Why is school staff wellbeing so difficult to get right?

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It’s simple isn’t it? We’re all intelligent people. We know how to look after ourselves? We all know to get enough sleep,  do some exercise, not check our emails late at night. We’re professionals. So why do so many school staff appear to be struggling with their wellbeing?

Today I tweeted this link

phys.org/news/2016-05-teachers…

and two people tweeted back to the effect of “do bears undertake their toilet routine in the woods?” (Of course @SueRoffey and @Findlotte were far too polite to put it that way!) which was pretty much what I was thinking when I tweeted it.

Having spent the last few months collating research for schoolwell.co.uk it seems to me that the connection between school staff wellbeing and classroom attainment is, well, obvious. We all know that if you feel well you do your job better. That’s not just school staff, that’s everyone. We know that learning is inhibited and the brain acts differently under too much stress. Who hasn’t done something daft in a difficult situation? I know I have. (No I’m not telling.)

During a recent #SLTchat on wellbeing there was a broad consensus which (I may be oversimplifying a bit) boiled down to “treat people decently”. I know that this is a self-selected group of leaders who are interested in wellbeing, but I cannot believe that anybody goes into senior management wanting to grind people down and treat them badly. So why are so many teachers suffering from anxiety, depression, burnout and other mental health issues? Why are so many apparently looking to leave the profession?

Over the next few weeks on Schoolwell, I’m going to be exploring this issue, and what schools can do about it. This Sunday we kick off with an exclusive interview with James Hilton, author of Leading from the Edge. He shares his experiences and his tips for leaders wanting to improve wellbeing in their schools.

Next Sunday, Educational Consultant Karen Salter blogs about her research on the relationship between school-based support and teacher wellbeing.

This post originally appeared here http://staffrm.io/@schoolwell/ZmAcPofb8j

Do you have anything to add on this issue? Please tweet me, FB me or email me.

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