Several things happened at the beginning. I finished my degree and was asking myself 'what next?'. I took on the role of Anti-Bullying Lead and started working closely with our Head of Pastoral Care. I was promoted to Deputy Head of Boarding, a new position with scope to develop the role and what it entailed. And more and more I recognised a craving in myself and those around me for all things wellbeing.
Whole year groups needing stress relief, many needing to raise their self-esteem, individuals facing mental health issues, staff working their socks off and feeling frazzled.... The list goes on.
Realising this was something other schools were interested in and that there were other people like me out there, passionate about wellbeing I wanted to see how far we could go. How big could this be? The answer is colossal! I attended a Youth Mental Health & Welllbeing Teachmeet at the wonderful Magna Carta School. I got in touch with Clare Erasmus, their Mental Health & Wellbeing Lead and by this point was dead excited. A vision was taking form and growing with every second thought.
My mistake was to start planning and thinking about policies at the beginning. Policies should be informed by practice not the other way around so building the practice had to come first.
Without trying too hard I had several conversations with colleagues in passing before the end of last term and discovered a whole host of talents and interests not to mention a number of colleagues who were keen to see this area of the school developed. Our Librarian is studying mindfulness. Several colleagues have ideas about staff socials, wellbeing walks and more to promote staff wellbeing. Our health centre is now the Health and Wellbeing Centre. Our Head of PSHE is on fire with ideas too build on emotional wellbeing in her remit.
It occurred to me that it was likely there were others of us, dotted around the school, who independently had small ideas but together they could come together to form one big idea. We could form a crack team of wellbeing warriors. I'm envisioning X-Men style suits, a stealth plane, the full works right now.
But seriously, the first place to start with anything like this is with others. In the timeless words of Vanilla Ice, you have to 'stop, collaborate and listen'.