In this episode, I'm joined by Megan Corcoran, a teacher who has recently decided to leave the classroom.
Megan spent over eleven years teaching and leading in alternative schools for young people who have experienced trauma and/or significant disadvantage. During that time, she worked as a school leader in Australia’s largest alternative school. She studied a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and her teaching practice is trauma-informed and grounded in Wellbeing Science. Megan is also an experienced workshop facilitator, coach and consultant, and co-founder of Teacher's Well, that provides wellbeing communities for teachers and aims to generate teacher-led wellbeing initiatives in schools.
Listen to Megan speak about the importance of slow teaching and building deep connections with colleagues. We'll also discuss the challenges that are driving teachers out of the classroom in droves and the solutions for teacher wellbeing that Megan and her colleagues are offering at Teacher's Well.
Further learning related to this episode/references:
Learn more at teacherhealer.com
Music by Twisterium from Pixabay.
Ditch single-use plastics
Megan Corcoran spent over 11 years teaching and leading in alternative schools for young people who have experienced trauma and or significant disadvantage during that time.
She worked as a school leader in Australia's largest alternative school. She studied a Masters in applied positive psychology and her teaching practice.
Is trauma informed and grounded in well being science?
Megan is also an experienced workshop facilitator, coach and consultant and Co.
Founder of teachers.
Well, that provides well being communities for teachers and aims to generate teacher lead well being initiatives in.
Listen to us discuss the importance of slow teaching and building deep connections with colleagues will also brainstorm potential solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the profession.
Megan, welcome to the Teacher Healer podcast, it's great to have you.
Thanks very much for having me.
Yeah, no worries.
So I brought you on today because I'm I'm really trying to work out what's going on with the great resignation.
We've got a lot of.
Teachers dropping like flies out of the system and you're one of those people who've decided to make a bit.
Of a shift in your life.
So I guess I'm just wanting to find out a little bit more about what's brought that on and where you're at.
Yeah, no problem at all.
Well, to be honest I'm leaving so that I can actually hopefully help the system a.
Little bit more.
So I think for a lot of teachers they're doing full career change, whereas I'm really hoping to stay in the education system and make a bigger impact.
So for me, I'm actually working as a leader at the moment I've got a few weeks left, but I feel like as a leader I haven't been able to do.
My best work and I'm looking at our teachers and they're they're not able to do their best work at the moment for our young people, so I'm feeling really conflicted to stay and be a band aid in the system as opposed to really being on the outside and trying to influence the system externally.
OK, interesting, So what do you have in mind?
What's your plan for influencing the system from the outside?
Yeah, so I guess I've always come in my teaching and leading.
I've always had a huge well-being lens on the.
Work that I.
I studied a masters of applied positive psychology.
And it really.
Influences the way I work a lot, so I'm actually going to be working in more as a consultant for schools looking at culture audits.
Running well being workshop.
And then I also have a project that I'm doing with a couple of friends slash colleagues called teach as well and we're creating sort of a community for teachers who really do want to influence well being in their school and we're supporting them to come and have a well being experienced with us, but also leave with skills and practices that they can then apply in their school.
Hopefully better support those that they're working closely with.
That sounds really awesome.
Well, beings like being one of those things that's been popping up everywhere on Twitter and LinkedIn.
You know when I've been talking to different teachers and.
Like what do.
You think is going on there with the well being for teachers in the.
Classroom at the.
Moment it's a really interesting time because I absolutely have always loved being a teacher.
I thought it was the best job in the world.
Very reluctant when I left to go into leadership, so for me it was very much a values.
So I was like loving my teaching job, but I also knew I could probably do more in a leadership role.
So I took a lot like it was a very conflicted time for me to move into leadership, and now once again the same thing like I love leadership in a school, but I'm feeling conflicted and feel like I can do more so I'm getting.
But yeah, it's a really interesting time because the feelings that I had about loving teaching it's really hard to find them right now.
It's just such a challenging time with teacher shortages that seems to be the main focus every single day.
Like we start the day looking at the absent list and figuring out how we can cover it.
No one can really do their best work right now.
Because we're all in survival mode and I think for a lot of teachers, especially in Melbourne, after such lengthy lock.
