RSL PIXL network post event ponderings

On Tuesday I presented at the Raising Standards Lead Networking event as part of Pixl’s new and developing offer. The event was based on responding to the needs of RSLs since September and after listening to presentations from two more RSLs the group of fifty spent time in a couple of virtual breakout spaces. This was a productive hour or so in a week that has been filled with COVID related activity. An opportunity to network with others who do the same job!

My Deliberations at My Desk

We were encouraged at the end of the sessions to consider a few ideas that we could look to develop after the session. My favourite takeaway was the idea of a virtual success fair http://www.johnhenrynewmancatholiccollege.org.uk/virtualsuccess-2020/ shared quickly at the end of our breakout session by the staff from John Henry Newman Catholic College.

We have completed our first Year 11 webinar of the year at Eggar’s in preparation for our Core PPEs this month. With two more webinars planned before Christmas we are using the skills we have developed over Lockdown to prepare some pre-recorded materials for parents and students to access about our next set of PPEs followed by a live Q and A opportunity. Using the ideas above I think it would be easy to develop the concept of a virtual success fair / festival which runs from January to June.

Assessment and Blended Learning ideas

During the other sessions I thought that following ideas might be something to consider with our curriculum leaders but along with the theme of my presentation making sure we focus on “doing less better” remains my priority.

  • Could we develop our use of Microsoft Teams using One Note to provide verbal feedback?
  • Considering our literacy plans and our use of UNLOCK could all staff use Tier 2 and Tier 3 words in all of their lessons. This could be followed up with a Microsoft forms QA with the students.
  • Could a structured whole class feedback approach inform assessment across year groups?
  • Using the example in our History department could a booklet based curriculum help with students who have to isolate and curriculum continuity?
  • Now that we have established a blended learning offer which has continued post lockdown could we develop nudge lists for each year group to use live data to support our intervention plans
  • Could weekly research briefings – based around Quest (our T and L policy) be part of our CPD offer to keep the conversations going?

As we continue to think about Assessment at Eggar’s our progress dilemma could also take a change of path? Considering the Webinar I linked to my pre presentation blog here https://martynreah.wordpress.com/2020/11/14/rsl-pixl-presentation-17-10-20/ (The Problem with Progress –https://t.co/kRgpWkhtLB) it would be interesting to see if we can create a dashboard for students based on our blended learning offer. Rather than waiting for predictions or current working grades is there a more sophisticated approach relating to our internal departmental tracking systems which we could use to help students improve their outcomes? The curriculum teams are working on rank orders and most likely grades as part of their CPD time. Linking our systems together including SENECA, GCSEPOD and a myriad of others, along with real time class based assessment data might be an approach to develop. An ongoing pre mortem rather than the reviews we have historically done post data drops and exam results.

As a standalone academy it is also vital we continue to collaborate particularly in these challenging times. The CPD offer from PIXL is fantastic. Other providers are also adapting so that as a profession we now have a Netflix style offer of on demand cpd. This is a similar approach we took to home schooling but the chance to chat informally in a formal setting cannot be underestimated, whether it be in the Great Hall in London or on zoom in my office.

RSL PIXL Presentation (17.10.20)

PIXL have set up an event for Raising Standards Leaders (RSL) across all of their schools to come together on Tuesday the 17th of November at 3.30pm to discuss blended learning opportunities and assessment. I am really pleased to say that I have been asked to talk about the day job this time rather than a #teacher5day based presentation! I have been invited to share some of the work we have completed at Eggar’s this year and detail a few ideas we might try COVDS 19 permitting.

There are two more RSLs who will present on their blended learning offer and how they are gathering and using assessment data effectively in these different and challenging times.  The thing I am most looking forward to is the opportunity to meet other RSLs, both from my region and nationally in break out rooms to discuss:

  1. Something that they would like help with
  2. Something they could help others with
  3. And something they are doing for impact now that others could benefit from hearing about.

In true PIXL style I think it will be a great opportunity to connect, network and discuss the things that really matter at the moment!

This week I was also approached on twitter regarding our approach to teacher workload and wellbeing since returning to school post Lockdown 1.0. I thought I could put my #teacher5aday hat on and share what we have tried since September at school that has hopefully has been meaningful, manageable and motivating whilst considering the workload of our staff.

