From Teacher to Trainer


I remember in 2008 when the redundancies in my college were just about to influence my job.  More specifically, my post was being reduced to a 0.5 unless I could evidence reasons for keeping it full time.

It wasn’t the fault of the senior team, nor was it that I wasn’t doing my job well.  Like many others in the FE sector, cuts to funding entailed streamlining the service.

But it meant that I was now in a state of frenzy – as a lone parent of two children (and a mortgage) it was impossible to consider a 0.5 role.  The feeling of insecurity was enormous, and I needed to fight like an alley-cat to maintain my position.

Luckily I was able to make a strong case, we adjusted my workload (and by that I mean I took on a monumental amount of additional responsibilities) and things seemed better.  But were they?

A few months later I was involved with a government-funded project which sponsored the college to release me one day per week to provide behavioural management training to other colleges in Surrey.

I enjoyed the interaction with others outside of my own college and felt like I was really making a difference.  Each Friday I would set off and spend the day in workshops with Teaching and Learning Coaches, teachers, LSAs, library staff.  It was incredible.

At the time, back at my own college, there were new whispers of redundancies and it meant a renewed wave of anxiety about my own place at the college.

And then the penny dropped.  This was what I wanted to do.  I wanted to work with lots of other schools and colleges.  The only way to do this was to leave and set up on my own. At least the insecurity and fretting would be of my own making, and not controlled by outside forces.  Determination and ambition took over.

I thought:if not now, when

The rest is history!

There are so many agonising stories just like mine and it chills me to the bone to know that due to constant restructures, redundancies etc others are also having these anxieties.

I wrote about this earlier “Some things are really troubling me”.

That’s why I’m running an online programme sharing EVERY STEP that I took when I created my small consultancy.

It’s called “How to set up your training business in 8 weeks”.  It’s a fully flexible programme running over 8 weeks(!) which allows you to put your plan together in bite-sized chunks.

I’m launching this to start in March.  All the details are here

If not you, who





Some things are really troubling me


Here’s a transcript of the video (if you aren’t able to watch/listen)

Some things are really troubling me, because of a couple of articles I’ve read recently.  It started with some data regarding the number of teachers leaving the profession, and recently an article in TES which said that a teacher had written in to say that as she “slumped on her computer she realised she couldn’t go on any more”.

That strikes a chord with me.  I’m a teacher and I know how difficult it is, the way I developed my teaching career was a long slow burn but I loved every minute of it.  The last several years were very full on.

What I know is that when I decided to leave and follow my path, I didn’t leave the education sector, I stayed with what I knew, the system that I love so much, and found a way to still engage with the ‘system’ to help to improve it.  I realised very quickly that it’s about training staff – to manage situations, to manage themselves – to look after the pupils and students that give them problems.

The point of my message is that so many people want to leave, and so many people who stay want to know how to do it better.

That’s why I got into training, so why don’t others try to get into training?  If you don’t want to leave the profession but dislike your job, find out how you can move on but stay within it.  Use the skills and the talent that you have, and the training and education which you’ve received, for others in the classroom.  It’s not for everybody, but if you have a specialism which is transferrable, get it heard.

In 2016 I ran a two-day programme around setting up your own training consultancy.  It was very rewarding to do but also quite time consuming both for me and for those attending.

So this year I’m setting up an online programme – which is completely versatile – for people who want to leave teaching but want to stay in the profession.

I’ll wager that many people have a course or a workshop that they’d like to put together, but are worried about how to get it ‘out there’.  If this is you, join in this training.

I can send you more details, give me a call on 01737 321179 or email me and I can give you more information (no obligation).

If you’re worried about stepping off the edge, DON’T!  You can find a way to still do what you love without leaving the profession.  I can show you how.

We’re going to be starting in early March, and I can’t wait to get going.

Get in touch. 01737 321179

PS  You can even download my A-Z of behaviour

Are you a dissatisfied teacher? You’re not alone

Almost every day I read or hear of upset, stress and unhappiness amongst teachers and support staff.  They work in EVERY part of the education sector, so it isn’t a reflection on any particular age group of learners.

