Last week I entered into the usual school staffroom conversation, you know the one that normally occurs at this time of year, you’ve been involved often….”Wow, I can’t believe how busy we are at the moment! Things are more challenging than ever before. I can’t believe that it is worse than last year. We seem to be taking on more and more and we never drop anything off the radar. We’re more accountable, society is more demanding and we’re expected to do more than ever before! I don’t know how I’ll survive!”
Then a colleague shared his theory that we in schools are the victim of the ‘new model’ mentality. He shared his belief that our consumer society is simply transferring the same expectations that we have for the motor car to our education system….and I think he’s right!
Each year, car manufacturer’s put out new models. Whilst it might be a face lift, a revamp or a completely new model. Each subsequent model is faster than the previous year’s model, has a higher safety rating, is more economical to run, roomier inside, has more features, looks better and costs less!
As a further example of our ever-increasing consumer expectations, have you bought a new TV in the past 5 years? TV screens have grown, the panels are thinner, the picture is clearer, they are more energy efficient, have more channels, can access more media formats and have come down significantly in price. A flat screen is no longer a luxury, it appears to be the norm.
In the past week the local council have been undertaking the annual bulk rubbish collection in my suburb. Every second household has placed their discarded TV set on the footpath for the official rubbish collectors (and the unofficial vultures too!).
Our consumer society leads to this snowballing mentality. We expect more and more bang for our buck! Our society has high expectations and is always upping the ante. Everything is expected to be bigger, faster, stronger, cleaner, easier, simpler and easier to use…and education is the same!
This creates the feeling of running faster and faster on an endless treadmill. Whilst this realisation may not slow the treadmill, I hope the realisation that we are not alone, may help ease the pain!
It is NOT unusual to feel this way in November. It happens every year! My best advice comes from Stephen Covey – “Finish Strong!”
Awesome Response to Make it Personal On World Teacher’s Day
The World Teachers Day postcards were a great hit again this year. Over 12,460 teachers across Australia (and New Zealand) received a handwritten postcard from their Principal thanking them for their dedication and commitment.
The feedback from staff was fantastic with many teachers commenting on how appreciative they were of their Principal going to the trouble of handwriting their card. Receiving a nice message rather than a bill in the post was a very welcome surprise. The ‘ripple effect’ of this goodwill is immeasurable. Thank you for your involvement.
Happy School Staff articles this month include…
- 7 Secrets to Successfully Avoiding Teacher Burnout
- Finish Strong
- Surviving Report Writing Time
- More problem solving…less whinging by Bruce Sullivan
If your school is not currently subscribing to receive the weekly articles, click here and become a subscriber today. For less than the cost of ONE supply teacher day you can provide a weekly article to boost staff morale and reduce teacher stress.
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We are all aware that PEOPLE make the difference in schools. Therefore investing in your people needs brings the best returns. Professional development sessions for your staff are available on a range of topics. These are ideal for student free days or twilight sessions. Email to check availability of your preferred date and book now.
Which topic does your team need most?
– Increasing WORK-LIFE Satisfaction
– Building Trust – Essential Skills
– Thriving in Times of Change
– Gr8 People are Part of Gr8 Teams
– Feedback – Helping Teachers Be the Best They Can Be
– 7 Secrets to Motivating and Engaging Students
Conferences and Work With Schools
Whilst the Pupil Free Days for January 2014 are fully booked, I’d be happy to talk with you about your professional development needs for other dates in 2014.
If you’d like me to present at your conference or work with your staff, email me firstname.lastname@example.org