World at one.
by Jean Ramsey
I was listening to Radio 4 in the car as is my wont when I heard an item on ‘The World At One’. It was an item about the amount of stress head teachers face and that this is having a knock on effect in finding suitably qualified candidates for vacant headships. The news item centred on Mike Tull who was the head of the Marsden Heights Community College, a Building Schools for the Future school built in 2010. Mike was at the pinnacle of his career when he suffered a heart attack in September 2013. He spoke about not coping and the feel good factor having disappeared but he still soldiered on and even returned to work after his heart attack. He said he had ‘too much ownership of the school’ and that he ‘had lost perspective’. He did not realise the impact his ‘irritability’ was having on his family. This is a situation I recognise only too well. When I am coaching, I often say to my clients, that when the problem is so huge and your nose is pressed right up against it, on your own you just can’t see past it at all. This is where the different perspective of the coach comes in. With gentle, insightful questions you can help your client to take some steps back and just stop that pattern of behaviour that is not serving them well.
I was delighted to hear another ex-head teacher who is now a coach, Viv Grant, talk about her work with head teachers . She talked about the inhumanity of it all. Why do we think that it is OK for head teachers to sacrifice everything?
The item concluded with an interview with the head teacher at Northwold Primary School Alison Kriel. She sounds a fantastic lady…I have been looking at her twitter feeds! The reason I ended up feeling cheerful by the end was that there is hope …yes you’ve guessed it, in the form of Coaching! That is what has helped to turn Northwold School around.
Those of us in the know, know how much coaching has helped us to make every day the best day of our lives. Come on in the water is lovely!