Stress is something that affects many school leaders. In fact, some may argue that it is built into the job description. With that said, it’s important that leaders have the right tools in their arsenal to deal with whatever challenges may arise.
Having worked in the education sector for over 10 years and having built relationships with many leaders in that time, we’ve picked up a trick or two. We felt it was important for us to share some of the strategies that the leaders we’ve worked alongside have found useful.
Connect with other leaders
No one will understand the stress and pressure you may be facing than the people who walk in the same shoes as you. Befriending other school leaders will give you someone to talk to who has either dealt with or is going through the same challenges you and your school are. While in some instances they may only be able to offer a listening ear and chance to vent, in others they may be able to offer resources, support, inspiration and even feedback.
If you are interested in expanding your connections, why not give Twitter a try? There is a huge education community on the platform and it’s a great space for sharing ideas.
There’s a life outside of your school
Many leaders often prioritise work and their school over their personal lives. However, it is so important to remember that there is more to life than work. Those wellbeing charters you put together for your teachers to follow also apply to you too!
Working too much will lead you to feel resentful. Be sure to take some time to do things you enjoy doing such as spending time with your family, reading or even catching up on your favourite Netflix series.
At times, we are all guilty of looking at our glass as though it’s half full. When the going gets tough, typically we think about the worst-case scenario. In those moments, it is important to take a deep breath and to think about some of the positives as opposed to the negatives.
There are lots of exercises that you can do easily from the comfort of your office that can help you to stay calm. For example, you could try breathing exercises, meditation or even list-making. It might even be as simple as looking at a photo on your desk of our family - whatever works for you.
Invest in your personal growth
Leaders aren't born leaders, they grow into leaders. As far as we are concerned you can never have too much knowledge or too many skills. There’s a wide variety of training courses and even books that can help you not only learn something new but become a better version of yourself - a version which takes stresses and challenges in their stride.
Not sure what to read? We’d recommend giving our 10 must-read books blog a once over for some inspiration. If you’re looking for something a little more practical, our partners, Cultivate Coaching, offer some great packages for school leaders.
If you're currently a senior leader looking for a role within a school then head over to our website where you can find all of our latest job roles. We support headteachers, SENCos and more with their job search and offer both interim and permanent roles.