Why Well Being in Schools and Colleges ?
Well-being appears to have reinvented itself through the burgeoning needs of mental health services in our schools and in life. There are so many approaches to this subject, that you can become dizzy rushing to try the next brand-new fix.
More recently a therapy approach is acceptable and the model of ‘broken can’t fix’ it no longer serves us. I could go on … though I suspect that would not help you as you read this.
So let’s be practical, after all with decades of primary headship under my belt and another decade of coaching leaders and schools, well- being is my bag. I am on a mission to have a trained well- being coach in every school in our land! With minimum cost and maximum benefit. Having that initial "Why we need a culture of well being," can feel daunting without senior leadership support. If you can have that conversation with the leaders, I have no doubt it will accelerate the importance of a whole school culture of well being
Listen, listen listen
Where would you begin? By Simply being you, sharing an idea and listening to their response with nothing on your mind. That is the BEST place to begin to share well - being, listening without expectation of any kind – hearing beyond the word. Try it!
Simply Listening for a feeling
Find a conversation partner for just a minute, you be the listener.
They spend a minute telling you something and you interrupt, use your phone, yawn nod in agreement at an annoying rate. STOP
Now swap roles and repeat. After the second minute share how it felt
Now try to listen without speaking, or smiling, nodding or interrupting. Let go of everything and listen. After a minute. Change roles and tell your own story for one minute.
When I do this with groups, leaders, adults, pupils, whoever is in the group, they each experience deep calmness in their role of listening and of really being heard. This is the space beyond words we allow when we really listen. Its a heart to heart human connection.
Deep listening and coaching supports you to:
Create a connection human to human with greater ease and grace
Gain an understanding of your well being
Have stronger emotional resiliency
Bring greater clarity
achieve greater academic success
Have greater personal success
And greater ease
Improve communication AND behaviour
Have wholesome relationships at home and at school
Some simple ideas. Gather a group of interested pupils and start a Time Club. A space where they can create an event or just a regular space for other kids to gather and enjoy. You will see how valuable this space can be when there is no outcome to manage, a sharing space, without an agenda, creates infinite possibilities.
Invite other staff to come along once it is established. Hold or have issue conversations and debates (bullying, loneliness, relationships and so on.)
This January I am teaching a class of 11 year olds and their staff, about their well- being and they in turn will lead assemblies and train the school council. Phase by phase this will become whole school.As I am vice chair of governors and responsible for well being, I will work with the school vision, ethos and behaviour/ inclusion policies to ensure the programme blends into school purpose and enhances school life.
Check out my professional website for further ideas. www.hlsgroup.net