Emails by @ladybarkbark

Name: Sarah Barker
Twitter name: @ladybarkbark
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Head of Faculty
What is your advice about? Emails

  1. Read your emails. It’s easy to miss a deadline by letting emails sit unattended.
  2. Think before sending whole-staff emails because these can quickly swamp inboxes. The finance department do not need to know that Sammie has left his pencil-case in the library.
  3. Leave your computer locked. The resident comedian will not be beyond a hijack (and your emails may contain sensitive information).
  4. Don’t be sarcastic, rude or mean about anybody in an email. If you do need to mention another member of staff, it’s polite to CC that person in.
  5. As a new teacher, it’s important to recognise that staff may have relatives among the student population. Keep this in mind when you are emailing about the children.

Using Technology in Your Lessons by @bryngoodman

Name: Bryn Goodman
Twitter name: @bryngoodman
Sector: Primary
Position: Class Teacher and Computing Lead
What is your advice about? Using Technology in Your Lessons

  1. Check it works and will work in your lesson for the specific task you want it for.
  2. Only use it if it will enhance the lesson in some way. If it could be done just as well on paper, don’t bother.
  3. Make sure what you use is your choice as it will be you that has to teach with it.
  4. Think about the lesson objective first. Don’t try to shoehorn a new app/piece of software into a lesson.
  5. Have a back-up plan in case the wifi crashes.

Screens in Classrooms by @SurrealAnarchy

Name: Martin Robinson
Twitter name: @surrealanarchy
Sector: Early Years,Primary,Secondary,FE
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Consultant
What is your advice about? Screens in classrooms

1: Tim Leary said about LSD: tune in, turn on, drop out. On screens in classrooms I say: turn off, tune in to the teaching and conversations, drop your devices…

2: If a school leader offers you a set of iPads look them politely in the eye and refuse them. Do not waver.

3: If you have an IWB in your classroom unplug it and hide the cables. If you are offered IWB training politely and firmly refuse.

4: If you get in trouble for your Luddism tune in to social media and blogs and expose the witch hunters for their blind obedience to the machine. Enjoy the paradox.

5: Do not be against screens but question their ubiquity. School is to open children’s eyes, not their iPads.

Facebook by @ITeachRE

Name: Andy Lewis
Twitter:  @ITeachRE
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: RE
Position: Head of Year and 2ic RE
5 Bits of Advice About: Facebook

  1. Check your security settings and be very careful to understand exactly what the public can see. Recheck regularly.
  2. Decide if you want to be ‘friends’ with colleagues. As you enter the profession, do you want people looking up *those* uni photos or seeing what you do on a Saturday night?
  3. Be careful if you ‘Like’ your school page. Does that make you easy to find for students and parents? Is your profile picture suitable and security high enough?
  4. Read your school social media policy. Should you be ‘friends’ with students? No. Ex-students? It may depend.
  5. If you join various teaching groups and network via Facebook, it may be worth setting up a second, professional account. It also helps with work-life balance.

Using Powerpoint by @HinTai_Ting

Name: Hin-Tai
Twitter:  @HinTai_Ting
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: Maths
Position: Teacher
5 Bits of Advice About: Using powerpoint

  1. Enable Presenter View (Google it) and get familiar with it. It is superior in every way to the ‘duplicate view’ that most teachers seem to use.
  2. Don’t spend ages animating things in a Powerpoint if they’d just be quicker to draw by hand on a whiteboard.
  3. Don’t write what you’re going to say onto a Powerpoint slide. Work out what you’re going to say, and then just say it.
  4. When you are about to explain something, display a ‘black’ screen (press ‘b’ while in slideshow view). Their eyes will magically shift to you.
  5. Use the Powerpoint as a reminder of your planned lesson, e.g. slides with nothing more than one/two-word prompts for your activities and teaching points.

Blogging by @ThisIsLiamM

Name:  Liam
Twitter:  @ThisIsLiamM
Sector:  Primary
Position: Head of Year
5 Bits of Advice About: Blogging

  1. Get an idea – write it down.
  2. Keep this list handy. I wrote my ideas onto a Google Sheet. This Google Sheet was accessible from phone, tablet and laptop.
  3. When you get five or ten minutes, write the post.
  4. When you’ve finished writing, hit the publish button. No need for vast proof reading and re-drafting.
  5. A snappy title and adding a picture or video to the blog post can aid its share-ability and how many views it will amass.

Designing Good Powerpoints by @udagawasensei

Name: Kenichi Udagawa
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: RE
Position: Teacher
5 Bits of Advice About:  Designing good powerpoints

  1. Piling endless images on every slide in a Powerpoint will take a long time, make the presentation over-busy and won’t add much, if anything, to the learning.
  2. Font choice should be based on readability. Choose a font that is going to be easy to read even for a kid sitting at the back of the classroom.
  3. The clearer you make what you want the students to do, the easier it will be for them to do it. Give them sentence starters, or examples to work from.
  4. A white background is nothing to be ashamed of. Simple, clean and avoids fussing over themes etc.
  5. Try to establish conventions that means students will know what to do automatically. e.g. have a consistent slide design for exam questions with a timer on it.

Emails by @SeanDelahoy

Name: Sean Delahoy
Twitter: @SeanDelahoy
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: English
Position: HoD
5 Bits of Advice About:  Emails

  1. Don’t make them your first priority in the morning as they will distract you from your teaching.
  2. Don’t feel pressured to respond to them when you are teaching. Emails can wait, the students shouldn’t have to.
  3. When writing them, keep it as short as possible and only send them to the people that need to know.
  4. Try to only send them during working hours.
  5. Whenever possible, have a conversation instead.

Emails by @Mr_Bunker_edu

Name: David Bunker
Twitter name: @Mr_Bunker_edu
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Head of Department
What is your advice about? Emails

1: Emails are a quick and convenient way to communicate, so are often overused. As a consequence, emails soon stop being quick and convenient if you actually want to communicate.

2: When sending an email, always ask yourself if it’s possible to sort out your request with a conversation. Often, this will be far more fruitful.

3: Be incredibly wary of sending ‘all staff’ emails. Don’t waste people’s time by sending them information, which is irrelevant.

4: Act on emails as soon as possible: Delete the obviously irrelevant, reply instantly where possible, or star/bookmark the email if the response requires more thought / time.

5: If it’s common in your school for people to send emails with requests during evenings or at weekends, please don’t read them until you’re at work. Get some rest.

Social Media by @pjmerrell

Name: PJ Merrell
Twitter name: @pjmerrell
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Head of Sixth Form
What is your advice about? Social Media

1: Students will look for you. Either lock it down tight or ensure everything you post is open for discussion.

2: Think carefully about ‘friending’ colleagues. Follow them on Twitter, sure, but is that selfie something you want going around the staff room?

3: Do not ‘friend’ students. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever.

4: Do not slate your place of work. If you want to be judged as a professional, act as a professional. This counts double if/when you move on. Don’t be that guy.

5: Pro tip: don’t post your day at the fairground if you’ve thrown a sickie …