What methods – other than traditional blogging – can we use to communicate our thoughts on well-being?
Teaching is a lifetime’s craft and is something that we can never perfect. With a never-ending workload, how can teachers look after themselves? And what are the key well-being strategies we need to consider? In this post I hope to share the highlights from the countless blogs I have written on well-being.
Over the holidays, I have purchased, The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Notetaking by Mike Rohde; sourced to help develop my blogs and tweets into content that is more interesting and engaging for everyone. In the book, the author explains and illustrates practical sketchnote techniques for taking visual notes at your own pace, as well as in real-time during meetings and events. Rohde also addresses most people’s fear of drawing by showing, step-by-step, how to quickly draw people, faces, type, and simple objects for effective and fast sketchnoting. As a seasoned designer, this is a very good starting point for anyone who wants to get started, even old-lags like me who haven’t picked up a pencil for fun in years!
Images: The Sketchnote Handbook
The second sketchnote that I would like to share with you, is on the theme of well-being. You can see my first attempt above and the full blogpost here; Resilience Sketchnote.
For the first time in 3 years, I played football with colleagues in school. This is for various reasons:
- No facilities at school
- Busy workload.
We have just opened our new sports facilities on our new site; our school premises have been a building site and this Friday is the first, in a very long time, our staff have had outdoor facilities and resources that they can use for their own staff well-being. It was an absolute pleasure not only to join colleagues and watch them, but to take part myself. Typically on a Friday night, I would sit at my desk and either meet visitors, delete emails or throw away paper into the bin. I’m not saying that this will be a New Year’s resolution, but it is great to (now) have well-being options at work and give staff resources to help them unwind and bond together. I hope to share our staff well-being plans in the next few weeks.
… over half of teachers (52%) say that they have seriously considered leaving their current job in the last 12 months and nearly half (47%) have seriously considered leaving the profession. (Source)
Teachers must eat well, sleep and learn to switch off. Easier said that done when the workload is high and deadlines are looming, but we must learn how to switch off. We must be mindful of our own energy and motivation, and ask that all school leaders invest at least 1% of their total school budget on staff CPD. This will ensure staff have genuine investment, with a proportion of this cash set aside for well-being initiatives.
Teachers like to maintain high-expectations, but we must be flexible – not just in the classroom – but with our own workload and well-being. To do this, it is vital that schools reduce the quantity of check-lists and encourage staff to work smarter, not harder. We are looking to achieve this with our new Learning Policy, as well as our well-being ‘bell’ to encourage our staff to go home; read Ding-A-Ling-A-Ling.
KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid. If you can lead shorter meetings, why not work smarter? Share agenda items and handouts in advance, chair meetings with clarity and awareness of what is being said and by who. Plan items for information, discussion or activity and keep everyone to time. Always provide the option for staff to leave meetings if others wish to continue with the discussion.
This is my second sketchnote based on ‘Well-Being’ chapter taken from my new book, Te@cher Toolkit: Helping You Survive Your First Five Years. Keep an eye out for any future sketchnotes and do leave me with some feedback in the comments section below.