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HT wellbeing – maintaining equilibrium November 2007 Jo Harper.

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Presentation on theme: "HT wellbeing – maintaining equilibrium November 2007 Jo Harper."— Presentation transcript:

1 HT wellbeing – maintaining equilibrium November 2007 Jo Harper

2 What not to say!! Make lists! Make lists! Prioritise! Prioritise!

3 What not to say!! We’ll jump off that bridge when we come to it!! Lester Pearson We’ll jump off that bridge when we come to it!! Lester Pearson Some see the glass as half empty; some see the glass as half full. I see the glass as too big. George Carlin Some see the glass as half empty; some see the glass as half full. I see the glass as too big. George Carlin

4 What is wellbeing? ‘positive wellbeing is something that is more than simply the absence of stress or illness, but rather involves positive enjoyment and pleasure’ ‘positive wellbeing is something that is more than simply the absence of stress or illness, but rather involves positive enjoyment and pleasure’

5 So … List three aspects of headship that give you most joy, personal satisfaction and fulfilment List three aspects of headship that give you most joy, personal satisfaction and fulfilment

6 What gets in the way of this? The wellbeing of HTs is affected by The wellbeing of HTs is affected by –the strategic working environment –the operational working environment –the ethos and morale within both the school and the education system –opportunities to undertake professional development

7 What else? the challenge and variety of the role – some relish these aspects, while for others these are the very things that make the job stressful the challenge and variety of the role – some relish these aspects, while for others these are the very things that make the job stressful being the figurehead – a constant focal reference point for inspiration (reverse side – guilt, overwork, fatigue, lowered self esteem, and increased uncertainty.) being the figurehead – a constant focal reference point for inspiration (reverse side – guilt, overwork, fatigue, lowered self esteem, and increased uncertainty.)

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9 And…..? Trying to meet everyone’s expectations (including your own) Trying to meet everyone’s expectations (including your own) a totally fragmented day in which situations might occur which blow other priorities and schedules off track and require immediate attention a totally fragmented day in which situations might occur which blow other priorities and schedules off track and require immediate attention Average hours worked by HTs in research sample – 52.9; one worked 36.4, one Half worked between 40.6 and 65.2 Average hours worked by HTs in research sample – 52.9; one worked 36.4, one Half worked between 40.6 and 65.2

10 Recognise your achievements Who says ‘well done’ to the HT? Who says ‘well done’ to the HT? List three professional achievements during your headship List three professional achievements during your headship

11 Preserving wellbeing – or at least maintaining equilibrium Direct action techniques – identify the source of stress and eliminate. (Not always practical!) Direct action techniques – identify the source of stress and eliminate. (Not always practical!) Palliative techniques – reduce the feeling of stress in the individual Palliative techniques – reduce the feeling of stress in the individual

12 Mmmmmmm………… ‘We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.’ Anais Nin, ‘We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.’ Anais Nin,

13 Stress can be transactional or interactional; the result of an imbalance of some kind between the person and his/her environment. Stress can be transactional or interactional; the result of an imbalance of some kind between the person and his/her environment. Exploring how HTs do or do not maintain equilibrium, by controlling the stresses caused by additional different or conflicting demands placed upon them, may lead to an understanding of the complexity of an individual’s relationship to the role and identity of being an HT Exploring how HTs do or do not maintain equilibrium, by controlling the stresses caused by additional different or conflicting demands placed upon them, may lead to an understanding of the complexity of an individual’s relationship to the role and identity of being an HT

14 What can we do? When stress is recognised, commit to change When stress is recognised, commit to change Decide what you are dealing with Decide what you are dealing with Try to reduce susceptibility and remove the stressors Try to reduce susceptibility and remove the stressors Talk, talk, talk – insularity is a danger Talk, talk, talk – insularity is a danger

15 The art of networking Offers an opportunity for self-reflection and peer support Offers an opportunity for self-reflection and peer support Traffic expertise and information back and forth Traffic expertise and information back and forth An immediately available extension of knowledge or expertise An immediately available extension of knowledge or expertise Immense time advantage Immense time advantage Share mutually important information Share mutually important information Act as empathic consultants Act as empathic consultants

16 And? Be detached, step back, separate out Be detached, step back, separate out Accept the uncontrollable or unchangeable – adjust and adapt Accept the uncontrollable or unchangeable – adjust and adapt Loneliness is a big ally of stress – share Loneliness is a big ally of stress – share Increase self-awareness – anticipate both joy and difficulty Increase self-awareness – anticipate both joy and difficulty

17 And? Identify, commit, engage – steps as small as necessary Identify, commit, engage – steps as small as necessary Increase personal reserves – boost self esteem and confidence Increase personal reserves – boost self esteem and confidence When change needs to occur, research shows that 40% of success comes through noticing strengths, and 30% through the building of relationships When change needs to occur, research shows that 40% of success comes through noticing strengths, and 30% through the building of relationships

18 List three characteristics that describe the best head teacher you have worked with List three characteristics that describe the best head teacher you have worked with

19 Start by using your inner rudder Richard Abdoo (CEO, major corporation) reserves 8 hours per week for reflection to avoid ‘losing hold of the reins’ Richard Abdoo (CEO, major corporation) reserves 8 hours per week for reflection to avoid ‘losing hold of the reins’ Choices made in keeping with the inner rudder maximise your attention and energy Choices made in keeping with the inner rudder maximise your attention and energy

20 This requires accurate self- assessment ‘He who knows others is wise, he who knows himself is enlightened’ Anon Knowing one’s inner resources, abilities and limits Knowing one’s inner resources, abilities and limits Awareness, reflection, self-knowledge and development Awareness, reflection, self-knowledge and development Sense of humour and perspective Sense of humour and perspective

21 ‘Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal’ Joseph E Cossman ‘Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal’ Joseph E Cossman

22 So ……. Make lists………of what works, what you do well, and what you enjoy Make lists………of what works, what you do well, and what you enjoyAnd Prioritise……….around your vision and your whole school ethos Prioritise……….around your vision and your whole school ethos


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