Is May the most pressured time in UK schools?
Deadlines, assessments, reports and of course the high stakes test of SATS, GCSE and A-Level. Who is more stressed? Teachers or pupils?
It is a year since we launched #MindfulMayHT and the original blog discussed the benefits of being mindful:
“The benefits of being mindful are many fold. In a role which by its very nature is pressured, stressful, increasingly target driven, it is easy to lose sight of our personal priorities and of those of our loved ones. Poor sleep patterns, irregular mealtimes, lack of exercise and failure to remain hydrated may all result from work-life imbalance. Being self-aware is a challenge and often we are more aware of the needs of others than we are of our personal needs.”
Fuller details can be found in the original post; however these include for self-care
- Electronic shut down, digital detox, phone free Friday.
- Mindful eating.
- Other eating habits to consider include alcohol free times, avoiding caffeine after a particular watershed, avoiding processed foods and keeping hydrated.
- Have you considered meditation?
- Live for now!
A mindful attitude also supports a team ethos, particularly for School Leaders:
- Trust your teachers.
- Don’t spring any surprises!
- Be aware of who isn’t coming to the staffroom at lunch and breaks.
- Consider your email times. A Headteacher and an education journalist had an lively discussion on this topic this week. Also consider email etiquette; please and thank you, basic good manners, goes a long way.
- Ultimately your staff need calm, safe and secure space to work. Your good intentions must be concrete not abstract.
- Appreciate boundaries.
- Appreciate the sensitivities of others.
- Think before you post.
- Have you ever tried a random act of kindness?
Small things: big difference. As that great philosopher says:
One member of the Healthy Toolkit family speaks with great authority on mindfulness and the #MindfulMayChallenge Week 1 post can be found here.
If you haven’t read Tammie’s work, she is an authority on the use of mindfulness in school and she is in print: here is a handy Amazon link.
Mindfulness isn’t for everyone, but for those who engage deeply, the impact is appreciable. Please share your experiences on Twitter with the hashtags #MindfulMayHT and #MindfulMayChallenge