Teachers have had a tough year to say the very least, they have been unsung heroes throughout this and as a parent myself I know that without good, passionate teachers leading and inspiring the next generations things would be difficult to manage! Most parents felt this when home schooling over the last year I am sure.
The trouble is as a group of people they care, that’s why they do what they do. They care about others often more than they care about themselves and this is where action needs to be taken. They are leading and inspiring generations of children and young people and I think they need to be given space for self-care, without space to invest in themselves and a chance to understand how important this is how can they model this to the students they teach.
Point of Influence
The point really is that teachers are, quite understandably, struggling. The pressures they face are increasing and there is no let up, this is what the children are watching day in and day out at school. If the leaders in business need to model good mental health practises to lead there employees then the same applies here, the teachers need to model good mental health practises to lead the children and young people. But first comes themselves.
I can already hear every teacher reading this saying ‘what about the parents’ and of course this area also needs to be addressed where possible, I don’t imagine for a second every parent will engage but I also don’t imagine every teacher will! Here we just need to ensure more and more are as time goes by and come back to focusing only on what we can control, in this case our own behaviours. There is no point in focusing on someone else’s, it is far more positive to spend your time focusing on you and what you can do to help yourself and the students that follow you.
Why are They Treated Differently?
Teachers are employees and so should benefit from the same care that employees within other industry’s also do but they often seem to be forgotten about. There is lots of work to be done in general and across lots of industries to better support, engage and care for employees but teachers seem to get a tough ride here. There is constant pressure and increased levels of work and admin expected of them, one head told me they have more to teach in a year than they have hours available in the school day! And although some schools are looking to support their teachers the time struggle is always a crushing factor. To provide the necessary support is one thing but insuring they have the time and space to use the support is quite another.
Heads, they need your help
The teachers are leading the students but the Head is leading the teachers so this is where things need to start, but again this will not be easy for the head. The Head teachers are doing an amazing job in a difficult climate already but I just urge all Heads to take a moment, breath and think about what a great difference can be made by investing in ensuring the teachers are well looked after, then the teachers will be able to ensure the students are. This is when real change will happen.
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