EDCI 6216 Creating a supportive working environment


WELCOME

Welcome to "Creating a Supportive Working Environment for Staff and Students". This course is intended to help all staff contribute to creating a positive and supportive working environment for all members of the school community. It seeks to help staff spot the signs of a negative working environment, and to develop the skills required to make the school a better place in which to work, helping develop a collaborative approach that promotes the well-being of staff and students.

This course consists of four modules:

  • Module 1: The benefits of a positive working environment
  • Module 2: Promoting teamwork, eliminating bullying
  • Module 3: Recognizing negative stress
  • Module 4: Promoting physical and mental well-being

As you work through the course, you will:

  • look at examples of how a negative working environment can affect individuals and the school as a whole
  • reflect on your idea of teamwork and explore ways of ensuring that your school is more than a collection of individuals
  • learn to spot the signs of adult bullying, and explore ways of tackling it
  • examine the signs of negative stress, both in yourself and in colleagues
  • learn basic skills to promote the physical and mental well-being of staff

The more you actively engage in the ideas presented in the course, the more you and your school will be able to get out of it. There are two clear tools used to further understanding of the issues – personal reflection, and observation of the present situation in your school.

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PREPARATION

There is no preparation work for this course.

COURSE STRUCTURE

This is an independent study program which means your individual starting date and due date are based on your date of registration. Your instructor will advise you of this due date.

This is an interactive online course. Although you will be able to complete some of it just by sitting in front of your screen working through the online material, we will regularly ask you to reflect on what you have learned, and put ideas into practice.

  • Activities - exercises or reflections for you to carry out in front of your computer screen. Unlike a Task, there is no specific end product, and you'll always be able to complete them on your own.
  • Tasks - similar to Activities, but requiring you to put your learning into practice in a specific situation in school.
  • Forms - use to collect the information learned.
  • Resources -

    a) RESOURCE FORMS: Has PDF forms to help you answer questions in the Student Books

    b) RESOURCE FURTHER READING: Includes clarifications about the module.

    c) REFERENCE LINKS: Has links to websites referred to in the module.

    d) DEFINITIONS: Has definitions of terms used in the module.

    e) BIBLIOGRAPHY: The bibliography is located at the bottom of this page that includes books you may check out at your local library.

  • Student Book- for you to record your reflections and send to your instructor.

At any time you may email your instructor with questions or problems you may be having with the material or the web site.

How do I get the Student Book to my instructor?

You will need to email it to your instructor. Download and save the document as described below and then you can enter your own text into the Student Book word document. Your instructor will expect a version of your Student Book as you complete each module. These can be saved by you in your files as well as being sent to your course instructor via email as an email attachment.

How do I save and name the Student Book?

You cannot type your answers on this web site. You must download your Student Book template which is a word document, by clicking on the download link below.

For your Student Book, please use a text document or a Microsoft Word document and type your text there. Title the document like this:

  • NAME OF CLASS
  • NAME OF TEACHER
  • YOUR NAME
  • DATE
  • MODULE1

[NAMEOFCLASS_TEACHERSNAME_YOURNAME_MODULENUMBER.doc ]

like this

6208_DRCLARK_JOHNDOE_MODULE1.doc

Save the Student Book on your computer and complete the assignments on the document and then email it to your teacher.

INDEX

STUDENTBOOK

Click here to download all student books

RESOURCES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

REFERENCE LINKS

 

Module 1: The benefits of a positive working environment

Module 1a- Intended learning outcomes for Module 1

Module 1b- Teacher welfare statistics

Module 1c- More statistics on teacher well-being

Module 1d- Activity 1: Thinking about past jobs

Module 1e- Activity 2: The differences between positive and negative working environments

Module 1f- Activity 3: Why address the working environment?

Module 1g- Task 1: Gathering information

Module 1h- Activity 4: Analyzing the responses from the staff questionnaire

Module 1i- What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 1

Module 1j- Congratulations


Module 2: Promoting teamwork, eliminating bullying

Module 2a- Intended learning outcomes for Module 2

Module 2b- The importance of teamwork

Module 2c- Activity 5: Reflection on the importance of teamwork

Module 2d- Leadership styles

Module 2e- Activity 6: Reflection on leadership style

Module 2f- Adult on adult bullying

Module 2g- Activity 7: Spotting bullying

Module 2h- Myths about bullying

Module 2i- Bullying to one person is just strong management to another

Module 2j- Targets of bullies are usually weak

Module 2k- Targets are being oversensitive

Module 2l- It's not bullying, it's a personality clash

Module 2m- Bullies are victims of excessive pressure themselves

Module 2n- Activity 8: Strong management or bullying?

Module 2o- Bullying and health

Module 2p- An anti-bullying culture

Module 2q-Activity 9: Creating an anti-bullying culture

Module 2r-Task 2: Devising a policy on adult bullying

Module 2s- Activity 10: Supporting targets of adult on adult bullying

Module 2t- What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 2

Module 2u- Congratulations


Module 3: Recognizing negative stress

Module 3a- Intended learning outcomes for Module 3

Module 3b- The nature of stress

Module 3c- Defining stress

Module 3d- Positive stress

Module 3e- Negative stress

Module 3f- The symptoms of negative stress

Module 3g- Activity 11: Understanding negative stress

Module 3h- Activity 12: Recognizing the symptoms of negative stress

Module 3i- Task 3: The causes of stress in teaching

Module 3j- Workplace counseling

Module 3k- Activity 13: Causes of negative stress in teaching

Module 3l- Activity 14: How teachers feel when stressed

Module 3m- What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 3

Module 3n- Congratulations


Module 4: Promoting physical and mental well-being

Module 4a- Introduction to Module 4

Module 4b- Intended learning outcomes for Module 4

Module 4c- What is well-being?

Module 4d- Activity 15: Your personal well-being

Module 4e- Physical well-being

Module 4f- Task 4: Promoting physical well-being in schools

Module 4g- Emotional well-being

Module 4h- Mental and intellectual well-being

Module 4i- Career satisfaction and vitality

Module 4j- What contributes to career satisfaction?

Module 4k- Activity 16: Career satisfaction – questions to consider

Module 4l- Activity 17: Spiritual well-being

Module 4m- Activity 18: Making the change – taking the plunge

Module 4n- Activity 19: A statement of change

Module 4o- What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 4

Module 4p- Congratulations


Module 1-The Benefits of a Positive Work Environment

Module 1a-Intended learning outcomes for Module 1

"The challenge is to be a light, not a judge; to be a model, not a critic." (Covey,1992)

By the end of this module you should:

  • understand what the main characteristics of a positive and a negative working environment are
  • understand the impact that your working environment can have on you
  • have gathered information on the opinions of your staff on the physical and emotional environment in your school

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Module 1b-Teacher welfare statistics

The teaching profession has unique pressures distinct from those of other professions, and stress is undoubtedly a serious problem for teachers all around the world.

