The Elephant in the Staffroom is the survival guide that every busy teacher needs for practical advice on teacher wellbeing. Written in an informal, conversational style, the book is divided into 40 bite-size chunks, covering a range of essential topics from understanding and avoiding burnout, to successful working patterns, and even surviving the school holidays!
Complemented by a host of top tips, the book focuses on five key themes:
- the psychology of the teacher
- teacher identity
- emotional and physical energy
- keeping focused and investing in yourself
- colleagues, students and inspection
Chapters are designed to be easily dipped in and out of, with each exploring the unique nature of the teaching profession and how to cope with, and conquer, a variety of stress triggers and psychological aspects of teaching – ‘elephants’ in the staffroom – to survive and succeed.
Written by a head of department with over twenty years of classroom experience, this essential guide offers a wealth of practical advice on stress, work-life balance and organisation, and is a must-read for practising teachers.
Table of Contents
1. 3 things to remember when you forget everything else 2. You are not alone – some statistics and context 3. Workload and Stress Part 1: The mind of the teacher 4. Psychology of teachers – knowing the traps 5. Guilt 6. Anxiety & Fear 7. Anger and Frustration 8. Depression and hitting rock bottom Part 2: Identity 9. Teacher as persons – the philosophical bit 10. Teacher as persons – the practical bit 11. Understanding your purpose 12. Vision and Values 13. Identity Theft – I am not just a teacher 14. Boundaries – Knowing your limits 15. The Myth of Work-Life balance 16. Professionalism, Perfectionism and Presenteeism 17. Confidence Part 3: Energy 18. Energy: the magic ingredient 19. Energy: Emotional Intelligence and Burnout 20. Positive 21. Shabbat – the importance of rest 22. Let’s do lunch 23. Surviving holidays – withdrawal symptoms 24. Tides, treasure and nudity – managing change 25. Just say ‘No’ 26. Voice – looking after your no 1 tool Part 4: Focus 27. Distractions – keeping the main thing the main thing 28. Eyes on the ball not on the scoreboard 29. Mindset - compliance vs engagement 30. Keeping Growing – Invest in Yourself 31. Teaching as a Long game 32. Surviving the Year 33. Surviving the week 34. Surviving the day Part 5: The others 35. Meet the team – your students 36. Meet the Crew – a beginner’s guide to the staffroom 37. Meet the Bosses – how to manage upwards 38. Meet the Experts – handling the critics with care 39. An inspector calls – Ofsted and observation 40. And Finally: Top Ten tips
Chris Eyre is Lead Practitioner for Teaching and Learning, and Curriculum Manager for Religious Studies and Philosophy, at Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, UK.
"The book is not a manual full of silver-bullet lesson plans and teaching tips promising professional nirvana. Instead, it is a sensible and sane book that reaches out to the person behind the professional persona and, I suspect, is all the more useful for it." - Alan Thomson, inTuition