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My favourite colour is… I don’t know. But I can tell you my student’s favourite colours. 

This morning a I had a conversation with an ex teacher. 

Sadly this teacher lasted only 8 years in a profession she was truly passionate about. However the burn out, bullying and workload was far too much too put up with, despite her love for the students and despite her love for the job. 

We chatted about numerous things to do with teaching, education and students, but mostly our conversation led back to one place…

Teacher health and well-being

This teacher, after following my facebook for a while, reached out to me to chat, she shared so many things, but the message was clear – she now realises that she isn’t alone, that she isn’t crazy and that teaching is hard. 

After 8 years this teacher decided not to return the classroom. Instead, she decided to pursue another option. Both her and her partner decided that teaching was not the best thing for her to keep doing. ‘Just getting on with it’ and ‘hanging in their’ were no longer options. 

Crying each morning, feeling like no one values the work you put in and not having the support you need is no way to live. Enough is enough she decided. 

But now what? Here’s the thing… This teacher actually had no idea who she was without being a teacher. She was a teacher. That is how she knew herself. That is how others knew her. That was her identity. 

She recalled a time someone asked her her favourite colour… Such a simple question, yet she couldn’t answer. She didn’t know. However ask her her student’s favourite colours and she could tell you them without any trouble at all. 

Teachers – listen when I say this… You are more than a teacher. You are a person. You are a person first and teacher second. Know who you are. Be proud of who you are. Stand up for you, your values, your beliefs. You are worthy.

All of you are worthy. You do a job only a select few can do. However, don’t let this become who you are. You are you first, and then a teacher. 

Know your favorite colour. 

Amy xx

Be Top Of Your List

Be Top Of Your List

As we sit and reflect on 2017, and start to think about what 2018 may look like, it’s easy to start rattling things off the list. Things you didn’t get to do this year things you think you didn’t do very well, or things that were awesome that you want to do again.number one

  • I’ll try a new reading program
  • I want a better reading corner
  • My maths needs to be more hands on
  • I want to try passion project
  • I want to use flexible seating not seating plans
  • Peer marking needs to be more consistent

It’s so easy to think about what you want to do in the classroom, with your students, for your students.  And then there is this list:

  • I want more time
  • I am not going to take work home
  • I will actually have a weekend free of school work
  • I’ll leave school at a decent hour
  • I won’t spend so much time marking
  • I’ll be more organised
  • I’ll pack my own lunch and not buy it
  • I’ll be healthier
  • I want to exercise every day

Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it?

There is a problem with this second list though… this second list isn’t about your students, your school, or even teaching. This list is about you.

Yes you.

There are two lists for 2018. One is about your students, school and teaching, and one is about you.

So which one gets done? Which one becomes your priority? Which one is top of the list?

It’s not you is it?

It’s your students, school… it always is.

Well not this this year.

This year is your year to put you first, put you at the top of the list, make you number 1.

So how do you do this?

Start by asking yourself what you want and then say it as if you have it now (because if you wait until school starts, it is never going to happen).

Try these:

  • I have all the time I need2018 goal
  • I leave work by 5pm
  • I don’t take work home
  • I work effectively at school
  • I put me first
  • I eat healthy
  • I move daily

Make these your goals, your mantras and your standards.

Write them on post its and stick them everywhere.. inside your roll, in your car, on your desk, in your diary, on the back of the toilet door.

Putting yourself first means reminding yourself that you are doing this, and you will need reminders every day, because as we know, teachers are great at putting everyone else first, but not this year.

Now it won’t be easy, and it won’t happen instantly, but know that by writing it down, reading these and making some small changes, you are saying yes to you.

BE TOP OF YOUR LIST

Person First, Teacher Second.

Just to share… I have had me at the top of my list for a while now, and will always be top of my list. It meant some pretty big changes but also meant I had to be very clear about what I wanted, what I was happy to give up and let go, even if it meant others didn’t agree, and some still don’t, but that’s not my problem. These are my examples, you will need to find your own, and if you have trouble doing this, let me know. This is something we can do together.

Happy 2018!

Amy xx

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Why are school holiays so hard?

WOO HOO it’s holidays!   teacher list

On the last day of term, especially when it’s the last day of the year, teachers everywhere can be seen cheering, jumping for joy and wearing smiles so big they almost look fake (but believe me they aren’t.

