The wonderful @MartynReah has launched the #teacher5aday initiative recently and everyone is joining in. There are some wonderful posts on twitter on the topic. Please treat yourselves by looking at Martyn’s blog and reading them. I am late to this party but have decided to take the plunge and join in.

Martyn is doing the most marvellous job of encouraging everyone to think about teacher well being. Happy teachers equals happy children. Well done Martyn, it is a great initiative. I’ve held off for so long because I am one of those people who works stupid amounts of hours. I know many people reading this do too and we shouldn’t let SMW tell us any different. I find myself answering emails at all hours of the day and night. I have my phone set up so that emails land straight in my pocket, there is no escape! I must add this is my fault, I am not under pressure from my HT to answer at stupid o’clock, in fact she often tells me to ‘switch her off’. My boss also works ridiculously long hours. It seems fitting that a post about teacher well being should begin with that.

#Connect. Disconnect my phone after 8 30pm. That would be a good start. Connect on Facebook on a personal level. Remind myself that not everything has to be professional. Facebook is my thing for this year, although anyone who has read my nurture14/15 post will know that I am already struggling with this.

#Exercise. Absolutely not! If I get any smaller I will disappear and that might not be too good for me. I urge others to exercise though as I know it is very good for relaxation and makes you feel calmer, or so I’m told. I do like reading. I will count this as exercise of the mind as this is good for helping me to relax.

#Notice. Notice all the good things going on around me. Be sure to thank everyone for their hard work. Remember we are all in it for the children. I have just had a twitter conversation with @andrew_cowley23 and we chatted about how important teamwork is. So, take notice of this and be sure to thank the team. Also, take notice of my own health. I am not a machine, I do need rest sometimes.

#Learn. Learn to let others take control a little more. By that I mean I need to learn to delegate. I am of the opinion that if I do everything myself there is only me to blame if things go wrong. This is a huge failing in me and I am aware of it.

#Volunteer. I’ve done this before for many years. My father died from Motor Neurone Disease and the MND Association were fantastic during his illness. We couldn’t have managed such a debilitating illness without their support. I volunteered as Secretary for our local MNDA branch for some years after his death until the day job swamped me. Volunteering is a good thing to do. I’m not sure how it fits with a work/life balance but it does help with teacher well being.

I also continue to volunteer for things on Twitter. I volunteer to help NQTs and trainees get to grips with their job. Again, this blurs the boundary of work/life balance but it helps the students and I enjoy it so it must be good for teacher well being.

So, I’ve come up with a tentative plan for January. To recap I have made it in to 5 short bullet points which I may be able to stick to.

1. Go in to work early, come home early. Do not work at both ends of the day. Switch off the phone.
2. Time for me. I love reading. I don’t indulge my love of reading enough.
3. Delegate. Do this more.
4. Continue to volunteer to help anyone who needs my help, if I possibly can.
5. Take notice when I am unwell and take a day off.

Good luck in 2015 everyone. Happy New Year!

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