September – Doing Less Better

Since joining twitter over 10 years ago I have been inspired by the work of Stephen Tierney (@leadingleaner). This year on our return to school I could hear his wise words ringing in my ears.

Since September we have taken the approach of stripping as much as possible out of the calendar so that we can focus on keeping everyone safe and developing teaching and learning from behind the safety line. Personally, after lockdown, I have used the new start as an opportunity to ask some fundamental questions and consider some of the activities that in the past we might have done for the sake of it perhaps! We had a staggered return to school following advice gleaned from PIXL and over the first week we saw the return of our students and our teachers adapting to a plethora of new ways of working.

If ever there was a case of cognitive overload for all concerned then September was it in my opinion.

Our first challenge was adapting to the volume of change we had implemented as a result of the guidance we had received from the government about returning to school.

Health and Safety ruled.

One way systems, staggered starts, staggered finishes, multiple breaks / lunches along with longer lessons. Year 7 and Year 8 were based in individual classrooms, being taught in mixed ability groups, without moving from their chairs. Discussing anything progress, assessment or blended was not an option a. As a RSL my view was that there was very little point in doing anything other than helping everyone settle into their new routines and get back to school. We had to try and get over our collective shock and back into some structure and routine.

With all of these changes in mind we have focused on feedback in lessons and no data drops so far this term. Planning has become more of a collaborative process in most departments and meeting time has been handed over to departments to discuss their priorities. One of the most interesting things I reflected on after Lockdown was the lack of time we spent considering the P word, Progress. Since returning to school I have tried to limit my use of the word as well.

If ever you need to stop and think about how fixated we have all got over the all things Progress then I suggest you listen to @jpembroke (school data updates) excellent webinar ‘The Problem with Progress’ https://t.co/kRgpWkhtLB. Perhaps their is another way?

My view is that our job now is to make sense of the noise of data in school and pick carefully though what we have available to make some sense to support our students to achieve the best they can.

The PIXL Gaps and Growth programme has helped our core teams think about their curriculum. With about six and a half months to go in Year 11 this document will be what all Curriculum Leaders will be working on at Eggar’s to review our 10/10s and 9/10s.

Blended and remote learning

Homework to Home Learning (Monday / Friday)

During the first Lockdown we got off to a great start as our AHT Chris Legg helped all colleagues deliver Netflix style pre-recorded lessons from week 1 onwards. Chris and the computing team have blended their curriculum for a number of years to great success. He was very clear about the value of a clear system and routine from the start. We all set our work on Show My Homework every Monday and checked our completion rates on a Friday. Both pastoral and curriculum teams then got in touch at home to either celebrate excellent work or support those who were finding it difficult. We were inspired by other schools, particularly Research schools who responded most quickly, to improve our video based lessons. Each week we poured over the data and used our systems to ensure our students continued to learn.

To find the patterns in the noise!

GCSEPod, SENECA, Educake, My Maths and other resources all supported our delivery. We knew how every child in the school was coping with life and learning from March until August.

Home Learning to Blended Learning (Monday / Monday)

On returning to school we have continued our routines. Additional blended learning has been integrated into our curriculum. We now all check and set on a Monday / Monday cycle and we have started to use Microsoft Teams after training the staff and students during the first half term of the new year.

We have just had our first confirmed case so we will see how we cope with our next set of learning challenges.

Assessment

We are entering our first data drop this moth. Year 10 and Year 11 will be given a “Most likely” grade and rank order. We have provided department with all of the vast majority of our meeting time to talk and plan this process.

In July we complete a Year 10 CAG and rank order. Our approach to the CAG filled me with pride. All teams became experts in assessment. On our return to class we have used mainly diagnostic assessment including:-

  • Open ended questions
  • Short answer quizzes
  • Multiple Choice questions
  • and Paragraph answers

All curriculum teams have developed their tracking systems to be able to complete their next set of Grades and Rank Ordering.

All of the categories below are recorded in teams and I am looking forward to the next steps of our reviews with very limited use of the P word.

  • Class work
  • HWK
  • Revision
  • Online Learning
  • PPEs
  • CA

More focus on the students and their learning less about feeding the system.

