#teacher5day #calendar

#Teacher5aday Calendar is back!

For the third year running your build up to Christmas can be filled with well-being goodness. All you have to do is get involved with the next set of #teacher5aday challenges over the course of December.

Following on from the amazing success of #teacher5aday #photo in November a fantastic array of #volunteers this year have offered to host a day each of the calendar building up to Christmas. They will each open a door of the calendar to reveal their challenge with the aim to get as many tweachers and teachers alike involved in something that will enhance their Christmas cheer.


Following in the footsteps of Tim Clark’s excellent brace of #calendars

2016 Calendar blog –

2015 Calendar blog-

the #teacher5aday team of Santa’s little helpers have listed their challenges below.

Your challenge should you choose to accept it is to take the #teacher5aday #calendar and place it somewhere prominent in your staff room. Each day print out the challenge so more teachers who are not on twitter can begin to understand that there are a growing number of colleagues around who understand that happy teachers + happy students = improved results.

If you want to participate on twitter as well, make sure you tweet a picture of you and your colleagues completing your daily challenge and remember to include the hashtags #teacher5aday and #calendar.

If you would like to get involved and co-host a day then please get in touch and if you would like to know anymore about #teacher5day check out the blogs below.

#teacher5aday #calendar 2017

Friday 1.12 – Patrick Ottley-O’Connor @ottleyoconnor – Share the calendar idea with everyone in your workplace #connect

Saturday 2.12 – Kathryn Morgan @KLMorgan_2 – Favourite childhood toy #notice

Sunday 3.12 Miss I @FootieFanMiss – Great outdoors #exercise

Monday 4.12 Kim Baker kim_baker917 – Share you favourite childhood memory – connect

Tuesday 5.12 Sam @samschoolstuff – enjoy your favourite meal #notice

Wednesday 6.12 Char @misscharteach – a little surprise #notice

Thursday 7.12 Rachel Atherton @AthersScience – Leave a note #connect

Friday 8.12 Jade Lewis-Jones @JLJbusinessed – Go for a walk / swim / cycle #exercise

Saturday 9.12  Tracy Hotchin @tracy_hotchin – Watch a festive movie with family / friends #connect

Sunday 10.12  BlondeBonce @blondebonce – Switch off completely from work #volunteer 

Monday 11.12 Ritesh Patel @Mr_Patel100 Have lunch with a member of staff you don’t work closely with 

Tuesday 12.12 ParentHub @ParentHub_UK – Explore a new website / app #learn

Wednesday 13.12 Emily LP @emily_slade – Go on a tour of your local Xmas lights #exercise 

Thursday 14.12 Roy Souter @Exe_Head – Concerts and Carols #connect

Friday 15.12 Matt Hickey @headhighwood – Christmas Jumpers #conncet

Saturday 16.12 @Behaviourteach – Do something for someone else #connect 

Sunday 17.12 Kerry Jordan-Daus @KerryJordanDaus  drinks on me #volunteer 

Monday 18.12 Helen P @leanrmesummat – Thank people who keep the school clean + tidy #notice

Tuesday 19.12 Julie Hunter @MsHMFL 10000 steps #exercise

Wednesday 20.12 Bernie @EnterpriseSBox  Spend quality time with someone special #connect 

Thursday 21.12 Jane Thistletwaite @Headstnicholas Don’t answer your emails or turn on your computer #connect 

Friday 22.12 Liz Allton @LizSaddler – What / Who has given you the sparkle to keep going until Xmas #notice

Saturday 23.12 Claire @@cj_m87 – indulgent treat #notice

Sunday 24.12 Hannah Banks @geog_nqt – Pre Christmas build up #connect


Wishing you all are Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



Looking forward to your #teahcer5aday #pledges in January and more contributions to the #teacher5aday YouTube channel …….





#teacher5aday #gentlejog 

I’ve been inspired by @fattymustrun to start an online running club for teachers this summer. With 6 weeks of fun ahead of us I wonder how many collective kms we could notch up and how much better we could feel as we return to work in September?

A few years ago I started the NHS couch to 5km programme and followed it to the letter.


As a footballer in a previous life I enjoyed a small amount of fitness but when pre season would come around I would dread the running sessions. I didn’t think I was built for running. The problem was I had never understood HOW to run. If I can follow the programme and teach myself to do it that I belive anyone can do it.

Roll forward a few years and I would now describe myself as a runner. I’m a fan of a gentle jog and have aimed for the last couple of years to get out 5 times a week for 30 minutes. Last year I enjoyed my best year to date notching up over 1200km in the year but this year since February I’ve had a variety of illnesses which have hindered my progress. So I need your help.

By joining in together with a group of teachers and forming this running club I’m hoping I will get back into my healthy habit inspired by Vivienne Porritt’s call to arms (at #Pedagoohampshire15) to focus on one thing and do it until it becomes a habit.