Holidays for teachers mean 2 things. The end of a school year, and the start of a new one.

This is why holidays are so hard.

The end of a school year should see teachers going on amazing vacations, sleeping in, binging on Netflix, catching up with friends, hanging with family and totally 100% be doing nothing that is even closely linked to school.

But unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Unfortunately, there is this faint sound, almost like a faint nagging, similar to a puppy chewing at your leg wanting to go for a walk…

Whilst it is holidays, and the end of the year, that oh so faint, but continuous nagging, is the reminder that there is another year to come, and that means another year to prepare for.

Another set of name tags to make, desks to label, pencil pots to fill, seating arrangements to plan, lessons to design, homework to create, display boards to cover, meeting to schedule… the list is endless. Each thing adds to the nagging. Each thing is why holidays are hard.

The imaging might be faint, but it pretty quickly becomes strong, and doesn’t require much help.

Walk into a bookstore… ‘Oh that would be nice for my class’, down the stationary aisle at the supermarket – a reminder to buy new pencil pots, a trip to the cinema to watch a feel-good movie will make you wonder if it’s a book, because if it is you could read it to your class and if it’s not, what will you read? And will the book you choose already have work made to go with it or do you have to make it up? Will it be a novel study or will you just read the book for fun? How many copies will you need? What books does the school already have? Will you students like it? What do they like? But what if the book you read they have already read?

All this from just going to see a movie???

Yes – holidays are hard.

But here’s my message: School can wait. The answer to your questions can wait. The new class can wait.

But you can’t. Your rest, relaxation and time to recharge can’t.

So stop with school.

Now I know you are freaking out about this, so here is my one tip that is going to ensure you are OK…

Make a list.

Yes it’ss rocket science I know. You would never have thought of it on your own.

Make a list of the things you have to do befoer school satrts. Each time you have a new idea, add to the list (I love using an app for this and highly recomend swipes).

A week or 2 before school, start swioing things off the list and gettign stuff done, but not before hand.

Right now is you time.

School can wait.

Make holidyas easy, not hard.

If only it was easy as streaming… or is teaching just streaming?

As I sit here trying to figure out how to add ways for you to download my new e-book, I am oh so confused! Plug-ins, widgets, upload, download….

If only everything was as easy as streaming.  Image result for streaming

Imagine being able to stream what we wanted to teach straight to our students, or if they could stream there thoughts straight to us. Not in a Google Doc sharing kind of way, but in an instant – I get, I see it, I understand it kind of way.

“And today students we are learning about addition, when I press play I will stream you all my knowledge…”

I guess this is kind of like teaching, or is teaching really us just streaming our own channel, our own movie, our own story?

Either way I am not really sure, but what I do know is that I still don;t know how to use plug-ins. Oh well – I will just get a mail list happening on mail chimp instead!

 

Monday Morning Motivation – REALLY???

Why is it that when Monday comes we all look for that ‘Monday Motivation’, when really it is what is getting in our way…

It seems to be that most of us hit Sunday evening and the dreaded Monday Morning thoughts hit us:

‘I don’t want to go to work tomorrow’
‘Is it Monday already’
‘I hope the day/week goes quick’
‘Only * more Mondays’ until holidys’

Not only are we going to bed and waking up with these thoughts, we are also sharing them with our colleagues first thing Monday morning:

‘Oh I am just not ready for today’
‘The weekend is never long enough’
‘Only 5 days until the weekend’
‘How will we get through the day?’
‘I need coffee to make it through today’

I just don’t understand this…

I mean yes. we all want longer weekends, we all enjoy our holidays, and yes it is natural to count down, but all the other thoughts that come with Monday’s, they really aren’t helping.

And guess what??

MONDAY ALWAYS COMES!

So why are we still surprised? Why aren’t we ready? Why do we insist on dragging ourselves down into some sort of Monday Morning Blues looking for Monday Motivation?

It isn’t Monday Morning Motivation you need.

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You need to be ready. You need to be organised. You need to own it!

So no more looking for Monday Morning Motivation.

Instead – Own Monday’s!

Because one thing is for sure – Monday is coming!

Have a great day in the classroom,

Amy xx