Downs they've had an experience of realizing we can work differently and we can have more autonomy and we can be a little bit slower in the way we work and now they've just been thrown back into like such a fast pace environment where the demands are really high and they're higher than ever because there's not.
Enough people to.
Work, so yeah, people are really struggling in schools at the moment.
It's a really tricky.
Yeah, so you're talking about mass.
Absences like what?
What do you think is driving?
That is it?
Is it that fast pacing problem that you're not used to?
Is it because of COVID illnesses?
There's something else behind that.
Yeah, it's a really good question.
I like a lot of people, would assume it's COVID absences and now the flu season starting.
But I actually got to do some work with the school around what was going.
On for them with their absences.
And we got to survey the staff anonymously and find out what was happening and surprisingly number one reason was mental health.
We didn't really.
Define that, so that could be like taking a mental health day.
You know, like a self care day or whatever it might be.
But that was the number one reason people.
Were taking sick leave.
Number two was workload pressure.
And then #3.
Was COVID sorry, it was really sort of striking to see that data with this school that we did some work with.
Interesting and like are there schools, sort of doing programs to help with mental health in the school or like?
What do you think is being?
Done at the moment.
They probably are.
But at the same time, we're in that really tricky spot where people don't have enough time to release someone to even go to training, let alone like taking time as a team to do something all collectively together.
So I'd like to think that they are, and that there's some priority there, but it is really that situation where we're all doing more work than we.
Usually wooden covering multiple roles.
So taking the time to actually really directly focus on well being seems to be put to the side a little bit.
At the moment, for most schools.
OK, so so that's something that you're wanting to move into externally then.
So how are you approaching this?
If if there's a lack of time in the classroom and like what's your plan?
Yeah, it's a really good question, so that's why I'm pretty passionate about what we offer, would teach as well at the moment.
Teach as well is an after hours program which in itself is obviously a challenge 'cause I don't want people to think that they can only look after.
Their well being external to their school hours.
But the reason it is an after hours offering at the moment is for that very reason.
It's just to know that we can offer a well being experience and we're really hopeful that people recognize that they actually feel better once they've they've come to teachers.
Well, I'm at the end of each session.
We often feel energized and connected and well supported.
And like we've got some strategies to face the challenges.
So yeah, we're we're running it as a sort of an offering after hours, and then we coach the people to then go and apply this in their school, because what we're realizing is people at the moment aren't that likely to book A.
Whole day workshop.
With an external person to close their school and do that, or to send staff to have training and what we noticed.
As well is.
That that's cool that we looked at that data for.
We actually also wanted to find out for them.
What were the most protective factors for them?
So what we're actually finding supportive in their school and and the number one thing that they found the most supportive was actually colleague support.
So it wasn't any of these external providers.
Counseling wasn't any of that sort of stuff was literally the culture of.
They don't care that their colleagues provided them and number two was leadership support and there was actually quite a big gap between colleagues, support and leadership support in second place.
So to me as well, that data really informed what we're doing with teach as well to recognize that people need to be connected with their colleagues in at school and to be able to support each others well.
Being in this current situation.
Yeah, it's it's so interesting, isn't it?
Because like I found that as well like in my teaching, your colleagues become your family and but not having, I guess that time and structure inside the school day to be able to take that time.
It's a new challenge, isn't it?
Uh, because you're.
There you've got.
These like set hours.
You have to be in front of the class and I know in primary schools it's way worse.
I couldn't even believe it.
I was a secondary teacher and we would work 15 out of 20 hours in front of the class, whereas the primary teachers only.
Got something like an hour and a half a week and I was like what is going.
How did he even get?
To talk to each other.
Into your planning, come yet alone, marking and everything else.
That goes into it.
Yeah, absolutely, but I think it can also be about just injecting small rituals and small moments of connection in a day.
Can even just make a huge difference as well, and so that's something that we're exploring a little bit is just how to make sure it happens every day, but even if it's just a very small opportunity, like a small window of opportunity, but just taking it and making sure we use it.
Are there any techniques or things that you're going to be teaching teachers that you're willing to share with us?
Yes, well with teach as well.
We really look at using coaching as a way to actually support people to sort of unpack the challenges.
That we're all facing.
