You have made it!
The end of term has arrived, and you have got through it. The end of this difficult year is coming to a close and soon we will be saying goodbye to 2021.
2022 is on its way, and whether we are welcoming it with open arms or not, there is no doubt 2022 is also going to be a busy one.
With the new booster vaccination and the ever-changing decisions on exams, teachers and support staff will have another hectic year of adapting, amending, and continuing to engage students in 2022.
Let’s hope we are back in the classroom next year with no fear!
With the wondering of more lockdowns, making Christmas a confusing one for some – we are sure Covid-19 can still impact teaching in the new year.
We hope that your schools are supporting you, you are receiving the correct encouragement and your mental health is protected and prepared for another unnatural new year.
Dunbar Education are more than just another agency and want you to know that we are here to support you in your current placement, or if you feel it’s time to move on, our consultants can talk you through numerous options and offer advice and find that perfect, next career move for your personal journey.
How can your current school, look after your wellbeing?
We want to provide some helpful tips and let you know how your school can help ease you into 2022.
Remote working, you’ve got this.
1. If lockdown has taught us anything, teachers can work from home. We never thought we would have the opportunity or ability to do so, but classrooms, meetings with parents/staff, PPA can be completed from home. This flexibility can make such a difference when it is vitally needed and to your well-being. Hopefully, leadership have learned to trust their staff.
Is the meeting necessary?
2. We have all been there, you come out of that meeting thinking “that could have been an email” – Yep. Well make it one! Think before arranging a meeting and why it is one. Does it need to be one? Think of your other members of staff and suggest it to others – if this can be done within an email, do it. Save on the interruption of workload.
3. Ok, I know this kind of goes against the above – but hopefully with the less meetings, you can get through your emails! Saying this, before sending one, ensure it is needed also. Think of the time your email is being sent and think about who your ‘email all’ is sending to. Does it need to be everyone? Email anxiety is real, so try and reduce the overload. This will create less work for you, and your colleagues. Also, if the email is extremely important – should it be an email? Communication Is key.
Stop the fluff – make it matter.
4. So, the last 3 points are all linked and the communication IS key. If anything, just remember to think why you are choosing your means of communication. We do not encourage the email overload and the unnecessary meetings. But if you do need to deliver important information, ensure your message is clear. Everyone is busy and things get missed. Whether this is to staff or parents, everyone has things going on. Get direct to the point and repeat where necessary so it is memorable, and things get done.
5. Much easier said than done, we understand. However, this has been a year of change and everyone has felt the difficult affects it has had. Have a break, step back and press pause. We know you are concerned about your teaching methods, your PPE, ensuring your students are engaged and your workload. But you’ve got this. Even when you feel like you haven’t. The joys of teaching is being organised and passionate. If you took part in extracurricular classes to enrich your students, wanting to put in polices or initiatives; you may have to still put these things on hold in 2022, but relax. One day this will go back to a ‘normal’ routine. We are all learning to adapt, and other obstacles will come up.
6. We don’t mean who you are. Obviously, we wouldn’t want you to do that either as you and all teachers have proved the last couple of years you are heroes! But because of this, you have already had to adapt so much. You adapted your usual teaching functions at the drop of hat; becoming masters of online learning, having to think about masks and cleaning as well as your teaching. Creating rotas and then adapting again as another announcement was made, learning to socially distance – all of these unnatural behaviours until the last few years! So why create more changes or rules in the school? Most of this year has been out of our hands, if you do not need to change a process or make an amendment in the school, then don’t -is not necessary!! We need to keep consistency for your sake and your students.
Let’s focus back to your department
7. Especially in secondary teaching. If your school is back to teaching within the classroom, let’s focus on our subjects as much as we can. You have a subject you love, that is why you’re teaching it! To give all that knowledge back and engage your students with that passion. The many amendments of how we have had to learn this year has had it’s impact, but now we need to try get back into why we are doing it all in the first place. Let’s get back to that high quality teaching. Work together as a department to encourage subject-specific strategies to support your students learning.
8. If there were things you were struggling within your teaching previously, you can always ask for help. If things play on your mind, they are going to cause stress and resentment. Ask for help when you need it and take away some of that pressure.
Talk to each other
9. Whether you are support member of staff, or senior leadership, linking with the above, check in with your staff and colleagues. This has been an incredibly tough year for the world, and we all have our own battles. Ask if your colleagues are ok or if they need support. Mental health (https://teaching.blog.gov.uk/category/teacher-wellbeing/?https://teaching.blog.gov.uk/category/teacher-wellbeing/) doesn’t know what position or status you are in within your school, we can all suffer. Make sure you are ok and make sure the people around you are also. Approaching with a smile and encouraging, positivity and wellness and asking is someone is ok can save a life.
It has been a whirlwind the last few years of information and negativity. Let’s ease into 2022 and do our best, that’s all we can do.
Everyone at Dunbar Education wishes you a Happy New Year.