The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

John Dabell

Don’t do your best!

Sometimes a job only has to be done well enough. John Dabell argues that teaching is one such job and explains why it's better not to give 100% all the time. If you are ‘trying your best’ all the time it’s a one-way ticket to the GP with burn out. Perfection, or chasing perfection, is a huge time-...
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Elizabeth Holmes

The early career framework – so far so good?

As we draw towards the end of its first year of implementation, Elizabeth Holmes reviews how the early career framework has been received and experienced. Can it provide a positive, sustainable base to a teaching career? In a shake up of the induction period for newly qualified teachers, the early...
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Aldaine Wynter

Representation in teaching

‘You can’t be what you can’t see’. Aldaine Wynter discusses why representation in the classroom is an important way to role model for students. In my previous piece I spoke of the importance of representation in education at every level. So far, we have explored representation at school leadership...
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Sarah Hopp

For the love of learning: using the positive niche construction framework

Balancing pupil wellbeing and academic catch-up is challenging. Sarah Hopp explains how the PNC framework can help all learners flourish. In the recent Opportunity for all white paper the government announced that by 2030: 90% of learners should reach the expected standard in English and maths at...
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John Dabell

Staff wellbeing and TNTs

Tiny noticeable things, lollipop moments and filling buckets: John Dabell discusses how these things can make you a better leader. Although there isn’t a single definitive leadership skills list, there are four core leaderships skills that are fundamental: communication self-awareness influence...
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Elizabeth Holmes

The Joy of Not Knowing: a conversation with Marcelo Staricoff

Learning how to learn, philosophical thinking, action research and getting comfortable with discomfort: Elizabeth Holmes gets to grips with JONK. Recent headteacher, now consultant, lecturer and author, Marcelo Staricoff is a man with a mission. Drawing on his decades of experience as a scientist,...
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Adele Bates

Listening, honesty and humanity: how leaders can best support behaviour

It’s easy for school leaders to forget what’s it like to deal with challenging behaviour on a daily basis in the corridors and classrooms. Adele Bates shares top tips from Bukky Yusuf. Last month in my “We give a sh*t” Behaviour Membership I was thrilled to host the first guest speaker session with...
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John Dabell

The ordinary magic of resilience

What life throws at us might dent or break us – but the '7 Cs' of resilience can help us recover and rebuild. John Dabell explains how. ‘Resilience’ is a buzzword heard pretty much everywhere these days and certainly within the mental health narratives of schools. How do you define resilience?...
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Sarah Hopp

Unconscious bias in the classroom and discreet disability

Teachers need to be aware of why they might react to certain behaviours in certain ways. Sarah Hopp provides some context for the self-reflection process. Someone may assume that a person is capable or not capable of doing something based only on their judgement of that person’s external appearance...
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Dr Alistair Bailie

Seven tips to beat exam stress

How can you best support students who are stressed out at the prospect of exams? Clinical psychologist Dr Alistair Bailie suggests seven strategies to share. For students of any age, there can be considerable stress when it comes to exams. Their implications for study, jobs, and life progress can...
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