During this term I also managed to squeeze in an interview for a HT post. During the interview I noticed the panel frown when I explained our approach and how it was developing. Their system involved half termly data drops for all year groups. I am pleased we are heading in a different direction and perhaps on reflection I really wasn’t the “right fit” for that Academy Chain.

Again I recommend a listen to this if you haven’t yet ….(@jpembroke (school data updates) excellent webinar ‘The Problem with Progress’ https://t.co/kRgpWkhtLB).

Listening to the excellent PIXL session on low stakes testing I will be thinking about a few of these points over the next term.

You might like this list or like me you might be thinking about doing even less even better.

Next Steps for this RSL …….

  • Do we have tools to capture our regular active retrieval in departments?
  • How can we use our ongoing assessment and low stakes quizzing?
  • Are Teachers responding appropriately and adapting the curriculum  using the DDT process
  • Is it well planned?
  • Is it interleaved or spaced?
  • Do we have revisiting and revising plans for all teams ? All students?
  • How can we change the narrative that my spec is too big? I need more time?
  • How do we develop our processes to interleave our Home / Blended Learning?
  • Do we need a curriculum policy for our low stakes testing?
  • How do we give more time for departments to work together?
  • Can we consider synoptic elements of low stakes testing? Can it be planned effectively?

Some of my reading and resources I have used this year which might help …….

EEF – Rapid Assessment review https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/news/eef-blog-assessing-learning-in-the-new-academic-year-part-1-of-2-3-key-questions-for-school-leaders-to-consider/

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/news/eef-blog-assessing-learning-in-the-new-academic-year-part-2/

PiXL Club (@PiXLclub)
Our ‘Gaps and Growth’ 2020-21 package has 3 parts, all designed to help identify areas of weakness, and to strengthen knowledge in those areas. Perfect for use this term.
Go to: Members Area > PiXL Strategies > Gaps & Growth to find out more. Narrated introduction PPT available. https://t.co/2nNouklyg1

PIXL promoted blog –

YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY – THESE ARE THE STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES I USE DAY IN DAY OUT.https://ladbroa01.wordpress.com/2020/07/01/coverage-vs-confidence-quadrant/

PIXL Curriculum Conference

High frequency, low stakes testing https://auth.pixl.org.uk/tv/#!/v/c7/s142/e387

PiXL Club (@pixlclub)
Available to watch on PiXL TV Partner Channel now!
Blended and flipped learning – best practice using @GCSEPod!
Tune in when suits you to watch 30 min webinar on how schools have maximised the impact of GCSEPod during school closures.
Watch here: https://t.co/R7cjJ6dOmc https://t.co/RUgYepJE5M

Bruno Gomes (@teacherworklife)

🌟My data manager wife has now designed GCSE mock exam tracking spreadsheets with the 2019 grade boundaries (as well as 2018) for all subjects and exam boards. Find your subject in this PDF https://t.co/2G5EoobYXb to download.

Dylan Wiliam (@dylanwiliam)
Just realized that I’ve never tweeted a link to the IES’s 2007 Practice Guide on “Organizing instruction and study to improve student learning”: https://t.co/VU0LJdM4hB. The checklist makes a much better placemat than most of the quick reference guides offered to teachers. https://t.co/onmAYxJvzG

Niall Alcock (@NiallAlcock)

This is a really meaty piece of work. Well worth reading if you’re i/c PPM. Fascinating predictions about schools’ closing the gap & useful collection the PPM spending plans of the top 11 schools. Thank you Dominic @KingsdownSchool https://t.co/4e8eF9yXqV

Mrs Pearce (@PearceMrs)
📗’Powerful Teaching’ summary
📘TLaC summary
📕 ‘Make it stick’ summary
🧠 ‘Effective independent study’ pupil booklet and presentation
💡Retrieval practice CPD presentation
✏️ Literacy CPD presentation
✅ CPD options presentation
https://t.co/XwjYtY5wCm

Daisy Christodoulou (@daisychristo)
This was the most-disagreed-upon script in our recent primary assessment project! Out of nine possible grades, one teacher gave it the bottom grade, and another the second top!
Read our blog to find out more. https://t.co/SE39OgXPHF https://t.co/hxGafd0UmM