But it's not just stress in schools that affects staff. Click on Resource 1 for a list of the seven most common issues affecting school staff.


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Module 1c-More statistics on teacher well-being

Concerns related to the emotional and physical health of educators are not limited to the United States. The total cost of ill-health related teacher absence in the UK has been estimated at over £368.6m each year. (Source: Steven Goss, University of Strathclyde, 2001)

In a report looking at all existing research on the effectiveness of workplace counseling, the recordable reductions in absenteeism were typically reported to vary from 25 to 50 percent. (Source: McLeod J, 2001, Counseling in the workplace: the facts. Rugby BACP.)

A number of psychological counseling studies suggest that emotional support leads to enhanced immunological responses. Changes in the incidence of colds, stomach complaints and headaches may be brought about through the provision of counseling. (Source: Howlett, S, 2001: Writing for me: writing for you. Conference presentation, University of Sheffield)

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Module 1d-Activity 1: Thinking about past jobs

Think about the working environments that you've experienced throughout your working life. Don't just focus on teaching jobs, but think about jobs you've had outside teaching, too.

  • Where have you thrived?
  • Where did you feel hindered or even unhappy?
  • What, specifically, do you think contributed to your well-being in the working environments that you feel were positive?
  • Conversely, what contributed to a reduction in your sense of well-being in the jobs where you felt hindered or unhappy?

Aim to consider all aspects of the physical and emotional environment of each job that you look at. Record your thoughts in your Student book 1.

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Module 1e-Activity 2 : The differences between positive and negative working environments

From your work on Activity 1, you'll have identified some key features of positive and negative working environments. Resource 2 may offer you some further ideas. Read the Resource and make a note of any of the features that you've not previously highlighted when working on Activity 1, in your Student book 2.

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Module 1f-Activity 3: Why address the working environment?

Identifying working environments that can be considered "positive" or "negative" is all very well, but what reasons are there for addressing the working environment beyond the rather vague "moral obligations" that employers have towards their staff? Read Resource 3 and Resource 4, which offer some justifications for treating this as an issue of the utmost importance.

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Module 1g- Task 1: Gathering information

Before you can make extensive progress in improving the working environment in your school for your staff, you need to have a clear idea of what gets them down and prioritize what would be most usefully improved. Resource 5 is a questionnaire which will help you and your staff gather this information. Ideally, distribute it to every member of staff, but if your school is large, take a cross-section of staff initially so that you are not overwhelmed at the analysis stage. If you limit the staff you give the questionnaire to, plan times in the future when you can bring the rest of the school into the consultation. You may also decide to offer staff the option of completing the questionnaire anonymously. Be sure to complete one yourself! The purpose of this task is to gather information on the way in which your staff members feel about their physical and emotional working environment, to see how your school sees itself. This will give you the opportunity to prioritize the steps you take towards improving the working environment for your staff. The time you spend on this task will vary according to the number of responses you get. The more time you can devote to their analysis, the better the picture of life in your school will be.

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Module 1h- Activity 4: Analyzing the responses from the staff questionnaire

As this task has essentially been a fact-finding mission, there's no need for detailed analysis of the results. Instead, look for repeating themes in the responses. Look particularly closely at any negative stress correlations.

Draw up a shortlist of the four most urgent changes needed in your school. Make sure that your shortlist reflects the concerns aired by your staff. Note at least one immediate change that you know from your consultation would be an improvement for your staff, and carry it out.

Other changes may take longer, depending on funds required and the degree to which you need to consult others, such as your Board or school administrators.

It would be useful to let staff know the conclusions you've drawn from the exercise. The following modules of this course will help in tackling some of the priorities for change that you identify. Record your shortlist in your Student book (3).

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Module 1i- What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 1

Now that you have worked through the Activities and Task in this module, please look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 1.

By the end of this module you should:

  • understand what the main characteristics of a positive and a negative working environment are
  • understand the impact that your working environment can have on you
  • have gathered information on the opinions of your staff on the physical and emotional environment in your school

How much has this module helped you to achieve these outcomes? Make a note in your Student book (4) and e-mail your comments to your instructor.

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Module 1j- Congratulations

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Module 2: Promoting teamwork, eliminating bullying

Module 2a By the end of this module you should:

  • appreciate the importance of teamwork in creating and maintaining a supportive working environment
  • understand the nature of adult on adult bullying
  • know how best to support victims of adult on adult bullying

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Module 2b- The importance of teamwork

"Teamworking" and "teambuilding" are so overused as ideas in professional development courses that they're in danger of becoming meaningless. Nevertheless, the creation of a team "identity" can be crucial to success in the development of a supportive working environment. Without a cohesive team, it's virtually impossible to develop shared goals for future direction – goals that can be achieved by, and for, everyone. Without a cohesive team, motivation is a near-impossible challenge. The chances of truly benefiting from the combined knowledge and skills of staff members on what would genuinely make their working environment more supportive are lost. Read Resource 6 for some advice on building a cohesive team.

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Module 2c- Activity 5: Reflection on the importance of teamwork

Using the information in Resource 6, as well as your own experience of being part of a team in your school, what are your views on the importance of effective teamwork?

Do you have any experience of working in an environment with no cohesive, effective teamwork going on? What characterized this environment? In what ways did problems manifest themselves? How were they resolved?

Can you see a significant link between belonging to a team with a strong sense of identity and being able to make real progress in creating a supportive working environment? Add as much detail and thought to your answers as possible, and record them in your Student book (5)

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Module 2d- Leadership styles

For the purpose of this course and our focus on creating a supportive environment, think about these loose categories of leadership style:

problem-solver: being able to see creative and positive possibilities in getting through, over and round problems, and able to make a positive difference

pessimist: seeing obstacles in every potential solution, often exhibiting excessive negativity

motivated progress-maker: the focus on accomplishing tasks takes priority over all else

relationship preserver: sees nurturing and preserving interpersonal relationships as a priority in the process of management and leadership

skills developer / performance improver: takes a proactive approach to the needs of the organization by ensuring that the skills of individuals are used, developed and improve

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Module 2e- Activity 6: Reflection on leadership style

Remembering that all roles in schools involve at least some aspect of leadership, which category of leadership style (from the previous page) would you place yourself in? You'll probably find that you don't fit totally into any one category, but which one is the closest to you? Why?
Would you like to have characteristics of other styles of leadership, styles perhaps not listed here? If so, what characteristics would you like to have?

