Superb blog. This sums the issue up succinctly: “We cannot solve the problem of teacher stress by giving teachers coping strategies and doing nothing about its causes.” Brilliant, thank you. Let’s take action to cultivate a happy, healthy teaching & learning culture in our schools.


I must say at the outset that the #teacher5adaySlowChat idea is a great one. I am honoured to have been asked to chip in with some thoughts on teacher wellbeing.

In this post I hope to spell out concerns I have before suggesting some things that we can do about them, and the challenges that we face in doing so. In this I hope I will find and indeed build common cause with teachers everywhere.

I write this and, no doubt you read this:

not as a journalist nor as a politician

not as a councillor nor as a governor

not as a pundit nor as a consultant

not as an economist nor as a government minister

I speak in the role that we do have – the role that matters most in education and in society…a teacher.

Before there was any such thing as a journalist or a politician…there…

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This is vital research. Finally, a genuine look at the ‘Dark Side’ of teaching. Much more to be done about in-house bullying and the negative affect tis has on teacher health & well-being. An excellent blog.

Exit Teaching

In January, I embarked on a book for Bloomsbury Education entitled How to Survive and Thrive in Teaching, due for completion in January 2017.  The book came about through a combination of sheer serendipity, my doctoral research on balancing teaching and parenthood (http://relationalschools.org/teaching-and-parenting-the-conversation-continues/) and my own blog, charting my recent experiences in the classroom and beyond: https://thosethatcanteach.wordpress.com/. Underpinning my writing (and indeed all of my enterprises) is a passionate commitment to a profession I love and a fierce and hard-wired optimism. A belief that it’s important to acknowledge the many challenges we face, but that it’s possible, with the right combination of strong leadership, self-discipline and moral integrity, to overcome these challenges.

Since starting the book, I’ve been inundated with stories, anecdotes and data from teachers across the UK and beyond. Some stories are optimistic and positive; teachers and leaders who are fulfilled, happy and know they…

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Small Changes, Massive difference!
So many men that I have worked with are really inspired by the massive difference a few small changes in attitude and personal practise can make.  They often arrive skeptical that any of the simple and unusual techniques can really work.  Some are so stressed, anxious and mentally exhausted that they are willing to try anything.  In one five minute exercise they are already making huge shifts in their mental and physical wellbeing.  This inevitably improves how they feel.

How they do it…
In a two and a half hour session, the men learn how stress shows up for them mentally, physically and emotionally.  They learn to recognise where they hold tension, how to  release the tension in their body and how, when they let it go, this makes a fundamental difference to the way they feel and therefore the way they behave.  They learn how to relax (which is no menan feat in prison) and to trust me and my programme enough to  close their eyes and follow the meditaion or visualisation I facilitate.  The most remarkable transformations are when the men embrace the techniques wholehearteldy and pracitse each day in their cell. 

What they say…
When the men open their eyes after deep relaxation and meditation, they are astounded at the words that pour out of their mouth.  Week after week I am privileged to witness the miracle that ocurs within the confines of the prison walls.  They describe how they feel as…
relaxed, calm. peaceful, open, light, relieved, soft, happy and free.  Yes FREE!  Almost without exception, every week, at least one man will describe himself as free.  This is the power of the techniques I teach.