At the moment.
So we do a bit of a like we really keep the group quite small so we can create a lot of safety and really do a lot of container building with the group so that we know that we're all holding it safely and carefully.
Together and then we allow people to do case giving where they can actually talk through well being challenge they're facing in the school, and then the rest of the brutal actors coaches.
Uhm, we're doing a lot of journaling.
We're doing a lot of, you know, slowing down to problem solve a lot of mindfulness, yeah?
So there are just a few of the examples.
I guess what we do with teach as well.
Listen, do you have like a case study that you'd be able to share?
If I can experience the teachers had where they've found it grade or.
Uh, we have experienced some some change or growth for themselves.
Yeah, it's it's really interesting 'cause I find even just being a coach and not necessarily the case.
Giver is actually very impactful as well in those moments as well so I can learn from the people that give their case and it can influence my work as well.
But yeah, we did have someone share share some experiences of just even losing that connection with their team and how.
Meetings are being cancelled to support their well being, so it was like you know you guys.
Are all time for, so let's cancel out.
Meetings, but then they were feeling really isolated in their school 'cause they weren't seeing their colleagues.
They weren't having a moment to talk to their leaders and ask questions, 'cause I would then have to go find them within the school 'cause they weren't seeing them in the meeting.
So we really sort of unpack towel like you shouldn't really.
It depends on the in, like the intention behind a meeting really like.
Sure, scrap the informative meeting that you know.
If there's nothing to share and it was just like sort of ticking a box that you had to have a meeting.
But maybe there needs to be meetings where there is ritual of connection happening.
Yeah, so that was actually a really fascinating case, and the person who gave that case ended up writing a whole blog post about it and became an article that like, yeah, I saw quite frequently on different platforms and it was really nice to see.
And then we heard back that that's cool actually, then started looking at ways that.
They could still connect and still just take 5 or 10 minutes to come together as a team.
Have to be that one hour long meeting that.
But they thought they were doing the right thing by canceling meetings and giving people their time back.
But what they were doing was creating kind of a silo system in their school where where people didn't feel like a team anymore.
Yeah, I get.
That I'm I'm really lucky I I work in an organization that's it's small.
We got about 15 staff members, but connection is something we're really focusing on at the moment, and especially because we've all been working from home and it's made such a massive difference like I feel like that's the place I now feel most connected to in my life.
Uhm, even compared to my family and my friends because like there's such an effort and a time put into it.
But it's so hard to do in a school and.
You know it's.
So interesting Megan, because I've I've done probably 11 of these interviews before talking to you and.
Every single person I'm talking to is talking about connection as being.
A solution to everything we're going through and I'm it's not what I expected when I started out.
Like I don't know how many of the listeners know this, but when I started this podcast, my initial intention was to write a book.
Not to a podcast at.
All but I.
I couldn't write anything but negative things and.
I didn't know what the solutions were.
I had ideas about what they could be and what the system should look.
Like, but connection wasn't on the list.
I didn't expect that to be the number one sort of thing that was coming out of the interviews, and it seems to be the thing the cook the core thing.
That's really fascinating, yeah?
If people just want.
To be in relationship.
With each other.
Yeah, you know, yeah, like yeah.
So I wonder if it would have been a different answer if lockdowns hadn't happened.
Well, yeah, and I wonder, yeah, a lot of things would have maybe been different, of course.
Yeah, maybe it's timing.
So I've got to get keep this going for a little bit longer.
And see if that changes, but.
When we talked, you know a little pre interview.
You mentioned you had a little compass that you were using to help guide your work with the teachers.
Do not share a little bit of.
About that, yeah, sure.
So teachers well was actually born during lock down, so that was actually a a a time where I was actually just, you know, talking to other people in the industry about what was going on for us and how I was concerned for teachers in the in the field at the time and teachers.
Well really came about when we were going in and out of.
Lockdowns, so we're noticing that.
That was just such a hard time for teachers.
And I was actually really concerned for them, each time schools reopened 'cause the pace was just so fast and I noticed a lot of schools did really intentional work to look after their staff well being during lockdown, but then couldn't really apply the same thing like when the fast pace work is happening in.
So yeah, we were kind of navigating this conversation, just not sure how.
