Daniella Lang is the Headteacher at Brimsdown Primary School in Enfield, in this series of 8 posts she will be sharing her insights on how to support the school community remotely.
Wellbeing is about our complete health – physical and mental. When we have good levels of wellbeing we feel that life is in balance and that we can cope well with things. During these extraordinary and difficult times promoting positive mental health for all staff is important as they are a school’s most valuable resource and are on the frontline supporting our school community in different ways from setting home learning to being in school with children to support families that are struggling. “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” Randy Pausch.
To support staff to do this as school leaders, we need to be flexible, understanding, and have a good sense of awareness. In general, work has a positive effect on people’s mental health as it provides a sense of purpose and allows people to make friends. Working remotely, therefore, can be an added strain for lots of staff. Sharing information with staff is imperative but not everyone will want to take advantage of what’s available and that is fine as knowing that it’s there if needed is just as important. We work with Perkbox, an employee rewards program, and they offer an employee helpline. We also share other more local information. Having an open culture about the resources available removes any stigma and allows staff to make their own positive choices about what would best support them.