The Pursuit of Wellbeing
Love your TAs and they’ll Love You Back! with Jeremy Crook

Love your TAs and they’ll Love You Back! with Jeremy Crook

July 23, 2021

"I love moaning! The only rule is - if you moan about something, you've got to have an idea about a better way of doing it. If you haven’t got an idea on how to make it better, then your moaning is just demoralising people, making everyone feel bad, and dropping the mood of the school. And that’s not OK."

Jeremy Crook was a Headteacher for almost 20 years. He now lectures in initial teacher training and works as a consultant in primary schools in the East of England. 

He LOVES teaching assistants and support staff! And in this episode, shares wise and practical ways to make your support staff feel valued and supported to do their very important work. We talk about:

  • The key reason so many schools have difficult relationships or issues with support staff.
  • The most important thing you need to do to build strong relationships with support staff.
  • The two key things Jeremy did to improve the impact of the Teaching Assistants (TAs) in the classroom.
  • The importance of "non-negotiables."
  • How training raises the status and professionalism of support staff. "If you don’t train them, you’re just setting them up to have a difficult time."
  • The message across all staff is "We care for you but you've got to do a great job. Care itself is not enough."

"The starting position has to be, if I want TAs, I want them because they do a great job in terms of supporting the core purpose of the school, which is getting children to be great learners, of course."


You can connect with Jeremy

Twitter @whatnqt

Email: jnc.edu@gmail.com

LinkedIn: Jez Crook

His podcast is "What I wish I knew as an NQT".

Connect with Maria

On Twitter @Mariabrosnan

On LinkedIn Maria Brosnan

On Instagram @pursuitwellbeing

Find out more about our 5-step Wellbeing Action Plan for teachers online course.

And Maria's book, The Pursuit of Sleep for teachers, is available now.

 

Being an Authentic and Humane Leader with Dan Edwards

Being an Authentic and Humane Leader with Dan Edwards

July 16, 2021

“Every decision I made that was ill-informed meant that people were losing a little bit of faith in me.”

Dan Edwards is the principal of Woodstock Primary Academy, a large primary school in the heart of Leicester City. He shares the best piece of advice he was ever given as a school leader, and how that's shaped his leadership today.

This episode is especially helpful for those new to leadership or starting a new position in the next academic year.

We talk about:

  • How to be the most authentic and genuinely humane leader. 
  • The key steps to transparent leadership.
  • Building or rebuilding parental engagement.
  • Creating a healthy school culture and genuine staff wellbeing.
  • The single thing that makes the biggest difference to staff wellbeing.
  • How to know if you're "getting things right".
  • How to harness the sense of being facilitators of learning, rather than positioning ourselves at the front of the classroom as "teachers and talkers".
  • And much more.

"(New leaders...) sometimes misplace trust by professing to know everything “the saviour is here - someone’s going to give us all the answers” and that’s wrong because we don’t know all the answers."

 

You can connect with Dan

His website is leadinginthenow.org

Twitter  @danedwards_77

Woodstock Primary Academy @woodstockacad

Instagram dan_edwardsed

Also mentioned in this podcast

Kate Jones @KateJones_teach

Sinead Moxham @SineadMoxham

 

Connect with Maria

On Twitter @Mariabrosnan

On LinkedIn Maria Brosnan

On Instagram @pursuitwellbeing

Find out more about our 5-step Wellbeing Action Plan for teachers online course.

And Maria's book, The Pursuit of Sleep for teachers, is available now.

 

What next? The Power of Options with Tom Wheelhouse

What next? The Power of Options with Tom Wheelhouse

July 9, 2021

"Work is somewhere I go to do something I'm good at, but it's not who I am."

What does an ex-police office know about teacher stress?

Quite a lot, as it turns out. 

Tom Wheelhouse founded Mightify in 2015 because he wasn't willing to accept that people in frontline roles across society gave so much and got so little in return. 

He left his career as a police officer and decided he would deliver fit-for-purpose wellbeing, personal development and career transition services to frontline people.

In this fascinating and practical episode he shares:

  • The power of options - why people feel trapped, and why very often that isn't the case.

  • Identity - people generally join teaching because it's a vocation closely linked to their values. It becomes all consuming and an identity. What happens when that identity no longer exists, or no longer serves a healthy purpose?

  • Proactivity and planning - if we're going to spend time each year or term having a performance review, couldn't we spend that time checking in with the person rather than simply the professional role?

  • What happens next? The wellbeing impacts and issues of leaving teaching.

"It all comes back to having that vulnerability and openness to ask and be asked, what do you need right now to thrive?"

