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

Staff wellbeing

Kelly Hannaghan

Supervision for mental health leads: why and how?

Kelly Hannaghan makes the case for pastoral staff supervision for mental health and wellbeing leads, as a means to process the increasing pressures they are carrying. It’s perplexing that wellbeing practitioners such as psychologists and social workers have regular supervision that is mandatory,...
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Adele Bates

Pandemic permissions: let’s keep talking about mental health and wellbeing

‘Actually, I’m not that great.’ What would change if we put conversations about mental health and wellbeing at the forefront of our work in schools? Around Christmas I got a text from someone I vaguely know: ‘sorry, I’m not able to work on that right now, I’m having trouble with my mental health’...
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Luke Ramsden

A day in the life of a safeguarding lead in lockdown

Luke Ramsden reflects on the 'new normal' of life as a safeguarding lead during lockdown and beyond. At a time when the media has generally described schools as ‘closed’, teachers have in fact been busier than ever, trying to adapt well-practised lesson plans and schemes of work to a world of...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Managing anxiety in challenging times

The changing and challenging circumstances we find ourselves in are creating a wave of anxiety, particularly for those working in schools. Elizabeth Holmes looks at what to do and where to go for help. This is unquestionably an anxiety-inducing time. As I write, there have been challenging words...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Coping with change and moving forward with hope

Kelly Hannaghan shares her lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic and explores ways to adjust to the new normal in education and life. Photo by Florian Bernhardt on Unsplash As I sit in my local community library reflecting on 2020, it dawns on me that I haven’t really taken the...
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Nicola Harvey

How racism impacts on teacher wellbeing and what we can do about it

The stress and trauma of discrimination takes its toll on mental health. Nicola Harvey explores strategies to build resilience and support wellbeing. Many of us are starting to think about the new school term and the transition to a ‘new normal’. We also have the aftermath of Covid-19, exam results...
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Liz Worthen

What’s been keeping you going through lockdown?

Feeling the lockdown fatigue? From kayaking to dancing, dog walking and coffee with an unusual view, the team @OptimusEd share their wellbeing strategies. I’m not the only person to have found themselves pondering ‘lockdown fatigue’ in recent weeks. Try googling it and you’ll find over five million...
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Kelly Hannaghan

Education recovery: bridging the gap of opportunity for staff and pupils post pandemic

Kelly Hannaghan shares her own experiences of the repair and reintegration process that schools are currently facing. Are educators and pupils ready for the changes ahead? Who would have thought that the end of the academic year would feel like this? Pre-coronavirus school life would have looked...
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Nicola Harvey

Is teaching your true calling?

Wondering about leaving teaching and transitioning to another role in education? Nicola Harvey shares ways to create change. Teachers play a key role in shaping the lives of the future generation. They make a difference far beyond exam results, attendance records and school league tables. And often...
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Kelly Hannaghan

The new wellbeing: coping with the phases of lockdown through Covid-19

Kelly Hannaghan highlights the importance of managing the anxieties and monotony of the coronavirus lockdown, with simple strategies to support this new way of wellbeing. Thousands of school children across the world are being taught at home as the Covid-19 pandemic brings life as we knew it to a...
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