Behind the Headlines – Teacher Well Being

Bec Tulloch @Bectully

Bec Tulloch shares a raw and personal account of taking a chunk of time off from work due to illness. Tulloch explores the dilemma she faces between being at school and being at home because she is unwell. She navigates the guilt as a mother and as a professional of trying to juggle too many balls and forgetting about herself and her own wellbeing in the process. Hard reading in places, it will no doubt resonate with many. Taking time off to recuperate has aided her clarity about herself, her motivations and her intentions and she now checks herself for becoming a slave to the profession and a martyr to the cause.

100% Attendance Awards

Helen Weston @2tubies

Helen Weston shares her unease at the rise of arbitrary attendance awards. She expresses dismay at the unjust penalisation of her child in attending medical and health appointments during the school day. Focusing on the values of kindness, empathy and compassion, she invites school and senior leaders to reconsider their policies and rewards systems. She goes on to suggest that attendance policies are discriminatory. She also describes how health professionals contacted her to report a “worrying increase in children being upset and anxious about attending their regular outpatient clinics” because this means them missing out on their school attendance reward. She unpicks Ofsted’s focus on attendance statistics and challenges school leaders to reconsider their stance.

A Woman’s Choice

The Safe Space @TheSafeSpaceUK_

The Safe Space blog, launched by Emma Catt and Amy Forrester, is a stand against unsolicited communications online. It seeks to create a safe and supportive environment for women to come forward for peer “support, advice and listening”. This blog is a follow-up to one Catt wrote earlier this year in which she described the impact on her emotional well-being of online abuse by a former twitter friend. ‘A Woman’s Choice’ challenges victim-blaming and reminds us that not everyone is blessed with support networks to tackle such behaviours. That is why The Safe Space has been created, by women, for women.

White Saviour Complex

Pran Patel @MrPranPatel

Pran Patel’s blogs, always thought-provoking, often push readers out of their comfort zones, and this blog does not disappoint. In the first of a three-part blog series about the white saviour trope, Patel deconstructs the representation of poverty and disadvantage in the media, especially the imagery circulated to depict those living in hardship. He challenges us to consider the power struggle between the western world and the East, between black and white people, and between rich and poor: “This disconnect, where black people can’t possibly support white people, can only be explained through the power structures that we have all come to accept and adopt as the norm,” says Patel. He acknowledges that some of his points will make some readers uncomfortable.

Tackling Hate – A Letter I Never Thought I’d Write

Andy Byers @Framheadteachers

Andy Byer’s latest blog is a call to arms, to tackle unsavoury comments and anti-social behaviour in our community. He has published an emotionally intelligent letter that he sent to parents last week following a number of incidents “where a student has not felt happy or respected.” He urged parents to discuss the letter’s contents with their child and to take collective responsibility for making their school a kinder, safer place. He goes on to challenge the toxic behaviours of the global political players, such as US president Donald Trump: “It is an inescapable fact,” writes Byers, “that students are exposed to some abhorrent and unpleasant views … [they] espouse many of the things that we are teaching students to be wrong”.