Based on Nicholson R (1989)
School Management - The role of the secondary headteacher;
Kogan Page ISBN
Headteachers can suffer from stress when they feel that they are being blown
like a dry leaf in the wind rather than being the herdsmen in control of their
The following table lists a few things that a headteacher might do to help still
the winds when they begin to blow too strongly.
It can be lonely at the top. Find friends who can offer informal support and
mutual appraisal. There are times when you must share problems and pressures so
build a real management team on the basis of trust. Develop you own listening
skills to make you more genuinely open to other people. Use trusted outsiders
sometimes for an objective view. Don't bottle up feelings all the time in the
belief that this is manly (or matronly?).
Be Fair to Yourself
Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself. If godlike infallibility is
expected of you then re-educate your staff - and yourself. Decide on short term,
medium term and long term goals for yourself and your school - you cannot do
everything immediately. Although you must be available to your staff you also
need some time to yourself - make this clear. Say 'no' sometimes. Delegate
sometimes when you first reaction is to do it yourself. Give yourself time to
eat properly. Without being self-indulgent, look after yourself.
Build up your own job satisfaction
Work in areas that you know you enjoy without totally neglecting other areas.
Notice the times when you feel good and why you feel good. Think and act
positively. Every day you should look for and praise something good that is
happening in the school. Celebrate the school's successes - look on the bright
Keep a multi-track mind
Maintain or develop interests outside of school. Try to take some exercise,
laugh, relax on occasions. Give yourself some quiet time to think and reflect.
Use available technology and techniques. Investigate whether fax machines and
computers etc might help with particular tasks. Learn techniques for managing
your time and organising your activities. Try to analyse and respond to problems
rather than just worrying about them. Use objective performance indicators to
measure progress rather than making judgements according to your mood.