The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Health and Wellbeing

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GTC Scotland has created and curated a variety of resources and advice to support teacher and lecturer health and wellbeing during the Covid-19 crisis.

Get insights from health and wellbeing professionals in our webinar recordings, videos, think pieces and articles; and access useful materials from health and wellbeing organisations under Resources.

Over the coming weeks we will run a series of webinars from wellbeing experts  which you may find helps you manage your wellbeing. Keep an eye on this page and the GTCS Twitter account for further details.

PRD Support Week

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GTC Scotland understands that PRD could be somewhat different this year, as teachers cope with the ongoing changes arising during lockdown. From 25 - 29 May, we will be sharing useful resources to help you prepare for PRD during lockdown. 

Find the resources on our PRD Support Week page

Latest Resources

Protecting our Health and Wellbeing During Covid-19 Sketchnote - Debbie Bowie, Renfrew High

Articles - Teaching Scotland issue 84 - Wellbeing section

The following resources can be found in the relevant areas below:

Brew and a Blether - Amanda Corrigan
Sarah Philp Blog - Time to Think
Hugh Smith Think Piece - Developing a Wellness Community of Practice
Claire Lavelle Webinar - Recording of Transforming the emotional load webinar and supporting materials including a 7 minute video

Hugh Smith Resources

Hugh Smith is an experienced teacher educator, author and speaker who provides mental health and wellbeing consultancy for schools, colleges and universities. He has produced think pieces on workplace tension and partnership working and developing a wellness community of practice.

Workplace Tension and Partnership Working Take 20 minutes out to reflect on this think piece from Hugh Smith, one of our regular “Teaching Scotland” contributors. Hugh considers teacher professionalism and wellbeing in the current context and provides the opportunity to reflect on the challenges of workplace tension and partnership working to build positive solutions for now and the future. This resource is available in video, text and audio formats.
Developing a Wellness Community of Practice In this think piece Hugh explores how you and colleagues might engage with the development of a wellness community of practice. He also shares how such a community of practice might become a central activity in keeping teacher mental health and wellbeing ‘in check’.

Paul Mills Resources

A recording of Paul's webinar, De-stressing Stress, and two self-hypnosis recordings, are available for registrants in the resource section of MyPL. Log into MyGTCS to use MyPL.

Paul has provided this eight week guide to learn diaphragmatic breathing.

The Hive of Wellbeing Resources

Claire Lavelle, Director of The Hive of Wellbeing, has developed a range of resources around the themes of Dealing with Uncertainty and Working from Home.

Dealing with Uncertainty

In this webinar Claire Lavelle, Director of the Hive of Wellbeing, and GTCS Senior Education Officer Sharon Smith, discuss the impact of the changes on our emotional wellbeing following the closure of most schools and the opening of essential Hubs in our communities. They look at practical strategies to focus our attention on what we can control when we cannot be physically present with our children and young people and their families. They also discuss ways to soothe our anxieties, such as practising more mindful awareness of our recurrent thoughts and feelings and dealing with these by using self-compassion approaches.
Slides from Claire's Webinar.
Everything is temporary and change is a constant in our lives. When changes are taking place, John Fisher asks us to consider where we might find ourselves on this Transition Curve.
A reflective exercise to support you in uncovering unhelpful beliefs and habits and tell a new story about your life.
Being Self‐ Compassionate and Developing the Practice of Self‐Kindness.
Claire Lavelle talks about autonomy: taking control of what we can do in our present circumstances when working from home.
In her second video, Claire Lavelle talks about self-efficacy: the feeling and belief that what you are doing is making a difference to the learning and the lives of your learners in a positive way.

Working from Home Slides and Worksheets

Reflections on the environmental, physical, mental and emotional aspects of working from home.
Tools to aid acceptance and letting go of what you cannot change.
Coaching approaches to support you in making changes to your thoughts and habits.
A mindfulness technique to help with worry.
Claire Lavelle discusses the topic of coherence - making meaning out of what is happening with our lives and developing a narrative that supports us so we can experience a greater wellbeing, even amidst the uncertainly of the pandemic.
Claire discusses the importance of accepting that this is how things are, for now, and how to support ourselves to feel better.

