Zen Teachers result in successful schools
As much as the DfE, Ofsted and several school leaders are beginning to highlight the need to tackle teacher workload, there are still too many teachers and schools suffering from burnout, stress, anxiety and recruitment and retention issues. Zen Teachers is a fundamental part of Zen work hub and lies at the heart of our work: we want teachers to thrive, prosper and be happy. We want to encourage more people to join the profession and inspire young people. However, more than anything, we want to create a hub for teachers to share, attend and communicate all things about teacher wellbeing. Get in touch to find out more - we're determined to support and sustain the drive to encourage staff wellbeing in all schools!
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After completing my degree in English Literature, I didn't have a clue what to do. My family suggested teaching as a 'secure, safe and reputable career'. I went on to complete the PGCE and secured my very first teaching post straight away. I achieved Ofsted graded 'outstanding' lessons as an NQT and was promoted to Careers Coordinator the very same year. My line manager at the time soon approached me to progress further after I had managed and led several events for students too. However, what no one, not even my family could see was that I was sinking: the marking, the behaviour, the pace, the lessons, the pressure, the targets, the people, the politics, the leadership...I was looking for jobs on the 31st August before returning for what was only my second year as a teacher. My best friend would help me look for jobs, whilst I cried over piles of marking and lesson plans, which were quite frankly killing me softly. Yet, I had the best relationships with all my students and made some life long friends amongst my colleagues too. The paradox is mind-boggling.
To cut a long story short, I left teaching (with great difficulty) in the summer of 2012, buzzing at the idea of being free. It was short lived as my span in education recruitment made me realise (or helped me remember) my love of teaching. I relaunched my career at a school which became my second home - and I loved every minute. I took steps to acknowledge the workload (it still existed and the tears and stress days were very real) and in my final year as Head of Department and Associate Senior Leader, I put steps in place to support the wellbeing of all my colleagues. Never have I had such a healthy work life balance (perhaps, not in the way you may assume) and it gave me the motivation and vision to support teacher wellbeing and change within our education system for everyone - maybe one day, across the world!
Teacher wellbeing is more than a coffee morning, a fitness class and an INSET day. Yes, those things help and are a part of strategies at Zen work hub, however teacher wellbeing at Zen work hub is the continued drive and motivation to make things better. It's the shared goal and purpose to support the people in schools who educate, well, everyone. We all have a story to share about school and we all remember our teachers, the good, the bad and the life changing. Regardless of our experiences at school, no one can deny that there was at least one teacher that was truly there for them; a teacher who cared, supported, listened and laughed!
Unfortunately, the current economic climate is driving wonderful teachers out of the profession and as much as teachers are free to embark on exciting and new journeys like the rest of us, we want to ensure our schools are still filled with passion, enthusiasm and a love of educating and inspiring the next generation. To do this, schools need to be filled with passion, enthusiasm and a love for inspiring and caring for their teachers too.
Through our stories, community, upcoming resources, workshops and events, we hope Zen Teachers motivates new and existing educators to love and change teaching for the better - not just the practice, but the lifestyle and environment too.
In any organisation, leadership is core to building a positive workforce, one that is successful, productive and happy. The aim of leadership is to empower and inspire. At Zen work hub, we want Zen Teachers to make a difference and therefore we want to start from the top. We want to help and support leaders develop and embed an ethos which prioritises the wellbeing of its staff.
Plus, we want to learn from you too. Collaboration is key in education and therefore we want to work with schools to build a supportive network whilst understanding what more we can do to support teacher wellbeing and work-life balance too. Essentially, we want to help leaders empower their staff to manage and prioritise their wellbeing for the success of everyone.
Get in touch to find out more about how Zen work hub can work with school leaders to support wellbeing in the workplace.
The greatest people are self-managing - they don't need to be managed. Once they know what to do, they'll go figure out how to do it. What they need is a common vision. And that's what leadership is: having a vision; being able to articulate that so the people around you can understand it, and getting a consensus on a common vision.
Middle leader team building
Middle leaders are known as the core of the school structure: without you, communication. systems and processes will essentially fall apart! Therefore, to support your wellbeing, it's important to ensure your teams are working smart for the best possible outcomes. At Zen work hub, we support middle leaders by addressing and evaluating existing systems and processes to ensure you are working in an efficient and positive manner that works for you and your teams.
How to engage with your team
It can be difficult to draw a line between working alongside your team as a manager and a colleague. Often, it can be challenging to ensure all members of the team engage, collaborate and of course, talk to each other! We support middle leaders with tips and strategies to engage their teams by working closely with individual middle leaders to ensure you are putting the right strategies in place to suit your team.
Positivity and ethos
We are all told to be positive and have an ethos, but this is much easier said than done. What is an ethos and how do you get everyone to engage when there is so much marking to do? We support middle leaders to devise an ethos that excites you, your team and your students. Not only will it motivate you, but you will start seeing a positive difference in your wellbeing too!
Get in touch about Zen Teachers
If you are interested in learning more about Zen Teachers, or if you would like to work with us, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you!