Posted in books, education, Reading for Pleasure, teaching, Tiny Voice Book Salon

#TinyVoiceBookSalon

If I am honest, I don’t quite know what this will end up being or looking like. It was actually Richard O’Neill’s idea as he said it would be great for authors and educators to discuss together the books that had impacted on them. Those books that were game-changers, that we still hold close to our heart.

For me, it was ‘Charlotte’s Web’ by E.B.White. Who couldn’t love a book that starts with:

“’Where’s Papa going with that axe? ‘ said Fern.” 

and then ends up with the main characters being a pig and a spider. It is due to ‘Charlotte’s Web’ that I love spiders so much. Yes, I know it is bizarre! Many of you know my love of butterflies but I also love spiders. In fact, a few months ago my doorbell rang and it was my next door neighbour. “Toria, I know that you love spiders.” she began “There is a huge one in my daughter’s bedroom and I wondered if you could help.” So, off I trotted next door to be confronted by a spider the size of my fist!!!!! I gently removed said spider and got a pot of chilli pickle as a thank you two days later.

Sorry, as always I have gone off on a tangent. So, back to Tiny Voice Book Salon. Richard had this idea – let’s get two authors and two educators together to talk books. We could do it once a month and it would help authors to get their voice out there, educators to learn more about different authors and book bridges would be built everywhere.

“Let’s Do It!” I responded and then (as I always do, I needed to create the artwork).

I am slightly concerned that people are going to be expecting us to be sitting in yellow chairs with a cool fireplace. Sadly, due to Covid-19 we will be on Periscope which can be accessed via my pinned tweet, but we will eventually aim for the decor in the picture!!!

What #TinyVoiceBookSalon will be I’m not quite sure, but that could be said of #TinyVoiceTuesday, #TVTTagTeam, #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites and #TinyVoiceTalks (the podcast). To date, the ‘Tiny’ ideas have grown well and I hope this one will too. At it’s very core is the ‘Tiny’ mission – having the voices heard of all those who impact on our young people’s lives.

Working together we can build a better future for our future generations and in this case one page, one chapter, one book at a time.

Find out more about our guests…

My guests Vashti Hardy and Richard O’Neill have recorded podcasts if you would like to know more about them and Sharifah Lee is my Chatterbox companion. Listen to all their episodes here (click on the Tiny Voice Talks):

Autism with Charlotte Olsen /Suzi Books Tiny Voice Talks

In this episode, Toria talked to Charlotte Olson, author of the Suziebooks series, talking about Autism, her own journey and experiences and how the books have been written and used to help other families whose children may find new experiences challenging. 
  1. Autism with Charlotte Olsen /Suzi Books
  2. Equality with Ashna Mahtani
  3. Invisible Illness with Yasmin Omar
  4. Journeys to Leadership with Adam Woodward
  5. Bright Leaders, with Chris Reddy

Here is Richard Simpson’s blog: https://www.whatiread.co.uk

Vashti Hardy’s website: https://www.vashtihardy.com

Richard O’Neill’s website: https://richardthestoryteller.weebly.com

I really hope that you will join us for the first #TinyVoiceBookSalon!

Posted in #MorningBrewED, books, Reading for Pleasure, teaching

Reading For Pleasure

Today, I co-hosted #MorningBrewEd with Ed Finch and our theme was ‘Reading for Pleasure’. Now we are both passionate about ‘reading for pleasure’ but what is it? Is it having a campfire and a tent in your reading corner or is it something that is deeper than the sparkle and glitz? We invited along Teresa Cremin (Professor of Education (Literacy) at the Open University), Ben Harris (a teacher of twenty years and English lead who is passionate about the power of reading), Sonia Thompson (Head @ St Matthew’s C.E. Teaching and Research School) and Richard Charlesworth (a Year 6 teacher and Primary English Lead) to help us unpick this question.

‘What is reading for pleasure?’