We can respond.
But yeah, just really playing around with it.
And as we were discussing one day, we just started scribbling ideas down and we actually, like Scribd.
It all and.
Drew some pictures.
And what really came out of that?
Was we actually?
Did map out a compass.
And so the compass essentially has four four points, and they're our values that really guide how we work with teach as well.
So our true north is purpose, which we think every teacher ultimately comes to the field with a sense of purpose.
It's very meaningful work, but right now it's really hard to see that purpose at times.
Maybe there's a bit of fog clouding it, you know?
Maybe the workload is just so huge that that purpose doesn't feel like they're really connected to it right now.
So what we discovered was it's it's not so much about spending time to set that true north, but the other compass points are really important and we need to actually spend time at each of those as well.
So the other three is curiosity, compassion and courage.
Yeah, so interesting.
Yeah, compassion like that's that connection thing as well isn't it?
And courage gosh, you know that's like that.
That's great when a brown.
Stuff there too because.
You can't be brave without vulnerability.
And I think teachers are just super vulnerable right now and students so honorable.
I was actually talking to my nephew the other day and he's just turned.
16 and he's like all my favorite.
Teachers have less.
And I just don't see like you know, he's he's really into music and he feels like the music department for him is just fall into pieces.
And it's not what it was, and that was the only thing really keeping him engaged in school, so I can just see like.
That's really sad for him.
Yeah, but that vulnerability piece like it's it's huge.
And then what?
What was it?
Yeah, that's so funny, isn't it?
Because I think like.
Being curious as a teacher, it's not just about being curious about the content you're teaching, but it's being curious about the people you're working with and and yourself and how you're growing and learning and what challenges you're facing so.
I don't know.
And like we thought of that one sort of came about two that we were like we need to be curious as to what's going on like we can see all these issues but if we go get a little bit more curious about then we can dive a little bit deeper.
You can really unpack them and then if we hold a bit of compassion for ourselves and the others we're working with and our young people, we can maybe have the courage to face them and and change them a little bit.
Or the influence the system a little bit more so that's sort of how the compass sort of came about.
Yeah, I like that because it's not just making assumptions that you know what's happening.
For people either.
Like that study that you did in, that's cool.
Like that's actually really enlightening, because it would have been very easy to assume that people were burnt out or that they had COVID or.
Whatever ask verbally.
Sort of more long term like I think like what it, what ripples are you hoping that this project is going to send out into the world?
I actually really like the fact.
That you use the word ripples.
00:16:20 Speaker 2
I think that's why we always play on words.
We always think about the well like it's actually a sense it can drink from the well and there's.
A lot of imagery.
That in metaphors that we often use.
So yeah, so we are we.
Use the word ripple a little bit when we're talking about our product.
But yeah, I guess essentially takes as well really began as like let's hold some spaces and people that are finding things hard.
That's essentially what it started out as it was like, let's see if there's any other teachers feeling the way we are, and we can offer this where we just come together and we hold that space and we see what we can do.
Evolved over time.
To recognize that people were getting a lot out of the experience.
And that it would be a really great thing to be.
Applying with teams.
In schools, but as we've found out, like colleagues, support was way more important than these external providers coming in or having a one day workshop on resilience or anything like that.
So we're really, really hopeful that we can work with some pretty small cohorts to have that experience together, but then to that they have the confidence to then go and apply.
Different strategies and processes in their school to support their their teams and their colleagues as well to really stay in the work to be a united front and to support each other as they move for.
Good, I'm sorry.
Yeah, we're actually running it now as a longer program, so it used to sort of just be a community circle where people could sign up and drop in, and then you know we might not see them again.
But now we actually have cohorts for a whole term, so we come together once a week and we go through different skills and processes that they can use.
And we do one on one coaching with them at the aim that they will then go.
And apply this in that school.
That's really nice.
If you if you had.
Like out of all these tips and processes, if there was one that you could share just for our listeners, if.
They're really struggling right now.
Uhm, what would you recommend?
What would be the starting point for them?
Yeah, that's a really, really tricky question, but I think it's about seeing through the the.
Mess, so finding a way to slow down because I think at the moment teachers are working so fast and just finding a way to pause and really cut through the noise.
