Welcome to The Teacher TLC podcast!  Subscribe to prescribe

Are you feeling any of the following symptoms?

  • Over-worked?
  • Under-valued?
  • Uninspired?
  • Isolated?
  • Bored?

We’ve all been there… Our humble little podcast takes an honest examination into our school culture and practice, both at home in the UK and abroad. We aim to source the most inspiring practitioners from around the world to help give you that much needed injection of laughter, enthusiasm and energy to thrive in teaching.

According to the official statistics from the DfE’s schools and workforce census, retention rates after the first year in the profession are down to 85% meaning 15% have left. Maybe some people just didn’t enjoy it, maybe it wasn’t for them. Fair enough. But it’s the 5 year stats that are worrying. After 5 years in the profession 23% of teacher have left. Why?

There are many reasons why. Work-life balance, a lack of trust, data pressures, increased accountability, lack of budgets… the list goes on. It’s not easy for head teachers to balance their finances around staffing while investing in infrastructure and technology. But I believe school culture is the key to a more happy and productive workforce. How can we thrive in teaching? Personally, I think combining positivity with innovation and technology is the future of our schools. In 5 years time every school in the UK will have iPads. In 10 years, one to one devices. And why not? The research is solid. It helps to differentiate, engage and challenge pupils of all ages and abilities. Devices are affordable. Reductions in photocopying and mass orders for textbooks that only the children and the teacher see. Share work through mediums of video, Ebooks, annotations, Epubs, podcasts and sketch-notes.

The perfect cure for retention and survival? There isn’t one. Yet. So let’s get to work… First stop- let’s find out from those who are loving life with 9 and 10/10 for their job satisfaction…

Choose your medicine…

Each week we will prescribe you with inspiring stories from happy educators, sharing their journey into teaching, what inspires them and their personal recommendation for thriving in the profession. We will also talk tech with leading innovators from the Apple Distinguished Educators community and take a look at what technologies are reducing workload for teachers.

From his base in Malaysia, Luca Rocco will discuss teaching and learning from an international perspective and see what other teachers who have left their home countries to teach abroad think of job satisfaction. After each episode we will add more medicine to our teacher’s first aid box of TLC.

If you like the show we would love to read your review via Apple Podcasts!

Subscribe to prescribe

Available on Apple music, Spotify, RadioPublic & TuneInRadio

Episode 1 – The best medicine is laughter

Tom and Luca open the first episode open the series with an honest look at the teaching profession from the comforts of the beer garden. Enjoy!

Luca kick starts our journey back to full health with his top three vitamins for the first aid kit…

#1 Remember you are in a room full of comedians – laugh at them and with them.

#2 When you leave at the end of the day -switch off.

#3 Remember that you are human- you won’t always get things right.

Tom’s top tips…

#1.1 Get energy from others – Surround yourself with strength – avoid the mood hoovers and get closer to those who support your ideas and vision.

#1.2 Preperation is key – get your resources ready and think smart by re-using and re-editing the same resources

#1.3 Network- connect with other teachers outside your school- go and find your tribe!

Episode 1- listen here

Episode 2 – The Dr says ‘run it off,’

We talk to a man who has an impeccable immune system with 100% job satisfaction. With over 14 years experience we talk to Marc Faulder about his story and add three more vitamins into our medicine cabinet.

Marc’s vitamins include:

#4 Meet other people- find people who are the same as you. Find free course and TeachMeets

#5 If you are feeling a bit lost or isolated- go and look around other schools- if you can see the wider picture of your school it puts things into perspective.

#6 Live in the now. Happiness is not a destination, it is a journey. Don’t race ahead to get out of the classroom because everything you are doing on a day to day basis is making you that great leader.

Episode 2- Listen here

Episode 3 – Avoid the mood hoovers

This educator has a great story to tell about his route into teaching and some brilliant top tips to help you survive and thrive in your school- Jacob Woolcock.