Teresa answered that it is:

choosing to read

which I thought was a fascinating answer. All too often I have to read but how often do I choose to read? I have to read policies and documentation but I genuinely take no pleasure in doing so. I very much doubt, the children in my class are filled with pleasure when presented with maths questions they have to read or indeed a SATs booklet, so how do we ensure that they develop a love of reading, that they choose to read, that they take pleasure in reading? How do we even know if reading is pleasurable for them?

The Skill and the Will

Ben talked about the importance of balancing ‘the skill’ with ‘the will’. We have a duty as educators to teach our children the technical aspects of reading – ‘the skill’, but in doing this, sometimes the fun is taken out of it with children seeing reading as merely a series of hurdles to overcome and not something to take pleasure in. Knowing our children and providing them with texts that link to their passions is clearly the way forward and develops ‘the will’. Allowing children the freedom to choose comics, graphic novels, chapter books or indeed the Argos catalogue from a wide-range of reading material available to them was agreed by all to be the way forward. Sonia passionately asserted the importance of this being driven from the top, being a whole school focus and recognising that it is journey and not a terribly fast one.

Finally, Rich defined ‘reading for pleasure’ as a personal relationship for a child with a book and advocated the use of picture books in Upper Key Stage 2. His advice was simple, find texts that tempt and model ‘book chat’.

‘Book Chat’

This led us seamlessly onto the project that Teresa, Ben and Rich have been collaborating on over lock-down – ‘Book Chat’. On the Research Rich Pedagogies site, Book Chat is defined as:

the informal interaction that accompanies quality reading to and with children, developing children’s language and comprehension and nurturing a love of reading.

Thankfully for educators, parents and anyone else keen to know more about what ‘book chats’ look like, they have created videos, posters and question guidance which can be found here –

https://researchrichpedagogies.org/research/supporting-rah/book-chat-reading-with-your-child

The idea behind this is that ‘book chats’ enable children to relate to books on a personal level, which makes it all the more important for children to see themselves represented in the books that they are choosing to read. Thankfully, we are now able as educators, to select books from a wide-range of authors which means that no classroom, library or school should have a narrow selection of books.

To bling or not to bling?

We then moved on to discuss what ‘book corners’ should look like and Ben made the great point that we shouldn’t have book corners but book classrooms. Our classrooms, whether in primary or secondary should be text rich and I say text as I refer back to my previous point – the Argos catalogue does have a place. I do have a book corner and it does have twinkly lights and a kaleidoscope of butterflies, but it also has a wide variety of texts. In fact, just as Ben’s does, my classroom is littered with books.

There are books that cover all areas of the curriculum – display them around the classroom so that children realise that books don’t just live in the book corner. Sonia made a great point at this juncture which is that it is so important for teachers to buy books they love and want in their classrooms, but it is equally important that schools invest in great quality, up-to-date books otherwise when the teacher leaves, all the books will too.

There is no doubt that we are all passionate about advocating ‘reading for pleasure’ but as Sonia so rightly said:

It is all teachers responsibility to show the beauty of reading within their subject area

she was talking specifically about secondary colleagues but I wonder how many primary subject leaders (English aside) recommend books to their colleagues that will support the teaching of the subjects they lead.

There is no doubt that to embed ‘reading for pleasure’ across a school is not simple, but to only do so in a tokenistic fashion seems utterly futile. Why bother! So what was their final advice? School leaders, Sonia wants you to put ‘reading for pleasure’ on the school improvement plan and lead from the front. She truly believes that ‘reading for pleasure’ and ‘reading for progress’ go hand in hand. Teresa wants you to ensure that this is child-led. You can do this by listening to your children, as this is the way to build reading communities. Ben develops Teresa’s thought further and says ‘know your children’ – talk to them and respond to what they want. Rich says that if you need ideas the Research Rich Pedagogies website is filled with them. So, what are you waiting for?

