Being Ill by @MsSFax

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

  1. Don’t come to work when you’re ill; you’ll spread your illness and do a substandard job anyway.
  2. Nobody – literally nobody – is indispensable. Don’t worry about being off if you’re ill; the school will still be running when you return.
  3. Follow your school’s procedure for calling in sick. Make sure you let your line-manager know, even if this isn’t part of the official procedure.
  4. While you’re ill, don’t post on social media, get filmed dancing on the stage at a festival, or return to work with a cake that you made while you were off.
  5. It is possible that you’ll have a return to work meeting when you get back. Aim for transparency in this meeting and use the opportunity to discuss any concerns you have about returning.
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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.

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.

Getting a great night’s sleep by @rufuswilliam

Name: Rufus
Twitter name: @rufuswilliam
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Lead Coach
What is your advice about? Getting a great night’s sleep

  1. A school night? No alcohol, no caffeine after midday, and milk & honey before bed.
  2. Have a hot bath with Epsom salts.
  3. Read in the evenings, don’t work or go on Twitter or watch TV.
  4. Go to bed at 10 pm, don’t ever set the alarm for earlier than 6.
  5. No one ever finishes all their work to their desired standard every day. Set a time each day which you won’t ever work beyond and stick to it.

Leaving work at a sensible time (science context) by @@ruthyie

Name: Ruth Smith
Twitter name: @ruthyie
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Science
Position: KS5 Science Lead
What is your advice about? Leaving work at a sensible time (science context)

  1. When doing science technician orders each week, quickly create or collate any new resources there and then (worksheets, essential slides), however rough, tidying them up only if you later get time. The thought that goes into Orders forms the bulk of your planning.
  2. ‘Mark’ books at school and do it standing up, against the clock. Do it solely to inform you of what has and hasn’t been grasped, sorting work into categories and then deciding how to communicate to students in each category.
  3. I write the date of ‘marking’ (=looking at books) on the front of the book. I add a star if it’s all going well. I add a pair of spectacles if the student and I need to watch understanding and progress.
  4. ‘Marking’ in this way may not involve writing anything IN the books, but feedback to the class will take numerous forms because you will be aware of what they need. I can’t stop myself correcting/indicating spg errors, though…
  5. When it gets to the end of the working day, go home, and only do more if you know you’ll need a short day later in the week or if you really care about a particular task. If you can mentally bullet point what needs to happen in your lesson, you are ready enough for the next day.

Lunch Time by @TeachingAngle

Name: Teaching Angle
Twitter name: @TeachingAngle
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Lunch Time

  1. Make sure you eat something! The students are often more hyper after lunch so you’ll need to keep your strength up through the afternoon!
  2. Take the opportunity to speak to colleagues in your department and around school – it’s a valuable and often rare chance to share/offload/learn
  3. Volunteer for lunch duty at least once a week – you see the students in a different light + build relationships and usually get paid + a free lunch out of it
  4. Make sure your afternoon lessons are ready to go so you can hit the ground running as soon as the students come in from lunch.
  5. Don’t be afraid to do something completely unrelated to school for some/all of lunchtime – it’s your break so feel free to switch off and recharge your batteries for a short while.