Kulbir Natt – Geography Teacher – Cohort 2017
Last year during the October half term, I went to a weekend course on wellbeing at a countryside Spa hotel. It was good. Also good was the mindfulness course and the topics relating to, among other things, meditation, yoga, breathing, habits, exercise, sleep and good organisation. Like many people who’ve been working for some time, I’d thought about these things before. Sometimes, I did something about it and if I stuck at it, things improved. Then, life, mine or somebody else’s, got in the way. The course, backed by evidence-based science, was targeted towards teachers, began to shift a few things in the right direction:
- Sleep: getting at least 7 hours of sleep is an unqualified good (read Matthew Walker’s book).
- Limit my work hours: this took time and requires a school that doesn’t overburden you with unnecessary stuff.
- Mindfulness: stumbling along. It is good but I need to re-embed it into my routines. For now I am regularly standing still and breathing to ground myself.
- Learning to use all breaks: between lessons; breaks and lunch; evening; weekends and holidays effectively, even if it is just closing the door and breathing. Every little helps.
- Getting organised: I come in early; having simple online and hardcopy planning mechanisms; leaving when the pupils leave at the end of the school day and reducing work at home to the minimum. Not quite zero, yet.
- Habits: working on removing bad habits (I do have some) and instilling good ones (slowly getting there).
It is a work in progress, but by employing some of these strategies I am definitely in a better place than I was at this time last year.