Be sure to answer as fully as possible. The goal is to reflect on how you interact with others, keeping in mind the focus of creating a supportive working environment. Record your thoughts in your Student book (6).

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Module 2f- Adult on adult bullying

"Bullying is a sustained form of psychological abuse, a gradual wearing down process that makes the individuals feel demeaned, inadequate and hopeless not only within their own work environment but also in their domestic life." (Baroness Gould of Potternewton, speech to the House of Lords, 27 March 2002).

The phenomenon of adults 'bullying' each other is not new, but in the absence of a universally agreed definition of precisely what this constitutes means it's particularly difficult to contain the issue. By way of a general definition, adult bullying is: "all forms of harassment, discrimination, prejudice, abuse, persecution, conflict and violence". (Tim Field, Bully Online)

Tim Field goes as far as to say that adult bullying is the single most important social issue of today.

Read Resource 7: Being bullied for an example of adult on adult bullying in action.

Then read the definitions of this behavior in Resource 8: Adult on adult bullying.

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Module 2g- Activity 7: Spotting bullying

Resource 8 explored some of the characteristics of bullying between adults. While each example in itself may not constitute bullying, when combined with one or two other examples it could well result in anyone feeling that they are being bullied.

What was your initial reaction when you read the list of bullying characteristics in Resource 8?

Have you ever been on the receiving end of any similar bullying tactics? Describe what happened.

Have you ever witnessed a colleague being bullied? What were the circumstances? Have you ever treated a colleague in a bullying way? If so, how did this situation develop? If not, how do you avoid coming over as a "bully" in your interactions with others?

Remember to give as much detail as possible in your responses, and record them in your Student book (7).

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Module 2h- Myths about bullying

As previously mentioned, a clear and universally accepted definition of bullying does not exist. Perhaps because of this, some potentially damaging myths about the issue have developed. We'll look at some of these myths over the next few pages.

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Module 2i- Bullying to one person is just strong management to another

Strong or assertive management does not result in low morale, high rates of sickness absence or high staff turnover. Although school managers in the teaching profession are just part of the tier of management above staff, and therefore not the sole cause of these eventualities, there is still a discernible difference between these two types of management style. Good managers support, encourage and cajole, even when needing to impact on behavior in some way. Bad managers may seek control, power and domination through the use of bullying. Read Resource 9 for an example of the same request being given by:

  • a bad manager
  • a good manager

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Module 2j- Targets of bullies are usually weak

This is rarely the case. Bullying may weaken individuals over time, but there are usually other reasons for the target being chosen, such as the way in which they may highlight the inadequacies of those around them, simply through their own efficiency.

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Module 2k- Targets are being oversensitive

It's the repetitive nature of adult on adult bullying that can lead to the target feeling hyper vigilant. This sensitivity is usually a result of, rather than a cause of the bullying.

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Module 2l- It's not bullying, it's a personality clash

Bullying is not simply a matter of not seeing eye-to-eye or having to agree to disagree. There is far more persistence about the nit-picking, criticism and undermining that is characteristic of bullying. Read how a bully treats a colleague in Resource 10 to see how nit-picking can undermine an individual.

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Module 2m- Bullies are victims of excessive pressure themselves

It may well be the case that someone adopting bullying tactics is simply passing on the pressure they feel to someone else. This doesn't excuse their methods.

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Module 2n- Activity 8: Strong management or bullying?

"Poor management is a major cause of stress." (Dr Peter Graham, Head of Health Directorate, UK Health and Safety Executive, 24 September, 1998)

To what extent do you agree with the view that strong management is quite distinct from bullying?

What do you view as being the main characteristics of strong management?

How, specifically, might strong managers avoid being viewed as bullies? Record your responses in your Student book (8). Remember to include as much detail as possible.

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Module 2o- Bullying and health

There are clear risks to the health of anyone suffering from bullying in the workplace.
As prolonged bullying often generates physical and emotional symptoms of negative stress in the sufferer (as we'll come onto in Module 3), many ailments suffered are the same, such as potentially raised blood pressure, sleeplessness and fatigue.

In addition, targets of bullying can also find themselves dealing with:

  • reactive depression
  • hyper vigilance
  • shattered confidence
  • anxiety

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Module 2p- An anti-bullying culture
An anti-bullying culture is essentially one in which the reasons for people resorting to bullying tactics have been largely eradicated. Such a culture is also vital if the wider goals of education are to have any hope of being achieved. Staff don't work well if they are struggling to exist in a culture of fear.

These ideas will help you think about how an anti-bullying culture can be encouraged in your school:

  • whatever position you occupy at your school, be a model of anti-bullying culture and pro-social behavior by publicly showing support for targets of bullies
  • raise the profile of bullying in your school – talk about it, identify it and don't let it sink underground – be extra vigilant if you suspect a colleague is suffering
  • if you're in a leadership position, rehabilitate anyone you suspect of resorting to these tactics – supporting the target is not enough if the perpetrator isn't encouraged to change

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Module 2q- Activity 9: Creating an anti-bullying culture

Are there any considerations peculiar to your school? Are there any suggestions you can make to others? Note any particularly good ideas that you could implement in your school in your Student book (9).

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Module 2r- Task 2: Devising a policy on adult bullying

Through consultation with all the staff at your school, devise an adult bullying policy. (For more advise about devising school policy, look at our "Developing policies" course.)

Consider these points when creating your policy:

  • use it as an opportunity to shape a new culture, to make a public commitment to a bully-free environment for staff, even if bullying does not seem to be prevalent in your school
  • create lines of communication through which bullying incidents can be reported immediately without fear of reprisal
  • be sure that there is a commitment to making resources for dealing with bullying, such as workplace counseling, available to staff at the earliest opportunity
  • commit to the appreciation of individuals' personal qualities as an ethos of your school, this will encourage a strong sense of self amongst staff making them
  • less vulnerable to personal attack
  • consider the ways in which bullies will be rehabilitated

A policy on workplace bullying in schools should not be squeezed into harassment policies but should stand alone dealing specifically with the issue. All adults working within your school should know precisely how they will be supported if they are targets of a bully, and how they will be dealt with should they ever employ bullying tactics themselves.

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Module 2s- Activity 10: Supporting targets of adult on adult bullying

In a speech to the House of Lords in March 2002, Baroness Gould of Potternewton said:
"The recent research undertaken by the Manchester School of Management found that bullying was associated with a negative work climate, high workload and unsatisfactory relationships at work and often coincides with a change of management. That research, which was the first nationwide survey to be undertaken…concluded that 10.5 percent of people had been bullied in the workplace."

