International Women's Day

Rules for teachers

How times have (thankfully) changed. 

On this, International Women's Day (8 March), we talk to women in education about work, life and how important it is to prioritise wellbeing. 

 

Kay Lauer (right), Teaching Assistant

Being a teaching assistant, helping children access education, is one of the most rewarding jobs. Balancing work and my own childcare is often a challenge!

 

Jane, anonymous primary school teacher

I love teaching still, working with young people continues to be exciting and I strive to make it fun within the constraints. The responsibility we share for children's futures is real and significant; time to breathe without endless targets, data collections, work scrutiny, latest national priorities with new names and changes etc etc, might allow some joy and life work balance to return.

Monica Duncan (left), Head Teacher of Northumberland Park Community School

Making a difference through working with a team of committed staff to transform our student's life chances, in essence turning the school's motto "Motivate, Aspire, Transform" from rhetoric to reality.

 

Clara, anonymous secondary school teacher

Work life/balance is also a constant struggle. I always find work takes up far more of my time and head space than I feel it should, which currently prevents me considering more senior roles- something I would have said I definitely wanted when I entered the profession. As someone on mat leave at the moment, the curriculum changes also make the prospect of going back seen even more daunting and slightly terrifying!  All that said I do love the job... at least the teaching part!!

Victoria Marston (right), Teacher at a Yorkshire secondary school

From the early days of my career, I have been passionate about encouraging pupils to talk openly about mental health issues. Unexpectedly, this led to a lot of colleagues confiding in me about how teaching was making them feel - depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, etc. As such, I regularly raise staff wellbeing matters in our school meetings.

 

Elaine Wyllie, recently retired Head Teacher at a Scottish primary school

My first love is a love of learning. I've been teaching for more than 30 years and it has been a privilege. I started the Daily Mile at my school and it has huge benefits for staff and the children. They're fit, well, healthy, feeling energised. Teachers must have energy to do their jobs. We have a culture of writing everything down, endless pressure, it's unsustainable. I'm not saying you shouldn't have paperwork but we have to get excited about learning again.