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

5 ways managers can support education staff during the coronavirus crisis

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.

2. Purpose

  • 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.

3. Control 

  • 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

4. Relationships

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. 

How managers can support their staff poster

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