As a leader, it is important to remember that you are very much part of a team. Knowing and understanding your team can be very difficult when the role that you are in is considered.
Having an effective, supportive and yet challenging senior leadership team, governing body or academy board can be tremendously helpful in aiding you to spend time knowing and understanding your teaching team; you certainly cannot do this on your own!
Once this understanding is established, it is important that you ensure you support your team and give them a ‘boost’ every once in a while.
Why then is it important to ‘boost’ your team?
1. Because it is the right thing to do
You cannot run a school by yourself. You need your team to be with you and be supportive of occasions that challenge your leadership and management. Having an effective staffing structure helps support and challenge you and ensures that your team feel seen and heard. Having a team around you enables your moral compass to stay pointed in the right direction.
2. We all need to be given a ‘boost’ at one time or another
Wellbeing and mental health are important to acknowledge and nurture. Often leaders receive the majority of praise and sometimes equal amounts of criticism! Remember what that feels like (the praise part) and ensure that you pass any ‘school’ praise from the local authority, the governors or academy board, parents and visitors to the staff.
Knowing that they are doing something right is incredibly important and when you add in your own words of thanks and praise you will see the team bloom before your very eyes!
3. As the saying goes, feeling appreciated will make you do more than is expected
We will always contribute more to our projects and commitments when we feel it is noticed. Without being manipulative, try to show appreciation when the opportunity arises. Never underestimate the importance of the ‘bosses’ kind words and the positive impact it has on members of the team.
What could be a good ‘boost’ for the team?
1. Breakfast on a Friday
Random acts of kindness matter! When it has been a particularly gruelling week, or your team have gone above and beyond, offer them all a healthy, nutritious breakfast. Juices, croissants, hot cross buns, crumpets and hot drinks before school, laid out in the staff room will go down a treat; accompanied by a little note simply saying ‘thank you’.
This will let the team know that you see what they do, day in and day out and it has been recognised.
2. Host a wellbeing evening
Many settings have now timetabled this event into their Continual Professional Development and Inset schedule. Providing the opportunity for staff to have an hour or so of pampering and relaxation.
A yoga session in the hall, an Indian head massage, reflexology and a meditation opportunity are some items that have been seen on offer. Giving staff a range of activities can also be life-changing for the team. If you have never meditated before or tried yoga, then having a ‘taster’ session can be the start of a leisure time activity or hobby.
Let your teaching team be part of the process. Being planned and organised, or at least being given the opportunity to be, can reduce stress and enable professionals to take full responsibility for their workload and wellbeing.
Senior leaders should ensure that the team are well prepared and are aware of the academic, term and week ahead. Sharing the online diary, giving ample warning of events and requests and ensuring that assessment week and parents evening are not scheduled during a trip week or the school’s open door event for the governors or new parents is part of the manager’s role.
Taking time to effectively plan and share this information is a crucial part of being a leader and manager. Get this part right and it will pay dividends in supporting your team’s wellbeing.
About our Community Expert
Editorial Advisory Board Lead
Over 27 years of educational experiences in a number of settings. Developed a clear vision and ethos for inclusion which puts the child at the centre and a clear understanding of how to support, engage and nurture the individual.
Ability to train all staff through effective and reflective continual professional development in behavioural management techniques that begin, establish and maintain change in all.