111: Wellbeing

You may have picked up on previous Impatient Geography Patient posts that I really do love my job!  Not everyone can say this but I am in the best school I’ve ever worked in and I intend to see my career out in this one. What makes it a good place to work…

  • The people – staff and students
  • The teamwork – we are in it together
  • The vision to do better – if we get it right those kids will have better life chances and some of them may have to look after me when I’m older.. (no need to be be too altruistic)
  • The commute – it is a 5 minute walk (I’m doing such good for the environment!)

There are plenty of things I’d like to change if I had a magic wand but we won’t go there in detail as I don’t own one (the main thing I’d change is the buildings… having been able to visit some new build schools with wide sweeping staircases and corridors I’ve got school building envy).

It is odd working from home.  Getting a good routine has been a challenge but I’m sort of organised and one of my roles is to think about staff wellbeing.  To do this I write a “Good Morning” email each day to all staff.  This consists of some links to web sites, some for fun, some for mental wellbeing, a photo from a very talented young photographer who has been walking through Plymouth’s empty streets (you can find him on Facebook he is called Jay Stone and he has given me permission to use his images) and a poem which is supplied by three fabulous colleagues in the English Faculty.

My colleagues (friends) have been great… they’ve sent me links to share, over the past couple of days they’ve sent me photos of their pets and of themselves as children so we can have a bit of fun guessing who is who or who owns which pet.  I’ve had some lovely feedback emails too from some who say how much they enjoy receiving a daily email – it is purely voluntary so if people don’t wish to engage, they don’t have to.  Similarly if they don’t want to look at the links they don’t need to.  Doing this little job is certainly helping my wellbeing.  My favourite so far is the online book club – we are listening to the Mirror and the Light on BBC Sounds, this is the third in Hilary Mantel’s trilogy about Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell.  Wolf Hall, Bring up the Bodies and now this, I’m tempted to listen ahead.

Student wellbeing is being cared for too.  Tutors phone the parents/tutees once a week to ensure that all is well and the response from parents has been very positive.  Line managers phone their teams once a week too.  We are a community.

Being able to work like this gives me something to discuss with Nick too.. this is a good thing as he is pretty fed up and finding this concept of a lockdown more difficult than I am.  He loves sailing, he and his great friend Dave have spent a huge chunk of time preparing Cumulus for the lift back into the water on the 8th April.  Sadly, the boat club is closed, to “work” on the boat is not essential and involves crossing the Tamar on the Torpoint Ferry so is frowned upon and he has been told that those who have been sailing have been sent back to their moorings by the river Police.

This too will pass.

 

 

Author: fionaosmaston

I live in Plymouth, Devon with my husband Nick and near my parents Sandy and Sheena. Our three children, Marcus, Phoebe and Miles are grown up. I am a geographer and love teaching Geography. My current role is as an Assistant Vice Principal in an inner city comprehensive school where I lead on coaching and initial teacher training. In August 2017 I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma and following a skin sparing mastectomy and endrocrine/hormone treatment I am now awaiting a final reconstruction. These views are my own and writing this story has helped me come to terms with where I am in this interlude of life which has been dominated by breast cancer.

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