- President Update
- Notice of Election
- NTPA Panel Representatives
- Principal Day 2021- Save the date
- Dr Misty Adoniou presentation Darwin 9th August 2021
- Links to other Professional Learning Opportunities, Publications, and Professional Reading:
- Wellbeing Corner- Digital wellbeing = Mental wellbeing
- NTPA 2021 Membership
The new principal employment structure will be effective as of 22 July 2021. Principal levels have been developed by assessing school needs-based funding, program delivery and complexity, and the degree of accountability required. The principal level descriptors outline each of the levels 1--7, and describe the characteristics of each level and the schools within each level. If you haven’t already I highly recommend checking out the website principal position review.
The content is constantly being updated. There are links at the bottom of the page to 2 videos around superannuation which are highly informative and worth watching.
On 30 June NTPA partnered with Plansure to assist members to begin to unpack the difference between ongoing employment versus contract. Members can contact ntpa admin for a copy of the recording of the finance session if you missed it.
School Leader Wellbeing
To build on our Education NT School Leader Wellbeing Framework, the NTPA and the department have formed a working group to co design a School Leader Wellbeing Action Plan. The working group includes nine NTPA members (school principals) and key department staff. Co design of the Action Plan is well underway and is being informed by school leader voice, NT principal wellbeing data and the latest research. We hope to provide updates on progress over the coming months. Further information on educator wellbeing and supports is available at Educator wellbeing | Teach in the Territory. If you would like to discuss this or have any questions please get in contact with me via firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully you have managed to have some down time and recharge yourself ready for semester 2. The research tells us if we want to kick start a healthier life, setting tiny habits is key.
What are your professional self-care habits for semester 2?
Some suggestions include:
- setting a set work area at home, setting boundaries
- eating lunch away from your computer and phone
- increase movement
We are pleased to welcome back Dr Misty Adoniou on Monday 9 August in the training room at the Darwin Sailing Club. Misty conducted a very inspiring and thought provoking session back in 2019. We look forward to delving into what it takes to improve student outcomes in literacy?
Which are the levers within our control as school leaders? And what are the most effective ways to shift those levers?
In this session, Misty will share her insights into answers to those questions based on work done with primary and secondary schools all over Australia.
Please stay well.
President Email: or email@example.com
Nominations for the Election for the NTPA President will open on Monday 26th July 2021.
As current President Britany Roestenburg envoked clause 29.6 of the constitution and served a third year in the role, this election will be only for the President's position for 2022 and 2023.
Jo Poulter will be acting as returning officer for nominations.
Should we receive multiple nominations for the positions we will engage a third part to run the election.
Nomination forms will be emailed to members in due course.
In line with the merit selection guidelines we will be trialling a different approach to select our NTPA Panel representatives for principal panels.
Historically we have chosen the person who has been the most familiar with that area and the role. It has recently been recommended that it would be preferable if representatives are not part of the same network, to avoid their line manager being on the same panel and potentially influencing their assessment of applicants.
After investigation we can see the sense in this recommendation and refer to section 3.5 of the MERIT SELECTION and SPECIAL MEASURES NTPS Training Manual
“It is vital that all members of the selection panel be free to speak their views and to have meaningful input into the process. If a panel member does not believe they can be frank, open and honest with the Chair and other panel members (for example because of their position or level or lack of knowledge of the role) that person should not sit on the panel! It is vital that all members of the selection panel be free to speak their views and to have meaningful input into the process.”
We wanted to make our members aware of the new initiative and going forward we encourage you to apply to be a panel representative of an area that previously you may not have considered yourself eligible for. You will need to be at level or higher in line with the new principal classification model.
We will continue to place who we believe to be the best person on the panels to obtain the best outcome for the school. Thank you for your continued support in volunteering to be on panels.
We know the incredible effort and energy you bring day-to-day in your roles; we also know the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to take care of our Schools. To be at our optimum in our work and home life, we need to be taking care of ourselves in all aspects (emotionally, physically, nutritionally, socially and psychologically). Therefore, we’ve teamed up with Virgin Pulse to bring you a dynamic, personalised health and wellbeing platform that is both fun and engaging for both yourself and your staff!
What is VPGO?
VPGO is a holistic Wellbeing Tool providing your staff with easy to use tools and support to help them throughout their personal wellbeing journey. The program offers;
Daily tips to fit wellness into busy schedules
- Topics of Interests to ensure employees are engaged and in control of the content they see
- Personal, guided Journeys that allow employees the freedom to choose how to get healthier
- Mini peer-to-peer challenges to promote collaboration
- Healthy Habits, to learn and track progress in real-time
As part of the 6 months total program access, your employees will participate in a 9-week activity challenge— Destination GO. Everyone will be on a team, motivating each other to race across the globe, unlocking virtual destinations as you go - connecting your employees and boosting morale.