And just really looking at the problem because at the moment it feels like a mountain like it absolutely feels like a mountainous problem and I think it's just about slowing down and actually really just recognizing what they can do, like like taking it as really small steps of.
Well, actually I can do this thing right now.
I can solve this problem right now.
The rest are too big, but let's just chip away at the really really small ones.
For now, and I think having a trusted colleague or a mentor or somebody that you just feel really safe to talk to that's in the industry is just really important is actually feeling heard right now.
Is is really important to move forward?
Yeah yeah, and guys if you feel like you're alone in your school like I've definitely been in schools where I just did not fit in, it was a small school and they were much older than me.
You know social media is there guys like reach out, reach out to to me.
You can contact each other podcasts and you know we'll we'll connect, but.
Yeah, like I.
I'm so interested in, uh, the foot has slipped out of my head, but you would.
You were talking about, UM.
Yeah, I've forgotten that's alright.
We all make mistakes.
Thank you the message through.
The mess up.
It actually reminds me, you know of that.
You you know the little grid that that they say put your important in your urgent items in it and then cross out one of.
Them isn't it like urgent and important needs to happen now, but they're unimportant.
Non urgent stuff, just don't.
Do it like you can validate it or just don't don't do that thing and I think that it's funny 'cause a lot of teachers have been talking about ministrative loads and things like that and.
And actually I found as a teacher that's the sort of stuff that gets you into trouble, isn't it because you want to go on excursions with kids?
But then you're like Oh no, I have to get permission forms and I have to fill in a risk assessment and that's too hard.
And so you just don't do.
It, but that's.
The stuff you really want to do, so it's a dilemma, but if it's important, you know that God, that's gotta go and importantly, style.
But I I'm a big fan of just not doing things.
If you don't have to, you know, and I'm the first person to admit.
Even to you know my old CEO, he he would send us a lot of emails that looked urgent.
He'd be like I need this today and I need you to stress about this thing and what's going on.
And I found that if I ignored that for 20.
4 hours that problem would go away.
Every single time and if it was important, he would remind me again in a week, you know.
And and I was I said to his face, this is what I do, and he would sort of laugh about it.
And he didn't mind that that what it meant is like I could stress about these for an hour right now.
Or I can just keep doing what I'm doing and worry about it if it comes back up and I think I think that reactive thing that we all have when we're at work and and for teaching, it's particularly important because you've got students in front of you reacting all the time and giving you stimulus and creating like little goodness knows what fires and and you know.
Something I learned in my masters degree sense, so it's off topic, but.
I remember us learning about the Chinese education system and we watched a video of a preschool in China and it was just so different to my understanding of.
What early learning was?
Because I'm I was used to something that was quite disciplined or they'd watch over you.
And yeah, you'd go and you'd play and you do the things and you'd have.
Your relationships, but if the kids in these Chinese school, we're
Getting into a fight.
And one of the kids hit the other.
The adults wouldn't intervene.
And they'd let the kids build the skills to like battle it out amongst themselves and set their own boundaries and go, hey, you shouldn't be hitting me and and they have a conversation and then eventually they'd resolve it on their own.
And I was like how much teacher time would that save?
Actually, like how much time have I spent with your eight kids being like?
Why are you arguing in this group project right now?
You know you guys need to learn to work as a team.
Actually, if you leave them to.
Sort it out.
Sometimes, not always, but sometimes.
It'll resolve itself you.
So bit of a random story there, but I think I think there's a lesson there that slow the yeah and and trusting maybe do you reckon?
Yeah, that's a good point.
'cause I think teachers are so desperate to look after their young people like they really want to do the best for their young people.
And so we're always working so fast because that's what we're trying to do.
Like that's always current like the front and center what?
What teachers are doing so it's a really good example really of just some you know, to slow down a little bit and young people are just grateful that you're there.
You're teaching them and just let them work it out a little bit themselves too.
Yeah, UM, so let me ask you this question, what is your wish for education?
Yeah, really good question.
Look, to be honest, I really hope that the system learns to slow down, so I think at the moment no one let the teachers are not to blame.
The school leaders are not to blame everyone in survival mode right now, and it's actually the system and the conditions of work and all of that that needs to be looked at.
