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

HR

Emily Colyer

Teacher workload: focus on actions, not outcomes

Emily Colyer interviews Ben White about the relationship between teacher workload and wellbeing, and what needs to change to prevent burnout. What are the main flaws in the way the role of the teacher is currently designed? Where or why do problems typically occur? I think that there are often...
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Paul Gooding

10 simple steps to enhancing whole school wellbeing

Want to improve your school's mental health but don't know where to start? Follow these 10 simple steps to support the positive wellbeing of both students and staff. Promoting positive wellbeing is central to education. After all, wellbeing is the canvas upon which students learn – it is the...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Why self-care is vital for wellbeing leaders

The role of the wellbeing leader in cultivating a healthy environment and organisation is increasingly important. But what challenges do these leaders face in protecting their own wellbeing? Think about all the challenges schools are facing: troubled pupils, Ofsted inspections, attainment concerns...
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John Viner

Supporting teacher mental health: strategies for senior leaders

How can senior leaders support their colleagues' mental health? John Viner shares four strategies to promote positive wellbeing amongst staff. As discussed in my previous blog post , wellbeing in schools is coming under increased scrutiny. Unfortunately, too often school leaders are so busy...
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Julia Watson

Why teachers need more sleep

As teachers battle daily feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion, good quality sleep is not a luxury, but a necessity, says Julia Watson. When I see clients in my hypnotherapy practice, they present with a wide variety of challenges and goals. Invariably, they all have one thing in common: sleep...
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Liz Murray

Why I took the zig zag path to career development

How part-time working in schools enabled an unconventional approach to Liz Murray's career development. There are many reasons why a teacher might request part-time hours. For me, it was after the birth of my daughter. I had been teaching for a decade and was head of English at a new academy. I had...
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Julia Watson

Surviving the Christmas countdown

Don't end the term collapsed under a heap of paper chains, unable to enjoy the holidays and your own festivities. Follow these steps for Christmas countdown survival! It has begun. Trees are going up, toy adverts are everywhere and it’s just two short weeks until pupils arrive in school with...
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John Viner

Where do new teachers come from?

Looking for fresh talent, or a pathway to a new career? John Viner outlines some of the many different routes into teaching. As a teacher trainer, it always astonishes me that, of the (usually) young men and women who we send out into schools with a shiny new QTS, so many leave the profession after...
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Julia Watson

How to detoxify your staffroom

A collection of dirty mugs is not the only sign that the vitality of your staffroom may be under threat. Julia Watson provides some tips for a healthier environment. A happy, healthy staffroom is at the heart of an effective team, providing safe haven, a place of camaraderie and connection. Sadly...
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Julia Watson

Teachers, beware the pursuit of perfection!

Perfectionism is not ‘wanting things done right’. It’s a fear-based response to anxiety which wastes time and talent. The term ‘perfectionist’ can be used to describe someone who likes things done properly, or would ‘go the extra mile’ to get a job done. However, in my clinical practice I have...
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