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A Teachers Guide to Pinterest

Most of us have had a Pinterest account at some point but very few know how valuable it can be.

Pinterest staffroom Education

I can already hear you say, “Why would I spend time using Pinterest when I already have a full-time job as a Teacher” Well, simply put Pinterest is a brilliant tool to help with ideas for your teaching and a platform for you to put your creations and ideas on to help fellow teachers and new teachers just starting out.

To cover all bases for those that have never used Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual platform kind of like Instagram; the pictures are what grabs the user’s attention.

Some basic Pinterest Terms and what they mean.

Pins or Pinning: When you find an image, idea, tips or even recipes you like, hit the pin button to store it to your profile.
Boards: This is where your pinned items go. You can create as many boards as you like to keep organised. Take our Staffroom Pinterest as an example. We have boards for using Technology in the Classroom, Classroom Party ideas and Tips and tricks for new Teachers.
Repin or Repining: If someone likes the images you have been uploading they can repin it to their own board. The more repins the more people your work is reaching.
Pinners: A Pinner is someone who is an active pinner on Pinterest. Add or follow active pinners in the Education section for helpful ideas and tips.

Do you often find yourself looking for ideas for your classroom decoration, ways to help manage your class, or how to manage your own workload? This is where you can help organise and utilize all these ideas into one place.

To get you started here are a few Education Pinterest accounts you can follow to start you off.

Teach123: has a following of over 100,000 and although based in California there are loads of ideas for classroom décor, activities and inspiration.
Edteach & Digital Learning: has over 14,000 followers and focuses on educational technology resources to enhance your lessons and to engage your students.
Teaching Ideas and Apps: with 13,000 followers this account pins ideas for teaching and different Apps you can use in your classroom.
Mr. S Teacher & Lifelong Learner: This is a perfect example of how valuable Pinterest can be as a Teacher. Mr. S has 11,000 followers and a range of boards from reading comprehension to First Day of Activities Ideas.
We Are Teachers: We Are Teachers collect the best crafts, activities, lessons and classroom ideas for Teachers across all ages. They also have a massive following of 155,000.

Pinterest is very easy, and you can simply use it like a google search. Luckily Pinterest has a search bar right at the top to make things nice and easy. For those that just want to look for ideas, you can now go off and start pinning to your hearts content. But for those of you who would like to create your own little following like Mr. S keep reading!

Now for the nitty gritty.

The word SEO gets thrown about a lot and for you and me it simply means Search Engine Optimization. This is what will get people to find your page easily when they type in Education or Teacher. When someone is searching for something they will type in certain Keywords such as Teacher Tips or Classroom Management. Which is why keywords are key to you using SEO to your advantage.

Profile Description

Your profile description is a great place to start putting in those keywords so that fellow Teachers can easily find you.

Here is our Profile Description:

Proud ambassador of the Education sector in Wales. Providing temporary teaching jobs across the country!

It’s short and to the point. It says exactly who we are and what we do. I’ve also highlighted the keywords our key audience would be searching for. Your profile description is a chance for you to show who you are and what your Pinterest account is about.

Boards

Now that your profile is all set up its time to start pinning. If you want to create an account as a Teacher for Teachers think about the kind of boards, you want to create. It would be strange to see an account about tips and tricks for Teachers and find boards about weddings and exercise. So, think about what boards you want to save for yourself such as classroom party ideas and what boards you want to create for others such as examples of your classroom decorations or little experiments you do in your class.

Here is ours as an example:

 Pinterest Boards

We have a few boards that we pin our creations to such as Staffroom Quotes, Teaching Infographics and Staffroom Job Opportunities. These boards only contain content that we have created. Where as our other boards such as Teaching Ideas, Thoughts of the Day and Teaching Experiments only contain images that we have repinned from other users.

Also, as you can see to make things neat and tidy we’ve also made board covers so that everything is uniformed and looks nice. For those of you savvy enough to create your own images our cover image size is 800px X 800px on Canva. Which we found is the perfect size for the Pinterest board covers.

Board Descriptions

Back to the importance of keywords it isn’t enough simply to name your board. Your board descriptions are extremely important. Use the board description as a way to get those keywords in and explain what your board is about. Naming your board Teaching ideas may be self-explanatory but use your description to say whether it’s ideas you’ve collected from elsewhere, if their your own ideas, and whether these teaching ideas may be aimed at Nursery, Primary or Comprehensive age. You are not only getting in those all-important keywords but also letting people know exactly what is contained within that board.

Here’s an example of ours:

 Pinterest Board Description

You’ve probably also noticed we use Hashtags. This is an easy way to get those pesky keywords in if they don’t fit in with your description. So, hashtag like its Instagram.

Top Tip: If you happen to have a Teacher blog, when you create a pin you can add your blog website so that anyone that clicks that pin will be directed to your website. Isn’t that cool!

