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The Compassionate Teacher: Why compassion should be at the heart of our schools

The Compassionate Teacher: Why compassion should be at the heart of our schools

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'When your mental health goes: that's everything gone- it's your lens on the entire world.' It happened to this author, and it's happening to teachers everywhere.

Modern educators are faced with the constant juggling act of keeping hold of the passion for their subject and nurturing the young people in front of them, as well as ensuring the best possible measurable outcomes. Some would have us believe that these are obviously the same thing, and to suggest otherwise is a professional and personal failure. They're wrong.

It's a balancing act that is leading many down a path of poor mental health; spiralling workloads - not all of which is entirely necessary - and our desire to serve young people and their communities is unquestionably forcing the profession into a crisis. It's a crisis that is expressed in the number of teachers walking away from schools, as well as the increasing waves of teachers reporting mental health issues which are directly linked to their job.

This book argues that with compassion, we can absolutely find a way through the quagmire.

It begins with a frank and honest discussion of the author's own struggles; it then makes sense of our modern educational context, and offers a range of practical solutions to improve mental health in school contexts- both in terms of the relationships we have with colleagues and students, as well as offering practical means of minimising workload and maximising our effectiveness in the classroom.

It's time we reclaimed our mental health, for the sake of everyone in education. This book is the start.

About the author

Andy Sammons has been a teacher for 10 years, and held various roles such as Lead Practitioner, Key Stage Coordinator, Second in Department. I'm now a Head of English at a large school. Professionally, my passion is Teaching and Learning; I'm also really interested in Mental Health in schools- particularly among teachers.

This is a warm, reflective exploration of the nature of compassion and empathy, and the importance of paying attention and offering care, both to yourself and to others. The book offers suggestions of practical strategies to safeguard our wellbeing and increase our professional effectiveness as we build our self-awareness and the most positive, constructive relationships, showing compassion towards ourselves, our colleagues, our students, in our teaching and even in our marking. It also offers helpful suggestions for further reading for those who wish to delve more deeply into the theory and underlying principles relating to CFT. --Jill Berry, Former head, now leadership consultant