A little while ago the Independent ran this article about Education Support Partnership (formerly the Teachers Support Network). This excellent group provide a number of services, not least what the journalist calls 'Samaritans for Teachers'.
As always, reading about teachers stress levels is saddening but not surprising. I suspect that few of us will be surprised to hear that ESP have seen a 29% increase in callers to their hotline - in total 29,000 over the year.
It's great that such a service exists, but it should surely make us take a look at ourselves, as a profession. Why is it that these teachers don't feel that there is anyone within their school that they can talk to? Listening to the voices of these isolated teachers, it seems that we live in a culture where weakness is to be hidden, mistakes denied, and vulnerability shared only with anonymous outsiders. We wouldn't expect children to flourish under such pressures, so why do we think teachers will?