Sometimes you don’t notice it
Sometimes it just sits there quietly…but its never not there
The start to this term has been a tough one, I’m not going to talk details but lets just say it’s been up there.
Anxiety just sits, it’s not one thing it’s lots of things and sometimes it just overwhelms. It’s layers and layers and layers. It sits and nags. It’s that slight sick feeling I have every morning at the moment. It’s those moments when you can’t see the wood for the trees. Normally I’m a problem-solver, I find solutions. At the moment I’m finding that tricky.
It’s not the big things, it’s the tiny things that threaten to capsize your boat.
Systemically there is a constant pressure feeding down all the time starting at the top and cascading down bit by bit. (When there is a ministerial phone call to your trust about your data you really feel actually how close it is.)
There is that nagging gnawing feeling that whatever job you’re doing it’s not good enough. At every level this can take a different form.
The lack of trust and a toxic system of accountability spirals to every level and feeds down and down.
Anxiety is a hungry beast and it wants to be fed it wants you to satiate its hunger. Have you ever stopped to think why some schools create ridiculous demands of their teachers, set up systems that show no trust or faith in their staff and then why this cascades down onto pupils.
With all the talk about recruitment and retention it’s vital to think why increasing numbers of people don’t see this job as a long-term thing. If you’re looking for a reason why people leave the profession I suggest that’s part of your answer. For lots of people feeling that what you are doing is not good enough is a massive part of it. In schools we sometimes create systems that do just that maybe it’s time we stepped back and really looked at the impact of our actions. I guarantee for most it’s not about money, it’s a lot about pressure. Workload is something that is created to make people feel better about the job they are doing whilst it might ease one person’s anxiety it inevitably impacts on the people below them.
Leaders of schools can stop it impacting down into their schools and staff. The pressures however are still there and they build and build and when that’s the case sometimes it’s the tiniest things….