We are Maureen Bowes and Siobhan Goffee. Together, we’ve worked in education for over 40 years and, in our different ways, we’ve both seen how the system can squeeze the joy out of life for teachers and leaders. So we decided we’d do our bit to change that.
We created a series of podcasts, and a programme, called JOYBLOCKERS and how to get rid of them where we address joyblockers head on, one joyblocker at a time.
One year on, we were so inspired by the brilliant hearts and minds of the educators we worked with, and the changes they made in their schools, we knew we had to take the programme to another level. So we created Practivism for Educators.
We’ve noticed educators believe they have two choices – to stay and suffer or leave education. We propose a third option – to stay and make a difference from within, but, on your terms, and with the support of a community of practivists.
If ever there was a time to take action for change, it’s now. The voices of teachers and leaders need to be heard and the retention and recruitment crisis is exactly the right time to develop the crucial skills of facilitating change.
This session is all about getting to know yourself, each other and the programme.
We want you to be as excited about the programme as we are so this is an opportunity to
When workload is overwhelming, you lose perspective. Life easily becomes distorted with musts and shoulds. You become weary with the weight of tasks and responsibilities. Something needs to change but where do you start?
This unit enables you to
As a practivist you are committed to taking action but what if the job leaves you so depleted that you can’t even get started? Often the most important action you can take is meeting your own basic needs.
This unit explores how
To do well in this society, most educators want to be as good as (ideally better than) others. You compete with, and are judged on, standards and grades that often you don’t believe in. Practivists take steps to unlearn conforming. This requires unflinching self-belief in the face of risk.
This unit focuses on
Summoning up the bravery to push for change requires vulnerability but in a system where accountability is high, vulnerability can feel risky. It’s not long before shame rears its ugly head.
This unit helps you to face the challenges of vulnerability by
Practivists know the importance of communicating well if you are to truly engage someone. This means adapting what you need to say to match the needs of the people and the situation.
This unit walks you through
Practivism is all about playing the long game and that means you can’t do everything. With self-sacrifice woven into the fabric of the education system, how will you ever feel that you do or even are enough?
This unit helps you to clarify
You have to find your purposeful voice to be able to speak up about what really matters. This means changing your relationship with self-doubt so you can get through those heart-thumping, dry-mouthed moments when your voice needs to be heard.
This unit gives you ways
‘This is all well and good’, you may be thinking, ‘but I’m scared I might lose my job over this!’ It is indeed important to find appropriate ways for your purposeful voice to be heard and acted upon. Our hope for you is that you become the individual you want to be, the practivist who makes a meaningful difference as an educator with influence.
To achieve the above, this unit gets real about
There are different approaches to resilience. Daily habitual practices that strengthen how you cope with adversity; developing mental toughness and emotional stamina under extreme pressure; and deep resilience, where you are in tune with meeting your needs for a meaningful existence.
This unit aligns these three approaches by
Practivists know that to be part of change is to be part of a movement; we can achieve so much more together than we ever could alone!
This unit is an opportunity to
It’s time to think about how you can sustain your practivism beyond the programme!
This unit will help you to
There is high group accountability throughout the programme. You will be truly committing to action in each unit and beyond. We know from experience that this commitment is what inspires individuals to make the changes they have been longing for but that have felt out of reach until this moment.
As part of each unit there will be an online session running from 7.00 – 8.30pm on Mondays. We hope this means you can attend from the comfort of your home and from a space where you won’t be interrupted. The ‘doors’ will open 15 minutes before the start of each session giving you time to check your webcam, audio and mic are all fully functioning.
We believe the most important part of the programme is the opportunity to build a community of support with individuals who are committed to personal and systemic change. This means a significant part of the online sessions will be small breakout groups (3 – 4 people) for meaningful discussions and to determine the action you will take.
Fruitful discussions happen when individuals feel safe to be open, honest and vulnerable so we will establish a group agreement in the first session that highlights the importance of confidentiality.
The reflection process plays such an important part in personal growth so we ask everyone to use a reflective journal for the duration of the programme. Each session will have some dedicated reflection time. You will be able to record your thoughts and feelings using whatever medium you prefer – notebook, phone, voice notes, sketch pad.