Targets of adult bullying will need extensive support in dealing with the situation. If bullying is not addressed, the target will ultimately walk away from the situation through choice or through ill health. The target will never continue to tolerate bullying indefinitely.

Resource 11 contains advice on dealing with bullies (adapted from the Newly Qualified Teacher’s Handbook, by Elizabeth Holmes). It can be used as a guide for individuals suffering from workplace bullying or for those seeking to assist targets of bullying.

Read Resource 11. From the perspective of helping a colleague to deal with workplace bullying, would you add anything to this action plan? Add your detailed thoughts to your Student book (10).

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Module 2t- What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 2

Now that you have worked through the Activities and Tasks in this module, please look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 2.
By the end of this module you should:

  • appreciate the importance of teamwork in creating and maintaining a supportive working environment
  • understand the nature of adult on adult bullying
  • know how best to support victims of adult on adult bullying

How much has this course so far helped you to achieve these outcomes? Make your comments in Student book (11) and e-mail your comments to your instructor.

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Module 2u- Congratulations

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Module 3 Recognizing negative stress

Module 3a- Intended learning outcomes for Module 3
By the end of this module you should:

  • understand the difference between negative and positive stress
  • understand the impact of negative stress
  • have a clear idea about the causes of stress in teaching
  • know how teachers report that they feel when stressed

NB: This module should help you recognize negative stress in yourself and colleagues. What we can't do is provide solutions to all the myriad of causes of stress that are external to you – your tough school, your incompetent principal, and an ever-increasing workload!

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Module 3b- The nature of stress

In many ways our physical well-being is our ultimate challenge. Not only are our lives so full that we rarely have the time to focus on our physical bodies but we are also under attack from toxins and pollutants in our food, water and in the air we breathe.

A central threat to our physical, mental and emotional well-being is stress. But we need to be specific about what we mean by "stress".

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Module 3c- Defining stress

There's no doubt that as a concept "stress" gets a bad press. How often have you read media stories about how stress is the killer of our time, how it's destroying relationships and ruining our health (all usually accompanied by images reminiscent of Edvard Munch's "The Scream")?
But we need to distinguish between positive stress and negative stress.

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Module 3d Positive stress

Positive stress, or eustress, can be defined as pressure that gives life an "edge". It doesn't swamp us, but challenges and stretches us to use all our resources. We feel motivated and even excited by positive stress and may even experience a sense of personal growth.

In the school setting, positive stress usually occurs around, e.g., a school play or end-of-term concert. These events take time, effort and energy, often at a stage of the term when our inner resources are running low but the additional stress is usually positive, because it is short-term and can promote a sense of well-being, confidence and an increase in self-esteem.

If you were to take a look at your school's calendar with a view to identifying the times that are likely to give staff additional stresses to contend with, it's unlikely that you'd opt to remove events such as school visits, plays, sports events and so on. This is because these are usually sources of positive, not negative stress.

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Module 3e- Negative stress

When our physical and mental resources become overstretched to a great extent then negative stress can result. We feel this when we lose our sense of control in trying to achieve a certain goal. We feel under so much pressure to perform that our behavior turns into self-destruction. We can't switch off and we think almost obsessively about the cause of the stress.

Even if we are not physically or mentally aware of it, our bodies will not deny us symptoms of negative stress such as raised blood pressure and headaches. The ultimate sign of negative stress is ill-health.

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Module 3f- The symptoms of negative stress

Negative stress will impact individuals differently, so it is essential to become self-aware and to know precisely how it affects us. It is only when we have this skill that we can support the body through stressful periods by either optimizing the effects of positive stress, or by reducing the potentially harmful effects of negative stress.

A number of changes take place in our bodies when we become over-stressed. These are explained in more detail later on in the course, but in short, they are:

  • an increase to the blood supply to muscles
  • the adrenal glands produce more adrenalin
  • pupils become dilated
  • the heart rate increases
  • blood pressure can rise
  • the sweat glands produce more sweat
  • breathing becomes more rapid
  • the menstrual cycle can become disturbed
  • the digestive system can become upset
  • the immune system becomes less effective
  • skin problems can develop
  • sleep disorders can develop

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Module 3g- Activity 11: Understanding negative stress

Read Resource 12: The impact of negative stress, and Resource 13: Exhaustion.

From what you have read so far in this module, does any of the information resonate particularly with you? Can you think of specific circumstances within your career when you have felt the physical impact of negative stress? In what ways does negative stress affect you physically? Record your responses in your Student book (12).

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Module 3h- Activity 12: Recognizing the symptoms of negative stress

Negative stress is hard to recognize in yourself and in others, particularly as there's such a wide variety of behavioral, physical and emotional signs that the body can reveal.
Recognizing the symptoms of negative stress requires self-observance and honesty. Denial of stress-related problems compounds the situation and prolongs recovery time.

If you think that you, or a member of your staff, may be suffering from negative stress, answer, or ask your staff or colleagues to answer, the questions below. They have been taken from The Newly Qualified Teacher's Handbook.

  • What do others say about you? How are you described?
  • How do you interact with others? Are you patient and attentive or snappy and distracted?
  • Are you less confident than you used to be? Shyer and more introspective?
  • Is your mood stable and balanced or do you find yourself swinging from contentment to distress in one go?
  • Is decision-making more difficult than it used to be and concentration a thing of the past?
  • Are your thoughts generally positive or negative? Do you have any thoughts of impending doom?
  • Do you rely on stimulants more than usual? Has, for example, the occasional drink become a daily necessity?
  • Has work taken over where leisure once reigned? Once you have completed your work, do you have the energy for a full social life?
  • What are your energy levels like? Do you experience the highs and lows of adrenalin 'dependence'?


Record your responses in as much detail as possible in your Student book (13).

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Module 3i- Task 3: The causes of stress in teaching Resource 14: Recognizing stress questionnaire has the questions you asked yourself in the previous Activity in a printable format. You can use this with colleagues.

It can be useful to ask staff to consider the questions regardless of whether they suspect that they are suffering the impact of negative stress. Be sure to encourage them to answer the questions in as much depth as possible, although the nature of the questions may mean that staff wish to keep their responses confidential. If they know precisely what mechanisms for receiving support exist for them both within and outside your school, this should not be a problem.

Print off Resource 14 and use it as a questionnaire if it helps.

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Module 3j- Workplace counseling

Counseling is often advocated as a good way to deal with stress-related problems. Check the Internet for the latest information about the benefits of workplace counseling. See if your school district offers counseling for employees or if a nearby college offers counseling to educators.