You can connect with Tom

His website is mightyfy.co.uk  Free content, regular drop-in sessions, Career Change Club, explore your options in an accessible and friendly way. 

Twitter @mightifyuk

Facebook @mightifyuk

YouTube @mightifyuk

Instagram@mightifyuk

Also mentioned in this podcast

Kathryn Grice - The Teacher Empowerment Project

Professor Jo Clark - Petros

 

Connect with Maria

On Twitter @Mariabrosnan

On LinkedIn Maria Brosnan

On Instagram @pursuitwellbeing

Find out more about our 5-step Wellbeing Action Plan for teachers online course.

And Maria's book, The Pursuit of Sleep for teachers, is available now.

 

Compassion as a Survival Skill with Paul Gilbert

Compassion as a Survival Skill with Paul Gilbert

July 2, 2021

"People can spend their lives with an emotional bully in their head, constantly undermining them, constantly putting them down, constantly judging themselves, and then they wonder why they’re depressed!"
 
Paul Gilbert is a Professor of Clinical Psychology with over 40 years' experience.  He has devoted much of his career to developing Compassion Focussed Therapy. “Compassion is a sensitivity to the suffering of self and others with a commitment to relieve and prevent suffering returning.” 

With humour and great wisdom, Paul explains:

  • Why it's so common for people to feel a lack of self-compassion and so much guilt, shame, and self-criticism.
  • How to move from having an "emotional bully" in our head to having a friend in there.
  • How to look after yourself, so that your relationship with yourself is one of compassion, courage, and wisdom to guide you through whatever darkness is ahead.
  • The role of social media and social comparison in our sense of self.
  • Why it's so important that we 'talk nicely' to ourselves.
  • A simple practice to develop a deeper understanding of compassion for ourselves and others.
  • And much more.

"A lot of the criticism we have for ourselves is because we’re frightened. We’re frightened of being rejected.  We’re frightened of being seen as no good. We’re frightened of being marginalised. We’re frightened."


You can connect with Paul

His website is www.compassionatemind.co.uk

His latest book, 'Living Like Crazy' is widely available.

Also mentioned in this podcast

'Civilised to Death', book by Chris Ryan

How to Train your Vagus - Stephen Porges 

Connect with Maria

On Twitter @Mariabrosnan

On LinkedIn Maria Brosnan

On Instagram @pursuitwellbeing

Find out more about our 5-step Wellbeing Action Plan for teachers online course.

And Maria's book, The Pursuit of Sleep for teachers, is available now.

 

 

 

Creating Everyday Magic with Julie Hurst

Creating Everyday Magic with Julie Hurst

June 25, 2021

"I teach teachers to help children cope with difficult feelings. Difficult emotions can give us important messages if we're unafraid to hear and them and feel them, without becoming utterly overwhelmed by them." 

Julie Hurst is a Positive Psychologist and the founder of the Work Life Balance Centre. She was part of a team among the first people to research work life balance and the impact of work on our lives. They ran a national survey every year for 10 years to find out what it took to have a good balance and ultimately a flourishing happy life.

Julie is a wonderful storyteller and in this wide-ranging conversation, she shares;

  • The 3-part model developed from their research;
  • The ingredients needed for resilience;
  • The 3 kinds of 'skillfulness' she teaches in schools and the powerful impact it has on behaviour;
  • Research showing that one of the biggest dips in children's wellbeing happens in the first year of secondary, and what to do in primary to reduce or eliminate this dip;
  • The 'recipe' for the neurochemical mix that most children need and how to get that in your classroom;
  • Positive Psychology is not 'positive thinking' and how to use this knowledge to help deal with ALL of our emotions;
  • And Julie guides us through a lovely practice called the Compassion Break.

"Your experience of work, and indeed life, depends more on what’s going on between your ears than any external circumstance.  And that is a viewpoint that has been upheld over and over and over again."


You can connect with Julie

Her website is www.thewlbc.com

Email Julie@thewlbc.com

Twitter @juliewlbc

LinkedIn Julie Hurst

Youtube channel is Positive Education with animations explaining Positive Education.

 

Also mentioned in this podcast

Martin Seligman

Sonja Lyubomirksy

Maya Angelou Poetry Foundation
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Sharon Salzberg

Joseph Goldstein

Professor Kristin Neff Self-Compassion.org  - a lot of free content on this site

 

Connect with Maria

On Twitter @Mariabrosnan

On LinkedIn Maria Brosnan

On Instagram @pursuitwellbeing

Find out more about our 5-step Wellbeing Action Plan for teachers online course.