So until about how?
Hence I just can't see that you know things are going to shift too quickly in schools, so I really hope that things can just slow down a little bit and the conditions can change a little bit for those that have worked in a school they know, like even taking a toilet break is really tricky.
Even having a moment to eat your food can be really tricky in the day, like it's just things like that that we've always normalized in in schools, and I think we're at a point now.
You know where it's really challenging work.
It's really fast pace, and if you can't even.
Take a break to go the bathroom.
You know it's it's we're asking a lot of people that work in a school right now.
So I think yeah, just I want the system to slow down, 'cause I think that's going to be more nurturing for our young people to like.
We're not modeling the best work conditions for them either.
The way teachers are working, so I'd like to see.
Yeah, things just slow down and allow a bit more space in schools because even for our young people they they need space.
They need time.
They need to slow down to be creative.
And to think and to problem solve?
Yeah, we don't give the same thing to the adults working in the school.
That's so true, and like deep where it comes from that isn't it?
It's otherwise you're just skating the surface.
Do you have any ideas of?
What could change?
To allow for that.
Well, it's a really tricky one because I know we're in a teacher shortage.
So at the moment it's sort of like the dream would be that everyone comes in and they know what their day is going to look like, and they know where their free time might be.
Or they can create that free time and they can create spacious time with their students as well to be like, you know, this is when we're doing circle time, but then we'll have some quiet time where you can peel off.
And work on something creative.
With them, but at the moment I think because people are covering so many classes or they're combining classes or you're covering each other duties, it's not happening right now, but that essentially that's what I would like to see is that a teacher could actually know what their day is going to look like ahead of time to be able to plan for it appropriately as well.
So for that to happen, I think would need more.
Teachers in schools and would be the industry to be a bit more appealing to attract people to actually train and then want to stay up.
Yes, there's a lot a lot to be done, really.
I'm gonna ask you a controversial question.
Do you believe in smaller class sizes?
00:25:17 Speaker 2
I do, yeah.
Look, you talk you're talking to.
Someone who's worked in the alternative education system my whole career?
So I've essentially worked with young people where mainstream school has not worked for them at all, and that's why they end up in our schools and the the biggest thing at the center of all of our schools is small.
Class sizes and yeah, I honestly think when schools are at their best.
It feels more like a family environment as opposed to, you know, a big school system.
So it's where everyone knows each other really well.
And yeah, it just feels a bit like a big family and people can eat together and get to know each other really well on a deep level in their classroom.
And you know, have peers and problem solved together and like sort out conflict together as a class group.
Yeah, and I think those things are only really possible in a small.
Smaller system, smaller class sizes.
What would be your ideal class 9?
Uhm, that is a good question.
Turn off what?
Or or student to.
The ratio would however you wanna, yeah?
I've worked in high schools in alternative system and at the moment I would say the one I'm in.
This class sizes are slightly too big, so I'm gonna say probably about 12 students would be perfect.
I know that that's like idealistic and a dream and so far away from the reality right now.
But I think 12 students, one teacher would.
Be an absolute beautiful.
Size to have and I think that that's where that community can really form in a nice, beautiful way.
You know, I wonder like UM.
If there's a way that these kind of things can be done if people think a little bit differently, like you know there's lots of savings that could be made on relief teachers and all sorts of things that if if you put the money in upfront, who knows it might.
Actually pay for itself so.
I'm a little bit of a journey to.
Try and solve that problem.
I'm not an economist or or accountant, but I'm I'm going to eventually go to someone who is and see if we can find a solution because.
I just think that's the answer for me.
Like small class sizes.
If connection is the answer to our problem.
Smaller class sizes have to be the thing, and you know John Hattie can say till the cows come home that it doesn't make a difference to shooting outcomes.
But there's more to life than than what's on the page and.
Yeah, there's so much more to it, so I just that's yeah, it's an interesting one and and and it's not not everyone agrees and I get that, but come.
You know, children shouldn't be inefficiency.
In my mind, you know.
Yeah, I've actually been reflecting on what draws teachers through the work, and I think there's like different ways to look at it, and I think for some people, especially in high schools, they might be driven by the content like they're so passionate about the subject area.
They chose to teach.
