Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself by @JessicaDPollock

Name: Jessica Pollock
Twitter name: @JessicaDPollock
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Class Teacher
What is your advice about? Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

  1. Your class will get messy.
  2. You will fall behind on marking at times.
  3. You will forget to organise resources for a lesson and have to wing it.
  4. You will realise you’ve only done spelling once this week and wouldn’t like to admit to the last time you taught French.
  5. You’re in a job with a never ending to-do list so keep a ‘done list’ to keep perspective. This job is like a garden, never perfect or ‘finished’ but manageable, and worth it.

Staying sane by @Latin_Tutoring

Name: Emma Williams
Twitter name: @Latin_Tutoring
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Latin and English
Position: Classroom teacher
What is your advice about? Staying sane

  1. Ignore the rhetoric of senior leaders; according to them, everything is a priority, which is meaningless.
  2. Learn to recognise what’s really important and what’s this week’s supposed “priority” that will fall by the wayside.
  3. Mark fast and mark smart – you don’t have to absorb and correct every nuance. We teach the students to skim and scan, that’s what you should be doing.
  4. Take a few minutes at the end of every week to email home about students who are trying hard and behaving well for you; it banks an enormous amount of goodwill.
  5. Use the holidays to plan and prepare to shorten your working day in term time; too many teachers end up in the binge-work-followed-by-exhaustion-switch-off cycle.

When you’re having a bad day by @janbaker97

Name: Jan Baker
Twitter name: @janbaker97
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): MFL
Position: Curriculum Leader
What is your advice about? When you’re having a bad day

  1. Try to keep things in perspective. Will you still be worrying about it a year from now? If not, don’t go there.
  2. Talk to someone who is prepared to listen but don’t ask for advice if you’re not ready to listen. Learn to wait as the advice may be more constructive than you expect.
  3. Be solution focused. How can you solve it? How can you ensure it doesn’t happen again? Try to take control of it – you will feel better afterwards.
  4. Keep a list of “good” things in your planner to remind you of why you want to teach. Comments from staff, students & parents are always appreciated. Refer to them often.
  5. Remember it never rains forever so this too shall pass. Remember to be kind to yourself too.

Bad Days by @molin_bryan

Name: Bryan Molin
Twitter:  @molin_bryan
Sector:  Secondary
Position: Assistant Headteacher
5 Bits of Advice About: Bad days

  1. We all have them. Recognise you are not on top form and keep things simple.
  2. If you have a minute, go for a walk around the school to clear your head.
  3. If you are teaching all day, keep behaviour management simple. Don’t overreact and put your best into your teaching.
  4. Talk to colleagues. Getting something off your chest feels good at times.
  5. Work will always be there next morning. In the evening, take a break, do something nice and get a good night’s sleep.

Teacher Survival Kit by @Gwenelope

Name: Gwen Nelson
Twitter:  @Gwenelope
Sector:  FE
Subject: English
Position: Lecturer A-Level and GCSE English courses
5 Bits of Advice About: Teacher survival kit

  1. Thermos camping mug with lid: so that you can carry your caffeine elixir around with ease AND the lid prevents spillage onto work clothes.
  2. Supplies of your caffeine elixir of choice: coffee, tea or (an unspecified brand of) cola. Non-caffeine options are available.
  3. A bottle of water: You will get dehydrated, especially in summer. Squirrel away some water in the office fridge, drink it.
  4. Medicine: Lemsip, throat sweets, paracetamol, ibuprofen. Try not to take them all at once – if you feel that bad, you shouldn’t be at work.
  5. Emergency chocolate: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a teacher, in possession of THAT Year 9 class, must be in want of some chocolate.

Well-being by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter name:
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: RQT
What is your advice about? Well-being

1: You’ll always feel you could do more. Try to get comfortable with this nagging feeling as soon as possible, because it isn’t going away.

2: Lie about your job at parties. It’s easier than listening to the sixth opinion that night on how teachers should do this or that. You get enough of that at work.

3: Find the colleagues that make you laugh. You need the ones that make you chuckle, regardless of whether they’re ‘radiators’ or ‘drains’.

4: Hydrate. Don’t think ‘well I don’t have time to pee anyway’ because you’ll get to 4pm and feel like you’re hungover, but with none of the fun.

5: Listen to Take That’s ‘Never Forget’ frequently. One’s reaction to this song is an excellent barometer for workplace well-being. If you cry, phone in sick.

Food by @tstarkey1212

Name: Tom Starkey
Twitter name: @tstarkey1212
Sector: Secondary, FE
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Food

1: Unless lunch is free, make a pack-up. You’ll save a fortune.

2: Those biscuits they have at meetings? You don’t have to eat all of them.

3: Toast is not a ‘hot meal’ – I don’t care how much marking you’ve got to do.

4: Never eat anything offered to you by a student. ANYTHING.

5: The dinner staff know all. Use this to your advantage.