Jacob’s top tips for the 1st aid kit:

#7 Try not to get into a routine- try and keep things exciting and fresh! You need a new reasons each day to be excited to be going into work.

#8 Accept change. We need to be evolving as professionals, especially when today’s world is changing so quickly- as educators we need to respond to that.

#9 It’s okay to make baby steps for understanding and using technology.

We catch up with Luca with his first week back in Malaysia as he prepares for a jazz festival with his new international staff. He talks ‘playtime shutdown’ with haze air pollution.

Episode 3 – listen here

Episode 4 – Open your door- let the fresh air in

We talk about being ‘brave’, consider the ‘why’ and asking for forgiveness after!

#10 Get involved- the more people you know in school the more you will enjoy work more. Get to know everyone- from the caretaker to the school office staff.

#11 Realise you don’t need to be an expert in everything. The pupils are the greatest asset in your classroom.

#12 Allow your pupils to lead their learning. Have a strategy and a plan for what they want to get out of the learning in then use ‘out of the box’ apps like Keynote, Clips and iMovie to complete their project and feedback to you in different ways.

Episode 4 listen here

Episode 5 – ‘Send yourself to sleep’

It all starts with a healthy diet. We start with Worcestershire sauce and marmite peanut butter to kick start our conversation with Matt Warne. This honest and open conversation aims to empower educators in schools across the UK.

#13 It can be quite insular when you work in a small school, you’ve got to look outside. Reach out to local teachers and get outside your school.

#14 We’ve all made some hilarious mistakes in the classroom. It’s about sharing them, laughing about them and not doing them again!

#15 Don’t loose sight for what you believe in. It’s about inspiring your pupils.

Episode 5 listen here

Episode 6 – ‘The immune booster

Get yourself out of your comfort zone. We look from the top of education and the first step on the path to a career in teaching with an ITE university lecturer. Listen to the vision and drive behind Mat Pullen’s take on education and school culture.

#16 Get to know your students. Relationships with your pupils is absolutely critical. Get to know something about them and let them get to know you.

#17 Don’t be afraid to try things. You are the role model to your kids in your class. If they see you taking calculated risks and trying new things they will try new things themselves.

#18 Show your passion and develop something new with an after school or lunchtime club. You can try your ideas out without the pressure and without the observations.

Episode 6- listen here

Episode 7 – Jelly and ice cream

The nurse will bring your desert in now… All you need to do is enjoy some comfort food. Get somewhere nice to sit down and take in some wonderful top tips to reduce your workload in the classroom and thrive in urban inner city schools with our lawyer turned teacher Arron Jelley.

#19 Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your job list is never ending. Don’t let it stress you out- look after you.

#20 Set up clear routines to ensure your children feel safe and supported. It will make it easier for your day to go smoothly.

#21 Tech tip! Try to limit the number of apps you are using. Use camera, screen record and keynote. It doesn’t seem like much but you can get loads done. You will save time teaching others how to use them too and become more confident.


Episode 8 – Finding your Mojo

The word “mojo” derives from the Fula African language and relates to magic and spells to generate luck and power. How much luck have you had so far? Maybe it’s about making your own luck…

Moco’o’ or ‘mojo’ means ‘medicine man’. In this episode we talk to the modern-day ‘medicine woman’- Hannah Boydon. With an impressive 12/10 on her job satisfaction rating, she is surely worth tapping into for a secret dose of Mojo magic. She shares her ethos behind teaching happiness to her students and energising teachers and TAs in your school with the E-twinning community. Here you will find some brilliant top tips from a senior leader who is thriving in our profession. I’m all ears…

Hannah Boydon’s 1st aid supplies include:

22) Look up from your desk and see the wider world- get involved with E- twinning.

23) Think about the whole education of the child- try to see your school as a much bigger framework.

24) Find time for yourself- whatever you do to keep yourself happy, make sure you find time for yourself, no matter how bad and busy things get.

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