Tag Archives: online

World Mental Health Day – Tuesday 10th October 2017

How was it for you? Many friends were in school, some probably wore yellow to show an awareness. Others’ institutions wouldn’t let it disrupt their day I am sure. Last year I wore an awkward mix of many yellows, I had talked about my mental health struggles as part of my introduction to the school in assembly-it has helped when meeting now ex pupils and parents in the months since my final breakdown as a teacher and my resignation from my vocation.

So I know about mental health issues, I left the job that triggered many incidents for me so I must be fine now mustn’t I?

Of course not – I have struggled with these issues since a teenager back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, possibly earlier. it’s part of me. Triggers are many and varied. So Monday 9th circumstances saw me hit a rock bottom day. I knew there were positives ahead, I could mention and acknowledge them -this is new and very encouraging. But essentially there were also thoughts where I considered the whole suicidal concept -it’s not a choice I have ever attempted for real and I don’t want to but it’s an ever present escape that pops up and says hi in times of stress. So I am participating in #Inktober2017 on Facebook and Instagram, it is a daily drawing in ink project for October using a daily prompt, yesterday was #screech, today was #gigantic. I used these in my drawings to be open about my state of mind. I have blogged about it for several years now and don’t really care what response I get, it’s a topic I will continue to stick my head over the parapet to talk about  so that someone might not have to go through the same thing as me.

October 9


Today I have woken in a more positive frame of mind and taken part in the day and exercised at the rowing club this evening both on the rowing machines then out on the water and was able to show this as;

October 10


I have many supportive friends and family members who reach out. Tomorrow on the 11th I will attend one of the two Depression Support Groups I attend -we are sufferers who listen with empathy and support where we can. Sometimes when I am low I resist attending even though it’s the best time for me to go. The key thing s I can always be there to aupport others.

So my WMHD has been an exercise in recovery and reaching out to many others online. I hope your day has been a shared experience today.

Teachmeet presentation by proxy

TMStratford video presentation

Offered a chance to attend a Teachmeet but it’s too far away…is there a solution. These days a variety of options come to mind. You can: follow the #hashtag during the event to comment on or follow the stream of messages. Some events are live streamed so you can watch the presentations as they happen subject to technology and weblinks. Others may video the presentations so you can watch them later.

Asked to or want to present? Make a presentation and send it, or a weblink to it, to the organisers if this is acceptable to them. Video presentations can be made in many forms using a variety of software or apps. I have used iMovies to capture images / screenshots and added a VoiceOver. For TMStratford (upon – Avon) this week I used Haiku Deck for my Slideshow for the first time. I then added a VoiceOver using Knovio iApp which is free, however once the 5 presentations used up there is an in- App purchase to make more presentations – but I admit I like the product.

If the link works correctly let me know what you think… This links to my two Twitter network interests:
– apps and web applications for @gasigict
– solotaxonomy advocacy and sharing ideas @globalsolo

Life and its ups and downs

Well, my second week off work has seen my mood fluctuate. I have posted about mental health matters in previous posts and this continues to be an important part of my own week and for the family as well.

Events at home as previously posted have varied greatly recently. My son is now in a secure specialist adolescent unit (rarer than hens teeth) so the main pressure at home has been reduced. This was the trigger that pushed my own mental health out of alignment. I have used the week to follow educational debates online through Teachmeet Seachange from Sydney, Australia in the morning and Teachmeet George from Newcastle, UK the same evening. The other night (days pass me by at the moment) I followed the start of Teachmeet Pompey and later got involved in the ukedchat discussion on Twitter about the possible impacts of removing levels as a tool in schools. I found myself on several occasions this week spreading the message about Solo,a topic I have not blogged about for a while now.

My own self confidence has wavered and I needed reminding that the trigger for me this time was dealing with someone else’s MH issues. I am regaining my confidence and will return to work next week, I hope for a busy but emotionally calmer end to the term, that may come true it may not but I want to back in control.

How do others cope with these wobbles? I have signed up to extra MH twitter feeds and sites to gain more ideas in the future.

Hooray for half term

Yep, half term has started and a lie in? Well not exactly. First thing and I’m exploring my new TES subscription looking at TES Pro digitally. Ok that’s for me that’s allowed, but oh no an email to SLT members about the advantages a school subscription with digital access would bring. And rest …..

Confidence online

In recent weeks it has become increasingly clear how at home I feel confident using twitter, blogging etc to network with others. Whether I’ve just chatted online or met face to face one or more times, I have always found online communication easier,especially as it allows communication over long distances very easily. This has become important to me in discussing educational ideas like SOLO or sharing thoughts in twitter chats – #ukedchat, #dlchat and #SLTchat. I feel at ease talking to most people and feel that it is okay to express one’s opinions although you do need to think how you phrase points.

This confidence has helped in being involved with #TMEssex as I have found myself actively seeking presenters and lurkers to attend. The friends and contacts I have made means I can easily turn to a large range of people for ideas and to ask for feedback.

Is this something that all of us online feel as it seems to be the risk of talking to “faceless” people that worries or scares some colleagues away from online networking.

What do you think?

Half term “holiday”

Ok I’m a teacher so I get lots of holidays – its always the first topic when people discover what I do. So of course this week I have my feet up, I’m resting, no work and so are all the teachers I know! Nope!!

What a week to rest a bit, but also tweet, blog, catch up, chat, make new links with educators across the world as well as tasks for school. Lots of colleagues are writing reports.

Half term is a break of sorts but I enjoy the freedom to explore some new ideas – today: Triple Impact Marking, blogging, tweeting, use of iPads, app choices…oh and I’ve read more of my reading of management text… and had some family time, exercise time – when does the rest come?

How do we reach the non-online teaching community?

This blog will be read by people who have an active online life. We tweet, we blog,we share and discuss ideas,we share resources – ideal. However, many of us will work with colleagues who do not understand / comprehend our desire to go online.

At #TMPlay the dilemma of reaching out to offline colleagues was raised. Time and cost can often exited as factors,so how do we share our enthusiasm? I’m known as a geek at school and for many that makes my online interest off limits and they are wary.

Teaching is about lifelong learning and geek or whatever label others will place at our door we have a duty to try and lower the barriers to show others why we are so enthusiastic.

Comments encouraged,welcomed, sought……. What do you think?

A blue sky moment …..

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