How to steal @greg_ashman’s mug by @JamesTheo

Name: James Theobald
Twitter name: @JamesTheo
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? How to steal @greg_ashman’s mug

  1. Look in his pigeonhole. Properly. Under the papers and everything.
  2. Look for the dirtiest mug in the staffroom. Don’t worry, it’s all superficial dirt. He’s cultivated it to throw you off the scent.
  3. Look in his classroom.
  4. Look for the mug with his name and a picture of his face on it.
  5. If he says he doesn’t have a mug, drink out of anything he owns that holds liquid. Lunchbox. Pen holder. Bag. Anything.

Things to do on Friday after work rather than go to the pub with colleagues by @rufuswilliam

Name: Rufus
Twitter name: @rufuswilliam
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Lead Coach
What is your advice about? Things to do on Friday after work rather than go to the pub with colleagues

  1. See friends from outside of teaching and make sure you don’t mention your job in any way. Or do this with your partner.
  2. Get all your lessons planned for Monday, leave at 5 pm. Then have a healthy evening with nutritious food, some walking and a long bath.
  3. Take this opportunity to read some fiction you’ve meant to read but have been putting off.
  4. See some family members you haven’t seen for a while and don’t talk about work.
  5. Go for a nice swim and then chill out all evening, not thinking about work once.

How to avoid having your mug stolen by @greg_ashman

Name: Greg Ashman
Twitter name: greg_ashman
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths and physics
Position: Head of maths
What is your advice about? How to avoid having your mug stolen

  1. Keep it in your pigeonhole, under some papers
  2. Let it get really dirty with ground-on tannin stains
  3. Take it away to your classroom at the end of break and lunch
  4. Have a mug made with your name and a picture of your face on it
  5. Don’t have a mug

Risk taking in Teaching and Learning

Name: Esther Gray
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Associate Prinicpal
What is your advice about? Risk taking in Teaching and Learning

  1. Don’t be afraid to do it.
  2. Use research to validate your risk taking.
  3. Make sure you know why you are doing it. What is your research question?
  4. Consider the impact on the students you are teaching.
  5. Evaluate. What would you do differently next time?

Decluttering planning by @rufuswilliam

Name: Rufus
Twitter name: @rufuswilliam
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Lead Coach
What is your advice about? Decluttering planning

  1. Use textbooks whenever possible.
  2. Plan straight onto the presentation tool you are using, such as PowerPoint. Or, if you use a visualiser, then plan neatly in an exercise book.
  3. Black writing on a white background is sufficient.
  4. Note that you have time to model and use the whiteboard in the lesson. Often this is better than having an explanation already written on a slide.
  5. Your best resource is you and what is in your head.

Putting up backing paper by @shenalewington

Name: Shena Lewington
Twitter name: @shenalewington
Sector: Primary, Secondary 
Position: Retired teacher with time on her hands
What is your advice about? Putting up backing paper

  1. Hang backing paper vertically like wall-paper. Choose 60cm wide rather than 1m if possible – it’s much easier to handle, and even though you need more drops, they’re quicker to hang in the long term.
  2. Counsel of perfection is to start at the side furthest from the door, so that overlaps are less visible. If you must work horizontally, start from the bottom edge.
  3. Use mapping pins to hold paper in position until you are ready to staple. Most ordinary staplers will open out flat – I recommend using a mini stapler for backing paper and having dozens of tiny staples in the board – or if you have a staple gun, think about angling it very slightly so that one day in the future you will be able to get the staples out again.
  4. I would avoid borders unless they are for a specific purpose – eg. icicles on top edge of “Winter” display or dancing crochets round the music board – or if you actively want to reduce the available space for putting up children’s work. Don’t waste time cutting your own manky ones out of off-cuts – if you really want to have borders, buy rolls of commercial stuff.
  5. Top tip for notice boards – cut two pieces of coloured A4 to length 23cm, overlap to make them 32cm high and staple them into position as a permanent mount for any changing A4 notices. Top tip 2: Why not recycle your displays by offering them afterwards to the main hall, corridor or local library?

Planning for behaviour by @Rosalindphys

Name: Rosalind Walker
Twitter name: @Rosalindphys
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Physics
Position: Physics Teacher
What is your advice about? Planning for behaviour

  1. Plan the best activities for learning the hardest content.
  2. Take your planning for (1) and put it in the bin.
  3. Plan activities to stop misbehaviour. Cool practicals, “accessible” (easy) work, periodic copying all work well.
  4. Reflect and weep.
  5. Apply for jobs in schools that have proper systems for behaviour. It doesn’t have to be like this!!!

Having some perspective by @rufuswilliam

Name: Rufus
Twitter name: @rufuswilliam
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Lead Coach
What is your advice about? Having some perspective

  1. Cultivate your hobbies outside of work, or your hinterland if you like.
  2. Make a point of not speaking about your work with certain friends or your partner.
  3. Read (not just books about Education)
  4. Try your hardest not to take work home with you, literally of figuratively. If this is impossible, limit it to 2 nights a week when you do.
  5. Get out of the school building at least once during the day, perhaps for a brisk walk in a local park.

What to wear if you teach teenagers. Advice for all genders. by @621carly

Name: Carly Waterman
Twitter name: @621carly
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Former Deputy Headteacher of Northampton School for Girls
What is your advice about? What to wear if you teach teenagers. Advice for all genders.

  1. All teenagers get distracted by sightings of parts of an adult’s body that they do not ordinarily see. To avoid distracting teenagers from the business of learning, be aware of cleavage, side-boobs, thighs, tops of bums, bottoms of bums and any form of underwear that you might inadvertently be showing – and don’t.
  2. Professionalism is created in many ways, but one way is via what you wear. Whilst comfort and practicality are priorities, always consider the messages you are projecting through your choice of clothes, especially if you want to be taken seriously by Year 9 last lesson on a Friday.
  3. School is not a fashion show is a sensible thing to remember.
  4. Clothes are important to teenagers, so they will notice your clothes – especially if you wear something different, or wacky, or luminous. I’m not saying don’t wear something different, wacky or luminous, but don’t expect it to go unnoticed.
  5. When you wear a green jacket with brown trousers, teenagers will ask you why you came to school dressed as a tree. Don’t let it get to you; just smile sweetly and say it’s because they are your seedlings and you are helping them to grow.

Seating plans by @amiateacheryet

Name: Dr Teach
Twitter name: @amiateacheryet
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Seating plans

  1. Have a seating plan.
  2. Line kids up at the back of the room when they first come in to your classroom, then tell them where to sit one by one. It’s the easiest way to get them in and seated.
  3. Don’t allow children to dictate the seating plan. Challenge grumbles and complaints.
  4. Have a paper copy on your desk when teaching and annotate with comments on homework, behaviour etc. Really helpful for keeping track.
  5. Change the seating plan often. Once a half-term works well.