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Come and see me - Viv Grant

Because we need to pull together to fix some serious problems ...

Wellbeing and the three things that matter most in education

 

“Developing a systematic way to help teachers get better is the most powerful idea in education today. The surest way to weaken it is to twist it into a capricious exercise in public shaming. Let’s focus on creating a personnel system that truly helps teachers to improve.”

 

Bill Gates

 

Are we at a tipping point? Have we now reached a time where in our attempts to improve the education system, we can stop putting inspections and numbers first and say that people matter over and above everything else. I don’t think we are quite there yet, but I’d like to think that change is in the air. Wellbeing of pupils, teachers and leaders is now a hot topic and it needs to be so. Too many within the sector have been left battered and bruised as a result of draconian accountability measures.

 

There are many in the sector, myself included, who are saying, that things need to change and the wellbeing of our teachers and leaders need to take centre stage. My voice is one of many, but I have a voice and I intend to use it. I intend to use it to say, I believe there are three things that matter most in education, when we talk about well-being and attending to the needs of the person in the role.

 

  1. We must reclaim our Humanity

How can it be that in this day and age, that the qualities that define our own humanity have been eroded by a succession of inhumane policy directives and initiatives? How can it be that we ignore the stories of teachers and school leaders, whose lives have been blighted through ill health and stress, by a job they once loved? I ask myself these questions and I know there are no easy answers. The one thing I do know however, is that every single day there are courageous teachers and school leaders, who despite the challenges they face, go over and above their ‘call of duty’ to provide a holistic and meaningful education for our young people.

It is these individuals we need to nurture, support and take care of, so that they find consistent ways to align their vision and values with what matters most to them.

 

  1. We must reclaim Personal Advocacy

in 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger, it is reported that in interviews afterwards she said, I will no longer act on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth that I hold deeply on the inside. I will no longer act as if I were less than the whole person, I know myself inwardly to be.”

And this is what teachers and school leaders must strive to do. They must reclaim their right to a voice, to be properly listened to, to be valued and respected.

It is time for teachers and school leaders to reclaim their personal authority and to show that they know best how to bring about sustained and humane improvements within the education system.

 

  1. We must reclaim connections and relationships

 

The art of being in relationship, with self and others is essential to feelings of hope and wellbeing. It is what relatedness is all about. It opens the territory of the psyche and the soul. The practice of relatedness is hard work, a lifelong matter of human discipline and culture; it is a humanitarian endeavour to which we must all turn, for the sake of the wellbeing of all who work in our schools.

 

I'm very much looking forward to meeting you at TeachWellFest.

Wellbeing and the three things that matter most in education

“Developing a systematic way to help teachers get better is the most powerful idea in education today. The surest way to weaken it is to twist it into a capricious exercise in public shaming. Let’s focus on creating a personnel system that truly helps teachers to improve.”

Bill Gates

Are we at a tipping point? Have we now reached a time where in our attempts to improve the education system, we can stop putting inspections and numbers first and say that people matter over and above everything else. I don’t think we are quite there yet, but I’d like to think that change is in the air. Wellbeing of pupils, teachers and leaders is now a hot topic and it needs to be so. Too many within the sector have been left battered and bruised as a result of draconian accountability measures.

There are many in the sector, myself included, who are saying, that things need to change and the wellbeing of our teachers and leaders need to take centre stage. My voice is one of many, but I have a voice and I intend to use it. I intend to use it to say, I believe there are three things that matter most in education, when we talk about well-being and attending to the needs of the person in the role.

  1. We must reclaim our Humanity

How can it be that in this day and age, that the qualities that define our own humanity have been eroded by a succession of inhumane policy directives and initiatives? How can it be that we ignore the stories of teachers and school leaders, whose lives have been blighted through ill health and stress, by a job they once loved? I ask myself these questions and I know there are no easy answers. The one thing I do know however, is that every single day there are courageous teachers and school leaders, who despite the challenges they face, go over and above their ‘call of duty’ to provide a holistic and meaningful education for our young people.

It is these individuals we need to nurture, support and take care of, so that they find consistent ways to align their vision and values with what matters most to them.

  1. We must reclaim Personal Advocacy

in 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger, it is reported that in interviews afterwards she said, I will no longer act on the outside in a way that contradicts the truth that I hold deeply on the inside. I will no longer act as if I were less than the whole person, I know myself inwardly to be.”

And this is what teachers and school leaders must strive to do. They must reclaim their right to a voice, to be properly listened to, to be valued and respected.

It is time for teachers and school leaders to reclaim their personal authority and to show that they know best how to bring about sustained and humane improvements within the education system.

  1. We must reclaim connections and relationships

The art of being in relationship, with self and others is essential to feelings of hope and wellbeing. It is what relatedness is all about. It opens the territory of the psyche and the soul. The practice of relatedness is hard work, a lifelong matter of human discipline and culture; it is a humanitarian endeavour to which we must all turn, for the sake of the wellbeing of all who work in our schools.

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