staff wellbeing(37 Posts)
My school is restarting the staff wellbeing committee and is asking for ideas of things that would make a real difference to staff - anyone got any ideas of things that really work for you?
Well, we haven't needed a wellbeing committee to make this happen, but I can tell you that the fact that our Head is pretty good about allowing time off for "stuff" that we all need to do, makes a tremendous difference, and we can forgive her all sorts of other stuff due to that!
So, for instance, I was given the OK to collect ds from the airport from a long time away abroad; no quibbling about sports'days/nativities for staff with young children and so on. Recently a (much-valued, ordinarily high-achieving and competent) colleague was struggling with something and straightaway was given a week out-of-class to get back on track. That may well have averted a breakdown.
We have extra funds factored in for support staff too, so any problematic kids are dealt with and helped asap. So, if we have someone kicking off, we are secure in the knowledge that someone will be there in minutes to scoop them up. Also, the HT will always step in to deal with any tricky situation with a parent. I had someone last week who had a go at me for something that was totally beyond my control - the HT got straight on the phone and dealt with it and I got an apology first thing the following morning.
All those things make a huge difference.
You need to look at the problems and issues that staff face in school? Are they free to share their ideas? Ask them or get a suggestion box.
We would happy with a staff room.... It went in the new build and has led to departments being more insular.
Our school has recently started a policy of speakers sticking to time in after school CPD & the session ending on time no matter whether all of the content has been covered or not. I cannot tell you how much the staff appreciate this.
We don't have a committee but the school does encourage staff wellbeing, etc.
We currently have a Happiness Hero type thing going. Names in a hat, names picked out (includes all staff who want to take part, at whatever job/level etc they are - support staff as well as teaching staff, and management). All anonymous. Do 3 acts of kindness during the term for that person. So far I have received a cut bunch of daffodils left for me and a bar of chocolate. Others have had sweets/chocolate, recipes for their particular diet they're doing, nice message/cards for the person, hot drink waiting for them on the desk after playtime, etc.
We also have an early Friday finish rota - one staff gets to leave at playtime, so about an hour early. One of the TAs or other teaching staff covers for them. This is in additional to normal PPA, and covers all teaching staff inc management. Works out at approx one early finish per term (3 a year.)
Then, we just have a general atmosphere of wellbeing being important. People get to have time off for things like their children's school pay/assembly/sports day and others will cover happily, unpaid leave is granted for things like weddings without any hassle, the head and the deputy is there to support and back you up, extra time out of class is granted if someone genuinely needs some time to do things, requests for training or visits to other schools to see something in action is encouraged and solutions found for anything going on, teachers and Tas all share good practise and work properly as a team.
Where I work really does have a good air of wellbeing and happiness right now. I have worked ins one places where that really hasn't been the case and it makes a huge difference to your life.
A marking policy designed to reduce workload.
I second the staff room, our staff room is 10 minute trip in one direction to different building. I would like heating and electricity that work as well it raining in doors. SLT who do what they say they say they will. It all depends on the starting point of your school. Lots of schools already do the basics but others do not.
I did supply in a large high school recently which had a lady in the staffroom who served tea/coffee/biscuits/toast for 20p a pop. It really does make the world of difference nipping in, chatting to colleagues, grabbing a freshly poured brew and having the time to drink it.
As opposed to:
>run around seeing who has walked off with storeroom door key
>locate key, unlock door
>take kettle upstairs to sink to be filled
>wait for it to boil
>make brew for you and entire dept
>wait for it to cool down enough not to scald you
>take first delicious sip
A marking policy to reduce workload would be amazing.
Feeling appreciated for things you do. I hate going over and above constantly and juat being battered down with 'oh this part isn't good enough'.
I just find that there are double standards. Teachers are constantly reminded to exude 'positivity' to students but are constantly told by management/ Ofsted / Government that their efforts are not good enough. I had feedback from my Head for a lesson observation recently. It was very detailed and negative. It was not in line with the marking policy at all. No green comments for me, all pink!
Totally agree with elephantoverthehill.
We are constantly reminded and trained to praise, praise, praise and 'catch them being good' whereas the climate in schools is to 'catch the teachers being bad'/look for faults. It's so negative.
Our HT is also very good at giving staff time off for family things. She also stated that (after a year of people moaning) that if anyone had a problem, they had to come to her with it - working really well so far,
If we have meetings or CPD, the starting and finishing time is clearly set out and even if we're not finished by then, it gets carried forward to the next meeting. Such a change from a previous school where staff meetings could go on from 3.15 to 5.45 and everyone was too scared to say anything. I was made to feel like a slacker when I excused myself at 4.30
Thanks everyone, these are all fabulous ideas. We already have some of them but I will suggest others. Fwiw a primary near us employs an ironer one day of week, staff bring in ironing and she stands in the staffroom and does it!! Thought that was a fab idea of practical help!
OMG Someone ironing? My SMT don't even know that this needs to be done weekends are for marking and planning.
How about two stars and a wish every time someone on the SLT 'wants a word' or has 'a new initiative' to discuss?
Treat the staff with the same positive, encouraging and considerate attitude that the children are supposed to receive.
Sorry, elephant and leccy. I posted when I read the OP and then read the rest of the thread.
The continuous hypocrisy of so many leaders and SLT members makes me see through a mist of rage.
I hate ironing, but I would not mind being paid to do all the local schools teachers' ironing. How much is this person paid?
I heard of a secondary school which paid for a ironing (and possibly laundry?) service for its staff. But I think the head also made all staff reapply for their jobs every year! Swings and roundabouts I suppose!
I know of one school where every member of staff is entitled to one "well-being" day a year. This is a day of whenever they choose. Lots of the staff use it for birthdays others use it for their own children's sports days or celebrations.
TBH I think a lot of the things mentioned above are gimmicks.
It might be great having an ironing person, but what about sensible planning and marking policies?
The biggie for me is behaviour back up.
I agree, Liesl. I'll sort my own ironing out (or make dh do it) and I can fund my own manicures/massages if I want them.
But the things I mentioned about my HT back up the top of the thread make a real difference to workload and attitudes
along with the lorry-load of wine provided by the HT at the Xmas staff do.
Agreed re behaviour Liesl
Although our HT is great in many ways, behaviour back-up is not one of her strong points. I had the worst experience in 30 years' teaching with a P6 boy absolutely defying me and being unbelievably rude to me -
punishmentt? Helping the P2s with their craft work
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