I’ve only focused on getting out and running for 30mins 5 times a week. I’ve not counted steps or checked out speeds just added the kms as I’ve gone along. I’m hoping this running club is going to develop in the same way. Celebrating people getting out and getting involved.

(the benefits of gentle jogs


There is no time like the present to get started so for the next couple of weeks I will try to get out 5 times each week before the holidays start. If I do 3 that’s better than none. I’ve learnt over the years not to be too hard on myself a skill which I’ve taken into my professional life as well.

If you’d like to join in then post a piccie of your feet and one of your view and include the hashtags #teacher5aday and #gentlejog.

Hope you can get involved.

Martyn (2fat2run)

Unconscious Bias: I am a white British man in my 50s, so of course I’m the headteacher! (Guest Post from Patrick Ottley-O’Connor @ottleyoconnor)

I guess that sounds pretty arrogant, but it is often the truth in our schools that someone with my profile is the person in charge. Google the word ‘Headteacher’ and you’ll see the majority of images that fit my profile; indeed I counted 200+ images before I saw a BAME leader!  In fact, I guess it is also the case in many organisations outside of education. When I visit other establishments wearing my headteacher uniform of suit, tie, cufflinks etc, I’m often mistaken for a doctor, manager or whatever title is given to the person in charge…at least until I open my mouth and they hear my broad Yorkshire accent!

I was not destined to become a headteacher.  I grew up in a small, predominantly ‘white’ mining village in South Yorkshire and despite not doing particularly well at school became the first in my family to go to university.  Most young people went on to the local college, where boys studied electrical or mechanical engineering for the pits and most girls studied admin or pre-nursing/caring courses.  As a caring 16-year-old lad, I bucked the trend (encouraged by my gorgeous parents) and followed the pre-nursing route.  This turned into PE teacher training on the basis of my early sporting talent and that was the start of my career.
I regard myself as a lucky leader. I’ve often used the following equation with students in assemblies:

Hard Work + Talent + Opportunity = Good Luck

Like many, I have always worked hard and demonstrated some talent, but appear to have benefited from more than my fair share of opportunities.  Why are some leaders luckier than others?  Is it that I have simply been given, created or seized more opportunities than others or could there be an unconscious bias working against non-white, non-male leaders?

There are plenty of hardworking & talented BAME leaders who, quite frankly, simply don’t seem to have the opportunity. Whether it is not offered or taken up, it remains an essential missing ingredient!

So why am I so passionate now about equality, inclusion & diversity? The short answer is – I don’t really know!  All I do know is that I’m now driven by a strong moral purpose to help transform the lives of the children who need it most.  Tapping into the woefully under represented talent pool of BAME leaders is currently a major missed opportunity for our profession. Any MAT, CEO, Governing Body & Headteacher that does not recognise and harness the untapped BAME talent is certainly missing real opportunities. 

I hold the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of everything I do and they shape all that I stand for. As a teacher of 30 years, a senior leader of 25 years, and a headteacher of 14 years in schools facing challenging contexts with high levels of disadvantage, I am committed to developing a teaching & leadership community which is representative of the groups that I serve.  To do this I need to recruit the best teachers and leaders. I always aim to make inclusion a reality within education. I Equally important is the need to grow & retain colleagues through enthusing, engaging and empowering them; coupled with nurturing & liberating leadership potential from all, through high quality CPD and appropriate opportunities.  

I welcome the challenge of enabling staff from all backgrounds to develop and excel in their roles. From ITT & NQT to MLT & SLT members, I aim to support every staff member to develop their potential and to promote leadership at every level.  I play my part in addressing underrepresentation of groups at senior levels and always strive to ensure that the school represents our diverse student population now, and into the future.  Does your organisation approach this opportunity with the same gusto?  If not, why not? What are the barriers?  Is it ‘just one of those things’ or could it be the unconscious bias of those in charge?

I suppose the very fact that I am who I am, coming from my own background; I will carry my own unconscious bias.  This alone makes the case for a diverse and inclusive leadership team.  We all come from our own perspective, fully loaded with our unconscious bias.  If I surrounded myself with ‘mini-me’ leaders, then our collective unconscious bias could manifest itself with unchecked bias. Although, as a Headteacher I need good support from my team – without equal challenge we would be in danger of becoming dysfunctional!

Twitter has really helped broaden my perspective and connects me with a diverse range of education professionals. I collaborate with and learn from the best national and international experts on inclusion & diversity.  I engage with programmes and professionals that support the ambition for inclusion & diversity.  I develop leaders and practitioners so they’re empowered to share learning about inclusion & diversity. I set extremely high standards around inclusion when recruiting staff and practitioners, and expect the same from any partner organisations that I collaborate with. I bring challenge to the wider system with regards to leadership for inclusion & diversity and engage with those at the forefront of developing new ways to inspire and bring about sustainable change on inclusion & diversity.