And for them they just want to deliver that content.
But then there's others that are drawn because they're so people centered and they want to work with young people and.
They're looking at the whole person and their development, and I think that that's dumb.
Yeah, I've been thinking about that.
Even just your comment about John Hardy.
For me, like I was drawn to the work for the development side of it and really caring about young people and wanting to see, you know, change, happen and growth.
Yes, I just think that like there be, some people would be like.
I don't really mind what my class sizes.
I just want to deliver my content and I just want to know how many periods I have a day and that sort of thing.
So yeah, I just want it really fascinating as well.
Just hearing different people respond to that.
That particular issue about class sizes.
I think it's driven from different motivations.
00:28:35 Speaker 2
Yeah, and maybe maybe there's something in.
That let's just go on under one will go off on one.
Now let's brainstorm.
So I want to be solutions focused, so like let's say you had those people who who just love delivering content, and you know, like we have that in universities all the time, there's lecturers and they're different tutors and there's many, many people in a lecture and fuel.
People in a cheater Gray.
And like I think schools have possibly experimented with that here and there, but maybe there's something sort of to that, like for the teachers as well as just being like, well, you've got a really passionate subject expert here.
They're really great at delivering that and and kids will say if you interview kids, they actually don't say they want smaller.
Class sizes if you talk.
To them, what they'll tell you is they want to teach his passion without content, which I have always surprised about every single time.
But they want to know that that teaches passionate about the content and that part that teach your kids about them.
And it doesn't matter to them how many people they can competing with, or however many other people are there in the room.
So like, I wonder if there's something to that is like letting those people shine in that way and do that thing that they're great.
Because kids love that and then having those spaces for connection with the teachers who love that because not all teachers want that.
They're not good at it.
They might be uncomfortable with it.
They might feel it forced upon them.
And and putting people where they should be, what do you reckon?
Like, what's your thoughts on that?
Yeah, that's not something I've thought about too much before, but as you're talking it through, I started thinking about how it could, you know, could sort of look like if someone is like I'm a subject matter expert and that's why I'm driven to this work and absolutely adore doing it and I can behavior manager a huge group because I'm so engaging.
In the way I teach, you know, like they could have a.
Different structure for their class group.
But then you might have the health teacher who's like I really want to get deeper with the young people and I want to be able to hear all of their voices in a class setting.
And I want to work, you know, in a more community focused way, and that could be a smaller class size.
Like maybe we've just gone like the way we focus on education.
It's almost like we have a one size fits all approach in mainstream schools especially.
But maybe it is about just exploring very different models and different ways to do.
It even within the one.
School who knows really? Yes.
Wow, yeah it feels like you're like.
Well, we're cookie cutting.
The kids were expecting them all to do the same subjects and to behave the same way and whatever else, but actually we're cooking.
Cutting the teachers as well.
And everyone is unique and different, and they bring different skills to the table and.
I'm just curious like I I'm just gonna throw out a challenge if there's any school leaders of small schools out there who are willing to try this, like what?
What would it look like if you actually pull do stuff together and ask them what they wanted their ideal job to look like and then made it work?
How would that change things?
I'd be so curious to see that and if if you go off and you pull that off guys, can you get back to me with an email?
I want to know all about it and and, you know, feel free to take all the credit.
I don't need any credit, but I'd love.
I'd love to know.
How that works, that's cool.
Alright, so I've got another another question here.
This is this is the last one on the list of the.
Things that I ask everyone.
And that is what do you think is the potential for education to heal the planet?
Yeah, that's a big question as well.
I I think education is such a special place to work in because ultimately you are working with young people who are the future generation.
I'm sorry the possibilities of what those young people go forward and do with their lives is endless really, and and I think there's some really special things happening with younger generations at the moment where I'm envious sometimes or what they're learning and the skills they're developing that I didn't get to do when I was a.
Student like I just think their social emotional literacy is so much higher than.
Our generations got to have.
I think their understanding of.
Themselves is a lot higher, like they're very self aware.
Umm, they're they're learning about the planet and climate change and how they can take action, and they've got a lot more confidence to speak up and be advocates.
And they've got platforms to use like social media and things like that as well, which obviously can be a blessing.
And a curse.
