As an EFL teacher in a secondary school in Geneva I sometimes feel on the edge of everything;
-the teaching PLN on twitter seems to be mainly UK based (maybe I’m missing an enormous vibrant community of motivated French-speaking teachers from my region).
-teaching in a secondary school isn’t quite the same as a lot of EFL teaching I see online, we have different obligations, maybe more teaching time (so less preparation) and a ton of marking.
– Geneva may look as though it’s in the middle of Europe on a map, but it’s not when you have a conference anywhere in Switzerland, believe me! Everyone I know at ETAS greets me with the comment “What time did you get up for the train then?”!
This means I can a) sit quietly in the corner and feel left out, or b) butt in everywhere and glean the best from the lot of them, and I’m sure that, knowing me you can guess how it works!
Back to the point Rachael!
I’ve been aware of the #teacher5aday movement on twitter for a while now, it was set up by Martyn Reah to encourage teacher well-being, you know, the thing that you leave bottom of your list of priorities while you get on with planning, marking, trouble-shooting and generally doing loads for others. He explains it here.
Martyn’s 5 a day are the title of this post, they are also my phone screensaver as you can see in the image above, to remind me to take note, or #notice if you prefer.
Another great twitter movement is #septembersalubrity, presented by the wonderful Mrs Tina Murray. Every morning break I’m on twitter to find her daily suggestion for getting the most from our teaching lives.
September is the time of resolutions, these hashtags are simple ways of keeping them going, for example here’s what I’ve been up to this month:
#connect – I’ve set up a Whatsapp conversation group with a few friends so we can keep in touch (chat together when waiting for footy training to finish!)
#notice– I’ve started walking at lunch in the park next to our school, it seems that autumn is coming!
#Learn – I always feel this is the one of the five-a-day I let slide, but then I remind myself that I am studying an M.A. so maybe I’m not doing to badly on this front.
#Exercise– I’ve started going swimming
a couple of times ok make that once a week after school, I love it and must work hard not to replace it with “urgent” tasks that can wait.
#volunteer -I’ve always thought volunteering brings us so much, not just in feel good factor, but in actual skills that make us a better teacher, person, whatever and look good on the CV too! It’s a great way to step out of your comfort zone and meet people that you might not have got to know otherwise, I get such a buzz from meeting up with the ETAS crowd (so they get two mentions in this post!!) and I’ve learnt so much by helping organise our village race with the local tourist office – you want catering for 300? Give me a call!
As Tina Murray points out, it’s the accountability that makes us stick to our resolutions, which is why I’ve just told you about mine! – Let me know about yours and we can keep each other motivated during the hard times ahead!