WomenEd Blogs

Womens Health Blogs from WomenEd

By Sam Fuller, Director & Founder of The Wraw Index

Navigating the Covid-19 pandemic has dialled up the pressure on employees in all sectors, but for those working in education the challenge has been unprecedented. Now, as schools break for the summer, the invitation is to take stock. How has the pandemic impacted staff wellbeing, and what can we learn from this to continue to support those in education to perform at their best? We recently conducted a study of employee resilience and wellbeing across the UK, analysing data from almost 9,500 working people. The findings, laid out in the Wraw Resilience Report 2021, give a detailed breakdown of resilience in the workplace today, and provide important insight for leaders in education.

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by Anna Zyla

I used to teach at a school that had 55 minute blocks. My prep periods were bundled together in the morning leaving me with an afternoon of four back-to-back classes. Any woman around 13-55 can likely spot the potential issue here. Forget about peeing. When was I supposed to change my tampon? I taught seventh grade so while many of the students knew about periods I definitely didn’t want them knowing anything about mine! The thought alone was horrifying.

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by Fertility Issues in Teaching @fert_teaching

Women make up 75.8% of the teaching workforce. It’s time we do more to support the majority. Supporting wellness for women through huge life events such as menopause and even infertility can increase staff retention and save a lot of money.

Here's how businesses and organisations can support women’s health in the workplace!

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by Gwawr McGirr @gwawrmcgirr

As lockdown in March 2020 became inevitable I can remember feeling a sense of shock. At times like this – being a musician – I draw on the tremendous resource that is music, and I felt a really strong sense that as a Music Department we should share a few occasional pieces of music to the staff team, to keep people’s spirits up, whilst also providing a means to connect with other staff. My HOD, as ever, was very supportive of the idea and told me to work away!

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by Lisa Camilleri @HappierHead

Well, here we are in 2021. I think it's safe to say that for the vast majority of the human race, 2020 was not the year we were expecting. In many ways, I would have been quite happy to hide my head under my duvet and sleep the new year in. However, on this occasion I chose to stay up till the early hours just to ensure it really did leave us….and kick it up the bottom on the way out!

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by Nichola Lynagh @nicholalynagh

 

My stand out moments, some of which have shaped who I am in the world..

At 32 I was diagnosed with a treatable non-curable cancer: Non Hodgkins Lymphoma; a word I am very familiar with now as 51 year old woman.. – how did that happen? I still feel 30, lol!! Cancer brought such a challenge to me and my family; words cannot describe the fear and devastation I and they felt.

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by Lisa Hannay @lhannay1

Recently at the #WomenEd book launch for our second book Being 10% Braver I was talking about my hopes for my chapter. There are loads of reasons I wrote my chapter but really the ultimate reason was to loosen the grip that shame often has on my heart and soul.

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by Tara Harding

The menopause can trigger both anxiety and panic attacks, followed by fatigue. However, there is no need for women to feel helpless as there are some remedies available. This article will shed some light on what to expect when these symptoms occur and how they can be kept at bay.

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by PeriMenopausalMe (real name withheld) #WorldMenopauseDay

Sometimes, actually quite often, I feel that my sparkle has stopped sparkling and a dullness has taken over. What the hell has happened? This feeling throws me into a panic and then I start to consider doing things to boost the spark; get a tattoo, dye my hair red, learn to ride a motorbike, take a solo trip to Barcelona, dance all night to disco tunes. All these boosts are fine, they certainly get me sparkling again but they’re not long-lasting and I can be thrust back into the ‘dull’ place again, especially when I am at work.

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by Victoria O'Farrell @vjofarrell    #WorldMenopauseDay

We were in a queue at Universal Studios in LA, (yes LA ,California! Trip of a life time and all that!) when I said ‘I’ve got to go!’ With blood streaming down my legs and filling up my denim shorts, I locked myself in a toilet cubicle in shame. I tidied myself up, tears welling up. ‘What the hell is going on? I’ve just finished my period and now this, blood, thick clots, so much blood!’.

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by Jane Green @JGjanegreen #DisabilityEd

Can you tell us how you were diagnosed?

Since birth, I experienced a range of painful symptoms, from sprains, low blood pressure, joint dislocations, stomach cramps, dizziness, migraines, pain from fibromyalgia, sugar rushes, allergies and chronic fatigue. I would dislocate my shoulder simply from putting on a coat! Despite this, I was only told I was ‘bendy’, and I should avoid activities which exacerbated the pain. My hobbies as a child were sport and dancing, however I had to give them up as it made my symptoms much more severe.

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by Sarah Creed @mrscreedmaths

As a relatively new user to twitter I found myself getting lost in all the useful information for teachers, with fantastic tips for teaching and leadership, I was starting to become overwhelmed by all the possibilities and then I stumbled across #WomenEd and their book club- @WomenEdBookClub. I knew this was something that was manageable with my time and set myself a June goal to read for half hour everyday allowing ample time to read the books being shared. The first book for me was Stop Talking About Wellbeing by Kat Howard - @SaysMiss.

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by Hannah Dalton, @Doddsyinit, and Kiran Mahil, Senior Leaders of schools in London.

With the phased return of pupils already underway in many primary schools, and with secondaries bringing Year 10 and 12 students back shortly, it seems timely to consider what the ‘new normal’ will be in schools. As you are only too aware, there are many matters to consider when planning and preparing the return to school for students and the wider school community.

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by Keziah Featherstone @keziah70

One of the fundamental responsibilities of any leader is to look after their staff team. Even in relatively normal circumstances that’s difficult; recently it has been a momentous challenge.

I’m the Head of a large secondary school in the Midlands. I have 130 staff – and because we are under a BSF contract I don’t employ the cleaners, caterers or site team. Like most schools the vast majority of the team are female; in addition a significant number are part of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. The staff team span all ages, some have underlying health conditions and many are parents or carers.

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by Julie Hunter @MsHMFL  @PledgeForChange20

There have been lots of press articles recently about lack of teachers and there being a recruitment problem. I have experienced the lack of retention of superbly talented teachers who are leaving due to work place demands. A colleague went on jury service and came back, resigning immediately. The reason being they had seen friends, family and had quality time to think about life.

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