Monday 1 February 2016

#teacher5aday: Removing the Scaffolding

The view from my classroom window for the past year has been characterised by hi-viz jackets, heavy plant and, more latterly, clean stone houses supported by scaffolding. And it's scaffolding that's got me thinking.

The #Teacher5aday initiative is a great scaffold, enabling teachers to lay down the foundations for a good balance between work and life. It provides a supporting structure as teachers construct greater wellbeing, thus making themselves more fit for purpose.

But scaffolding is always intended to be removed. Once the house is built, it has no need of an external supporting structure. A teacher must approach #teacher5aday with the eventual goal of generating a natural ability to ensure that work does not take over their life.

The challenges and ideas for looking after self are brilliant and through taking part you will hopefully begin to realise which of them could become a part of everyday life. One day, your house must stand alone. 

That's not to say that there will come a day when you don't need #teacher5aday - we always have the need to tap into like-minded individuals, to be a support to others and to receive support. There are always new things to try, new challenges to set yourself. It's just that #teacher5aday can't be a substitute for you taking responsibility for your own health; it's not a life-long crutch, it's just a temporary scaffold guiding you towards independence.

The next time you take part, be ready to consider how that challenge will assist you in becoming a natural regulator of your own work/life balance.

Photo Credit: garryknight via Compfight cc

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