Group Boards

If you want to join a community, group boards are the way forward. It’s like a Facebook group where you can add your own pins to and share other peoples pins from that board to your own.

An easy way to find a group board is to find a board and look in the bottom left corner where the picture of the creator is displayed. If within that circle it shows multiple pictures, then it’s a group board.

Right now, there are a few ways to join a group board as you must be invited. Many group boards within their description state how to join, whether it’s commenting on one of the pins or sending the creator a direct message.

Here’s an example of how to find out who the creator is:

Pinterest how to find group boards

 

Now that you’re up to speed you’re ready to go forth into the addictive world that is Pinterest.

Pin with us @staffroomed and comment below with your accounts so that we can give you a follow.

 

How to Prevent a Teacher Burnout

The demands of working in a school can be very stressful. With a never-ending list of marking, preparation and parent’s evenings it can be very easy to neglect yourself and end up burning out by the time we get to this time of year.

There are four basic parts to a balanced lifestyle:

Balanced Life

Although this is simple, often as teachers some of these parts are neglected and we spend more time on one such as work than others such as rest and friends. This is what leads to a burnout, and although simple it can be quite difficult to find a perfect balance between these four components. However here are some simple things you can incorporate into your life to reduce stress and prevent a teacher burnout.

How to Prevent a Teacher Burnout

Stressed while at school

If you find yourself feeling stressed while at school, there are a few two-minute strategies you can do to de-stressify yourself.

Take a moment to listen to your breathing and centre yourself.
Move around and get your blood moving.
Get outside for fresh air and notice the scenery around you.

Connect with family and friends

It can be very easy to neglect friends and take family for granted during times of stress. Here are a few simple ways to reconnect and refill your tank.

Share projects you are excited about with friends.
Arrange coffee dates (this won’t take more than a few hours and you’ll feel so much better afterwards, you’re never too busy for a coffee date).
Ring your parents (parents always make you feel better even about the worst situations).
Spend time with animals (if you have pets, spend some time with them. Also, it has been proven that petting animals reduces stress levels).

Take some me time

This is the one that most teachers neglect. There is always work to be done and family to tend to so it is important to take time out for yourself. here are a few favourite things teachers use to unwind, these are really simple but try and carve out a little time every evening to do at least one of these things.

Take the scenic route home.
Read.
Have a hot bath.
Meditate.
Listen to music.
Draw.
Watch mindless television.

Help others

In times of stress it is easy to be consumed by your own life and the stresses it entails. A good way to calm the stress and prevent a burnout is to contribute to others. This can be something as easy as getting involved with local groups, activities or volunteering within your community. By being involved in something outside of your teacher bubble it allows you to forget those worries and enables you to contribute to something bigger than your own life.

How to identify if you are stressed and headed for a burnout with simple and easy ways to remedy it.

Are you juggling too many balls?

Often in life there will be times where there are multiple things needed to be done and simply not enough hours in the day. This can cause huge anxiety especially if there are deadlines attached.

How to fix it: Rather than panic over the long to-do list, categorise them into what must be done first and what can wait a little while. If you still have a long list that must be done by next week, try to sort out what is of the upmost importance.

What does your body need?

Listen to your body as it will always let you know what you need. More often than not you will ignore that stomach rumble to complete marking, have yet another coffee to get through your lesson planning or spend so long looking at a computer you give yourself a headache.

How to fix it: Your body gives you signals for a reason so don’t ignore it. To avoid burnout your body needs upkeep. Always have healthy snacks to hand to stop hunger pains. Plan out your lesson planning so that you aren’t working late into the night and get that well deserved night’s sleep. You won’t be any good to the students if you can barely keep your eyes open. Lastly make sure to take a 5-minute break away from the computer and step outside in the fresh air to avoid screen eyes and headaches.

What is causing your fatigue?

Do you end up leaving work every day feeling like your battery is drained? Do you feel physically exhausted, or sluggish?

How to fix it: There could be several reasons for your fatigue and often it is a case of trial and error but here are a few things to try.

 - Exercise: often you feel sluggish and tired due to a lack of activity. As teachers you work nonstop but during the evening this could mean sitting down for quite a few hours. Any activity that isn’t teacher related like a jog or bike ride can clear your mind and reinvigorate you.

 - Setting Boundaries: Your fatigue could be due to spreading yourself too thin. Set boundaries so that students and parents aren’t always messaging you and learn to say no to certain things.

 - Take time out: This one is easy to forget, don’t forget to take time out for yourself to recharge your battery. Often taking a leisurely bath can be guilt ridden but remember, its important for you and your students to take care of yourself. So, don’t feel guilty and fill that tub up with bath bombs and essential oils.

Feel like there is never enough time?