And Maria's book, The Pursuit of Sleep for teachers, is available now.

 

 

Stress, Resilience and the Pursuit of Happiness with Professor Jo Clarke

Stress, Resilience and the Pursuit of Happiness with Professor Jo Clarke

June 18, 2021

"We have the potential to lead stress-free lives. We know that it’s possible because we have evidence and training."

Professor Jo Clarke is a Forensic Psychologist and worked in the criminal justice (prison) system for 23 years. She's the Founder and Director of Petros, a not-for-profit company dedicated to helping people of all ages live more resilient, balanced and productive lives.

In this episode, Jo shares fascinating insights into:

  • human behaviour, in both adults and young people;
  • 'resilience' and defining it in a practical and meaningful way;
  • managing challenging situations and emotions, and how to 'file them away neatly with courage and honesty';
  • what our emotions are  communicating with us and the best ways to respond to them;
  • her research (with colleagues at York University) into the one thing that teachers find most stressful;
  • how we can thrive in high-risk jobs;
  • a wonderful philosophy from Ross Greene that “kids do well if they can, not if they want to";
  • THE fundamental human need we all need to be met, and how to meet it;
  • the 4 powerful principles that underpin her training around stress (one of them is "Stress is a choice"!)
  • epigenetics, and how to not to be a victim to your genetics;
  • and so much more!

"We fall asleep to the pressures that we’re under. Be awake, not sleepwalk through life.”

You can connect with Jo 

Via their website for information about their training www.petros.org.uk

Via her PA Laura Laura@petros.org.uk

Also mentioned in this podcast

Connect with Maria

On Twitter @Mariabrosnan

On LinkedIn Maria Brosnan

On Instagram @pursuitwellbeing

Find out more about our 5-step Wellbeing Action Plan for teachers online course.

And Maria's book, The Pursuit of Sleep for teachers, is available now.

 

Teach Well with Steve Waters

Teach Well with Steve Waters

June 11, 2021

"Every decision that’s taken, is taken through the lens of “will this adversely affect staff wellbeing and mental health?”

And if the answer is ‘yes it will’ you modify it or you don’t continue with it."

Steve Waters is the founder and CEO of the Teach Well Alliance. He works in partnership with schools to implement a culture of staff wellbeing and mental health through his unique programme, the Teach Well Toolkit.

In this incredibly bold and courageous conversation, Steve talks about: 

  • The biggest lie in education.
  • The root of all evil in education.
  • His invitation to leaders to take a risk and refuse to have anything to do with high-stakes accountability measures.
  • And critically, what strategies to put in place of the strategies you reject.
  • "There is an alternative narrative. You’ve got to stop believing that the only way, is putting such intense pressure on teachers that they conform to what we expect them to do."
  • And much more!

"You can’t say we’re putting the children first, if by putting the children first you’re putting the staff last. It can’t work. It doesn’t happen."

You can connect with Steve

On Twitter @teachwellall

On LinkedIn at Steve Waters

The website is teachwellalliance.com

Steve's book 'Cultures of Staff Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools' is now available.


Also mentioned in this podcast 

Jeremy Hannay, Headteacher of Three Bridges Primary School in Southall.
You can watch a conversation with Jeremy and Steve here

John Tomsett @johntomsett

His book is "This Much I Know about Love Over Fear: Creating a culture of truly great teaching: Creating a culture for truly great teaching." Available here 
 
Professor Jonathan Glazzard @j_glazzard

 
Dylan William, “Everything works somewhere, and nothing works everywhere.” Website


Connect with Maria

On Twitter @Mariabrosnan

On LinkedIn Maria Brosnan

On Instagram @pursuitwellbeing

Find out more about our 5-step Wellbeing Action Plan for teachers online course.

And Maria's book, The Pursuit of Sleep for teachers, is available now.

 

 

 

Developing Our Executive Function Skills with Victoria Bagnall

Developing Our Executive Function Skills with Victoria Bagnall

June 4, 2021

"Our Executive Functions are core brain processes that help us regulate our emotions, organise our time and our thoughts, and to do the advanced human activities that we need so much to participate in the modern world."

Victoria Bagnall is an education professional, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Connections in Mind, an executive functions focused coaching and training company.

In this fascinating conversation, Victoria shares her passion for improving opportunities for people with executive function challenges.

