We all suffer from illness, some of it serious and thankfully most of it less serious. Sometimes we get what is going around because schools are breeding grounds for germs and it is just inevitable.
Other times we pick up something from somewhere else and of course we need to factor in our own lifestyle choices, DNA and a whole pile of other variables that mysteriously feed into our wellness.
Then of course there is Covid.
A school can’t do much about what you have inherited from your parents or control how many glasses of red wine and tubes of Pringles you had the night before but it can certainly promote wellbeing and it has a vested interest in keeping you healthy, emotionally and physically.
If you have a happy and healthy staff you see it reflected in the students.
There are lots of ways senior managers can promote emotional and physical wellness from offering free flu jabs, making sure there is nice coffee in the staffroom and organising a Secret Santa at Christmas.
Heads who use their heads see staff as a valuable asset that need protecting, investing in, looking after. Wellbeing isn’t really a luxury but a basic right.
No one is talking about sending everyone off on a spa day in a stretch limo but making efforts and not overlooking the TNTs or Tiny Noticeable Things.
Adrian Webster (2021) defines TNTs as follows:
They are the little things that people don’t need to do, but do do. They might be tiny, but they are highly explosive, and they create the biggest longest-lasting and most vivid pictures in people’s minds….They are the difference between a four- and five-star customer experience; the difference between a manager and a leader.
In other words, this is about intentionally and constantly looking for ways to go the extra mile, to make a difference and to make people stop and notice. They are acts of kindness and thoughtful gestures. This is about making people feel taller.
Tiny, simple things that are overlooked all too often but have the potential to set in motion seismic shifts in thinking and bring about a profound change. The effect that these little engagers can have is quite phenomenal.
I thoroughly recommend reading Adrian Webster’s book to find page after page of positive examples of real-life TNTs.
See also his Top Ten Tips here.
They say that the little things in life matter and in a stressful teaching job they really do so out of the blue acts of kindness and carefully planned initiatives can make all the difference.
TNTs can cover a lot of ground.
They can range from simply smiling at someone and making them a cup of tea or doing their playground duty for them.
The TNTs might appear insignificant but they can create the biggest impact and sometimes this might just be saying thank you or offering a few words of encouragement. They are acts that go beyond our expectations.
We can all make small differences each day that will make a big difference to someone else. They often cost nothing.
TNTs are the things that blow you away – in a good way. They make you feel great to be on the receiving end of one. They make you feel great to give one.
Every seemingly minor thing we do to make someone else’s day can fill us with just as much joy.
Rowland and Curry (2018) found that performing and engaging in acts of kindness boosts happiness and well-being.
Great people make other people feel great and we can all spread some greatness by sharing some TNTs together.