Stretch, take a deep breath...

7th September 2007 at 01:00
..and learn how calm and organised teachers can benefit their pupils too

Margaret Adams says every staffroom wall should display the following message as boldly as possible: "Working long hours is bad for productivity and bad for you as a teacher".

That done, the author and former teacher applies six "tests" or questions, which measure a school's health:

* Does your school have a work-life balance policy?

* Have you discussed work-life balance with staff and agreed what you want to achieve?

* Have you decided what work-life balance means?

* Is it, for example, about improving morale, reducing working hours, dealing with stress, or improving retention of staff?

* Have you defined measures that will assess progress?

* Does everyone understand your approach?

If the answers to these are all in the negative, you are well advised to pop over to June Rowlands' seminar Yoga for Busy Teachers. She offers a few tips and techniques for use in the classroom eye and breathing exercises and postures for balance, calmness and quiet.

"Your health benefits children," she insists.

Help with getting work-life balance right is in rapidly increasing demand, and the TES show devotes a whole zone and seminar series to the issue.

Janet Derwent and Heather Giles of Sundial House say there is an answer to all that stress through creative meditation. The problems teachers face are summed up by the title of their seminar: So Little Time and So Much To Do.

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