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Module 3k- Activity 13: Causes of negative stress in teaching

Resource 15 explores some of the main factors that lead teachers to experience negative stress. Read this resource with a view to identifying how many of these potential mental or emotional strain apply to you and your staff in your working environment.
Once you have read and considered Resource 15, record your responses to the following questions in your Student book (14). Remember to answer in as much detail as possible.

  • Are you able to identify clear factors that contribute to negative stress in your working environment?
  • How many of the factors do you have control over – can you change?
  • Are any stressors in your working environment intractable?

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Module 3l- Activity 14: How teachers feel when stressed

Resource 16: How teachers feel when stressed is an extract about research identifying how teachers reportedly feel when they are suffering from negative stress.
From your personal experience in your job, how far do you agree with the research findings?

Explain your response in full in your Student book (15).

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Module 3m- What have you learned?

Evaluation of your learning from Module 3.

Now you have worked through the Activities and Tasks in this module, please look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 3.
By the end of the module you should:

  • understand the difference between negative and positive stress
  • understand the impact of negative stress
  • have a clear idea about the causes of stress in teaching
  • know how teachers report that they feel when stressed

In your Student book (16), note the extent to which you've achieved these learning outcomes and e-mail your comments to your instructor.

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Module 3n- Congratulations

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Module 4: Promoting physical and mental well-being

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Module 4a- Introduction to Module 4

School staff spend their energies – quite literally – in dealing with and caring for young people, somehow knowing that this is time well spent. Most teachers and support staff feel that this attention brings pupils closer to achieving their full potential. It's this that brings many people into the profession into the first place. But it's both sustaining and exhausting.

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Module 4b- Intended learning outcomes for Module 4

By the end of this module you should:

  • understand the nature of what is meant by 'well-being'
  • be able to analyze your own sense of well-being within your working environment
  • have gained ideas on how to enhance your personal and whole-school sense of well-being
  • have developed a "statement of change" – a commitment to the encouragement of well-being within your school

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Module 4c- What is well-being?

Well-being is a vague concept, perhaps understood more in its absence. Pinning an idea like well-being down is impossible, but it certainly helps to break it down into the constituent parts of physical, emotional, mental/intellectual and spiritual well-being. Although these dimensions can be separated out, they are, of course, mutually bound up together. Like an engine, it can help to take it apart to understand how it's constructed, but it has to be reassembled if it's going to work.

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Module 4d- Activity 15: Your personal well-being

Here are some deliberately ambiguous questions designed to encourage you to reflect on different dimensions of your own well-being:

  • What was your breakfast time like?
  • Where do you hurt? What caused this hurt? (Your first response is what you should take notice of – whether that be physical or emotional hurt.)
  • How do you feel about your friends?
  • How do you feel about your work?
  • What have you learned recently? (Not including what you might have learned from this course.)

Record your responses, as honestly, and in as much detail as possible, in your Student book (17)


Module 4e- Physical well-being

For the sake of this course, physical well-being encompasses negative stress (as discussed in Module 3), food and internal fitness, breathing, exercise and rest and relaxation. Read the following resources, which contain information on each of these dimensions of physical well-being not covered so far in the course:


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Module 4f- Task 4: Promoting physical well-being in schools There are some relatively easy ways of promoting physical well-being in schools. Resource , 21: Promoting physical well-being in schools contains some ideas to get you started. Add your own ideas to the list so that you have at least twenty ways of promoting physical well-being that are specific and relevant to your working environment. Enlist the help of colleagues if necessary.


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Module 4g- Emotional well-being

A simple route to understanding emotional well-being is through the work of workplace-research scientist and author Dr Daniel Goleman and psychologist, Peter Salovey. Goleman identifies the following as essential components in understanding the emotions: recognizing one's own emotions handling them appropriately motivation: being productive and effective recognizing others' feelings: empathy sustaining relationships When the organization Re:membering Education coordinated "Learning by heart: the role of emotional learning in raising school achievement", the researchers discovered the following: understanding emotions is directly connected with motivation and cognitive development dealing with emotions helps develop better relationships and a sense of psychological and mental well-being emotionally developed people are better equipped to live with difference educating the emotions leads to a more effective work force our moral outlook and value systems are deeply shaped by our attitudes and feelings our sense of meaning and purpose is derived as much from feeling as from understanding.


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Module 4h- Mental and intellectual well-being

Mental and intellectual well-being does not mean mental health. Rather, it means the development of the mindset that encourages continuing professional development. Factors which indicate the presence of mental and intellectual well-being include: a willingness to seek out learning opportunities a willingness to see positive learning potential in all aspects of life an affinity with the process of reflecting on learning and change an over-riding leaning towards curiosity about, rather than resistance to, change The mental and intellectual well-being of school staff is closely linked to emotional well-being. It is usually emotional factors that limit attitudes towards learning, and when these are combined with the limiting institutional attitudes towards personal and professional development that some, if not many, schools struggle with, it's no surprise that mental and intellectual well-being suffers. Having a team of teachers who are committed to professional and personal development can greatly impact learning, increase staff morale and draw all elements of the school together in a common purpose.


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Module 4i- Career satisfaction and vitality

There's little value in pursuing a career where you can't feel dynamic and gain a solid return by way of job satisfaction. Continuing professional development (CPD) is not just about the improvement of your teaching and your pupils' learning. It's also about anchoring your need for nourishment from your career in a tangible strategic plan that can take you to the places you want to go and give you the experiences you crave. People talk about getting a "buzz" from certain activities, and indeed need that buzz in order to enhance their life's experiences. Committing to ongoing professional development is one way in which we can be sure to pepper our working lives with bubbles of excitement and even "buzzing" periods.


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Module 4j- What contributes to career satisfaction?

Here are some of the factors that contribute to feeling rewarded:

  • feeling adequately trained
  • creating own methods for task performance
  • developing personally as well as professionally
  • regular self-review
  • working in line with one's changing character and mentality


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Module 4k- Activity 16: Career satisfaction - questions to consider

What is the relationship between your personal and professional development? What could you do to support your colleagues' personal and professional development? Record your responses in as much detail as possible in your Student book (18).


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Module 4l- Activity 17: Spiritual well-being

Spiritual well-being is possibly the most difficult idea to pin down. It need not be connected with religion or even with some realm above and beyond the here and now. Resource 22: Spiritual well-being contains some characterizations of what some have understood by the term 'spiritual'. Read them and take time to absorb the ideas. Think about experiences that incorporate "spirit". You might want to think in terms of team spirit, the spirit of adventure, being in high spirits or low spirits, the spirit of the family or of relationships, the spirit of nature, of competition, or creative spirit. What sort of activity enhances spiritual well-being for you? What threatens that sense of well-being? Record your responses in as much detail as possible in your Student book (19).


