Mrs Humanities

Because I'm married to the job.


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Starting the conversation… #PedagooHampshire2018

PedagooHampshire2018

This week I’ve had to take some time away from twitter. My anxiety surrounding returning to work has been growing and growing for the last 2 -3 weeks and reached an unbearable level at the beginning of this week.

You see recently I’ve been spontaneously emotional to the point that I’ve burst into tears twice just in the street with no obvious reason. I’ve had palpitations, restless night sleeps and hours of not doing anything because the anxiety I’m experiencing feels debilitating.

My anxieties aren’t so much about going back to school, I’m really looking forward to it but about whether I will be able to manage my mental health, wellbeing and work-life balance as well now that I’m not longer on medication.

As I pondered about the world, my thoughts turned to the anxiety and the causes. It’s partly the fact that I’m no longer of anti-depressant medication but also the fact that I surround myself in education for too much of the day. I realised I was spending 5 or 10 minutes here and there on Twitter reading notifications, browsing my twitter feed and following links to interesting articles and blogs. I was continuing to surround myself in education when what I really need is a break. As a result I decided to sign out of twitter on Tuesday 28th August and didn’t sign in again until Friday 31st August.

The break has helped, I’ve managed to put things into perspective and consequently I’ve also decided to no longer have twitter signed in on my phone to stop the incessant desire to check it.

You might be wondering the relevance of this; well on Saturday 15th September I will be attending and speaking at Pedagoo Hampshire for the 3rd time running.

My first session was on Less is More: Marking with a Purpose, my second Less is More: Strategies to Reduce Workload and this year I’m going to share something a little more personal, Less is More: A motto to live by.

In my session, I’ll be sharing my journey with mental health from breakdown to recovery and the 5 strategies I try to live by to maintain a work-life balance; it’ll be part self-help, part pedagogy.

The whole signing out of twitter isn’t one of the 5 strategies, so you’ll have to attend to find them out.

But what I want to share is how having gone through a breakdown as a result of work-related stress, I’ve developed the ability to see patterns, to identify characteristics and too hopefully take measures to step back and recoup. That there is importance in understanding yourself.

(Note: However I can only say this though because people remind me that I do, that I have done over the past two years and that even now that I have come off of medication I can and will).

The other thing I want to highlight is that its okay to not be okay. I have the knowledge now that if I need to there are people to help; I’ve opened up the dialogue and can continue it whenever I need. I can go back on medication if I need to. I can get through stress and anxiety; I’ve shown that already. Relapses are not a sign of weakness.

The reason I’ll be sharing my experience is because too many others are experiencing similar circumstances in the workplace; pressure, accountability and high levels of stress. But there are also those going through depression, stress, anxiety and other mental health issues as a consequence of work. But no matter your experiences with mental and physical health in schools, I want people to know they are not alone. That there is help and support available.

We can insist on change, we can implement change and we can create change in our schools.

I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones in the Library at 11:15.

Until the 15th, best wishes for the new school year.

Mrs Humanities

p.s. For some reason I can’t get this to flow right, I hope it makes sense.


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PedagooHampshire Presentation

Less is More – Strategies to Reduce Workload

At last year’s Pedagoo Hampshire event I presented on Less is More – Marking with a Purpose. Since then there has been progress across the country on reducing teacher workload resulting from marking and feedback and I’m pleased to see so many of the strategies mentioned being used by so many.

 

This year I thought I’d share some strategies I use in the classroom on a day to day basis that help me to manage and reduce my workload as well as approaches I’ve come across from others that might be of use and interest. Overall I aim to discuss the workload issue and offer a few solutions to support you.

I wanted to keep my presentation in the theme of reducing workload in order to improve wellbeing.

Sound of interest? You’ll find me session 3 in the MAIN HALL (yup, you read that right!?!)

Hope to see some of you there.

 


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PedagooHampshire16 – Starting the Conversation on Marking

PedagooHampshire

Originally posted on http://www.pedagoo.org/

I’ve no doubt we all understand the role and importance of effective marking and feedback in student progress but how can we deliver this without detriment to our work/life balance?

As part of my #PedagooHampshire16 learning conversation I’ll be sharing many of my own tried and tested ideas as well as tips that can help to reduce the amount of time we spend providing feedback without compromising its quality.

In addition I’ll be encouraging discussion around the topic of ‘Marking with a Purpose’ where there will be an opportunity to explore the issues and solutions surrounding the provision of feedback.

To get you thinking in advance of the session, below are some questions to help inspire your thoughts.

  • – How does marking and providing feedback impact upon your work/life balance?
  • – What is the biggest issue for you associated with marking and feedback?
  • – Does your schools marking policy impact upon your work/life balance? If so what could be change to ensure they are not detrimental to our work/life balance?
  • – What other ways are there that we can provide high quality feedback without the consumption of vast amounts of time?
  • – What other formats of feedback can we give to achieve the same outcomes?
  • – What marking and feedback techniques have worked for you to maintain a work/life balance?
  • – How do we make verbal feedback as valuable as written feedback? Should we be evidencing it?

Feel free to suggest other questions for us to ponder and discuss on the day.

If you’d like to attend you can sign up for free here.

Thanks to @martynreah who is hosting this years great line, click here to find out more about some of the great learning conversations that will be taking place.

To find out more reasons why you should attend check out these posts

Julie HunterPedagoo Hampshire 2016

KERRY MACFARLANE – Pedagoo Personalised CPD

Jenna Lucas – Personalised CPD @PedagooHampshire

Lesley Munro – Why I’m going to PedagooHampshire16

Amy Jeetley – Why am I going to PedagooHampshire16?

Hope to see you there!

Mrs Humanities