Chris Moyse (@ChrisMoyse)
Coaching questions booklet available for your free use here: https://t.co/UumZQF9JBT

Mary Myatt (@MaryMyatt)
‘Resuming the curriculum, September 2020’ Brilliant, nuanced post from @jdurran
So helpful, thanks for signposting @TeacherTapp
https://t.co/t0Y8jOp5zv


Replacing marking with direct feedback in the classroom not only reduces workload for teachers – it improves pupil outcomes too, according to research by the @EdDevTrust for @educationgovuk https://t.co/p1414TNlzC

HISP Research School (@HISPResearchSch)
***Blog of the Week***
Following our remote teaching webinar https://t.co/1jZBbEQLAp over the next couple of weeks teachers @HISPResearchSch will be reflecting on their experiences.
First up @missmclachlan, Head of German.
https://t.co/4BFAGEIWsk

Can #teacher5aday #photo improve your wellbeing in November? Giving thanks can make you happier.

Being grateful can have an impact on your wellbeing.

As we head towards lockdown 2.0 perhaps taking a day at a time might be a good approach? Thinking about the things that are in our control and at the end of each day being grateful?

In this Harvard Research https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier it is explained that, “The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible”.

With this in mind I thought it might be useful to think about the month of November in a different way. To celebrate each day and record the positives in a photograph.

A 30 day gratitude challenge based on the five elements of #teacher5aday might help deal with the challenges we face over the next month. To tick off the days in a different way.

In the Harvard study it is noted that, “Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met”. The researchers go on to explain that,”Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice”.

With this research in mind for the next 30 days I challenge you to take a photo relating to the themes listed below and tweet with the hashtags #teacher5aday and #photo. This alongside a tweet about your #3goodthings might be contrived at first but could improve our collective mental state growing it stronger with use and practice.

The five elements of #teacher5aday are #connect, #notice, #volunteer, #exercise and #notice. They are based on the NEF report of the 5 ways to wellbeing https://neweconomics.org/2008/10/five-ways-to-wellbeing.

In their most recent update it is suggested that, “Rather than encouraging a completely novel set of behaviours, the outcomes of a campaign of this kind are more concerned with increasing the time people spend in activities known to enhance wellbeing”. Perhaps by allocating more of your time to your wellbeing is part of the answer this month and beyond?

The ideas above are part of the #livethankfulcampaign.

Good luck with November and hopefully you will enjoy seeing everyone’s photography based on being grateful.

Keep safe.

#exercise #teacher5aday #slowchat8 @drlucykelly

I was never the ‘sporty one’ at school. I wasn’t picked first for games and I didn’t win any medals on Sports Day. Basically, I didn’t enjoy sport because I was made to feel as though it wasn’t for me – that I wasn’t quite the right shape; that I didn’t ‘fit’ in.

So, with that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that me and exercise haven’t always had the easiest relationship. It’s only as I’ve got older and started to prioritise my own self-care that I’ve taken another look at exercise. What I’ve realised is that exercise doesn’t have to ‘be’ anything. It doesn’t mean lycra, gym memberships or personal bests (although it can, of course); rather, it encompasses what you want it to contain. For me, going for a jog during lunchtime enables me to move my body, listen to a podcast and have more energy for work in the afternoon. I feel better for having done it, but I don’t always enjoy the process. What I do really enjoy is a disco in the living room with the music turned up loudly and our family jumping around, or a game of chase in the park with my sons. So maybe that is what exercise is about: combining movement with joy for short bursts of time that leave you feeling better than you did before.

Indeed, exercise can be another way of berating ourselves – a job that didn’t get ticked off on the ‘to do’ list – but it shouldn’t be that; it should be an opportunity for us to be kind to ourselves, to revel in the marvels of the human body and top up our multivitamins.

Maybe we need to go back to our younger years, let go of expectations, and dance with a different song.


From Giles Andreae, Giraffes Can’t Dance (1999: Orchard Books)

This Thursday, I’ll be inviting you to join me in a #slowchat about exercise. We’ll discuss:

  • What exercise brings you joy? If exercise sounds like too much, think about movement.
  • What exercise did you like to do when you were a child?
  • What are you going to do this week that will allow you to move your body in a fun way and bring your body joy?
  • What impact does exercise have on your wellbeing?