VPGO Event Details:
Registration Open Date: NOW!
Program Access: 2nd of June - 29th of November 2021
Challenge Start Date: 28th of July
Price: $77.00 per person (with Max Buzz Device)
Please fill out this survey to get registered:
Watch the VP video here:
Optimise Your Mental Wellbeing by Taming Your Tech Habits
JUNE 11, 2021
The pandemic has thrust mental wellbeing into the spotlight for many organisations. It’s pleasing to see there’s a myriad of programs and initiatives being rolled out within businesses to address mental health issues. However, there’s an area of our mental wellbeing that’s often overlooked, but one that has direct and sometimes serious consequences on our mental health: that is our ‘digital wellbeing’.
There’s mounting evidence to suggest that our digital behaviours can impact both our physical health (vision, hearing and musculoskeletal health) and also our psychological wellbeing. Inappropriate or excessive use of the digital devices we rely on in our professional and personal lives can have a detrimental impact on our mental health.
Given that many of us are now working within a distributed team and with hybrid work arrangements looking like they’re here to stay, our reliance on digital technologies will continue in the near future. Therefore, it’s paramount that we cultivate digital habits that are congruent with our psychological needs.
And that’s exactly what I’m passionate about sharing with professionals and corporate teams: I help decode the neurobiology of peak-performance in a digital age.
Three simple habits that can support our mental wellbeing
1. Stop bookending your day with digital devices –
Many of us wake up and reach for our smartphone, or check our inboxes and we conclude our workdays in much the same way: tethered to technology. This can have a detrimental impact on our mental wellbeing as it activates our limbic system, which can subsequently elevate our stress and impair our sleep.
The limbic system is our body’s primitive (but very effective) threat alert system. When we experience a stressful event, which our brain may perceive when we’re checking our inboxes or reading colleagues’ LinkedIn updates, the amygdala, part of the limbic system that helps with our emotional processing, sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus (stay with me- there’s not too much more brain science). This part of the brain functions like a command centre- it communicates with the rest of our body through the nervous system. This stress response activates the sympathetic nervous system- so we have the energy to fight, fly or freeze.
We may see an abrupt email from a colleague, or view an unkind post on social media, or an upsetting news story that agitates us. As a result, our activated sympathetic nervous system increases our stress hormone cortisol. Constant digital bombardment means that our stress load is often high for long periods of time. Elevated and prolonged periods of stress are harmful for our mental wellbeing, physical health and productivity. Our bodies and brains are not biologically designed to cope with the chronic levels of stress many of us are enduring on a daily basis.
Scrolling through our phones or opening the laptop lid first thing in the morning, or last thing at night really jolts our brains and causes us to feel unnecessarily stressful. When we wake, or just as we fall asleep our brain is producing alpha waves, which is a state of wakeful rest. Scrolling or tapping on your device can prematurely thrust you into beta (high-stress state).
Not only do our digital habits elevate our stress response, particularly at vulnerable times of the day, it also has significant impacts on our sleep. Research clearly shows that sleep plays a critical role in supporting our mental health. Poor sleep quality and/or quantity have been shown to have a negative impact on mental wellbeing.
As we all know, our screen habits can certainly sabotage our sleep. There’s the displacement effect that results from our time online displacing the time available to sleep (late night triaging our inbox, or binge-watching your favourite Netflix series). There’s also an arousal effect too from more interactive screen activities that can also contribute to delayed sleep. The use of backlit devices, like tablets and smartphones, in the hour before we fall asleep can delay the onset of sleep because the emitted blue light suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin, which can also impact our quality of sleep. Blue light exposure can cause repeated awakenings, interrupt sleep cycles and reduce the amount of time spent in the deeper, more restorative sleep stages (stages 3 and 4) which can impact our mental health.
Digital disruptions can also impair the quality of our sleep. Research from Flinders University’s Adelaide Institute of Sleep Health showed that 20% of adults were woken by their devices, or woke up to use them at least twice a week.1 This means that many adults’ sleep cycles are being disrupted and as a result, people aren’t getting the recommended 4-6 completed sleep cycles. Failure to obtain sufficient amounts of deep and REM stages of sleep (the final two stages of the sleep cycle) can explain the adverse consequences on our cognitive functions (memory, learning), emotions and physical health.
- Keep your phone out of your bedroom
Establish a digital curfew for your devices (ideally 60 minutes before you go to sleep to stop blue light from inhibiting your melatonin production)
- Set a reminder on your phone or use the built-in settings to remind you bedtime is approaching
Establish a morning routine that doesn’t involve your devices (place a book, magazine, journal, or running shoes next to your bed to nudge you to create a new habit in lieu of scrolling your device)
- Don’t feed the beast- if you have clients or colleagues emailing or messaging at night, don’t reply if it doesn’t warrant an urgent response. This can create serve-and-return interaction.