5 ways school leaders can support their staff
Leading, motivating and supporting staff is a tricky proposition in the midst of a national crisis. Teachers and education staff throughout the sector are dealing with a wide range of issues.
Videos / 6 mins watch
In this short video our CEO Sinéad Mc Brearty outlines 5 ways that headteachers, school and college leaders and managers can best support teachers and education staff.
Here is summary of the 5 ways to support teachers and education staff for you to print out and reference.
1. Clear management structures:
- Encourage staff to establish a work routine – if this doesn’t need to be rigid, give as much flexibility as possible to allow people to manage childcare, and other personal demands
- Agree manageable weekly/fortnightly goals
- Debrief your team. Teachers are dealing with new and difficult boundary issues - schooling in the domestic realm, worry about vulnerable students etc. They will need support to reflect on these issues and deal with the emotional impact.
- Help staff to maintain a clear sense of purpose - what they are there to do and what is most important - and help them to make it meaningful in this current situation.
- You might want them to focus on how they can support students to remain connected with the school community.
- We all like a sense of control. Managers needs to encourage staff to distinguish between what they can and can’t control:
What can't be controlled:
- Learning outcomes
- The extent to which families comply with the school's approach
- Normal standard for safety and safeguarding
Focus instead of areas where they can make a meaningful difference:
- Demonstrating care for their students
- Offering support
- Offering feedback where possible
Education is a profoundly social profession and it's essential to have good collegiate relationships to promote teacher resilience.
- Help staff to identify which colleagues can energise and support them and encourage them to reach out and connect with these colleagues.
- Help them recognise who they can support.
- Develop a two-way flow across school or college network, supporting & supported.
5. Mental health hygiene
Good mental health hygiene is important to keep everyone well. Managers need to encourage staff take care of themselves and need to role model this behaviour:
- Regular exercise, good nutrition, enough sleep and limit social media.
- Creativity – rearrange room, learn to sing a song, cook new dish, grow plant, make/do/mend, TikTok routine.
- Practice gratitude – focus on the positive and celebrate small victories and be liberal with praise.
- Accept uncertainty - when will school go back? How can they safely? These are all things we cannot control, so try to focus on what we can control.
- Talk about feelings and accept as normal feelings of anger, sadness, fear, and grief at the loss of our way of life or bereavement for the loss of a loved one.
You can best support our teachers and education staff by being human first and line managers second.
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