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Would you work in a school where wellbeing is valued more than results?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by TES_Rosaline, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Is this merely a nice but unattainable dream? Well, it may surprise you to know that the government in New Zealand has designed its new budget around wellbeing aims. These include investment in mental health services, improving child welfare and vocational education. But what would it mean for education if schools could adopt similar aims and ministers and civil servants were preoccupied with working towards encouraging positive mental health instead of the current obsession with results? Would it transform your working life and the lives of the pupils you teach?

  2. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    A different set of onerous targets.
    colpee and FrankWolley like this.
  3. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Senior commenter

  4. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    It would not be long before a bureaucrat - ex failed teacher or probably never having taught - gets to decide what 'mental health' and 'well being' means and, as now, draw up a whole range of tick box papers of extreme irrelevance, time waste and nonsense.

    But, as now, they will give data that can make pretty graphs so goalposts can be moved again and again - all while teachers are told they are rubbish at the job.

    Which we are seeing as we don't actually teach anymore.
    FormosaRed likes this.
  5. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    It would mean nonsense and have no positive educational effect whatsoever. What the author of the article seems to completely miss, is that the NZ government’s approach is about having the support services well funded as ‘normal business’, not for single organisations or departments to dream up lavish ways of reeducating teachers and restructuring schools. Teachers and schools should be able to work more effectively when the structure is there to let them teach and reach out to support services when necessary - not become one themselves.
  6. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I was privileged to work in a child orientated school, secondary comprehensive, in the 80's. As it was the first school I had worked at I didn't appreciate exactly what I had at the time. I have been meaning to write about it here for some time now, but it will require a lot to be said. Suffice to say that the Head Teacher's aim was for the children to want to be in school. There was no lack of discipline but that was carried out by the HT himself. We teachers did not have to deal with disciplinary matters but just refer them upstairs. The HT would walk the school particularly Fri afternoon and what he wanted to see were the children bubbling and enjoying themselves and making a noise(!).

    I don't know how this could be transferred to other schools though. We were a RC Church assisted state comprehensive and had access to funds slightly above what normal state schools had. In fact the HT was ahead of his time, going out to find funding from many sources including industry. In addition we had extra staff paid for from and by the Church. Normally the Church just contributes 15% of the budget for the buildings, which the LEA does not contribute. Somehow we had funding above this.

    Very sadly the school fell apart when the HT retired. Loss of funding which came through the efforts of the HT and an inability for the HTs who followed to emulate his strong character or understand just how pivotal he was, dealt the school a severe blow and now it is performing very poorly. The politics of the Roman Catholic church played a part in the demise of the school as well. It was too progressive for their liking and when the strong character of the HT went, the Bishop moved in to restructure the school as an ordinary comp more to his liking.

    Also it should be noted that the school had a well off catchment area with parents who were interested in their children. Because the parents appreciated what was being offered to their children they were very supportive and we had achieving children to work with. When the HT went, we lost a lot of those families.

    It was quite a culture shock to me when I went to work in other schools and I had to learn the different way of teaching and disciplining the children.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  7. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    I have already seen this happen-not in a school, but in a certain type of FE centre. Always data. People's well-being would improve if we just focused on how to get good results (happy students who are learning well) without insisting on measuring and raking over it.
  8. FormosaRed

    FormosaRed Occasional commenter

    No I wouldn't because the two are closely linked. To know that your students are making progress contributes to well being.

    I do support moves to reduce unnecessary workload though. The question assumes either/or. It's both.

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