And Finally…

If you want to see the full episode of ‘#MorningBrewEd Reading for Pleasure’ then click on this link:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1mnGelREvRNKX

and if you want to know what books to put into your book corner or how to access the ‘book talk’ resources then just scroll through this padlet:

Made with Padlet
Posted in education, leading, teaching

‘It ain’t what you do, it’s the way they review it’ by @alienwife99

Long before it was the O2, the great white arena was The Millennium Dome. Conceived as a celebration for the year 2000 it was immediately derided as a colossal waste of money and considered doomed to failure.

I was firmly superglued into the waste of money camp, and was determined never to set foot in the place. And then it was announced we were taking 7 coach loads of children, including my Y2 class, for a day trip. Cue much grumbling about how much I’d hate it.

I was wrong. It was brilliant. I was bowled over by the sheer scale of the place. The acrobatic entertainment was spectacular, and the exhibits had something for everyone. I became a dome convert and something of an evangelist. I dutifully completed my visitor survey, and like 85% of visitors (MORI poll) expressed my satisfaction.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Then I watched the news coverage. In every bulletin and every programme they interviewed the same number of people expressing disappointment as those sharing their excitement. This was the first time I really took notice of “balanced” reporting. It wasn’t fair, it didn’t reflect the figures. I was left wondering how all those involved with the Dome must be feeling. I hoped they took pleasure in the exit surveys and could ignore the media coverage.

Fast forward 20 years and here I am, an experienced headteacher, leading my school through times of global pandemic. School leaders and their teams are running themselves ragged trying to create and maintain safe environments, keep a focus on learning, and manage the nightmare of positive COVID cases. It’s impossible to please the compliant parents and the COVID-hoax parents and the always-argue-with-everything parents. Almost every day there’s a tweet from someone along the lines of “why does that one parent email hurt so much?”.

I find myself thinking back to those Millennium Dome creators and staff working so hard trying to please the enthusiasts, the naysayers, and the media baying for a story. That’s us now, and the press coverage and feedback from the minority is the same old story.

But like the Dome survey, if we did a poll right now I know we’d have the vast majority of parents and children voicing their satisfaction with what we’re doing. I see the smiling faces day in day out and I know I’m right about this.

The email from the parent annoyed at your staggered start arrangements does not carry the same weight as all the parents who are quietly appreciative. The parent who tells you that “all the other parents are saying …” is at most talking about herself and her mate. The parent who tells you “the class WhatsApp group has gone crazy” usually means she’s moaned, one other parent has responded and the rest have muted her.

We don’t live in a world of “balance” and we should stop looking for it.

Our domes are full of visitors and they’re enjoying the show. Let’s celebrate that, and every so often, when we can find the time to take a beat and reflect, take satisfaction in an impossible task done well.

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com
Posted in books, children's books, children's literature, twitter

Owl or Pussycat – a must-read!

Today, I received the most beautiful book in the post, care of David Fickling Books. It is a

…true story of first love and first night nerves by former Children’s Laureate Sir Michael Morpurgo

and it made my heart sing!

The book is called ‘Owl or Pussycat’ and is based on a true story from Sir Michael’s childhood. What makes it so much more special for me, is that the poem that the book is based on ‘The Owl and the Pussy-cat’ by Edward Lear, is my mum’s favourite poem and one that I too grew up with. Anyway, I digress!

The story is based on two firsts in ‘young Michael’s’ life. One when he is cast as the star in ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ and the other when he falls in love with his best-friend Belinda – his first love. This is all at the grand old age of six!

The illustrations by Polly Dunbar (yes, the multi-award winning Polly Dunbar) make the book even more wonderful. The illustrations echo the words on every page – giving an even deeper understanding of ‘young Michael’s’ emotions as he discovers the pleasures and pains that ‘firsts’ can bring.

I love this illustration as it gives the reader such a clear insight into how superior Michael felt when he was first cast as the Owl. He no longer even said hello – just too-wit-too-wooo!

It is in such stark contrast to this illustration – as you can see Michael has fallen from those initial dizzy heights.