I believe that developing a diverse workforce within our schools is massively important. An increasing proportion of people that work in education are from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background: despite this BAME colleagues are underrepresented, in particular at the highest levels of school leadership. I regularly hear of discrimination and even that many experience shocking levels of bullying and harassment. 

I believe that an explicit emphasis on inclusion & diversity, through leadership, will strengthen the experiences of colleagues and ultimately students, and therefore will help to transform the culture of our schools.

We all need to bring fresh thinking and approaches to inclusion & diversity to have any hope of impacting on leadership practice and behaviours. We should promote the importance of recognising and nurturing difference through a number of ways: including working in partnership to identify & celebrate the work of under-represented groups of BAME. 

The challenge is clear for all MATs, Governing Bodies and Headteachers: to embrace the opportunity by recognising and addressing unconscious bias to ensure that we harness the greatest possible talent and make a real difference for our learners.

#teacher5aday #stressawarenessmonth 

In the most stress free way possible I will post the resources and ideas shared as part of stress awareness month here. Feel free to get in touch if you would like to contribute.

The original blog for this year is here if you would like a copy of the calendar below and a few ideas to try out http://wp.me/p4VbxY-pT

Day 1 – Join 13 million others and watch @kellymcgonigal in her TED talk “how to make stress your friend”.

Post your views using #teacher5aday #stressawarenessmonth after you’ve watched it.

Day 2 – listen to Mark Healey’s view of how teachers could deal with stress.

Day 3 – thanks to Hannah Gregory for today’s poster. Print it out, stick it up and start talking about it.

Day 4 – 10 great tips to try from James Hilton

J Hilton Top 10 Poster_A3

Day 5 – Try a cup of tea shred – from @paulgarvey4

Cup of tea shred

Day 6– take a drive with @JamesLiney

Day 7 – Changing perspective – after your drive with James ….. https://www.headspace.com/

Day 8 – remember the rhythms of the year

Day 9 – 50 is plenty – time to start keeping count https://chriseyreteaching.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/50-is-plenty/

Day 10 – get involved with a week of well-being chat with the Chartered College.


Day 11 – another ten top tps to try this time from @keli3_j

Day 12 – circle the words which best explain your mood and add a reason to explain why. (from Lorette Ashwell)

Day 13 Share Diane Kenny’s 5 tips far and wide

Day 14 – go WALKIES with Sue Roffey


Day 15 – half way point – Try these activities for any month you like – from Mrs Roberts

Day 16 – Clare Maas asks you to consider burnout.


Day 17 – ideas from Marlborough Primary

Day 18 sign up or make your own version of #teacher5adaybuddybox from @mrshumanities

Day 19 – Try out Rachel Atherton’s ideas about how to develop your 5aday.

Day 20 – A little guide to mindfulness


Day 21 – some student5aday from Hannah Gregory.

Day 22 – ideas to improve your marking from Zoe Paramour’s contribution to #teacher5aday #slowchat4

#Teacher5aday Day 2 – Managing Workload & Marking

Day 23 – advice for this term from Flora Barton wb!

Day 24 – free posters for students from Action for Happiness


Day 25 – try out his happiness at work survey


Day 26 – try out some of the ideas from session 329 of UKEDchat – reducing stress for all


Day 27 – Switch on to switching off PPT from Lorette Ashwell


Day 28 – Time for some valuable feedback that support teacher well- being from Rebecca Foster


Day 29 Time for some sensory well-being from Lynn McCann

Sensory Wellbeing poster

Day 30 – Relax don’t quit from Julie Hunter


Are you a well-being superhero? Your country needs you in April.

After an amazing week inspired by #NCW2017 I wonder if we could do something similar for well-being both for students and teachers in April.

The April 2016 #teacher5day theme for the month was #stressawarenessmonth http://wp.me/p4VbxY-eN based on the American version you can find here http://stressawarenessmonth.com/welcome-to-stress-awareness-month-april-1-30-2017/ with resources to try out here https://www.helpguide.org/. As we approach the exam season is there anything we can do that will improve our well-being as teachers which will have a knock on effect on improving the well-being of our students?

Could #teacher5day and #student5aday be the answer? It’s time to raise some awareness.

In its simplest form you could just remember to put a few minutes of time aside each day in April and share your adventures on the #teacher5aday hashtag. You might however be inspired to make April a month of well-being in your school for both students and staff. What about a top 10 ten list of things staff and students can do to reduce their stress in April? How about a campaign to get students to turn off their phone at 7.00pm which could include their parents doing the same (and dare I even say their teachers)? #turnitoffat7

Either way I think it is about time we made a lot of noise about well-being and with retention of teachers more important than ever what are we waiting for.

