Release the pressure | Guardian Unlimited Money
You are on your way to work but you really don’t want to go. Exhausted, you’d give anything to be able to crawl back into bed. It took hours to nod off last night: negative thoughts running through your mind on an endless loop. It’s been like that for a while now. You can’t remember the last time you actually slept well, even at the weekends.
Tired all the time and irritable too, but you’re not normally such a grump. The constant headaches really don’t help. You used to enjoy your job but not any more; just the thought of being at work pushes your pulse rate up and leaves you feeling agitated.
Workplace stress 😦
If you work in a school this might be a familiar scenario. The article goes on to pin point feelings of lack of control over the job and feelings of injustice as major triggers of work related stress.
Since the introduction of the Workplace Agreement there has been a recognition in schools of the stress teachers face. Much has been done to try to take the pressure off them but very little thought seems to have gone into where that stress then lands.
Teaching assistants, technicians and school support staff have all taken over responsibilities that were once covered by teaching staff. In many cases this has happened with little or no financial reward. In some cases recent local authority led changes have even resulted in teaching assistants in particular actually facing reductions in their wages. Schools often trade on goodwill and sometimes even emotional blackmail, knowing that people don’t want to let colleagues or children down. Too much of this and work becomes a torment not a pleasure even in a much loved job.
In some schools a start has been made with the introduction of The Well-Being Programme. I was heavily involved in this during my time at my last school and we felt we achieved quite a lot in the first year of the programme. Some schools though seem to only be paying lip-service to the change process and not really grasping the whole staff collaborative action research aspects. Sadly perhaps not all LEAs provide the level of facilitator training that I was lucky enough to receive and not all facilitators are given dedicated time in school to perform their duties.
I’m going to try to pass on some of what I learned via usefulwiki.com
over the next few weeks. I’m also going to invite other Well Being facilitators to get involved. I hope we can gather together some useful tips for new facilitators.