The reader definitely goes on a roller-coaster journey with ‘young Michael’ and I found myself living every moment with him. I shall try not to tell you too many more details about the story as I want you to truly enjoy it yourself and gosh you will!

I can’t wait to read the ‘Owl or Pussycat’ to my class because it links in beautifully with all the discussions that I have with them about emotions and wellbeing. Life isn’t always plain sailing and it is so important that children are able to talk about this. Achieving a dream, such as being cast as the star of the school play, does give us pride and joy. However, the moment we walk on that stage there will undoubtedly be nerves and fear. Thankfully, Michael found his way through this with the help of Belinda, just as our children will find their way through their challenges with our help and that of their peers.

Emily Gravett said of the book

A perfect marriage, not only for the Owl and the Pussycat, but also for Polly Dunbar’s exquisite illustrations and Michael Morpurgo’s evocative text. What a beautiful book!

And it truly is – there is even a gatefold page for the full first night experience! I shall be buying a copy for my mum and I know that she will love seeing the original poem on the inside of the cover, just as much as she will love reading about one of her favourite author’s youngest memories.

Thank you so much Polly Dunbar and Sir Michael Morpurgo for making my heart sing!

Posted in twitter

Connected

Today during #EdTalksGlobalGathering I was asked for one word to currently describe myself and said CONNECTED.

Let me give you a little more information – there I was, ‘Toria the Teacher’, in the #EdTalks staffroom with people from all around the world. We were discussing the importance of ‘Wellbeing’ and whilst I had a little voice chirruping “you don’t deserve to be here” in my head, I took my place alongside everyone else and had my voice heard. Just in case you missed it – find it here:

Having my voice heard is scary and connecting can be even scarier!

This morning I co-hosted #MorningBrewEd with Chris Harrison and the topic was ‘Building Book Bridges’. We were interviewing three authors – Rashmi Sirdeshpande, Richard O’Neill and Vashti Hardy and I was terrified. How could I, Toria the Teacher, interview authors – they live on a different plain after all! I discovered however, that when I stopped worrying the conversation flowed and I also discovered that authors are real people just like you and I.

They are real people who need us to support them more than ever during this international pandemic. During normal times, many authors supplement their income through school visits and this isn’t something they can do currently. It is all too easy to think ‘Oh well, we will get them back when this is all over’, but how does this help them? As we discussed this morning, there are so many alternative ways to link with authors and build those bridges – virtual author visits, diverse book weeks, pre-recorded author questions, authors being linked to a school. Richard, Vashti and Rashmi want to support educators as so many other authors do. So go online and find your favourite authors, connect with them and find out how you can support them and they can support you!

For all the great ideas we discussed, watch #MorningBrewEd Building Book Bridges https://www.pscp.tv/MorningBrewEd/1LyxBaAQoaWJN

This padlet is linked to the episode – feel free to add anything that you think is relevant to this important discussion.

Made with Padlet

I have also connected with some of my great Twitter friends through DM, WhatsApp and phonecalls today. I have met so many people through #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites and so many of these people have become great friends.

Have you found #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites yet?

It is a wonderful online community that meets every Tuesday. They meet through my pinned tweet (pinned at 5am GMT) and they connect. They chat, support and become friends with each other – at least that is what I have observed since it started at the end of March 2020.

Connecting is so good for our mental wellbeing – it helps us to feel part of and not apart from. Now, more than ever, we need each other! So come along on Tuesday and connect with all of us – just find my pinned tweet. It will look something like this!

I really hope that I have connected with you but, if I haven’t then find me on Twitter @toriaclaire and connect. Remember:

Posted in #BrewEdFindYourVoice, books, education, kindness, teaching, twitter

Umbrella by Elena Arevalo Melville

As you know, if you regularly read my blog or follow me on Twitter, it was #BrewEdFindYourVoice a few weeks ago. Amongst the speakers was Richard Simpson (otherwise known as @richreadalot) and he talked about Sharing Kindness Ripples via Stories.

