Welcome to Term 3,
I hope you took some of the advice given to take a proper break over the holidays and that you have returned to Term 3 refreshed and ready to go. This term already feels like we have hit the ground running and that things are returning to a much more normal, if wary, way of life.
It has been really interesting to hear the number of things that Covid19 made us do that have changed schools for the better. Now feels like a good time to appreciate where we are, what we have learnt and the positives that have come out of the situation. Limiting community access to schools and continuing staggered lunchtimes are two areas I have heard that our schools are maintaining, going forward.
Limiting access to schools may seem like we are closing the doors. The benefits of keeping our students safe from parents, caregivers or outsiders who sometimes come on site to cause conflict is having a really positive effect on our students and their ability to feel safe, develop belonging and feel protected. We have certainly seen a reduction in anxiety for students and for teachers in this regard.
Many schools have continued to stagger their lunchtimes and have seen a reduction in behaviour incidents. When we think about the effects on the brain and how a calm environment affects the amygdala this makes sense. Reduced numbers of students for interaction also reduces the audience for some of our students who use a crowd to exert their dominance.
While the article below focuses on early attachment, there are many links to the way we form these relationships in schools and how predictability in a safe and stable environment affects ongoing development, especially for our students who benefit most from dyadic relationships.
We hear a lot about wellbeing and mental health. Increasingly there is an expectation that wellbeing is the responsibility of those around us. For example: my child having to change classes/teacher part way through the year will affect their wellbeing, that part of my job is not good for my wellbeing, that interaction with that person affected my wellbeing etc.
While some experiences certainly upset our balance and support can be put in place, by others, for helping get through a situation, ultimately our focus needs to be on developing the skills of self care that will get us through adversity.
Self care isn't necessarily about indulgence - it might be ok once in a while to treat ourselves with chocolate or wine because we had a hard day, but that is not self care.
Self care is ensuring that we have the walls of our whare in order, that we are aware of where the balance (blend) is off. Were we not able to cope with that deadline for reports because we didn't take enough time to care for our tinana with good food, enough sleep and exercise? Did that interaction with a colleague or parent then not go well because we felt overloaded by the reports, or was the reality that we were feeling guilty we hadn't spent enough time with whanau, we were run down and hadn't spent any time outdoors (taha wairua)? We cope better when we focus on self care as a way of being.
How wonderful will it be when our students have an understanding of self care which enables them to regulate and manage their own blend/balance, so that they can get through the trials and tribulations life throws at us all. How are you addressing self care in your teaching program and in your own lives?
Work Life Balance vs Work Life Blending
Is thinking about your work and your "other life" being balanced actually the cause of some of your stress?
Does thinking that having to have them balanced make you feel like you are letting one go over the other?
Would thinking about blending your life and your work make a difference to this mindset?
What does blending the different aspects of your life look like?
Haerenga Tautoko Rua - Thursday 6th August
Rotorua Primary School
4 - 4.30pm. No registration required
Fortune Lines, Diamond 9s, Circles of Significance, Mind Maps,
Pupil View Templates
CRRP in Action - Why CR and RP? Developing teaching pedagogy improves Maori success
Circles of Significance
Ngati Whakaue Stories planned and ready to deliver -Y1 - high school
Te Reo Māori and localised curriculum around the Whare tapawha and Rauemi rumaki
Building kotahitanga in juniors (non-play based) with mind maps and circles of significance
Staff Hauora/Te Whare Tapa Rima
Nga mihi nui
Debbie Holmes - Across School Leader / Deputy Principal - Kaitao Intermediate