Dealing with being overwhelmed

As teachers, mums, parents, superwomen, we all get overwhelmed from time to time.

I had the pleasure of meeting Beate at a conference in the States last week and her story was phenomenal – a single mum in a foreign country, she managed to grow her business against the odds and sell it for millions to Bill Gates.

I can’t do it justice in this short blurb, but suffice to say she’s ranked one of the “50 must follow women entrepreneurs in 2017” by Huffington Post.

I highly recommend checking out her free ebook if you want to find a way to carve some time for yourself and beat that feeling of being overwhelmed and exhausted all the time.

Check our Beate’s Youtube channel, ‘The Woman’s Code’  here.

Online Tutoring: Who’s At It & Why?

Having spoken to many teachers of late, I’ve noticed a growing trend in the number of teachers who are turning to online tutoring as a way to supplement their income.

Digging deeper, there are some interesting developments as pinpointed by the white paper released on the subject by The Tutor Pages.

What is particularly interesting is that teachers in London and the south of England are far more likely to turn to online tutoring than those in the north. Could this be because of the increased cost of living or are there other factors at play?

We know for example that technological innovation tends to be more prevalent in London then up north as evidenced by the edtech start-up world particularly around Old Street (dubbed Silicon Roundabout).

The majority of online tutoring appears to be around the sciences and languages, and most demand tends to be at adult level or secondary level.

What’s causing this trend? Is it something to be worried about? Is the fact that more and more teachers are feeling the need to supplement their income a worry for the future of the education industry?

Could this also have knock-on implications for students?

It’s not a great push to imagine a scenario whereby a conflict of interest may arise. Imagine for example if the quality of classroom teaching actually decreases so as to increase the likelihood of private business. After all, who’s a parent more likely to turn to if their child needs help; the teacher the child knows from school (conveniently available on Skype), or someone they have no experience with?

This is definitely something we need to keep a close eye on, as the industry continues to grow.

What’s interesting about online learning is that there is no barrier to entry. Just about anyone can start a business from the comfort of their own homes, as clearly demonstrated in this post by Businessmem.

When asked if teachers actually preferred tutoring online 44% answered that they did. When subsequently asked whether they were considering tutoring more in the subsequent years and additional 33% answered that they were.

This statistic on its own makes it crystal clear why we need to take online learning seriously as teachers. More and more of our colleagues are turning to it because there is a demand. At present it still appears as though the majority of that demand is focused regionally as well as on specific subjects but over upcoming years it’s safe to say that this will catch up in other areas as well.

So how much can a teacher expect to earn through online tutoring?

Well according to the same study 44% of teachers who taught both in person and online derived less than a 10th of the total income from online teaching.

Of the remaining, 42% said that it made up between 10 to 60% of their income, Under 5% said that it’s made up more than 60% of their income.
As an outsider looking in, having never taught online myself, I see these stats as quite concerning.

Reading between the lines, it implies to me that teachers are turning online as a way to make ends meet i.e. they don’t feel they are earning enough at school.

This shows that online teaching isn’t necessarily being pursued as a career it’s being done purely for financial reasons.

And that for us poses a huge question.

Remember, the very purpose of our site is to help teachers to manage their workloads and destress. If your work load is actually set to increase due to a need to earn additional money, particularly if it’s out of necessity, then this is something we need to tackle or at least help tutors to manage.

So the question then becomes, is online tutoring something you are doing or considering doing in the future?

Would you like us to run some workshops on this matter?

Let us know if you’re interested and we can put together a workshop specifically for you.

Why We Need To Start Valuing Teaching Assistants

Chances are, if you’re on this site it’s because you feel overworked in your day to day role as a teacher.

But have you ever stopped to spare a thought for teaching assitants, without whom our jobs would be twice as hard?

Having spoken to countless teaching assistants around the country, espeically those who take the time to attend conferences, I’m left with a real sense of fear about just how disillusioned so many seem to feel with their role in the wider education system.

A lot of great assistants are in the position where they feel like they’re undervalued, underpaid and lacking the career progression that’s available to just about every single teacher.

And can you blame them?

I mean, isn’t it a valid concern?

When was the last time you heard of a teaching assistant being promoted in your school? It’s pretty rare, isn’t it?

So as teachers, what should we be doing to show our support for teaching assistants?

How can we make their lives easier, and show them we value and appreciate their roles in our schools?

Well, firstly, it’s important we remember why they’re in the job in the first place.

They’re not here to be millionaires. They’re not here to build a vast empire. They’re here because they genuinely care.

I mean, let’s take one of their responsibilites as an example.

You know as well as me that when there’s a challenging child in our class, the person ultimately called to deal with the problem (once we go through the formailty of getting headmasters etc involved) is ultimately teaching assistants, right?

So, faced with a task most people would be terrified to take on, what ends up happening?

Well, rather than complain as most teachers I know would, they deal with the situation and almost always yielded a genuine improvement in the childs academic performance and all round behaviour.

So knowing this – knowing that they thrive in positions where they can lend a helping hand…that they do the job to make a real impact in society, I say we should be showing more appreciation for their input.

We should be honouring our assistants.

We whould be giving them awards.

Why is there an annual teachers award but not an equivalent for teaching assitants?

At least, not at my school. Is there one at yours?

Last year one of the longest serving teaching assitants at my school resigned because she felt unappreciated.

It’s a very serious concern!

If every teacher reading this post today were to go to their heads and request an annual awards ceremony for teaching assistants, wouldn’t that go a long way to showing how much we care?

It might not be more money, it might not be a bigger house or a fancy car, but just the very act of acknowledgment is enough to show our trusted accomplaces that we have their backs.

As teachers, we support teaching assistants, not just vice versa!

How Do You Get Into Teaching?

There’s many routes into teaching – you don’t have to have studied education at Universitiy, and teaching doesn’t even have to be your first career.

The video below discusses a number of different ways you can enter the profession.

If you need any guidance, we’d love to help. Give us a call to talk through your options, both in terms of training and for landing your perfect teaching job