We deliver the main content for each unit as a series of videos and activities in advance of each session. This means you can watch the videos and complete the activities in your own time, and arrive prepared for the small group discussions online. Minimally, allow 1 hour of preparation per unit. We have scheduled the online sessions to allow enough time for your preparation, recognising the time commitment varies between the units and between individuals. As always, the more you put in, the more you get out.
Each group member joins the secure membership site for the programme and receives a personal log in. Details of pre-work for the next session will be released on the site after each online session and group members will be notified of this via email. Resources include videos, reflective questions, worksheets, developmental techniques and Joyblockers and How To Get Rid of them podcasts. We want you to get the best possible value from the programme so you will be able to use the resources with others in your school or academy to support your practivist vision during and beyond the programme.
The programme will include 3 one to one coaching sessions with either Maureen or Siobhan. These are designed to help you to refine and clarify your vision for change and to give you an opportunity to focus on areas of the programme that you would like to explore in more depth. Dates of coaching weeks are itemised in the schedule drop down below.
Mondays 7.00 – 8.30pm
Unit 1: 8th January
Unit 2: 15th January
Unit 3: 29th January
Unit 4: 19th February
Unit 5: 4th March
Unit 6: 18th March
Unit 7: 15th April
Unit 8: 29th April
Unit 9: 20th May
Unit 10: 10th June
Unit 11: 24th June
Unit 12: 8th July
Session 1: w/c to be agreed on sign up
Session 2: w/c 22nd April
Session 3: w/c 15th July
Cost £900 plus VAT
We have thought long and hard about pricing for this programme. We believe this is an excellent offer for what you’ll receive, how you will develop in your role, and how it will make an impact. We have also worked long enough in education to know that at the moment times are hard and budgets are tight.
So here is our thinking. If we offered a version of this programme within the private sector, the fee would be £1,590 plus VAT. When school budgets were healthier than they are currently, the fee would have been £1,080 plus VAT. We have arrived at our current reduced price of £900 plus VAT because we feel, more than ever, that it is a crucial time to reach as many educators as we can.
To register for the programme, please complete the confidential document at Registration – Practivism for educators
Once we have received your registration form, we will email you to confirm and share the programme contract within 2-3 working days.
You will receive an invoice with bank transfer details.
This course was invaluable and will ultimately change my practice and mindset, both professionally and personally. The toolkit strategies suggested have been so useful and I could implement them immediately and easily into my life; just having them available has increased my wellbeing.
The community aspect of the course was wonderful. The opportunity to work with different people with different roles within education was eye-opening and has helped me to empathise with other staff in school and hearing others struggles helped to combat “teacher isolation”.
Having the time and space to unpick the role and the impact it has was so helpful. My own wellbeing has never been at the forefront of my mind and this course has made me realise both the importance my wellbeing has and its impact on my ability to be the best leader I can.
The feeling of guilt, along with the never-ending to-do list have been elements of my job that have taken up far too much of my head space over the last couple of years. The idea of saying, “No, let me get back to you on that one,” and having a clear understanding of what is enough have given me a new lease of life, a positive outlook and a renewed hope that this career is, once again, sustainable long term.
The main things I got from the programme were awareness and a great group of friends to share things and get support from because we shared the experience. I realised that by trying to control everything and take stress away from others, I was absorbing that stress and could end up making promises I couldn’t fulfil. Being in a group of people at different levels in their career has made me more confident to speak out as an equal. I can resolve things quickly rather than letting them linger or escalate. I am now thinking about how what I have learned might help to support student wellbeing.
I realise that things I thought were unchangeable are actually changeable; the programme has kept me in headship longer than I thought I would be able to stay. It gave me license to think about what enough looked like and realise that it was OK to say no. I now have more evenings not working than I do working.
I’ve learned to pause. Before, I wanted a solution then and there. Now I stop to consider what I want to do and whether other people can find their own solution without me; I focus on one thing at a time. Before I felt that I was responsible for everything.
It has helped me to centre my work more fully on my values and not be pressured by the ‘should have’ and ‘could have’ but celebrate the difference we make each and every single day.