About Kathryn

I have a dream… where teaching is a highly respected profession; where teachers are valued and students are deemed valuable.  I have a vision of heart centred schools of excellence; where kindness is the first lesson of each day, happiness and fulfilment is the focus of learning and gratitude is the plenary.  I aspire to ignite the love of learning and the enjoyment of education through Mindfulness; along with self recognition of inner wisdom and natural genius.

My mission…

Is to reduce stress in schools and promote wellbeing.  I am committed to heart-centred teaching and learning, where education embraces the wellbeing of every student and teacher. I inspire young people from the inside and bring teachers back to balance. I leave both teacher and student feeling valued and valuable.

My Story…

Over 16 years ago I began teaching in mainstream education.  It didn’t take me long to realise why many of my colleagues were exhausted, cynical and ill.  There was little or no support for teachers and a great deal of pressure to get results (no matter the ability level of your students.)  As a young, enthusiastic new teacher I did what any fresh apprentice would do.  I dived into every possible opportunity – supporting the Special Needs group during lunch, co-directing & stage managing the school productions, starting up an art club, helping at every event I could, face painting ghouls for Halloween firework fundraiser, giving extra revision and rehearsal sessions in the holidays and so on…

Consequences…

By the end of the first term I was shattered but happy and enthusiastic.  By the end of the second term I was feeling overwhelmed and yet deeply satisfied by the difference I felt I was making to my students’ confidence and self esteem.  By the end of the third term I was exhausted!  I was so burnt out and so ill I was hospitalised, underwent major surgery and missed the long awaited and well deserved summer holiday.  It took me a long time to recover, so I was not fit to return to work until the latter part of the autumn term.

To teach or not to teach…

I was guilt ridden, disappointed, confused and upset that all my hard work and enthusiasm had ended so badly.  As you can imagine I had a long time to contemplate what I had done and whether I was ever going to be fit to be a teacher if this was the consequence after just one year.  If I wanted to make a difference in young people’s lives – which was my reason for entering the teaching profession, I had to learn a different way to manage the pressures of teaching, the emotional demands of the classroom dynamic and the demands on my mind and body.  If I didn’t learn a healthy way to deal with the challenges, I wouldn’t be teaching for long.

Building bridges to a new paradigm…

From that moment on, I brought my attention to emotional health and well being; how to communicate wholesomely and how to define personal boundaries and working parameters so that I would stay balanced and healthy.  I was driven to improve the focus of school life – somewhere between SATs and GCSE’s the children got mistaken for statistics and the teachers were mistaken for computers, downloading information at faster and faster speeds to improve efficiency.  I am saddened that the situation has worsened over time.  Something must change before our education system implodes; before our young people become so disillusioned with learning and life that they give up before they begin and our teachers retreat into cynicism and sickness.