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Module 4m- Activity 18: Making the change – taking the plunge

Regardless of the role that you have at your school, think about the well-being changes that could be realistically achieved in the short-, medium- and long-term, based on all the information you have gained from all of the modules in this course. Who will you need to convince about the importance of well-being in your school? Is there a place for the promotion of staff well-being in your school's development plan? Can you formulate a staff well-being policy? What does your school do already to promote well-being? How can you best present the case for the promotion of staff well-being in your school? Record your thoughts in your Student book (20).


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Module 4n- Activity 19: A statement of change

Each person carries responsibility for their well-being. Each person can also contribute to the supportiveness of the working environment in which they find themselves. But in both cases, personal commitment is vital for success. Make a statement of immediate change. The purpose is to identify at least one practical step that will further your sense of personal well-being. Record your statement in your Student book(21) and make a commitment to yourself to make, or work towards making, that change.


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Module 4o-What have you learned? Evaluation of your learning from Module 4

Now you have worked through the Activities and Tasks in this module, please look again at the intended learning outcomes for Module 4. By the end of this module you should:
  • understand the nature of what is meant by 'well-being
  • 'be able to analyze your own sense of well-being within your working environment
  • have gained ideas on how to enhance your personal and whole school sense of well-being
  • have developed a 'statement of change' – a commitment to the encouragement of well-being within your school

How much has this course helped you to achieve these outcomes? Make a note in your Student book (22) and e-mail your comments to your instructor.

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Module 4p Congratulations!

 

RESOURCES

These are linked in your outline to take you to further reading and any data forms you might need to help you answer questions.

RESOURCE 1: The main issues presented to Teacherline (a UK teacher support agency)

Of the 1000 UK callers to Teacherline each month, these are the top seven issues:

  • 25% stress, anxiety and depression
  • 12% conflict at work
  • 10% loss of confidence
  • 8% workload/change
  • 8% pupil disruption
  • 8% relationship and family
  • 5% long-term sickness

According to Teacherline, these problems are often exacerbated by organizational and institutional stress. A school that is not functioning effectively is bound to transfer these difficulties onto both staff and pupils, problems in retaining staff being one obvious example.

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RESOURCE 2: Characteristics of positive and negative working environments

Schools that strive consciously towards creating a positive working environment for their teachers tend to have the following characteristics:

  • moderate or low levels of staff sickness absence
  • effective, open and sensitive leadership
  • pleasant physical environment in which "horror stories" such as dirty, messy teacher rooms have
  • been eliminated
  • cohesive staff
  • positivism and enthusiasm among staff
  • whole-school receptiveness to new initiatives
  • opportunities for well-paced career development
  • visible motivation of staff
  • staff forums for open and frank discussion
  • good quality relationships between all combinations of people in the school’s community
  • a head with credibility, prepared to "go out on a limb" for the good of the staff

Schools that do not strive consciously towards creating a positive working environment for their teachers can have the following characteristics:

  • high and continued levels of absenteeism among staff
  • messy staff and teaching areas, cluttered with papers no longer needed
  • buildings in need of decoration, poorly maintained
  • over-crowding
  • poorly designed work spaces
  • visible discord among staff
  • the existence of staff on staff bullying (and consequently, pupil on pupil bullying)
  • poor indoor air quality
  • poor ventilation
  • low quality food made available to staff
  • climate of intimidation rather than openness

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RESOURCE 3: A safe and supportive physical environment

(From Promoting mental, emotional and social health: a whole school approach, by Katherine Weare, see Bibliography for more details)
It is important that messages from the school’s physical environment are congruent with the social and affective messages that staff want to promote.

The Elton Committee, which examined the causes and possible solutions to discipline problems in the UK, concluded that the physical environment had a major effect on pupil behavior and on pupil and teacher morale (Elton Committee,1989).

All of the policy documents that outline the principles of the health promoting school make mention of the central importance of the physical environment to health (Young and Williams 1989; WHO et al 1993). Most of the focus to date has been on the importance of the environment for physical health and safety, through hygiene, lighting, ventilation, heating and hazard avoidance (McKenzie and Williams, 1982), to which unfortunately now may have to be added a concern to make the school secure from violent intrusion (WHO, 1998).

More recently, attention has been paid to the impact of the physical environment of the school on mental, emotional and social health (Wulf 1993). For example, several European Network of Health Promoting Schools (ENHPS) have attempted to make their schools more attractive, ecologically sound and pupil-friendly while very much involving the pupils in the process of transformation. ENHPS schools in Poland, for example, have divided up their large spaces, have used more color, displays of pupils’ work, art, plants and softer furnishing, and made classrooms and staff-rooms more personal and comfortable with quiet areas with rugs, soft chairs and books for browsing (WHO et al. 1993). Some health promoting schools have been attracted by the idea of becoming a ‘green school’ and used space outside to make a garden or wildlife area, often tended by the pupils, sometimes with the help of parents to do the heavy work in the early stages (Harris, 1991).

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RESOURCE 4: Working conditions

(Extracted from Teachers under pressure: stress in the teaching profession, by Travers, C and Cooper, C, p171)
Included in lack of organizational support is the issue of poor working conditions. Teachers describe poor working conditions as being a source of stress and dissatisfaction, both in terms of the actual state of Britain’s schools and the rigid bureaucracies in which some teachers work. Many teachers have the experience of teaching at "split site" schools, where travel is limited and time pressures become a problem. It is also linked to the problem of "lack of status", in that teachers often find themselves in schools with far from desirable staff facilities (e.g., no clean staffrooms, no quiet rooms in which to work and relax).

Teachers experience an intensive work situation and there is a need for constant attention to be given to the pupils. Teachers rarely obtain a clear ‘break’ during the school day (i.e. free time to themselves), and there are very few areas of retreat during these breaks. Most schools should therefore attempt to provide a rest area convenient to the work situation but far enough away to be free from interruption. Teachers need to be able to "switch off"; it is not enough to "switch off" only after school hours. The cost benefits of this are that for a smaller influx of funds, working conditions could improve and stress and job dissatisfaction reduced, therefore improving the teachers’ performance and reducing turnover.

