“Supervision for Head Teachers, Assistant Head Teachers, SENCO’s and those involved in Safe Guarding
Why do people who work in Education come to supervision?
One Assistant Head from Warwickshire said it gives her
“the chance to reflect holistically on my practice, understand and share the blocks that were /are hampering me being the best me I can be at work - and subsequently out of work - and finding a place to offload my worries with regard to safeguarding and the toll it can take physically and mentally.”
Passion-People go into education because at some point they were passionate-it felt/feels like a calling. Over time this can get lost and one can become disconnected from this feeling under the weight of internal and external pressure…
Feeling Overwhelmed and Lost - Educationalists come to Oak Practice because they want to be the best they can be…they know the value of taking an hour a month to truly be with all aspects of their work and non-work self with a person they trust and feel safe with. It is only with such a person that we can risk sharing what is not feeling ok, what we feel is not going well, maybe how unsure and afraid we are….
Isolation – Those in senior leadership roles in schools work in a culture that is currently about managing. I have experienced offering group supervision with a team in the same learning community. They could not use the group as needed and talk about difficult coping strategies as they still had to see each other at a meeting the next day. That is why I work with Senior Leaders in schools on a 1-2-1 basis.
I feel passionately that supervision is essential for senior leaders in schools. We constantly hold so much in our heads and are expected to be all things to all people when they need it. It is important that we have a confidential opportunity to give quality time to the issues that keep us awake night after night. Supervision has helped me to keep things in perspective and explore creative solutions to some of the problems where I haven’t been able to see the wood for the trees. I cannot recommend professional supervision highly enough.
What happens when we meet?
I find out whether you would like a tea/coffee! I think this is very important and is the beginning of the welcoming and settling process. Much that is said whilst I make a cup of tea ends up being the returned to theme of the supervision! Really!
If we are meeting via skype I will still make sure you know you are welcome to have a drink and talk you through the process of settling into our respective unshared but shared space.
Face to Face
As one Devon Head Teacher said, it is important to leave the building and come and leave everything in the room. It is then possible to return to work with the shift in energy and perspective that happens in supervision. The drive/walk to me is also important.
Supervision is a long- term relationship – when it is right. I have been in monthly or bi-weekly supervision (caseload dependent) for the last 18years. I have had 2 long term supervisory relationships and the at other times I was trying to find the right person to work with.