Session 271: Well-being Advice for New Teachers

Thursday 24th September 2015 - Hosted by @BexN91

#?UKEdChat? this week (Thursday 24th September 2015 @ 8pm (BST)) was hosted by @BexN91 – well-being and advice, especially aimed at supporting Newly Qualified or Recently Qualified Teachers. The session asked:

  1. How many NQTs are at your school and how can they be best supported?
  2. What are the biggest worries for us all now we are a few weeks into a new school year?
  3. What do you think are the best ways for seeking support as a teacher?
  4. How can we all be encouraged to see the positives in each day as a teacher?
  5. How can school leaders best support staff, and what initiatives work best at your school?
  6. If you were starting your career over again, what would you do differently to keep a check on your well-being?

The session shared the ?#?happynqt100? encouraging NQTs to be aware of the teacher-led initiative.


This week #UKEdchat was all about staff wellbeing, with a focus on newly and recently qualified teachers. Participants shared how many NQTs were at their school and the support that was on offer for them. It was agreed that the best ways for NQTs to get support are asking questions, going to specialised CPD, networking on twitter and of course after school sessions on a Friday with a drink in hand! Maintaining a work-life balance and facing new pressures came up as the biggest worries facing us all as well as pressure to improve results or keep up the momentum from the previous year.

Advice given for seeking support was to observe other colleagues, join coaching programmes and above all just keep asking questions! Twitter chats were also mentioned as a great way of finding support at all levels. With #happyNQT100 being my (@bexn91) project at the moment I was keen to share it as a way of seeing the positives in every day as well as #happyRQT100 and #happyITT100. #teacher5aday was mentioned as a great initiative. Others mentioned finding things that went well in each lesson and celebrating the things you have done as opposed to the things you’ve not managed. There were loads of great responses to this so I’ve listed them in the key tweets.

When discussing what wellbeing initiatives were in existence there were some schools that are clearly switched on to the issue. It was really encouraging to hear about staff yoga sessions and wellbeing CPD, seems there are some schools really leading the way on this one. Finally, everyone offered their reflections on things they would do differently for their wellbeing if they were to start their career again. There were many mentions of work/life balance, forcing yourself to have free time and finding something to obsess about that isn’t school! It was great to see so many people recognising teacher wellbeing as something important and hopefully we’ll see people pushing it further up the agenda in the future.

Eye Catching Tweets from the Session:

michael uprichard @melesmeles
@ukedchat @BexN91 ask. mistake I made in NQT year was thinking I had to be able to do everything instantly. ASK, ASK, ASK! #ukedchat

John Mitchell @Jivespin
A3 – use Twitter and don’t be afraid to join in a chat. #ukedchat is a great place to start!

joanna grace @jo3grace
#ukedchat make a connection with someone in your role at a different school so you can seek advice without fear

H Indran @TechLearnUK
@BexN91 Appreciate the small victories we get – sometimes the small victories can outweigh what appear to be big failures #ukedchat

John Mitchell @Jivespin
A4 – focus on the teaching and enjoy that part of the job. Everything else – paperwork, targets – doesn’t matter #ukedchat

Leah Sharp @leah_moo
A4: Know that we have the best job in the world. If you don’t believe that, the little things will bring you down every day #ukedchat

Elani McDonald @elanimcd
Know you make a difference – you inspire & motivate even when feel all is lost. Teachers change the world for someone every day #ukedchat

Miss D @MissDlln
#ukedchat I write notes about funny/positive moments & put them in a jar. Will help for those “I’m a bad teacher” negative days

H Indran @TechLearnUK
Don’t lose focus on why you became a teacher to begin with – try to manage this alongside the ‘exam factory’ ethos… #ukedchat

Huw Tindall-Jones @huwt_j
#ukedchat A5- Very tough- too little involvement and they are neglecting you, too much and they are micromanaging. Have to work alongside!

Mistercollard @mistercollard
@BexN91 #ukedchat we had our first wellbeing inset last year, staff shared skills: yoga,massage,cycling,singing..

Mistercollard @mistercollard
@BexN91 #ukedchat head has now pledged an annual wellbeing day for all, cleaners, kitchen staff the lot

joanna grace @jo3grace
#ukedchat q5 make it easy for staff to attend to their well being, e.g. by hosting a yoga class in the school hall 30mins after students go

Tweet of the Week:

Mistercollard @mistercollard
#ukedchat A4 in most cases there are at least 30 ways to see positives in your day

About the Host:

@BexN91 is a Secondary MFL teacher in Essex in her second year of teaching. She tweets, blogs, teaches of course (!) and now gets to write essays for an MA in Education too.

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1 Comment

  1. Aim to strive for balance – be aware of your time management so that health and fitness and leisure activities do not become too marginalised! Choose an activity that helps you relax .. Whatever that is… And get into a routine to give yourself time to indulge!

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