Primary school teacher for over 10 years, Assistant Headteacher and Senior Leader in Education. I’m now on the other side looking in – and I see a crucial piece missing.
Providing for the emotional and mental wellbeing of our children and teachers so they can live, learn and teach with more health and happiness.
It’s what I wished I’d have known and or/received when I was teaching.
And there is the problem, there currently isn’t the space and time for this in schools.
Everyone is so busy DOING all the things.
Looking back at my educational career, here’s what I noticed:
- I didn’t know at the time what my emotional needs were or that I was ignoring them.
- I had no mental health toolkit to notice my mental activity and nurture my emotional/mental self for optimum teaching.
- There was no guidance or support in school. No-one showed me, no-one helped me and I certainly didn’t practice emotional and mental wellness with my class and school staff. (We learnt ABOUT it but I now know that’s a very different thing to actually DOING it).
- I didn’t know that emotional wellness and mental health practice was even a THING!
- I certainly didn’t know that daily wellbeing practice could be done WITH the children in school so we could improve our mental and emotional health together.
In all honesty, if someone had told me about daily wellbeing practice, I’d probably have shrugged it off because I had too much other important stuff to do. I was busy teaching, (including the PSHE curriculum), full to capacity and tired.
I’m really pleased to see that in the years since I’ve left, mental health and emotional wellness is becoming more of a priority and focus in schools.
But it’s not there yet.
Our school system is still letting our children down in the emotional support they need. Mental and emotional wellbeing education for every child that makes a real difference. Too many children have adult role-models (that includes their teachers and parents) that are pushed to their limits.
And it’s my personal journey that has allowed me to stand back, observe and create a regular wellbeing practice that is so desperately needed in schools and their communities.
A practice that allows every child and every teacher, the space, time, skills and tools to support themselves and others in need.
Adult role-models that embody emotional resilience, self-compassion and mental wellness and children demonstrating emotional responsibility and be given the power of self-awareness.
Knowing our emotional needs and mental activity IS essential for optimum health and learning.
My journey from full-time teaching Assistant Head in a primary school to mental and emotional wellbeing coach for school communities has been a rollercoaster.
In fact, I teach about emotional rollercoasters quite a lot in the work I do. I’ve had many ups and downs, twists and turns, revelations and LOTS of learning. I’m grateful for every single bit of it.
Here’s my story:
I started my NQT year in a Year 5 class in my home town of Skegness.
After moving to Leicestershire, I taught mixed classes in Year 4/5, Year 1/2 and Year 5/6.
I managed EYFS and KS1, became an SLE (Senior Leader in Education) for a local academy trust and Assistant Head. My education career was successful.
In December 2014, I left the profession.
That was a very tough decision.
I loved teaching and making a difference to lives.
My purpose was (and still is) to teach.
From that point, I…
- Set up my first online business providing family friendly learning games to support maths, reading, phonics and spelling etc.
- Fell pregnant and became a mum.
- Lost myself and struggled mentally and emotionally. Leaving my career and having my first child was a lot to deal with.
- Looked for help. Found it. In the form of self-help books, yin yoga, mindfulness and meditation.
- Found relief, clarity and said hello to ‘me’ again.
- Had my second child.
- Renewed my purpose and vision to provide children and teachers with an ongoing wellbeing practice that equipped and empowered them to notice and nurture their mental and emotional health.
- Attended business coaching.
- Qualified as a practitioner of NLP.
- Became a trained teacher of mindfulness.
Qualified NLP Practitioner with Dare to Succeed Training & Coaching
Certified Youth Mental Health First Aider with Level Up Mental Health Training
Mindfulness Teacher trained through (and continues to train with) Mindfulness CiC
EFT Practitioner for adults and children (Emotional Freedom Technique also known as ‘tapping’).
Youth Mindfulness SOMA Teaching Training graduate
Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness Training with David Treleaven
Today I work with hundreds of children and their school staff by providing them with the time, space and direction to understand and nurture their own emotional and mental health needs. A little bit each day.
I continue to practice personal wellbeing through mindfulness, meditation, journalling, yoga, EFT, NLP, gardening and more recently lunar journalling.
Our world needs healthy, happy children and teachers and I’m giving back to an education system that is in desperate need of love, compassion and mental and emotional fitness. It starts with you, your staff and those wonderful children in your care.