20 Teacher Tips I Wish I Knew Earlier
When I read 'teacher tips' content it's always the same wishy-washy mambo-Jambo: Don't smile til Christmas; don't go to the staffroom and stuff like that. I'm not going to lie, some of my content from my earlier days has been like that BUT... I want to create this list of actual tips to support one person out there. Hopefully, that's you.
This list starts with the practical, progressing into deeper quotes as we go through.
1.) Hand sanitiser removed all stubborn whiteboard pens. It can also get rid of some permethrin marker
2.) You can use google lens to translate the language to support EAL learners or even just when you’re travelling. It will live translate everything as long as you have data/ wifi.
3.) PDF Candy can do a huge amount: merging, editing collating documents and more
4.) A home phone call is easier and quicker than multiple emails in many behavioural incidents.
5.) Ring home for the positives, not just the negatives. I’ve only managed to make 3 phone calls for positive reasons this half term, a far cry from what I wanted to do but it’s still 3 positive conversations which wouldn’t have been made otherwise, benefitting the students for the better.
6.) Stickers are a reward for every student. If they’re a bit older, smelly stickers change the game!
7.) CTRL + Shift + T opens up old tabs so you can see if children were on the wrong site and quickly closed it.
8.) Get outside whenever it’s possible, we sometimes move our table maths which occur on a Friday outside to do it with chalk on the floor: the benefit of teaching in the Middle East
9.) Get a big bottle of water with those lines on that have the times. If you’re like me, you’re probably so busy that you forget to drink water. This will compound into feeling even more tired: Being somewhat tired is unfortunately still unavoidable as a teachers
10.) Hey siri, set reminder to… has become my number one used feature for productivity on my phone.
11.) You can insert photos from your phone when using notes tap insert- image- from phone. I then drag this into wherever I need it.
13.) Don’t drink coffee after 2 pm. Coffee has a long half-life (remember that word from nuclear physics?) meaning it doesn’t just go. The effect fades (halves) every few hours. Coffee drank at 2 will affect your sleep.
14.) On sleep, leave your phone on charge outside of your room at night. This has one of the biggest, best impacts on my sleep routine as I don’t touch it at night and it isn’t the first thing I wake up.
15.) One of the best ways to say no is to tell people that you have a rule which means you’ll have to say no: I have a rule that I only do 1 podcast a quarter due to personal commitments so I’m afraid I can’t; it makes the person hate the rule, not you.
16..) If you don’t set your priorities, someone else will do it for you
17.) Getting paid more as a teacher will always mean teaching less (the thing you went into the profession for) and becoming a leader of adults: something most teachers didn’t become a teacher to do.
18.) People will always laugh at the stuff that they either a.) Don’t understand or B.) are jealous of. Do you and forget what other people think. I’ve had to do this on so many occasions when teaching and doing what I do online. BONUS: Remember… Hurt people, hurt people
19.) The paradox of choice means that too much choice is a bad thing. Most with too much choice will become paralysed, even making them more miserable in many cases. This contradicts the mentality of teachers when hoarding.
20.) My favourite quote: ‘Even a broken clock is right twice a day’ is a quote I love my life by in the darker days of teaching; we all have them, unfortunately. It’s a permanent reminder that even on those days, there will be highlights to look for or progress made. It helps me search for them with a bit of gratitude where possible.
I hope you enjoyed this list. Feel free to add a comment below with any you feel I missed out.
Check out more wellbeing content below:
If you're interested in becoming a teacher in Dubai, I highly recommend checking out the guides that I have created to support the process. Guide 1 will support you with understanding the process and getting a job out here in Dubai.
Alternatively, if you have a job lined up already, Guide 2 will support you with the move.