Last week TES published an article indicating that Ofsted must hold schools accountable for teachers’ wellbeing to make a real difference to their excessive workload,
“A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Unnecessary workload is one of the biggest frustrations for teachers. We are doing more than ever to tackle this by publishing the results of the three workload review groups on marking, data management, and planning and resources”
There have also been numerous other articles published recently indicating the recruitment and retention ‘crisis’ in the profession. Three quarters of teachers are thinking of quitting the job and another that they are turning to alcohol and drugs to cope with stress.
Tackling the unnecessary workload is one element in addressing the problems. However through our work at AQR we have found by developing mindset and capacity to cope with the pressurised environment (of a school) it has an overwhelming effect on wellbeing and performance.
The concept of Mental Toughness describes the mind-set that everyone adopts in everything they do. It is closely related to qualities such as character, resilience and growth mindset
It is already well evidenced that an individual’s mental toughness impacts upon their wellbeing. Someone with higher mental toughness is more contented and better able to manage stress when it does occur. They are more willing to participate, sleep better and are less likely to develop mental health issues.
Unlike most psychometric assessments which focus on the measurement of behaviours (how we act) and attributes (how we feel). The Mental Toughness Questionnaire (MTQ48) looks at how we think which is a key driver for the development of behaviours and how we feel.
By combining use of the measure with a programme of targeted interventions based on their mental toughness levels teachers can be:
– Better prepared for what life ‘throws at them’ and be able to bounce back from set backs
– Adopt positive thinking and cope better with difficulties and challenges
So whilst we agree with the DfE that unnecessary workload does need to be addressed. We would suggest perhaps a two pronged approach might be more effective.
Introducing mental toughness assessment and development as part of teacher CPD is something that would ease the burden on schools in terms of Ofsted rating (if wellbeing or turnover rates are to be assessed in future) and on teachers in terms of helping their own wellbeing and quality of life.
If you’d like more information about the Mental Toughness measure please see our website or for case studies or a free trial MTQ48 assessment please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
@ AQR International 2016
AQR is a leading edge publisher of psychometric measures, we also work through partner organisations. For more information please visit www.aqr.co.uk