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

Leadership and staff development

John Dabell

Wishing you well: 20 ways to keep being well

The intensity of school life can take its toll unless you have a self-care and wellbeing plan in place. John Dabell shares 20 ways to keep being well. The whacky workloads of a teaching term can really knock your mojo for six if you neglect your wellbeing, which is why it is crucial to keep mind,...
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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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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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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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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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Lauren Peart-Roddis

A spring in our step! TEAM’s wellbeing and workload journey so far

A working group, workload charter, wellbeing champion and learning lessons from staff surveys: Lauren Peart-Roddis shares next steps in the TEAM Education Trust's staff wellbeing journey. With the steady lengthening of each day and the exciting possibilities offered in early spring, our strategy to...
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Julia Sandford-Cooke

The 2021 Optimus blog quiz

In 2021, our blog covered everything from wellbeing, race and anxiety to school uniforms, finance and working with LSAs. Revisit your favourite posts to help you answer our quiz questions. Answers are at the bottom of the page. 1. Which of these tips is NOT helpful when tackling imposter syndrome?...
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Aldaine Wynter

Representation in school leadership: accountability, visibility, action

In the first in a new series of blog posts, Aldaine Wynter looks at the importance and impact of a diverse school leadership team. Representation is about having classroom teachers, middle and senior leaders as well as principals who reflect the diverse student body they serve. From early years...
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Olivia Dickinson

Like a girl: Gender stereotypes in education

What is the impact of gender stereotypes on the behaviours and beliefs of pupils and staff? Olivia Dickinson investigates. In your school or early years setting, what do you see that suggests how pupils and staff devalue things that are coded feminine? It is often deemed desirable for girls to like...
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Nicky Thompson

Attracting and retaining career changers

Career changers can bring a wealth of skills and experience to the teaching profession. Nicky Thompson explains how schools can support and encourage new teachers from another sector. Seven years ago I swapped the boardroom for the classroom when I retrained to be a technology teacher in a...
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