Soon after discovering twitter I stumbled upon the #teacher5aday initiative. This is basically an attempt to encourage educators to reflect on how they can focus on their own well-being. Workload and stress are widely reported in the TES and other media. The great thing about #teacher5aday is that it doesn’t dwell on these but attempts to bring out the positive aspects of our chosen career and develop ideas that support teachers to improve their well-being and teaching practice. The theory in a nutshell being Happy Teachers = Happy Children. Maybe this should be shown to Nicky Morgan. Might help with the current recruitment/retention issues.

Teacher 5 a day is not a lonely hashtag, it has a number of companions; #teacher5adaysew #teacher5adaywrite #teacher5adaycalendar. These are all initiatives run by teachers for the benefit of other teachers. My favourite initiatives so far has got to be a dead heat between #digiskillshare (see my blog post contribution here) and #teacher5adaysketch.

The support and positive feedback received from the community was a much appreciated boost at a time when I had taken on a new role. It encouraged me to challenge myself to try new things and look at the way I worked and how I could improve this. Martyn Reah, the mastermind of #Teacher5aday sent this tweet

which is the catalyst for this post. So how am I going to implement the 5 core values in 2016? Well…

#connect – My plan here is to take some of my twitter connections offline. I would live to meet those who have challenged, supported and inspired me over the last year. I am presenting at the BETT show in January, this is a great opportunity to overcome my social awkwardness and connect with educators in person. I will also continue the Special Education Slow Chat (#SpEdSC). I need to try and find a way to engage more tweeters into taking part. I have made some fantastic connections already as well as gained ideas to implement in class.Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 20.20.38#exercise – I say it and do it sometimes but I am lucky enough to live a 20 minute walk from work. Too often I use the excuse of workload to drive (although many times I have found myself without a car and walked). I have promised myself that I will walk at least twice a week. This walk is time to reflect and process the day before getting home and into parent mode.

#notice – My classroom has a sea view, how often do I sit and watch the fishing boats? how often do I notice the rain coming across the channel? The answer is not enough.

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#learn – I have learnt more in the last year than in the previous few years of teaching. I have made for the first time in my career a conscious effort to make my practice better. I have become the Principal behaviour support instructor for a group of 15 special schools. As part of this I have begun to connect with researchers from the local university and read widely into the theories I have been implementing in class  for years to make them more effective.

#volunteer – Between work and family I don’t really volunteer outside of my job. However there are plenty of opportunities at school to give something back. It is a residential school so whilst lessons finish at 3.30 there is plenty of time for activities. I hope I can think of something that the children may want to take part in after school. Might be a chance to explore some of that edtech for non-curriculum based activities.

I look forward to taking part in whatever the #teacher5aday team have planned for 2016. You can read other peoples Pledges at Martyn’s Blog.