English Specialist and KS1 Lead Emma Gaunt explains the importance of teachers supporting one another and shares some simple ways they can be there for their colleagues.

I like to think of myself as very low maintenance in terms of my well-being. And I think many of us are the same. Ultimately, I think it all boils down to the same way in which we treat our pupils. If we apply the same principles to each other as we do pupils- I think we will get it right.

I write this with advice that ANYONE can implement. Really, they are all simple quick fixes- no matter your role or job title.

1. Greetings

This makes all the difference. Acknowledging each other with a simple good morning; popping your head into the classroom instead of just walking past, and asking how everyone is really sets the tone for the day.

2. Thank You

This is such a simple one but one that has such an impact. I have always ensured that from something being laminated for me, the tables being wiped, borrowing a whiteboard pen- just say thank you. It is SO powerful.

3. ‘Random Act of Kindness’ Buddies

This one is always a HUGE hit. In each new school that I have introduced this I have always been phased with the same “Is she serious?” look when I first try to introduce it.

How does it work? Every member of staff’s name is put into a hat. Each member of staff pulls out a name in secret (basically Secret Santa). Their job is to be a buddy for the half term. There are so many things this buddy can do to put a smile on their buddy’s face:

  • Write them a little note and leave it on their desk
  • Make them a hot drink
  • Cover their break duty
  • Leave a little treat on their desk
  • Send pupils to deliver notes
  • Cover their after school club
Basically, anything to make them smile.
Teacher acts of kindness

4. Staff ‘Shoutout’ Walls

In each Staffroom that I have worked in I have created a staff shout out wall display. This again is really simple to set-up. I leave a pot of Post-It notes next to the wall and a pen. Staff can then write a little ‘Shout out message’ to anyone. Lots of the time anonymously. It definitely makes me feel good to read a shout-out put on the wall about me.

5. Hot Drinks

This was something that really caught me off guard in my current school and I hope to continue this each place that I go.

Every morning, at least one member of staff would ask me if I would like a hot drink making. Now, in many schools I haven’t even had time to make myself a hot drink never mind others, but it made such a difference. And now, I make time to go and offer others a hot drink.

Once this is embedded in your environment, you will have a nice mix of making the drinks and being brought the drinks. So simple but so nice!

6. Sit in the Staffroom

Again, in previous settings I have convinced myself that I don’t have the time to sit in the staff room at lunch time. Now, I will make sure I eat lunch at the table in the staff room everyday!

Talking to colleagues, asking about their lives…it is such a simple thing but so many of us don’t do it. Even if you start by committing to one day a week, then two etc… I know that it is a part of the day that I look forward to.

I know that if I feel appreciated then the limit that I give is endless. It just inspires me to do more.

Emma Gaunt Headshot

Author

Emma Gaunt

Emma Gaunt is an English Specialist and KS1 lead & moderator in Chester, as well as an NPQML, T4W and NQT mentor.

She shares her experiences and teaching lessons on her blog, Miss G’s Thoughts (where this article was first published).

You can follow Emma over on Twitter – @EmmaGaunt5.