Uhm, so I just think yeah, it's a really special place to work with young people and just to work alongside them and see you know what they're going to work on in the.
So so yeah, I think the opportunity is really endless.
Hopefully not too late to save our planet.
But ultimately, I think schools are such special places, and I think it's you know it's a pretty huge huge opportunity that people have to work alongside young people.
And just to facilitate, you know their their journey really and just allow them to explore it and see where they where they're headed and what they're going to do in the future.
I want to ask you something.
It's been on my mind a bit lately and and in the circles that I've been working in this conversation is like you know your answer sort of was like the potential to heal.
The planet comes through the students and I feel like sometimes there's a lot of pressure on young people to solve.
Some of the problems that we can't solve.
All we've created or that our grandparents are created.
Or whatever, often.
Like what what are?
Your thoughts on this idea of students being like activists and active citizens and and you know doing that work?
Yeah, it's a really.
Good question, UM, I guess like I admire their energy and their confidence.
To do that?
But it is actually really unfortunate like.
I feel like.
They're doing it 'cause I have no choice.
Yes, because if they don't do something if they're not loud about it, like their planet is actually at a point now where if they're not doing anything, their future is actually in jeopardy.
So it's actually sort of, you know, the generations that came before them that have put them in this position where they actually probably feel obliged to be an advocate or an activist.
Store I'm sorry you know.
I feel like there's a lot.
Of pressure on.
Them as well, and they're probably feeling a lot of things we didn't have to feel when we're younger 'cause we were so unaware of the crisis and the damage we were doing to the planet, and that the generations before us had done.
Whereas right now they've got so much information and it must be a really unsettling time for them too.
So I actually feel like it's it shouldn't be on them.
And it's actually.
The generations that came before them that needs to do the repair and and guide them and allow them to have the future they want and it shouldn't have to be centered around activism and changing things and saving the planet.
Yeah, but do you think there's a place that?
For the young people.
Oh, absolutely, yeah, absolutely.
I think there definitely is, but I just don't want him to feel obliged to have to.
Take that path.
Yeah, yeah, so.
So here's a question.
Then, like what's the role of a teacher in this?
Our our teachers activists, are they there to heal the planet or are they there to just, you know, teach kids how to grow up and do their thing be their best.
Ah, that's a really good question.
I like to.
Think that teachers?
Support young people to be really critical consumers of the information in the world that they're.
Entering, so I feel like that's the teachers role more than anything, so not necessarily to teach them to change the planet or anything like that, but just to give them the skills and the strategies to know how to be critical of what they're hearing.
And what they're learning and then to make their own informed choices that way.
Uhm, yeah, that makes sense, yeah?
It takes total sense, awesome.
Well, did you have anything else you want to share about your great new project?
Is it teacher?
Well, yeah, but that you've been working on future as well.
Takes as well, yeah.
Yeah, that that you want to share before we fully head off.
Uh, my look.
We're about to go.
We're about to start sharing our term 3 offering so if anyone was thinking about signing up to a well being community, we are about to start sharing the term 3 information.
So I guess if people are interested we are teacherswell.com and you can also find us on Instagram under teach as well. Yeah, so we'll be starting to share some information about our.
Term 3 offering and we'll have a free information meeting.
Great session in a couple of weeks as well, so that'll be going out pretty.
Awesome and that's for Australian teachers.
Do you have anything like would would it be accessible for people outside of Australia?
Yeah, it's actually so far we've had teachers from New Zealand as well, so we actually we put all the time zones essentially on our offering for Australia and New Zealand and and yeah, so because it runs after hours I guess.
It wouldn't be too far fetched to think people could sign up if it was morning overseas somewhere and they wanted to sign up, but ultimately we've had Australian teachers and New Zealand teachers so far.
Excellent thanks good for our listeners to know.
Well, best of.
Luck with your project that you're going to be kicking off.
I know you're still in a school for a little while longer.
But it's so exciting what you're doing and it's it's really nice to hear that there are people out there doing that.
Good work to help teachers I know.
That it's much.
Needed at the moment, so thanks for all that you're doing there and.
Yeah, I hope it.
Works out really well.
And thanks for joining us on teaching healer.
No problem, thanks so much for having me.