LEARN YOUR WAY TO WELLBEING (Maria Brosnan, Pursuit Wellbeing interviews Patrick Ottley-O’Connor for #teacher5aday #slowchat8)

As teachers, you’ll fully appreciate the value of learning as an important part of life and a great life skill. You might not – however – have known the full range of ways in which learning positively impacts on our well-being? Research shows that learning:

  • Increases our resilience, as we adapt to the challenges that learning presents;
  • Develops our perseverance as we solve problems and keep going;
  • Builds our self esteem as we learn new skills;
  • Helps our brain to have the novelty it loves, and which enables it to thrive by making new connections and distinctions;
  • Enables the practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, and has been strongly linked with higher levels of well-being. This is because the goals are usually self-generated, approach goals, and linked with our personal values;
  • Can impact our sense of purpose, as we’re taking steps towards achieving a goal that’s meaningful to us; and
  • Can improve our sense of life satisfaction, hope and optimism.

This research doesn’t just apply when we are learning huge, time-consuming things – simple things like learning to cook a new dish can make us feel good.

So how do we practically apply the principle of ‘learning’ to wellbeing in school?

I recently recorded a podcast with Patrick Ottley O’Connor about how he applied ‘learning’ in his role as Headteacher at Westhoughton High School in Bolton.

He spoke of two specific ways he used it in leadership:

  1. Establishing expectations. As this is a new school for him, he spent time getting to know the expectations of the staff and creating time and space for them to do the same; to establish expectations of each other, of him and of ‘us’. Setting clear expectations helps create a culture of wellbeing. It takes time and curiosity to ask good questions, listen and learn.
  2. Build relationships. In his first week at Westhoughton, Patrick set out to actively build strong relationships. To understand his staff’s hopes, fears and dreams. To learn how staff were feeling about things that matter to them. Among many other strategies, staff perception questionnaires helped him learn and understand what staff want, “not what I think they want”. This informed important decision making and communication and help build a culture of wellbeing. “It means we can respond from an informed place – ‘you said, so this is what we’ve done or are doing’. You have to be foolish not to listen.”

Think about your life right now. Depending on your life stage and what your circumstances are, consider whether it’s the right time to learn something formal (for example, a higher qualification leading to a senior leadership role) or less formal, like learning a new hobby, cooking a new dish or a new sport. What can you learn about yourself or others, today?

#Learn #Teacher5aday

#teacher5aday #slowchat8

After the success of the previous seven #teacher5aday #slowchats we return during October half term 2020 to plan for national #teacher5aday week in December and celebrate how we survived the most challenging half term so far.

The daily chats will be the starting point for our week of wellbeing that we think will be so needed as we approach Christmas this year. Each host will share one of the elements of #teacher5aday along with their views of how to incorporate some ideas into you personal wellbeing survival pack. The New Economics Foundation have shated their ideas about Mental Health and Hope during Covid 19 https://neweconomics.org/2020/10/mental-health-and-hope which has provided some inspiration for this version of slowchat.

For those of you who remember #PedagooHampshire I hope national #teacher5aday week this year will have a similar impact. A festival of happy and healthy teachers turning their learning into development with wellbeing and its heart.

If you need any ideas about how things have developed so far 

Who is involved?

The five fantastic educators listed below will lead a day and share their ideas about their element of #teacher5aday. Questions will be shared each morning from 10.00 am based on the blogs below and as with previous slow chats we hope you can dip in for an hour, a day or take part for the full week. Their will be a repeat of the questions each evening for those who want to take part then.

Teacher5aday #SlowChat8 Hosts and Blogs

On Monday we will be discussing #connect with @kathryngrice1, https://martynreah.wordpress.com/2020/10/24/half-term-homework-alert-teacher5aday-slowchat-day-1-26-10-20-kathryngrice1/?preview=true

Tuesday is #notice with @rondelle10_b

https://teachleadco.wordpress.com/2020/10/25/teacher5aday-notice-slowchat-2/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Wednesday is #learn with @ottleyoconnor

https://martynreah.wordpress.com/2020/10/28/learn-your-way-to-wellbeingmaria-brosnan-pursuit-wellbeing-interviews-patrick-ottley-oconnor-for-teacher5aday-slowchat8/

Thursday is #exercise with @drlucykelly

https://wordpress.com/post/martynreah.wordpress.com/2483

and Friday is #volunteer with @MsHMFL

http://hunterjrms.blogspot.com/2020/10/teacher5aday-slowchat8.html?m=1

What do you need to do during the week?