At the end of his presentation, Rich’s daughter appeared and I asked her which her favourite book was out of all the ones her Daddy had recommended and she said ‘Umbrella’. A few days later I received a lovely email from Scallywag Press (the publishers of Umbrella) and this week I received a copy of the book in the post – a gift from them. I was so touched by their kindness and read the book on Friday to my class.

As you will know, if you heard Rich speak, the book is about a little girl called Clara who is in a park at the beginning of the book and feeling incredibly lonely. She spots an umbrella and places it gently on a bench, at which point the umbrella speaks and tells Clara to look inside her,

Anything is Possible

the umbrella declares. As the story unfolds, kindness is sprinkled everywhere by the magical umbrella. An elephant picks apples, a Butterfly Band brings joy and a fox sees the error of his ways.

When I read the book to my class they clapped at the end and declared that they absolutely loved ‘Umbrella’. ‘Why?’ I enquired.

Because it is really nice to hear that anything is possible and it is a book all about kindness!

We went on to discuss what they would like to achieve and next week we will re-visit the story and find out what wishes they would like granted by the umbrella.

Scallywag Press have some fantastic resources to accompany the text and I would highly recommend watching the video of the author, Elena Arevalo Melville, reading the book. Her passion and love of writing shines through.

https://www.scallywagpress.com/resources.html

Thank you again Scallywag Press and happy reading everyone!

Posted in #BrewEdFindYourVoice, education, empowerment, representation

Representation at #BrewEdFindYourVoice

A collaborative post by Sharifah Lee (@Sharifeelee4), Raj Unsworth (@rrunsworth) & Toria Bono (@Toriaclaire).

Toria’s voice:

I want to share a journey with you – not a long journey although I have a long way to go; a journey that has led to a great deal of personal growth that I hope will help others too. At the end of July, I began to organise an online educational event – #BrewEdFindYourVoice – I wanted my event to be rich with new voices – those that aren’t normally heard at these events and I wanted the speakers to be global and diverse. 

So, I put out a Tweet on social media asking for volunteers to come forward to present at this event. As I host #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites every Tuesday, I knew of many ‘quieter’ voices and was hopeful that people would come forward. To my delight, many did! 

Twenty-four hours after the original tweet #BrewEdFindYourVoice was fully-booked with speakers and I remember looking through the original plan and feeling really pleased. I had global educators and educators from what I considered to be a wide-range of backgrounds, speaking on a mix of diverse topics.

Mindful Equity UK (which consists of two BAME educators) emailed me asking about representation, as this is at the heart of their own values and aims. As a supporter of equity and inclusion, I was aghast when their question prompted my realisation that there were only 4 out of 26 presenters who were BAME.

As a white educator living in England, I am used to seeing white educators speak. I take it for granted that I will have role-models who both look like me and are from similar backgrounds. What I had not appreciated is that BAME educators need that level of representation too. I needed guidance and help to ensure that #BrewEdFindYourVoice was a truly representative event.  Sharifah Lee was already speaking at the event and known to me so I turned to her for advice. Sharifah then enlisted the help of Raj Unsworth. 

Raj and Sharifah’s voices:

From the outset, it was clear to us that Toria was very upset by what she saw as a lack of understanding and foresight on her part. For us, it was refreshing that an event organiser, instead of going on the defensive, was actively engaging with us and genuinely wanted to learn. A difficult, and at times uncomfortable, discussion took place over Zoom and it brought to the fore the fact that event organisers often fail to consider the appeal of their events from the perspective of BAME educators.

It was too late to change the day or add more speakers, so Raj suggested a panel discussion which she offered to Chair. A panel to demonstrate how easy it is to do this in practice. The idea was to have 2 men, 2 women (2 BAME, 2 white), consideration was given to relatively new voices but ones with diverse experiences. This was in line with Toria’s vision as, too often in education, we hear from the same people time after time. 

The panel Raj put together consisted of:

  • Dr Valerie Daniel @Valerie_JKD
  • Dr Emma Kell @thosethatcan
  • Haris Shafi @ShafiTeachesit
  • James Hodge @MrHodgeTeaches

The panel would be discussing “What should representation look like in education?”

