High notes drown out the lows

12th May 2006 at 01:00
Trish Glazier reaches for the high notes when she is struggling with high stress levels.

The 58-year-old head of Partney primary, in Lincolnshire, finds singing in her local church choir helps her to unwind.

"I don't go and hit things or do anything physical," she said. "But singing is quite good for you. It can be quite lighthearted. We sing songs from shows like Oklahoma! It's fun."

Ms Glazier, who as a teaching head regularly works 13 or 14-hour days, also makes a point of socialising regularly, both with colleagues and with friends in other professions.

"Socialising with non-teachers can be very helpful in giving a more balanced picture of the world," she said. "You can get bogged down in your school, your staff and your pupils. So being with people who aren't interested in school is really good."

Her friends are also willing to listen if she wants to talk about work-related stress.

But her life has been deliberately managed to avoid conflicting pressures.

She is divorced and her grown-up children do not live locally.

"I would not have taken the job when my kids were younger," she said.

"Absolutely not. It was a very definite decision. Opportunities did come up. People always want you to take on more. You could work and work and work until you drop. But I suppose I put time for my family before my career."

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