  • Read the blogs
  • Tweet your views about the questions posted each day
  • Ask your questions about each subject
  • Enjoy connecting with people interested in the well-being debate
  • Remember to use the #teacher5aday #slowchat8 hashtag

How can you continue after the week is finished?

You could write a #teacher5aday pledge for 2020 like these https://martynreah.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/teacher5aday-pledges-2016/ based on the tips and reviews which can be found here –

Thanks to all for getting involved and see you all at the start of national #teacher5aday week.

Martyn

HALF TERM HOMEWORK ALERT #teacher5aday #slowchat (day 1) 26.10.20 @KathrynGrice1

Connect

Zoom chats where we are all lined up like the Brady bunch: are they looking at me, themselves or at the other person? Did they hear what I just said? Can they tell I’m feeling like crap? That I’m not coping? Am I faking it well enough? My backdrop looks good but if I moved the camera around they’d see my kitchen is a disaster zone.


In front of the class: is my armour good enough? Am I performing it well? Are they smiling beneath their masks? Can they tell I’m freaking out? That I’m exhausted? That I’m scared for them, their families and my own?


I’m great at performing (thank you, Calder High Drama Teachers circa 96-2003) but then again, so are the majority of teachers. We do it all the time.I mean, no one really needs to see my shit tip of a kitchen, and students don’t need to know about my anxieties to access a good lesson. So, I, like many others amongst us, armour up and fake it until I make it.


Having said that, this becomes both exhausting and unmanageable if we forget to stop and step out of role every now and again. Remember: we don’t have to go method on this. We need to exit stage left every once in a while, or else it becomes all-consuming and unhealthy.

[Confession: I went so method in 2012 that I wasn’t really sure who I was external to the teacher role anymore. I was the Meryl Streep of teaching. Full method, all of the time. No life. No Oscar. Robbed. Story for another time.]


The parts in a day where we can express and lighten the load of teacher role often come from informal connections. The informal connections outside of school, yes, but also those in school, the golden threads that run through our work – the things that keep the runaway train on its tracks.


In our profession we connect. Prior to 2020 it was connection – not virtually, scheduled, from a covid safe distance – but up front, spontaneously, often genuinely and for a lot of our time in the building. Despite all the different personalities, emotions and agendas you have in one educational setting, informal connections are the magical glue that prevent us from simply being knowledge factories.


Imagine life without the: corridor catch ups,banteraway from the students, staff room chats, eye contact or eye rolls in briefing or CPD, face to face meetings, brews being made when you’re close to the edge,being unprofessionally daft behind closed doors, laughing so hard in a colleague’s face that you feel like the 16 year olds that you just taught,and more important than ever right now: pulling each other to one side and really checking in … and the rest.

It is one of the many privileges of working in a school.

And it keeps us sane.


But the good, behind the scenes, stuff is more difficult right now than ever before – my students talk of being bubbled away from their friends, teachers tell of staffrooms being shut, spaces to break out being shut down and how we are slowly replacing the face to face with the virtual and that’s before we even start on the periods of isolation that many of us are starting to experience more frequently.

You are not alone if you are feeling like a coiled spring about to unravel from a reduction in the informality that normally keeps your workplace, and you, ticking over.


So, (half term homework alert!) this half term I’d urge you to reach out, talk to each other and share the mess, the stress, the other angle on the zoom camera: the good bad and the ugly.

Check in with yourself, your friends, your colleagues and family where you simply haven’t had the time, energy, head space or covid safe parameters to do so. Remember you are not going for an Oscar nomination, shed the performance and professional armour this week.

Use your network and the amazing teaching communities there are out there to slowly unwind, share and decompress, rather than unravel. Get behind the sanitised safe areas and into the mess with each other. It’s where the good stuff happens. #connect

Half Time? #teacher5aday #diarytoolkit collaboration

I make it 36 days since we launched the 3rd phase of this pilot project.

