Finding your passion: Are you taking care of your mental wellbeing?

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Riding a horse

New Directions has always prided itself on its employment of diverse candidates. Our candidates come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, with a wide variety of interests and extracurricular hobbies. We are always intrigued to find out what our candidates are passionate about outside of the classroom. In the past we have had candidate’s interests range from wrestling, baking and now one of our latest finds is enthusiastic in her Equestrian pursuits.

One of New Directions’ sought-after candidates Rhi Lee-Jones, who is currently an English Teacher at Cowbridge Comprehensive School, is also a producer and presenter for Horse & Country. Rhi regularly reports on the success of top athletes in the equestrian field.

Rhi Lee-Jones is prolific in the equestrian circuit frequently blogging on her Facebook page about her latest exploits in the challenges of taking care of horses. Just last week her latest post “Sixteen Things I Learned Whilst Tackling a British Winter with Five Horses and No Stables” received over 6,000 likes. You can checkout Rhi’s Facebook page here:

Rhi is just one example of the diversified interests of some of our candidates. New Directions works to actively encourage the mental wellbeing of all employees. New Directions holds an annual wellbeing week for all its employees. This translates into our approach to looking after our candidates.

Previous studies have shown that learning new skills and mental or physical stimulation in other areas of your life outside of work can help with mental wellbeing. This in turn can lead to a more rounded skill set by learning a new range of valuable skills which can be applied to teaching and everyday life.

A recent Parliament publication has shown a direct correlation between teachers leaving the increasing workload challenges they are facing today. One of the suggestions made by Jack Worth was: “that schools [could] have a governor, or a trustee, or a senior member of staff who is responsible for it—a champion of the wellbeing of teachers and workload”. The Nottingham Education Improvement Board have produced a workload charter that schools can sign up to with the aim of capping teacher working hours.

With this in mind we hope it gives teachers more opportunities to take part in extracurricular activities and find a hobby, if they so wish, whether it be juggling, flying or crocheting, find your passion!