It saddens me to know that these hard-working educators are stifling their creativity and (probably) not reaching the high levels of enjoyment in their career which they deserve.

Over the weekend I read an article in the TES  and which was uploaded to Facebook with many comments.  If that doesn’t resonate with you, nothing will.

Last year, after discussion with a number of people who wanted to explore what life would be like post-teaching, many explained to me that they would like to know more about replicating my own training business.  In other words, become an independent freelance trainer.

So I ran a quick challenge over 8 days – “Concept to Course” – which was designed to focus the mind to see which courses could be put together, and how to do it.  I recorded the daily session (which was followed via a Facebook group) and it’s available for you to view.

If you’re one of those teachers who’d gain some genuine motivation from this, then email me immediately for access.

It’s free to join in.  So email me:

I wrote recently on this topic, because 2016 statistics revealed that 25% of teachers leave the profession within 3 years of joining.  But this doesn’t reflect the long service of some of those who’ve been working with me lately.  In fact I’d go as far as to say that even those who’ve been teaching for around 10 years are ready to quit.

Give me a call on 01737 321179 or email me on to have access to the 8-step challenge “Concept to Course” to see if you could put together a usable course outline.  You never know where it might lead!


An ADHD agony – fidgeting in class

Luke was feeling fidgety. He knew there were 2 more hours to get through, and it was hot in class and he was already wriggling and squirming.  His leg had started jiggling and the rhythm was pleasing to his active brain, calming it a little bit.

He tried to retain some control, but he just couldn’t stop himself from twiddling with his lanyard. Flip, flip, twizzle it went.  Over and over again.  “Ahh, that’s better” he thought.

But his teacher saw this and told him to stop, which he did.

15 long minutes later the lanyard was out again. This time, it was snatched out of his hand and he was left wondering what his Plan B would be.

At this moment, Luke started to slip away mentally from this class.

Research has shown that people who display signs of ADHD can concentrate better when they’re allowed to fidget.

Did you Know


So provide an acceptable fidget opportunity – doodling, folding, physical learning activities, structured seat breaks – and you’ll be making reasonable adjustment for Luke and others like him.



You need a tough skin

Sometimes I ponder on certain circumstances which occur in class, and many times my thoughts wander off “what would I have done?”

It’s hard to think on your feet, to teach AND juggle behaviour – but it’s what we have to do, right?  After all, if you get the behaviour in check the teaching becomes easier.

So why is it that for some people it is pretty obvious how to manage low level disruption, yet for others it’s just impossible?

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I regularly observe some adult responses that send a student onto the trajectory to orbit in nano-seconds.  Nobody wants, needs or likes this.

I call this ‘parental mode’.  I believe it stems from a fixed mindset about how we expect our students to behave, and then take the view that the student has directly attacked us when things don’t go well.

And yes, we pull on our desire to explain what’s right and wrong, often sidestepping the reason for intervention, and leaving confusion in the wake.

Parents are responsible for moral guidance, and some could say that teachers have a part to play in this, too.  This cannot be denied.

But when it comes to managing your classroom, there’s no room for that at the precise moment of challenging behaviour.  Save the long winded explanations for later.  Deal positively with the behaviour right now.

Sometimes we can fall into the trap where we take it personally.  Behaviour which upsets us, or which triggers a negative emotion, often detonates a knee jerk reaction “How dare you” or some other kind of upset.  Actions of others can bring forth some of our own behaviour which isn’t conducive to teaching, and it doesn’t manage the student behaviour (which isn’t conducive to learning).

It isn’t personal.

I don’t think you need to harden yourself so much that you lose care or sense of humour, but certainly you need a tough skin if you want to master the art of classroom management.

Further reading:

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  • About Can Do

    Can Do Courses offers training that works, providing significant value for delegates. We deliver flexible and affordable Behaviour Management training for staff in education.
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