#BrewEdFindYourVoice was was an amazing and hugely successful event. It has been viewed online over 9000 times. All the presenters were fantastic but, according to feedback, it seems the icing on the cake was the panel discussion. The fact that we had broached this subject head on was appreciated by so many, both BAME and White educators.

It is fair to say that many schools are thinking about antiracism, equity and diversity in a way they have not done so before. So, our thanks to the panel for answering some very tough questions and talking openly about how uncomfortable talking and sharing about racism and inequality can be.

This discussion was a whistle stop tour of representation, covering five key aspects – the curriculum, governance, pupils, teachers and leadership. Although we only had 40 mins when we could have done with a whole day! If you missed it, click on the link –

We will be doing more so watch this space! In the meantime if you are organising an event, please do think carefully about inclusion, diversity and equity to ensure your event is truly representative of our multicultural society. 

Please share this post widely with your colleagues and get in touch with us if you are keen to learn and support more –

Posted in authenticity, Community, twitter

Stranger Danger…

My daughter often reminds me of ‘stranger danger’. At 13, she has had this drummed into her in so many lessons at school that she finds it obscure that I follow so many people I don’t know in real-life. Indeed, ‘following strangers’ goes against everything that I have ever told her. As an adult though, I always think I know better and assume that I will be safe in the online world.

Since I started using Twitter regularly in 2020, I have received many direct messages. Some of them have been questions, others have been support and others have been:

Hello, how are you today?

This direct message now sends off warning lights for me. I have discovered through trial and error that where I am using Twitter as a means of connecting with other educators around the globe, many people are using Twitter as a means of finding a partner (and in some cases that is a very generous description).

As many of you know, I do follow people back who follow me, as I believe in connecting and to do that both people need to follow each other. However, I have learnt not to blindly follow, so here is what I do…

  1. I look at their profile picture – does it look genuine or is it from shutterstock? Fake accounts tend to use stock photos or Bitmojis.
  2. I look at the bio – does it mention teaching, school, blog? If it is extremely vague or non-existent I investigate further before following.
  3. I look at the timeline – does it appear as an educators timeline would?
  4. I also look at who they follow. If it is mainly females then I am very wary.

Once I have checked these things, then I follow.

Some fake accounts however, are so cleverly created that they slip through the net and I assume that they are real before I get ‘that DM’. Recently, someone was posing as a head and had a great photo (not obviously a stock photo), a good bio, an educational timeline and followed a variety of people. However, the account was fake and the impersonator was direct messaging many females on Twitter. Thankfully, his actions were questioned and the account was closed.

My daughter is right to remind me of stranger danger. Just because I am a grown-up and happily married (20 years in October), doesn’t meant that I am safe. I have to be aware of who I am connecting with and I have to connect intentionally. I truly hope my ramblings help someone and please share your top tips for remaining safe online with me.

Posted in #BrewEdFindYourVoice, #TinyVoiceTuesday, #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites, #TVTTagTeam, Tiny Voice Talks - The Podcast, twitter

Anything is Possible!

2020 has been the year of Toria’s mad ideas. It started with #TinyVoiceTuesday, then #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites and then #TVTTagTeam.

Alongside this I began a blog – which people read (in fact, you are reading it now) and then I gave webinars about blogging – which people attended.

This has been all in the midst of ‘unprecendented circumstances’ as Covid-19 has ravaged the world that I live in. As many educators have, I have taught in new ways – I have bubbled, become adept at Google Classroom and learnt to use so many new and wonderful digital tools. I am great at using Zoom, Streamyard and Periscope – none of which I knew in 2019.