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RESOURCE 5

Click here to download RESOURCE 5 PDF

RESOURCE 6: Creating a team

While there’s no single method for creating a cohesive team – much depends on the characters of the individuals involved – it is generally recommended that the following dimensions should be taken into consideration:


Trust. There has to be strength in the trust that staff members have in each other, especially when dealing with some of the issues that will inevitably be raised through creating a supportive working environment. Bound up with this trust is basic courtesy and respect.
Ownership. Not only do staff members need to feel a sense of trust in each other, they should also experience a degree of ‘ownership’ of being a team member rather than simply an individual. The identity is different.
Flexibility. It’s not ‘one way or else’. Effective teams see all members having to bend at some point or other, even leaders.
Communication. There must be clear routes of communication between all members of the team. Blocked channels can have a dramatic impact on its overall effectiveness, especially when you take the sharing of information in schools into consideration. Accessibility goes alongside communication. Each member must be accessible so that communication can take place.
Diversity. No two people are the same. Not only will most teams hold people from differing cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but each will have their own set of sensitivities too. It sounds obvious to say it but it is precisely this diversity that can give strength to a team.
Conflict. This is inevitable, but in a strong team, resolution is inevitable too, as there will be a commitment to reaching a solution.
Problem solving. Regardless of the source of the problem, there should be the potential for all to take an active role in problem solving. Encouraging this adds to feelings of ownership in the team.
Accountability. If each individual has a sense of accountability, the chances of having people who don’t pull their weight are minimized.

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RESOURCE 7: Being bullied

Teacher 1 (bully) So what do you think about the new principal, Mandy? She seems a bit wet to me.

Teacher 2 (neutral) Yeah, guess so. Don’t really know her too well.

Teacher 3 (bullied) I think she seems very nice.

Teacher 1 (bully) [dismissively] Yeah, you would. Seriously, though Mandy. That post should’ve gone to Caroline. You need someone like her in the role, not this namby-pamby woman from the city.

Teacher 2 (neutral) Not sure Caroline wanted it.

Teacher 3 (bullied) She’s not from the city, she’s from rural mid-west. And she’s got some really good ideas.

Teacher 1 (bully) What would you know about good ideas? You haven’t had an original thought for years. [pause] Bet she’s right up your street anyway. All [ironically] ‘lists of competencies’ and no practical application.

Teacher 3 (bullied) Well that’s not exactly…[interrupted]

Teacher 2 (bully) It’s teachers like me and Mandy who get kids learning. We’re the ones who actually make a difference. Isn’t that right Mandy?

Teacher 2 (neutral) Takes all sorts I suppose.

Teacher 3 (bullied) But hang on…[interrupted]

Teacher 1 (bully) I’m going to grab a coffee. You coming Mandy?

Teacher 2 (neutral) Sure.

RESOURCE 8 Adult on adult bullying

Tim Field, owner of the Success Unlimited anti-bullying website, defines adult on adult bullying as being:

  • constant nit-picking, fault-finding and criticism of a trivial nature – the triviality, regularity and frequency betray bullying; often there is a grain of truth (but only a grain) in the criticism to fool you into believing the criticism has validity, which it does not; often the criticism is based on distortion, misrepresentation or fabrication
  • simultaneous with the criticism, a constant refusal to acknowledge you and your contributions and achievements or to recognize your existence and value
    constant attempts to undermine you and your position, status, worth, value and potential
  • where you are in a group (e.g., at work), being singled out and treated differently; for instance, everyone else can get away with murder but the moment you put a foot wrong – however trivial – action is taken against you
  • being isolated and separated from colleagues, excluded from what’s going on, marginalized, overruled, ignored, sidelined, frozen out
  • being belittled, demeaned and patronized, especially in front of others
  • being humiliated, shouted at and threatened, often in front of others
  • being overloaded with work
  • finding that your work – and the credit for it – is stolen and plagiarized
  • having your responsibility increased but your authority taken away
  • having annual leave, sickness leave, and – especially – compassionate leave refused
  • being denied training necessary for you to fulfill your duties
  • having unrealistic goals set, which change as you approach them
  • ditto deadlines which are changed at short notice – or no notice – and without you being informed until it’s too late
  • finding that everything you say and do is twisted, distorted and misrepresented
  • being subjected to disciplinary procedures with verbal or written warnings imposed for trivial or fabricated reasons and without proper investigation
  • being coerced into leaving through no fault of your own, constructive dismissal, early or ill-health retirement, etc.



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RESOURCE 9: Assertive management

Bad Manager (1) Justin, just the man. I need you to help me out with some visitors tomorrow night. Couple of hours after school, that’s all. Part and parcel of being a teacher and all that. I’m sure you can drag yourself away from the pub for a change and do something worthwhile. God knows I have to hang around with board members and the like often enough. It’s about time some of you younger lot put a few more hours in. So I can count on your support yes?


Good Manager (2) Justin, can I have a moment? [pause] I need to ask you a favor. We’ve got some visitors in tomorrow evening and I need some help showing them around and generally looking after them. I’m aware that it’s taking up your free time but it would really help me out. I’m sorry it’s such short notice but it couldn’t be helped. There’s going to be a couple of board members coming in – it’s sometimes interesting to meet these people and get their perspective. And it’ll do your reputation no harm. What do you think?

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RESOURCE 10: A personality clash?

Teacher 1(bully) Tom – I hear you’ve applied for head of department.
Teacher 2(bullied) Uh-huh. Feels like the right time. Not sure if I’ll get it though.

Teacher 1(bully) I was a little surprised myself.

Teacher 2(bullied) How do you mean?

Teacher 1(bully) Just didn’t really have you down as that type really.

Teacher 2(bullied) [slightly put out] What type? What are you saying?

Teacher 1(bully) Well, I always saw you more at home running up and down the playing field rather than making important curriculum decisions.

Teacher 2(bullied) [Indignant] Just because I run the football team, doesn’t make me thick.

Teacher 1(bully) No, of course not Tom. I wouldn’t dream of calling you thick. It’s just that you’re not exactly experienced in curriculum development are you. And I don’t imagine Jack or Sarah look at you as leadership material. You’re very good at blowing a whistle but you need a bit more than that to be a head of department you know.

Teacher 2(bullied) [agitated] I know that. Look what’s your problem.

Teacher 1(bully) No problem at all. I just want what’s best for the school that’s all. And I wouldn’t like to see you in a role that didn’t suit you. You do whatever you think is best. Just trying to give you the benefit of my experience.

Teacher 2(bullied) [angry] Just keep your opinions to yourself, OK.

Teacher 2(bully) [smug] Well that’s certainly not the attitude of a head of department now is it?

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RESOURCE 11: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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RESOURCE 12: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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RESOURCE 13: Exhaustion

(Extracted from Staff wellbeing, a course for teachers delivered by Elizabeth Holmes and Kevin McCarthy of Re:membering Education.)
In the quest to retain sodium ions, your body loses potassium and hydrogen ions in a potentially lethal trade-off. Loss of potassium in your cells mean that they function with decreasing effectiveness until they begin to die. Clearly, this stage requires rapid treatment if death is to be avoided.

