School Should Be
School Should Be...What Students Want It To Be!
School Should Be is a space for secondary school students (12+ish) to feel safe and confident in learning new things, finding a voice and above all else, to grow through learning. It is a space to encourage and promote diversity of thought, but not one to offend or cause pain. It is inclusive, equal and above all else, kind.
There is a lot of noise out there at the moment, especially when it comes to school - it's the place every individual has experienced along with the second home for society's most precious group: children.
School in the UK (maybe across the world) has become a heavily regulated, institutionalised and regimented system. It is a system that in many ways is doing a disservice to young people, teachers and their communities. It is not wrong per se, it just seems to have lost its way...
The system needs a bit of a shake! Students are leaving full-time education misinformed, stressed, anxious and seeking truth in fake news. Equally, we have a professional body of increasingly dissatisfied and frustrated teachers who, despite their best efforts, are made powerless by the system and misrepresented in the media.
School Should Be strongly believes that if we were to regroup, rethink and listen to what it is students need and want from education, school would be a very, very different place.
By challenging the way things are and being open to (and not fearful of) change and uncomfortable conversations, school could be the joy and hope the world needs. The fact is we are all conditioned to feeling pretty rubbish about school and yet it need not be like that at all.
We are on a mission to applaud the work that schools do and turn it into a positive and relevant experience by tweaking what it is we learn there - and how. Through our articles, podcasts, workshops and general chats - we love to chat - we are here to address what kids should and need to learn at school in order to ‘adult well’.
If we manage to put a smile on the face of one student, teach them something new and ultimately, help them feel heard, we've done our job!
Hi! I'm Zahara, the voice behind the ramblings on SSB.
Who am I? Seeing as the majority of us are used to defining this in terms of ‘work’: an English Literature graduate, then teacher for 11 years. I’ve headed up a pretty successful English department at an even more successful grammar school; I’ve been an education consultant for schools with an Ofsted ‘requires improvement’ status; I am also a personal trainer. For some time I ran my own workplace wellbeing company delivering wellbeing workshops to schools and workplaces in physical and emotional wellbeing and on how to create a healthy workplace culture, with a focus on relationships.
I then worked in health and wellness marketing for a while and I am also a ghostwriter and copywriter. Oh, and I’m a mum.
Remember when they asked you at school, ‘so what do you want to be and what do you want to do’? The answer can always be multifaceted or that you’re still figuring it out!
It has taken me quite a few years to really understand and know what it is I want to do, something I guess we almost expect to learn at school – and I’m still figuring it out. This platform is a part of that journey and I want all students to know you DO NOT need to wait until you've left school to find your voice and place in the world. That learning should start at school - you should question, challenge, agree, disagree and learn whatever the hell it is you want to learn...all on the right side of the law, of course!
Opportunities to learn, network and share your story should not be reserved for the few - it's for all students, all teachers no matter who you are, where you've come from and where you're going. I hope SSB can be that opportunity for all those who want to get involved.
School Should Be...A Great Place To Work!
Teacher wellbeing is more than a coffee morning, a fitness class and an INSET day. Yes, those things help, however teacher wellbeing should be the continued drive and consistency to make working conditions better for teachers. It's the shared goal and purpose to support the people in schools who educate, well, everyone.
We all have a story to share about school and we all remember our teachers, the good, the bad and the life changing. Regardless of our experiences at school, no one can deny that there was at least one teacher that was truly there for them; a teacher who cared, supported, listened and laughed!
Unfortunately, the current economic climate is driving wonderful teachers out of the profession. As much as teachers are free to embark on exciting new journeys, they shouldn't be forced into this as a last resort to protect their own wellbeing. To do this, schools need to be filled with passion, enthusiasm and a love for inspiring and caring for their teachers.
Teachers are assets, not commodities, and every leader needs to know this.
Through our stories, community, upcoming resources, workshops and events, we hope School Should Be motivates new and existing educators to love and change teaching for the better - not just the practice, but the lifestyle and environment too.
School Should Be...A Place to build the best leaders
In any organisation, leadership is core to building a positive workforce, one that is successful, productive and happy. The aim of leadership is to empower and inspire. School Should Be wants to help and support leaders develop and embed an ethos which prioritises the wellbeing of its staff and students.
Plus, we want to learn from you too. Collaboration is key in education and therefore we want to work with schools to build a supportive network whilst understanding what more we can do to help you create the school you want.
It might be a workshop, our network, an article or simply a chat - we're here to help!
Get in touch to find out more about how School Should Be can work with school leaders to create great school cultures!
The greatest people are self-managing - they don't need to be managed. Once they know what to do, they'll go figure out how to do it. What they need is a common vision. And that's what leadership is: having a vision; being able to articulate that so the people around you can understand it, and getting a consensus on a common vision.
Middle leader team building
Middle leaders are known as the core of the school structure: without them, communication. systems and processes will essentially fall apart! Therefore, it is important for middle leaders and their teams to work smart for the best possible outcomes. At School Should Be, we support middle leaders by addressing and evaluating existing systems and processes to ensure you are working in an efficient and positive manner that works for you and your teams.
How to engage with your team
It can be difficult to draw a line between working alongside your team as a manager and a colleague. Often, it can be challenging to ensure all members of the team engage, collaborate and of course, talk to each other! We support middle leaders with tips and strategies to engage their teams to ensure you are putting the right strategies in place to suit your team.
Positivity and ethos
We are all told to be positive and have an ethos, but this is much easier said than done. What is an ethos and how do you get everyone to engage when there is so much marking to do? We work with middle leaders to devise an ethos that excites you, your team and your students. Not only will it motivate you, but you will start seeing a positive difference in your wellbeing too!