Transforming the Emotional Load

Watch Claire Lavelle's webinar "Transforming the emotional load" In any change to our normal working circumstances, there can be an emotional load that we are left to carry and process. So when the pandemic led to our schools closing and Hubs opening for children of key workers, we may have been left reeling emotionally from the speed and nature of the changes such as: losing our sense of purpose, our role, our connection with our pupils and families. In this webinar, Claire discusses some of the possible impact of carrying this "emotional load" as we progress through lockdown. She looks at ways to support us in processing some of these challenging emotions, using a range of coaching strategies and approaches, and focuses our attention on where we can create new "stories" for ourselves to bolster our wellbeing.
Slides: Transforming the emotional load (pdf)
Q&A from the Webinar (pdf) Claire answers two questions from webinar participants:
- Who supports the leaders to stop them feeling overwhelmed whilst supporting their colleagues?
Flexible working day - maybe we need to embrace this than trying to control it. What do you think?
A technique used in a narrative therapy approach (pdf) A Narrative Therapy Approach was developed by Michael White and David Epston in the 1970s and 1980s and is a therapeutic intervention to support clients and families in identifying unresourceful stories or “narratives” about their lives which limit their wellbeing.
Making attributions and examining limiting beliefs (pdf) We each have a range of supportive beliefs and limiting beliefs which we may or may not always be conscious of. The less conscious we are of the limiting beliefs that we hold, the less resourceful we can find ourselves being in our behaviours, actions and even our performance.
Use of the Empowerment Dynamic - David Emerald (pdf) Claire looks at two social models, the Dreaded Drama Triangle and The Empowerment Dynamic, and how we can use them to reflect on our roles in social dynamics and our reactions to challenges.
Video: Transforming the Emotional Load In this 7 minute video, Claire focusses on emotional transformation, self-compassion and transition during the lockdown.

All materials © The Hive of Wellbeing.

Brew and a Blether

GTCS Development Officer Sarah Stevenson chats to people from across Scottish Education about the pandemic and the impact on their work

Sarah Stevenson, GTCS Development Officer, chats to class teacher Adela Mansur about teaching from home, shielding and juggling family life.
Sarah Stevenson, GTCS Development Officer, chats to lecturer Amanda Corrigan about the impact the pandemic has had on student teachers and what she has being doing to support her local community.
GTCS Development Officer Sarah Stevenson chats to headteacher Lena Carter about how the pandemic has been impacting work and how they have been coping with changes.
Sarah chats with Catriona Robb, Teaching Fellow in Children's Mental Health at the University of Strathclyde.
Sarah talks to Ruth McKay, headteacher of Portobello High School in Edinburgh, about teaching and caring for young people in and out of learning hubs.
GTCS Development Officer Sarah Stevenson speaks to Angela Jaap, Lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, about the shift to working from home and some of the positives that has come from it.

Sarah Philp Coaching

Sarah Philp has created resources and techniques for you to use to support you in reducing feelings of stress, help you sleep and soothe your soul.

These relaxation resources include: Body Scan (guided relaxation); Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep); Breathe and Keep Going (alternate nostril breathing); Guided Relaxation for Children and Young People; and three meditations (mindful breathing, loving kindness and alleviating stress).
Journaling can be used explore tough questions, big questions or even the 'small' day to day stuff.
The "Wheel of Life" coaching tool can help you consider your own wellbeing.
Sarah writes about setting yourself up for success
Some insights and questions to think about time and how you use it.
Are you struggling with the liminal space caused by the pandemic? Sarah's latest blog discusses this period of fear and uncertainty and how we can harness it for our own mental wellbeing.
Three reflective questions to ask yourself in relation to serving and leading in challenging times.
Sarah argues that we are ‘human beings’ not ‘human doings’, and need to reclaim the time to think.

If you would like to recommend health and wellbeing resources that you have found useful please contact: communications@gtcs.org.uk

Education Support

Anyone in education can call the free and confidential helpline run by Education Support, 08000 562561

Please note

GTCS is not responsible for the content of external websites. The views expressed in User Generated Content will not necessarily reflect those of GTCS.