  • What are 'executive functions'?
  • the 3 key aspects of executive functions
  • why coaching is such a useful and proven model for developing executive function skills
  • the key factors that are required for our executive functions to work optimally
  • identifying the skill that’s missing that need to be developed
  • how to reframe negative self-talk and help people (of any age) think "I can do something about this"
  • Dr. Daniel Siegel's 'Hand Model of the Brain'
  • and much more.

You can connect with Victoria

On Twitter ConninMind

On Facebook Connections in Mind

On Instagram Connections in Mind

On LinkedIn at Victoria Bagnall

Their websites are www.connectionsinmind.co.uk 

Their Free Course on 'Introduction to Executive Functions' is available at www.cimlearning.com  


Also mentioned in this podcast 

Dr. Daniel Siegel's Hand Model of the Brain


Connect with Maria

On Twitter @Mariabrosnan

On LinkedIn Maria Brosnan

On Instagram @pursuitwellbeing

Find out more about our 5-step Wellbeing Action Plan for teachers online course.

And Maria's book, The Pursuit of Sleep for teachers, is available now.

 

Above & Beyond Education with Alison Kriel

Above & Beyond Education with Alison Kriel

May 28, 2021

"If we all come together, we become collaboratively responsible for every child, in every school, being successful."

Alison Kriel is the founder of the newly launched 'Above & Beyond Education' – a social media platform for all educators and schools to celebrate, connect, support, grow and collaborate to make every school into a great school.

Alison was an inner-city Executive Head Teacher for nearly 20 years and a CEO for 5 years.  She has a passion for social justice leadership, wellbeing, equity, inclusion and diversity.

In this episode, she shares:

  • Her powerful vision for the new platform (incidentally, that she personally funded from scratch.)
  • Where the idea came from and why Marcus Rashford is such an inspiration.
  • The powerful ways the platform 'will be a space to share what we’re doing brilliantly. To celebrate each other a whole lot more.'
  • Why it's so important to have a place 'to hold professional conversations, outside of our own schools and communities'.
  • How to 'flip the narrative and celebrate schools as the glue that holds communities together'.
  • How to deal with perfectionism, and why it's so harmful to us, our children, and our school culture.
  • And much more!

Above & Beyond Education is free for schools and school staff to join (and how it will be monetised by consultants, service providers and innovators)

"People are apologetic for everything they are not doing, at the cost of not celebrating everything they’re doing so well."

You can connect with Alison

On Twitter @AlisonKriel

On LinkedIn Alison Kriel

Her website is alisonkriel.com

Her new platform is aboveandbeyond.education

Also mentioned in this podcast is Marcus Rashford


Connect with Maria

On Twitter @Mariabrosnan

On LinkedIn Maria Brosnan

On Instagram @pursuitwellbeing

Find out more about our 5-step Wellbeing Action Plan for teachers online course.

And Maria's book, The Pursuit of Sleep for teachers, is available now.

Being a More Purposeful Educator with Naomi Ward

Being a More Purposeful Educator with Naomi Ward

May 21, 2021

"Your purpose is often what you’re most longing for."

Naomi Ward has over 14 years experience in the classroom and leadership and is the founder of Purposeful Educators.

In this insightful, practical, and at times very moving episode, Naomi shares:

  • Her definition of 'purpose', and how to help us find clarity around the two aspects of it;
  • The three 'levels of purpose', and her simple advice on how to find which level you're at and how to deepen your sense of purpose;
  • The magic that comes from living purposefully;
  • The beautiful story of Danni, a teacher feeling lost after coming back from maternity leave who rediscovers her purpose;
  • 'Possiping' - the affirming group practice that brings people back to themselves;
  • The importance of having a clear and transparent purpose for your school;
  • Simple practices you can do moment to moment;
  • Dealing with guilt;
  • How to be part of a 'purpose revolution' in schools across the UK and internationally;
  • And much more.

You can connect with Naomi

On Twitter @purposeful_ed

On LinkedIn Naomi Ward

On Instagram: @purposeful_educators

Her website is www.purposefuleducators.com

Other people and things mentioned in the podcast:

The Heart Aroused by David Whyte. The poem is an extract from La Poesia by Pablo Neruda.

The Maternity Teacher Paternity Teacher Project [MTPT] www.mtpt.org.uk  #MTPTproject

The Compassionate Teacher by Andy Sammons

Kristen Neff self-compassion.org

Tara Brach www.tarabrach.com

Connect with Maria

On Twitter @Mariabrosnan

On LinkedIn Maria Brosnan

On Instagram @pursuitwellbeing

Find out more about our 5-step Wellbeing Action Plan for teachers online course.

And Maria's book, The Pursuit of Sleep for teachers, is available now.

 

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