Been intrigued by #WorldCupOfTea? This is what it has been leading to these last few days.
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When was the last time you talked to your colleagues?
Not a passing ‘Good Morning’, ‘How was your weekend?’ or ‘How’s the dog?’
Not a quick natter over coffee at break time, when minds are on the next lesson, whether we should be on duty or if the PowerPoint saved on your USB last night.
We mean really talk. Have an actual conversation: one that yields facts, knowledge and insights to your colleagues’ thoughts, mindset, drive and belief; into what makes them tick; into perhaps some aspects of their life that they wanted to share but didn’t know how.
Why do we need to talk? Simply because good schools are about relationships and culture and both can only develop where there is a comfortable and open atmosphere.
- Are the only conversations in your school about learning, targets, behaviour and appraisal?
- Do staff feel they are only ever ‘talked at’ rather than ‘talked to’ by leaders and their colleagues?
- Is meaningful interaction the missing element?
- Is school culture negative?
- Are there whispers and grumbles in corridors and behind closed doors rather than chatter, banter and debate in the staffroom?
- Are cliques and self-interest the norm?
- Are gossip and rumour a drain on self-confidence?
There is increasing stress on teachers and support staff. If we are seriously going to address the mental health issues of our professionals, a channel to voice their concerns to colleagues is vital.
This is the thinking behind #TeaAndTalk. It won’t solve everything, nor will it be an overnight success. It is however about the twin supports of relationships and culture and of developing both.
- It is up to the school when you host it: it could last all year; be every term; every month; every week.
- It can be hosted by a Head, SLT, governors, teachers or teaching assistants.
- It can be on a one-to-one basis or in a small group.
- Ban the biros, hide the highlighters, lose the lined paper: this is time set aside for talking and listening. Not ‘talking at‘ but ‘talking to‘, promoting Wellbeing and Mental Health.
Hosting #TeaAndTalk is easy. We will have posters and top tips for you to down load from HealthyToolKit.
#Tea&Talk is about bringing people together over the best drink of the day.