Or just over the half way point in your journey to developing some healthy habits?

In her research, Phillipa Lally https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2009/aug/how-long-does-it-take-form-habit suggests it takes 66 days to form a new habit.

In the study Lally et al looked at how long it took people to reach a limit of self-reported automaticity for performing an initially new behaviour (that is, performing an action automatically), and the average time (among those for whom their model was a good fit) was 66 days.

They also suggested that to create a habit you need to repeat the behaviour in the same situation. It is important that something about the setting where you perform the behaviour is consistent so that it can cue the behaviour. If you choose a context cue, for example after lunch, they thought that it didn’t matters if you eat lunch at different times in the day.

With regard to breaking habits the research team suggested it was very difficult. The easiest way they suggested was to control your environment so that you do not encounter the cue which triggers your habit (the biscuit tin in my case!). They also sad it was difficult to break any habit even when you are motivated to do so. If you are ambivalent about breaking it then you will be less likely to succeed.

So how have you done so far in developing some new habits and breaking some old ones?

I hope you can take some time over half term to reflect on how things have gone this half term with your pledge and your diary work. With anything that is worth doing practice will make perfect.

My view about this programme so far is that it provides choice, flexibility, small steps, accountability and support. Just like any good professional development programme you can decide how you want things to progress. If it is a different direction with your pledge than now is the time to review it. Hopefully you have focused on the aspects of the diary you wanted to develop after our last online session and gained more ownership through that activity.

After reading a book a friend recommended to me (Switch: How to change things when change is hard Dan and Chip Heath) I also think we are trying to engage you in a rational and emotional way to support you to develop your wellbeing. By engaging in the sessions and on twitter we are hopefully pointing you to bright spots of great wellbeing practice. With the pledge and the toolkit we are providing a script based on the changes you could make to your end destination of a happier and healthier version of you.

By keeping the steps small and getting you to think about how you feel about the changes you are implementing than perhaps by now you are emotionally involved in the project. Have you found yourself sharing what you are doing? Are you now an advocate for improved wellbeing? On the way to becoming expert in your school? Could you now help to develop the wellbeing of others? As part of the couch to five km programme I remember reading that in time people will be asking advice about the programme and you will be the “expert” who can pass on their knowledge. Could you grow your people? Do you have the same feelings about your wellbeing now as you did when you started the programme? Both Lucy and I would be very interested to hear any reflections you have on the questions above.

Finally there are three more steps to consider to change something when times are difficult. I think times are the most difficult they have been in my career so this may take more effort than you think but might be worth it in the short term as we run up to Christmas and then hopefully beyond in your medium and long term wellbeing plans.

To complete the programme you need to tweak the environment, build your habits and rally the herd. My take on these steps relate to Lally’s ideas above as well as focused practice and openly sharing your achievements. If you read the book you make take away something different.

I seem to be living my life thinking about my 90 day programme from Joe Wicks. All of the ideas relate in the same way to his programme. He offers choice of exercise and food to eat. I am part of a supportive network who help me develop my technique and knowledge in a non threatening way. He teaches me via his video content that I watch repeatedly doing my exercises. He is educating me to think about my mental health rather than sitting on the sad step (scales) every day. The measurements and photographs he shares back to me after each of the 30 days shows me the impact of the work I have put in over an extended period. Most of all I am developing a more healthy lifestyle. Something that is sustainable.

Figures crossed we can do the same for you.

Keep on keeping on as you finish this half term and keep an eye out for #teacher5dayslowchat over half term for some more martini based cpd. Any time Any place Anywhere……

M

PS – I managed to convince Patrick to put pen to paper. So if you want a copy of the ideas he talked about in his presentation ……

A Week of Wellbeing beginning with WE – national #teacher5aday week

The second national #teacher5aday week is definitely taking shape. I have been truly amazed by the number of people who have said yes to my requests for help. Practicing what you preach really can make a difference.

Listening to the PIXL Leadership Book Club about the “The Barcelona Way”, I was fascinated by the core values all at the club are required to follow in order to be successful. Humility, Hard Work and Teamwork are required in that order. A ladder of values. If you don’t understand the sequence then you are not destined for success with the team.