Never feel like there isn’t enough hours in the day to complete your tasks or fit in basic human needs. Most teachers feel stressed due to work load and forgo basic things to complete tasks.

How to fix it: No matter how busy or stressed you are there will always be a 5-minute window. Take those 5-minute windows for you, whether it is to grab a snack, step outside in the fresh air, concentrate on breathing or even some gentle stretching or walking.

Although they seem minor just incorporating these things into your daily routine will enable you to be a better teacher and to avoid a teacher burnout.

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Can you think of any other ways for teachers to prevent a burnout? If so, we would LOVE to hear from you so drop us a comment in the box below.

Top Tips for a Day Supply Teaching

Staffroom education (1)1. Look up where the school is

Take the stress out of trying to find the school on the day by doing a test run a few days before, especially if you are using public transport. Find the right bus routes and where to get on and off. There is nothing worse than being late on your first day at a new school.

Just in case the worse happens such as an accident causing traffic, have the schools number saved to your mobile so that you can easily let them know of the situation and your estimated time of arrival. Communication is key, schools will not mind if you are late due to extenuating circumstances if they are made aware and know.

2. Get there early

It is always best to arrive earlier than needed so that you can familiarise yourself with things such as the school’s behaviour policy before your first class, where the staff toilets are, the work the teacher you are covering has left, where the staffroom is and the tea and coffee making facilities. This will save time when you have a small break to grab that well deserved coffee

3. Bring your own back up resources

Although teachers will leave pre-set work for you to hand out, always be prepared for the worse case scenario. Have a USB handy of teaching resources so that if the worst-case scenario strikes you are well prepared and not left stranded.

4. Introduce yourself

This may sound like an obvious one but the children’s first impression of you counts, so have in mind how you are going to introduce yourself to the children, not just giving your name but also outlining your expectations for the day. It is also important to introduce yourself to the staff, from the school caretaker and office staff, to the head teacher. Making yourself known to the staff and being friendly will leave a great impression which may lead to further work in that school or even a permanent position.

5. Learn names

It will take time and effort and even if you are only in a school for a few days, making a conscious effort to learn the names of the children will ensure a good relationship between you and your pupils. It is also good practice to learn the names of the head teacher, deputy head, class teacher who you are covering and the office staff. You can find this information out on the school website and this will show professionalism and allow you to easily communicate with staff rather than trying to find out their names on the day.

6. Ask about the children

Find out whether there are any pupils that have allergies and require an asthma pump or any other medications, medical conditions or behavioural issues that require a change to the teaching of the class.

7. Know the routines

Find out the daily routine at the start of the day, and rules surrounding bathroom breaks. Find out the ruling the school has regarding bathroom breaks such as how many can go at one time and whether they require a pass or not. Once a supply teacher seems to not know the rules of the school some pupils may try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge.

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Do you have any other handy tips for supply teaching in a new school? If so we would LOVE to hear them so drop us a comment in the box below.

School Administrator – Newport

Staffroom Education are currently recruiting for an Administrator on behalf of our client, a busy Secondary School based in Newport. This is a full-time, temporary position with an immediate start.

Reporting to the school Business Manager, the role will involve the handling of invoices, dealing with petty cash and school dinner money, general administrative duties and, as with any school-based role, interaction with staff, parents and pupils.

 

The successful applicant must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Managing and processing all correspondence, drafting letters, reports, memos, referencing and presentations using MS Office.
  • The ability to build strong working relationships with staff and pupils.
  • Be aware of and comply with policies and procedures relating to child protection, health and safety, confidentiality and data protection, reporting all concerns to an appropriate person;
  • To answer and deal with parental enquiries day to day.
  • To be responsible for ensuring a high standard of quality and accuracy in all documents produced.
  • To provide high quality administrative and secretarial skills.

 

Experience within a finance position is essential however the successful candidate may not necessarily have worked within a school environment previously.

 

This role, along with all other vacancies currently on offer at Staffroom Education, has excellent benefits including:

  • The very best rates of pay, incorporating our innovative Scalable Payment Structure(SPS);
  • Flexible payment options to suit your circumstances;
  • Regular and varied work specific to your needs;
  • Hands-on support throughout assignment and beyond;
  • Referral Scheme for recommendations;
  • Consultation and assistance with CPD;
  • Advice on CV writing, interview techniques etc.

 

If you are interested in applying for this or any other vacancy, please contact us today on 02920 496646.

Staffroom Education is committed to the safeguarding of children and as such, require any individuals applying for positions to undergo or be in possession of a valid and enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB).

 

 

Design and Technology Technician – Newport

Staffroom Education are looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Design and Technology Technician to work within a secondary school in Newport. The school is easily accessible by public transport and has on site car parking. This position is to cover four-weeks with an immediate start.

The ideal candidate will be reporting to the Head of the DT Department and you will work alongside the Teachers within a classroom environment.

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