Save Our Teachers!
Posted on: 09/10/2020
A recent UK survey showed that 40% of teachers plan to leave the profession within the next 5 years. That was before lockdown happened! Recent months have demonstrated to many just how significant a role teachers play in the infrastructure of an entire economy, but more importantly how important they are to our children’s development, wellbeing and future hopes. The exams fiasco in the summer demonstrated a lamentable distrust in our teachers by government. Regrettably this is not a new thing. On-going results-foccussed pressure, top down leadership and excessive, ever-changing directives have, for thousands of teachers, utterly destroyed their love of teaching and led to mental and physical health breakdowns on a level unseen before. Teachers are leaving schools in unprecedented numbers.
In 2016 Chamber member Peter Radford became one of those casualties, suffering a breakdown after 20 years in education, nine of those in leadership. But Peter believes that this current exodus is reversible! Having started his own educational business, Beyond This providing student workshops and staff training, Peter’s first book Love Teaching Keep Teaching – An essential guide to improving well-being at all levels of school – hits the book shelves this month, published by Crown House Publishers.
“We need to radically re-think the way we do school,” says Peter. “We can’t address wellbeing by shoe-horning into the curriculum some extra lessons on mental health for students. We need to address it at a whole school level. We need, as teachers, to learn how to model sustainable, balanced lives so that we can enable our young people to do the same.”
The mental health crisis amongst young people is growing. No generation before this one has had 24/7 direct access via their phones to gambling, gaming, porn, friends, enemies, fake news and advertising. We have not equipped students for this world. We aren’t equipped for it ourselves. But… “Education has to be the answer,” says Peter. “Re-thinking not only our curriculum but also the culture of our schools, is now essential. Valuing and acknowledging every student and staff member and placing the wellbeing of each one at the centre of everything we do is the starting point to re-create schools that do what they are supposed to: namely prepare our kids to live life well and build a better future.”
Love Teaching Keep Teaching provides practical insights and guidance to teachers on how to manage their own mental and emotional wellbeing as well as offering guidance on becoming more emotionally literate leaders who can shape an inspiring future.
Know a teacher who is worn-out and demoralised? Get them an early stocking-filler and spread some hope!
Love Teaching Keep Teaching – An essential guide to improving well-being at all levels of school by Peter Radford is available on Amazon and from Crown House Publishers.
For information about Peter’s school workshops and training see www.beyondthis.co.uk
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