Where's Your Head At?
When Basement Jaxx released the song ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ in 2001, it’s unlikely that they were asking school governors how their Head Teacher was doing.
It’s equally doubtful, that their electronic vibe and slightly shouty repetition of ‘Where’s your head at, Where’s your head at?’ was a call for Heads to take a bit of time to reflect on their mental health and wellbeing.
Now though, almost 20 years on from the release of the single, the fabulous Graham Willett and I are asking governing bodies and school leaders ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ - albeit in a slightly calmer, less dancey way.
Our new and exciting venture supports Heads to be happier and mentally healthier; to identify the things that are keeping them awake at night and to be more solution focussed in coming up with plans and actions to address them.
Being a Head Teacher can, and should be, one of the best jobs in the world. It can also be a lonely, highly pressured, stressful job. That’s because Heads are all things to all people, which means they:
Set the mood, culture and ethos of the school through their values, beliefs and behaviours
Prop up others in the school community, in both good and difficult times
Provide a buffer between their team and external influences
Are ultimately responsible, and accountable, for all aspects of school life - including many which they are not necessarily an expert in
We have all heard the safety information, before take-off on a plane: 'Put your own oxygen mask on first, before helping others.' But how often, as a Head Teacher, do you prioritise and invest in* your own happiness, mental health and wellbeing?
Having worked with many Heads over the years, and trialled the ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ support programme over the past 12 challenging months, we realise that one size doesn’t fit all. Even within one session, it can help to adapt our style. That’s why we offer a mix of mentoring, coaching and, if it helps, our own thoughts.
We always work with you to find the approach that is the most helpful. Sometimes people need more of a steer to get them thinking. Or they might benefit from well-timed, open questions to help them solve their own problems. Occasionally, it’s good to know how others dealt with something similar or to have a bit of tea and sympathy – before getting back to the job in hand.
So, support will always be flexible and bespoke, but might include:
An initial visit to your setting, so that you can help us gain a better understanding of your leadership role, things that are going well and any challenges that you face
Regular catch ups. These could be planned or slightly more ad-hoc, which means that you’ve always got someone you can talk to and run ideas past
Questions, which provide empathetic challenge, so that you become more solution focussed, are able to think differently and more creatively and, ultimately, solve your problems
Some mulling and, hopefully, several light bulb moments, which will help you to move forward, put things into perspective and sleep better at night!
A plan of action, reviewed regularly, which means you'll feel happier and in more control of your wellbeing
If you’re interested in finding out more, just drop us a line or give us a ring:
My email address is the longest one ever: firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is 07887 798441
Graham's email address is: email@example.com and his phone number is 07803 160517
**Whilst we believe that all Heads should have financial investment in their mental health and wellbeing, we know how strapped for cash schools are. We want to make ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ accessible to as many school leaders as possible. To that end, we are happy to chat through costs with you, but can guarantee very reasonable and competitive prices.
Of course, if you want us to come in and perform an electronic, shouty rendition of the song, we may need to charge extra!