Drains and Radiators

As teachers we are always on the lookout for novel ways of getting our messages across. At a Heads conference, I was introduced the metaphorical concept of Drains & Radiators.

In life we meet all sorts of people. In extremis, some people inspire us, make us feel good about ourselves and give us the gift of confidence and self-belief to manage just about anything we might face. These people radiate. They make great teachers, but we might find them anywhere: doctors, nurses or police officers to name but a few. They let the ‘little things’ go, understanding that life isn’t perfect and that everyone is doing their best.

We also meet the other kind of person. The one who, perhaps without realising it, saps the energy or sucks the life out of a situation. They constantly criticise and find fault and, though they may feel they are helping, in fact they have a negative impact. They drain the confidence of those around them. We shared the metaphor with our pupils and asked them to reflect on what sort of person they want to be.

Of course, it doesn’t require much of a stretch to apply this to us adults in the way we parent our children. Winter is upon us and it’s time to get the boiler checked. Which type of plumbing do you have installed?