Smile, Breathe and Be Fabulous. Sound advice for staff and school leaders.

“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head,And whispered to her neighbor- -Winter is dead.”

Teaching is a people orientated profession. You deal with people big and small daily. You hear and know their stories; you know their strengths and weaknesses; you often are more than just a teacher to our young people. 

I am not going to lie over the past year – I have been stressed. Not because I dislike my job, but because I was allowing other people to give me their stress. Huge boxes of it. 

As I am a fairly caring person, I was allowing myself to focus on someone else’s needs without thinking about what I needed. 

During one particularly stressful episode, I stumbled across Brenda Shankey. She is wonderful lady, whom I have long admired for her style and expertise in the beauty industry. She is a very successful business woman and most recently has devoted her energies into the practice of Mindfulness. Most recently, she has released a book and audio book called Be Fabulous.

After a few initial contacts, I invited Brenda to come into my school before the start of the school year to focus on teaching my staff how to find time for themselves and prioritise their well-being before they can fully discharge their duties.

During her session, she told the staff to think about her mantra. Smile, Breathe and Be Fabulous. Taking responsibility for your well-being and mental health is the key to setting the tone for your classroom or your school.

A mindfulness reflection led by Brenda assisted us on focusing on our goals, our personal targets and helped us to reflect on what makes us happy. It was a team building moment and an experience that we collectively enjoyed together. The feedback from staff has been tremendous.

Thanks to @brendashankey for a lovely morning, learning all about taking control of our inner selves…
I needed to hear this. Thank you for arranging this. I feel happier already.
I really enjoyed that I am giving this a go. Her (Brenda’s) story is inspirational. I need to focus on what is important.

In the run up to opening school, in the stressful moments it has been great to hear the phrases that Brenda used by my colleagues to restore our balance. It has worked for me. I do feel more relaxed and I have slept better. As this term starts I am going to smile, breathe and be fabulous. Thank you Brenda for sharing your journey and inspiring us to take better care of ourselves. 

Brenda will be working with some Year 7 pupils in the autumn term to develop mindfulness for children. I look forward to sharing the outcomes.

You can contact Brenda through her website


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