Exhaustion can also be caused by a general weakening of the organs, particularly if your reaction to perceived stress has been prolonged. If your general health is not good, the chances of reaching exhaustion as a result of negative stress are heightened.

The way the human body responds to what it perceives as a stressor, and therefore a potential threat to life, is pretty impressive. We may bemoan the fact that our blood pressure has risen, or that we are suffering from digestive problems, but these symptoms are all evidence that our body is working to maintain balance. When the body thinks it is in danger it will adapt to the threat. The key is to appreciate this fact and to recognize how our perception of the events that face us in our day-to-day lives has a direct effect on our physical bodies.

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RESOURCE 14: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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RESOURCE 15: The causes of stress in teaching

(Extract from The Newly Qualified Teacher’s Handbook – see bibliography for more details)
It is impossible to identify the exact causes of stress in teaching especially when you consider that one person’s stress is another’s motivation. However, these factors do seem to have some responsibility for negative stress among teachers:
  • time – feeling unable to perform the required tasks in the time available
  • control – not being in control of the number of tasks that have to be completed and/or external pressures
  • information – having to keep up with a rapid pace of change and feeling ill-informed about the
  • latest situation and/or ever-increasing expectations
  • workload – having to complete work at home in order to keep up-to-date, sometimes unrealistic expectations and possible inequality in work distribution, also the tremendously diverse nature of the job
  • indiscipline – having to control unruly pupils and deal with constant interruptions on a daily basis
  • deadlines – facing many deadlines each day as work must be prepared and books marked for each class or part of the day
  • personality overload – depending on what age group you teach, you could interact with over 100 different personalities each day
  • fear – about accountability, inspections, job insecurity and so on
  • resource limitations – having to prepare resources to supplement material in the school and for differentiation purposes and/or the poor condition of some classrooms
  • aggression – the potential threat from pupils and parents as well as possible bullying from staff member

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RESOURCE 16: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

RESOURCE 17: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

RESOURCE 18: Breathing

We may do this automatically, but we rarely do it mindfully. Breathing deeply and evenly ensures that the lungs are used as much as possible. This, in turn, means that oxygenated blood pumps more effectively to all organs, assisting in the elimination of toxins and general revitalization.
Breath is also connected to our emotions. When we’re angry and tense, we’re not breathing deeply and calmly. This is why some say that deep, even breathing can act like a tranquillizer to the nervous system.

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RESOURCE 19: Exercise

Exercise isn’t an optional extra. There is no choice over whether to partake. There is no time in the future to "catch up" and compensate for inactivity.
Physical exertion is one of the best stress busters and is the ultimate balancer to the intense concentration that teaching, and being part of a school community, can demand. It taps into the feel-good factor through the release of hormones into the brain as well as increasing heart and lung capacity. Most significantly, though, it raises negative stress thresholds.

We should aim to balance exercises that increase flexibility and strength with those that improve stamina, endurance and aerobic ability.

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RESOURCE 20:Rest and relaxation

(Extracted from Staff wellbeing, a course for teachers delivered by Elizabeth Holmes and Kevin McCarthy of Re:membering Education).


For many people, especially those who work in schools, the only rest time they get is when they sleep. Ironically, this time of withdrawal from the world can be destroyed by a lack of time spent in relaxation during waking hours.

A good night-time routine includes allowing yourself the time to unwind and distance yourself from the events of the day. These ideas may help:

  • make sure the space where you sleep is soothing to you – clear away any clutter and aim to encourage relaxation
  • make sure you are both physically and mentally tired enough for sleep – one or the other won’t be enough
  • go easy on stimulants like alcohol, caffeine and heavy meals just before going to bed
  • if quality sleep generally eludes you, have a massage or two or some other kind of relaxing touch therapy such as shiatsu or reflexology
  • learn relaxation techniques – most adult education centers offer classes

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RESOURCE 21: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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RESOURCE 22: Spiritual well-being

"The highest and most noble aspirations of which human beings are capable – love, forgiveness, compassion, self-sacrifice, hope, joy, trust and so on; their sense of being personally touched and helpless before intense beauty, pain, tradition or genuine greatness; their search for meaning and their yearning for personal wholeness and integration; their willingness to commit themselves to an ideal… all witness to the hierarchy of human needs exceeding the material." (Grimmit, 1989)
"Fundamentally, spirituality has to do with becoming a person in the fullest sense… A capacity for going out of oneself and beyond oneself… It is this openness, freedom, creativity, this capacity for going beyond… that makes possible self-consciousness and self-criticism, understanding, responsibility, the pursuit of knowledge, the sense of beauty, the quest for the good, the formation of community, the outreach of love and whatever else belongs to the amazing richness of what we call the lie of the spirit." (Macquarrie J, 1972)

"Spirituality is a thread that runs through our life, bringing hope, compassion, thankfulness, courage, peace and a sense of purpose and meaning to the everyday while reaching beyond the immediate world of the visible and tangible… Poets, musicians and artists have always worked from this source of inspiration, as have many great figures of modern science from Newton to Einstein. Spirituality is a source of creativity open to us all. It brings that quality of aliveness, which sparks enquiry, ideas, observations, insights, empathy, artistic expression, earnest endeavour and playfulness. It opens us to life and to each other." (Burns and Lamont, 1995)

REFERENCE LINKS

Name: The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations
Description: Includes extracts from Dr Daniel Goleman's research on emotional intelligence in organizations.
URL: http://www.eiconsortium.org

Name: Bully OnLine
Description: This site contains resources, information and contact details for organizations and individuals tackling workplace bullying worldwide.
URL: http://www.bullyonline.org

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Author Dana, D Title Managing Differences: How to Build Better Relationships at Work and Home (1998) Publisher MTI Pubs ISBN 0962153435

Author Dana, D Title Talk it Out! 4 Steps to managing people problems in your organization (1990) Publisher Human Resources Development Press, Inc, Amherst, (out of print)> Author De Bono, E Title Six Thinking Hats (2000) Publisher Penguin ISBN 0140296662

Author McCall, C and Lawlor, H Title School Leadership: Leadership Examined (2000) Publisher The Stationery Office ISBN 0117026123

Author Nathan, M Title A Handbook for Headteachers (2000) Publisher Kogan Page ISBN 0749431792

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1 comment


  • Maria

    This is a very good article, it is so true when supervisors bully they almost think it is their right to constantly find error and want to prove they are right and make the person feel awful, I see it done all the time in the workplace. I am sick of misuse of power.


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