If you would like to get involved, please get in touch. I am looking for as many #wellbeingsuperheroes to make as much noise as possible in April to share their ideas big and small.

All ideas are welcomed and what I would really like to achieve is the same buzz around the #teacher5aday themed months on twitter like #fitfeb, #memorymarch and #21daysJuly making a similar impact in more staffrooms around the country for the majority of teachers who are not on twitter.

Resources to stick on your staffroom wall can be found here http://teachingtricks.weebly.com/blog-teaching/april-is-stress-awareness-month

Are you up for the challenge??

Hope so.

Healthy regards,


CPD/ Support network or just sharing good news stories #slowchat #teacher5aday @CeriStokes

I love sharing good news stories on Twitter, celebrating how great we are, learning from enthusiastic and inspiring teachers, whilst still being realistic and looking out for our wellbeing. It’s probably my best source of CPD.  Short sharp bursts of ideas but I can access, when I want and regularly (not just at the start of term). This is what attracted me to joining the Chartered College. And looking on Twitter it seems I am not the only one. I am in awe at the number of great Twitter Teachers using their own time to make things better, to hear about the nitty gritty from colleagues and the Charter College seemed to promise more of this.


So I like many others, spent some time researching their web site, watching the inspiring Youtube clips to find out what exactly what was being offered for the £39 joining fee. Well to start with the Web site states:

  • Access to over 2,000 full text journals, ebooks, research and materials covering a broad range of education issues and subject-specific topics
  • Entry to one of our inaugural conferences in February 2017 to hear from teachers and leaders in the education sector (subject to availability)
  • An opportunity to become involved in our emerging regional communities, locally-led groups

This all sounds positive, but what really does it mean? The journals look interesting, but I was slightly overwhelmed with the amount of information. The conference was really well received, promoting lots of debate. The local led groups sound encouraging and I am looking forward to joining in with this. But the Youtube Clips gave me the most food for thought. From a CPD point of view, Clare’s clip really got me thinking https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2CpUDmkgyM. Wouldn’t it be great if we could choose CPD that we decided we wanted and were ready for, not just the line manager?  Would this mean that our CPD would be more valuable and relatable. How can an organisation like Charter College help with this?

Perhaps I am looking at this all wrong. Could we take control of our own support network and CPD through writing our own journals or attending the conferences. It is starting to sound like one of the regular community challenges for #teacher5aday, a chance to contribute and make a change. (PS I am loving the March challenge #memorymarch). Suddenly the phrase “Ask not what Charted College can do for you but what you can do for Chartered College” is running through my head.

Some Questions to consider:

“To gather together is to be more powerful, to be more effective, to have a voice.” Wise words but what does it actually mean?

Useful? Does research have to be useful? Isn’t there a place for research into education ethos and how will Charter College facilitate this?

Will those teachers feeling ‘overworked’ feel more valued and have a voice in future, if they have the support network like #teacher5aday

The Role of Chartered College will be to support “change in discourse from blame to opportunity.” How can we make the most of this opportunity?

The Chartered College will support teachers’ development to gain the skills, knowledge and expertise they need, how can they do this?




How would you like the Chartered College to develop the workload debate?@pickleholic

You don’t have to talk to a teacher for very long before the subject of workload arises. Publicly, as a profession we are in danger of pedaling the image that complaining about our lot is what we do best. However there are whole networks of us making great strides in spreading the love of what we do; none less than the teacher5aday movement that so many of us engage with on Twitter. The teacher5aday movement challenges teachers’ predisposition to place the wellbeing of others over their own. It asks us as professionals, to model best practice in taking care of ourselves, and to actively inspire others to do the same.


In stark contrast, the Department for Education’s newly published Teachers’ Working Time Survey shows that 93 per cent of teachers identify workload as a serious problem, with teachers working on average 54.4 hours a week. The survey also states that Primary teachers new to the profession are working nearly 19 hours per week outside school hours, causing many to leave the profession within just a few years of qualifying.

One response is over 21,000 signatures on a government petition to reflect the hours worked by teachers in their pay. An alternative approach is to adopt the #fiftyisplenty rule advocated by @chris_eyre. The 50 is plenty rule is the principle that we limit our working hours, wherever possible, to less than 50 per week; maintaining a sustainable work load that neither compromises our productivity or our health and wellbeing but promotes longevity as a professional whilst also improving the wellbeing of those around us.

When Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, addressed the Chartered College of Teaching with her vision for the profession, she said, “Teachers are the experts who inspire the professionals of the future.” The question is how will we inspire other professionals to develop the workload debate?

What are the most valuable aspects of  #teacher5aday?

How can we empower teachers and school leaders to challenge unproductive tasks that perpetuate an unsustainable workload?

How can we overcome the impact of underfunding upon workload/feed unsustainable hours?

What role do we want the Chartered College have in helping us to develop the workload debate?