who on the most part, deserve to be held in high esteem for what they endure in and outside of the school day.