The leadership of the organisation demand humility and help the players understand that it is their key to success.  They help everyone understand that a healthy humility is beneficial for self-improvement and helps the players be receptive to other opportunities . By combining humility with motivation, the culture develops and the ability of the team is focused on overcoming obstacles without letting failures knock them out of balance. Asking for help is a fundamental part of humility. When you do great things can happen.

Asking for help from a range of people has been inspiring this month.

National #Teacher5aday Week

On Demand

A range of teachers will provide video content about their approach to wellbeing to be accessed on demand on the Teacher Empowerment Project website. Sign up now to see the first of the offerings https://teacherempowermentproject.co.uk/ coming very soon.

Webinars

Each day their will be chance to take part in a couple of webinars. The Bupa Foundation are taking the lead on the content, supported by the #teacher5aday steering group and Rachel Johnson @RachelPIXL who will be hosting a live PIXL Leadership Book Club based on the excellent “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath.

More offers of help have come in from GCSEPOD, The Youth Sports Trust https://www.youthsporttrust.org/wellschool , the SSAT https://www.ssatuk.co.uk/cpd/school-improvement/framework-for-exceptional-education/ and The National Wellbeing Partnership https://schooladvice.co.uk/national-wellbeing-partnership/?filter=all. Updates coning soon!

Dates for your diary so far…..

October Half Term = #teacher5adayslowchat is back

November = teacher5aday vlogs (all month)

December = #17DaysDec (all month)

national #teacher5aday week

Nov 30 #Connect

4.00 pm – Supporting your family/young people (Bupa Foundation)

5.00 pm – Launch Event – Leadership Panel (#teacher5aday steering group)

Dec 1 #Notice

4.00 pm – Eating for Wellbeing (Bupa Foundation)

5.00 pm Personal Energy Programme (Bupa Foundation)

Dec 2 #Learn

4.00 pm – Mindfulness (Bupa Foundation)

5.00 pm Pixl Leadership Book club “Switch” with @RachelPixl

Dec 3 #Exercie

4.00pm – Exercise for wellbeing (Bupa Foundation)

5.00 pm TBC

Dec 4 #Voulnteer

4.00 pm – Self Care (Bupa Foundation)

5.00 pm – Leadership Panel – From Learning to Development (#teacher5aday steering group with Bupa Foundation)

More details for National #Teacher5day Week 30.11 – 4.12.20

The #Teacher5aday Steering Group met again last Thursday Evening.

It was great to catch up and even better to get some more plans in place for national #teacher5aday week 2020.

As mentioned in a previous blog https://martynreah.wordpress.com/2020/09/29/plans-for-national-teacher5aday-week-2020-30-11-4-12/ it is great to be working with @TeacherEmpower and @BupaFoundation this year on our week of (free) wellbeing activities. Watch this space for some more national contributors coming soon! The initial ideas were discussed with the team and the plans expanded on to form a comprehensive programme.

Keep your eyes peeled on twitter over October Half Term as #teacher5adayslowchat returns.

On Monday we will be discussing #connect with @kathryngrice1,

Tuesday is #notice with @rondelle10_b,

Wednesday is #learn with @ottleyoconnor,

Thursday is #exercise with @drlucykelly,

and Friday is #volunteer with @MsHMFL.

Each of the above will post a blog and some questions for discussion to get us all to reflect on our #teacher5aday from this half term and to get us thinking about next term and how we can used the new NEF 5 ways to wellbeing update in this most challenging of terms https://neweconomics.org/2008/10/five-ways-to-wellbeing .

In November a series of vlogs will be shared again on the themes of #teacher5aday from teachers who are working on improving their wellbeing.

In December @rondelle10_b will also be hosting a hybrid of #21daysjuly this time with a focus on supporting each other as we finish for Christmas. I think we might all need some distractions as we take part in our first #teacher5day #17DaysDecember

During the week itself we will also be sharing lots of on demand content on the https://teacherempowermentproject.co.uk/ website. This will be complemented by a couple of webinars a night for school leaders and teachers along with a some panels and a book club meeting to give you some ideas which you can turn into some healthy habits in the week and beyond.

More information coming in the next few weeks.

M