How can we keep teachers happy? Thin red lines between wellbeing & misery

Improving Teaching

The thin red line (or, as William Russell originally reported, the “Thin red streak tipped with a line of steel”) which held off a charge of Russian cavalry at the Battle of Balaclava has become a metaphor for stretched forces holding firm against defeat.  Thin red lines might stave off teachers’ defeat over workload and wellbeing.Robert_Gibb_-_The_Thin_Red_Line

Many teachers feel unhappy, overworked and inclined to quit.  404,600 trained teachers under 60 are no longer teaching (almost as many as are (451,000)).  In an NUT survey “90% of respondents had considered leaving teaching in the last two years, 96.5% said workload has negative consequences for family or personal life.”  Students and schools need teachers who stay in their job and keep improving: how can this be achieved?

One answer is promoting teacher wellbeing.  This summer I was asked by someone establishing a new school how I thought leaders might do this.  I don’t know: in setting up our school, we…

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