8 Awesome teacher training hacks

hobby_businessSo, you wanna be a teacher – cue Bugsy Malone style inspirational montage with singing – well, there’s lots to be done before you are placed in front of that class of tiny people who need to be steered, encouraged and cajoled in the right direction.

First up, you’ve got some teacher training to get through. Think of it like a high impact interval training session that throws you in at the deep end with in depth theory lessons in a classroom environment and then practical sessions in an actual classroom with actual students all looking to you to teach them. Scared yet? Don’t be.

Here are some great ‘hacks’ (well, helpful tips) to get you through that year of teacher training and on your way to becoming someone’s new favourite teacher.

Find work experience

If you have a spare afternoon in your training regime don’t think about lying at home lounging around. You are not a fresher now. Instead, ask for work experience at a school in your area – it will give you the inside scoop on what’s going on until your training course places you in one permanently.


There are plenty of books and articles out there on teaching to sink your teeth into – like a predatory teacher on hallway duty telling students not to run. To stay on top of those important developments in education you should be reading up on things, even once you are qualified.

Read some more

Here’s a list of great books to get you started. Yes, extra homework for you! The Tough Kids Book is a great guide on how to deal with those one or two disruptive children (and they will always be there) in a classroom while Letters to a New Teacher, by Jim Burke, gives the reader some insight into exchanges between a new teacher and the author and highlights how important your mentor will be in that first year.

Erin Gruwell’s Freedom Writers Diary is another great book to get your hands on and details a real teacher’s account of turning an underprivileged class who were deemed incapable of learning into respectable students.


You need to be the expert in your specialist subject so be sure to revise the latest curriculum. You don’t want any awkward, ‘I’m not sure, let me check moments’ in front of a class of smug ten year olds.

Be relevant

Students need to understand how what they are being taught impacts on the world, always be on the look out for ways to tie current events into lesson plans, VE Day is the perfect opportunity for a history lesson on World War II or a new development in electric car technology can support a lesson on the importance of caring for the environment.


Many students go through teacher training without any idea of their ‘style’ of teaching. Are you going to be loud? Reserved? Friendly? Scary? Teaching can be compared to acting, the best teachers are the ones who can take a boring subject and make it exciting for a class through sheer enthusiasm and style. Practice your teaching style on your family and friends, borrow small children or just talk at your dog and see if it holds their interest.

Make friends

It’s funny how some people can join a course and not speak to anyone. You’re all in the same boat, make friends with your fellow trainee teachers and the year will go a lot smoother – plus you’ll have someone to turn to when you’re struggling with an assignment or had a tough experience with a class.

Watch other teachers closely

While training you will get to sit in on lots of different lessons, watch closely and see how the masters do it. You might pick up a fun trait that works well for them or make a note on how to avoid a certain situation based on their actions. In your teacher-training year simply be a sponge and take everything in.

Fictional teachers are also great inspiration

John Keating, Albus Dumbledore, Mr Feeny – there are so many inspirational fictional teachers out there whose slightly unorthodox ways might raise eyebrows but they get the job done. So while you might not be a wizard or fancy jumping on desks shouting ‘oh captain, my captain’, it’s still a good idea to watch some of these inspirational teachers in action for some tips on how to inspire your students.

Plan ahead

Once you’ve passed that scary teacher training course (okay, it’s not really that scary) but aren’t guaranteed a position in a school it’s time to look for a job! Bookmark a site such as Edustaff or start reaching out to local schools early and get a head start on the competition. You’ll thank yourself later.

Finally, be prepared for how small the children will appear to be then be prepared to marvel as they all grow taller than you. What are parents feeding kids these days? Miracle-Gro?

10 Simple Steps to Becoming a Super Successful Franchisee

business_woman2Joining a franchise can be a great way to become a business owner as, among other things, it offers a proven business model, support to get you up and running and the reassurance of knowing that although you are in control of what you do, you are not on your own. The franchise model is only the start though. While it may provide the foundations for a great business, it need what YOU bring to it before it can grow and develop into something really special.

If you are thinking about taking on a franchise then, you may be wondering if you have what it takes to make a success of running your very own business. It may not always be easy, and every franchise offers something a little different, but whatever business you are thinking of undertaking following the steps below will help you build on those foundations to make your business into the fantastic success that is absolutely possible for you to achieve!

Step 1 – Know Your Why

Running a business is a big commitment and will definitely have its ups and downs, so before you decide to go ahead you need to really know why you want to do it in the first place. It may help to ask yourself some of these questions; Continue reading “10 Simple Steps to Becoming a Super Successful Franchisee”

I Started a Business with a Baby: Sheba Promod of Absolute Indian Cookery Classes

Absolute Indian provides authentic Indian cookery classes for lovers of Indian food. Classes run in St Albans, Hertfordshire.  During a class, curry lovers will go through an introduction to ingredients and spices and then a ‘hands-on’ cookery lesson for 3-4 hours.

Before having my daughter in 2008, I had been a secondary school teacher for 5 years. I took my full allocation of maternity leave with Isabelle and then a further year leave of absence in order to spend more time with her. I returned to work in June 2010 which coincided with the beginning of Absolute Indian. Continue reading “I Started a Business with a Baby: Sheba Promod of Absolute Indian Cookery Classes”

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