Exploring what matters

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

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guide to improving teacher happiness and wellbeing

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How to support your teachers’ wellbeing through a pandemic

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 26 November, 2020

As autumn term comes to a close, the terms ‘teacher wellbeing’, ‘teacher self care’ and ‘teacher wellness’ have reported higher than usual results in Google. But it’s unsurprising really, given what 2020 has had to offer. You only have to take a look at the Twitter threads and hashtags to understand how overwhelmed and exhausted the education sector is.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in early March, teacher happiness and wellbeing were already critically low and driving many teachers out of the profession. Unachievable workloads and lack of autonomy were reported as the main factors. But skip forward a few months and teachers now have the added challenge of bubbles, social distancing, pupil absence and continued isolation to contend with. 

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School return: How do we talk about bereavement?

Posted by Graham Newell on 6 May, 2020

An interesting debate has started: return to school with a strong emphasis on ‘catching up’, or a return that has a greater focus on emotional readjustment?

Whatever the outcome of this debate, when pupils return to school they will be changed.

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5 tips to protect your wellbeing whilst remote teaching

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 17 April, 2020

As teachers, protecting your wellbeing at the best of times can be hard. It’s especially important that during this challenging time, our mental and physical health stays in the forefront of our minds.

However you are teaching right now, whether that’s still face-to-face, delivering some classes online, or sharing resources with your students remotely, here are 5 tips to protect your wellbeing whilst remote teaching.

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Smarter marking: How I improved my work-life balance with these 5 techniques

Posted by Stephanie Anne Dudley on 16 October, 2019

Guest blog by Stephanie Anne Dudley, T&L Lead, The Excel Academy @Sad_English

Unfortunately, being a teacher is difficult.  Really difficult. 

The reality of it is that it is a vocation, as no one would work over a fifty-hour week unless you really believed in it, deep down. In approaching my seventh year of teaching, I feel that this is the year where I will stop working harder but will work smarter.

The main question I will be asking myself this year is:  "Am I going to mark this? Why? And, most importantly, what is the point?"

 

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Teacher wellbeing and CPD, is there a link?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 4 March, 2019

The teaching profession is increasingly associated with stress and burnout. The Engaging Teachers report from National Foundation of Educational Research (2016) found that high teacher workload is associated with poor health and staff feeling undervalued.

The number of teachers seeking support for their mental health via the Education Support Partnerships’ confidential helpline increased by 35 per cent from April 2017 to March 2018.

This is by no means new news, but as we all become more aware of the importance of talking about and addressing mental health, schools are having to take more responsibility for the wellbeing of their staff.


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Is this the future of work-life balance?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 17 December, 2018

Work-life balance is a sensitive subject, particularly in the education sector... so what do you make of author and peak performance expert, Dan Thurmon's quirky suggestion for how to get a better handle on your life?

Life balance, says Dan, is a concept that is intriguing, desirable and also completely unrealistic. It’s something we can never actually achieve, so desperately pursuing ‘balance’ can have a negative impact on our lives.

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