2020 has been a dark year but at the same time it has provided opportunities that otherwise might never have occurred and courage to take risks. One of these opportunities was to start my own podcast ‘Tiny Voice Talks’ – a podcast celebrating the quieter voices of the educational world and the breadth of experience out there. I have already spoken to so many wonderful people on this and have so many more booked in to speak to soon –

Another of these, is #BrewEdFindYourVoice which took place on Saturday 29th August from 9am – 5pm. This was a mad idea that I had as the last school year ended (July 2020). I thought, why don’t I host an event in which people who have not had a platform to speak are given one?! An idea is a great thing but gosh – how would I action it? In all honesty, it has taken so much work and effort from not just me but the other people involved too. So many emails and DMs have been exchanged. I have become a ‘Canva Master’ and I have pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone that I no longer know where my comfort zone is.

The night before #BrewEdFindYourVoice I couldn’t sleep – sorry I exaggerate, I slept from 1am – 3am! I was wracked with nerves and filled with the endless possibilities of things that could go wrong. I was so worried about messing up! It is hard when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone because – it is uncomfortable!! I don’t know about you but I don’t like feeling uncomfortable, I like feeling happy and content and chilled. However, I am someone who spends most of my life pushing myself further and further out of my comfort zone.

Why? Because when I read ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ I came across this quote and it really resonated with me.

Prior to coming across this quote, I always did things that I knew that I would succeed in because, let’s face it, I hated failing. I didn’t want to do something that may cause me to appear stupid or challenge me mentally or physically so I played safe. When I lived like this, life was safe, but wasn’t overly stimulating.

I now very much live my life out in the open sea and sometimes it is terrifying, but it is so incredibly rewarding. I took a leap of faith with #BrewEdFindYourVoice and it worked! The day consisted of phenomenal speakers and an outstanding panel discussion about ‘Representation in Education’ (there will be another post about that). I only messed up the controls twice (because I forgot to click play audio) but other than that I managed and in 8 hours, two tiny hiccups are fine I think! If you missed it, you can watch it here –

There is also a padlet that goes with it –

Made with Padlet

As we go into this new school year, where there are so many variables and unknowns, my advice to you is don’t remain in harbour. If you have an idea – share it, if you want your voice heard – start using it, if you want to see change – become a change-maker. What do you really want to achieve? Go on, really dream! What do you want to achieve more than anything else? Well, start planning now how you can do it!

Through my podcast, through Twitter and through #BrewEdFindYourVoice I have met inspirational people who are doing just that. They aren’t remaining in harbour, they too are out there sailing on the choppy water of open sea, but gosh are they happy. Just remember, if you want to achieve something you can. With the right amount of planning and perseverance anything is possible. Let me remind you of one of my favourite quotes…

SO START SETTING SAIL NOW!

Posted in #TinyVoiceTuesday, #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites, #TVTTagTeam, education, Tiny Voice Talks - The Podcast, twitter

Tiny Voice Are Being Heard!

As many of you know, I started my podcast two weeks ago. It was an idea, a hope, a dream that maybe I could get the voices of every-day educators out there, for other every-day educators to hear. Who knew that I would learn so much or come away from every conversation with goose-pimples.

Episode one of my podcast began with Sharifah Lee – one of the most passionate educators who I have ever had the pleasure of talking to. She wants change and is living her values in order to change the future for her children and her children’s children.
Episode two, I spoke to Shuaib Khan who defines himself as a British Muslim. He is a humanities teacher who lives and breathes his grandfather’s values. Shuaib wants to rid the world of all inequality and is determined to do just this.
Episode three, I spoke to Ben Brown who is passionate about the power of collaboration. He believes, as do I, that when educators collaborate anything is possible.
Over 500 people have already listened to these three episodes and I am genuinely shocked!

Today’s podcast episode is with Caitlin Bracken and is about belief, and the power that educators can have when they believe in their pupils. Caitlin is an RQT, a reader and a blogger whose voice is growing against the odds. She tells the story of becoming the teacher she is today, by doing what she does best: telling it like it is and telling it from her heart, in the hope of helping others. You can find her on Twitter @MissB_TeachKind and you can read her blog on WordPress, at http://one-quiet-teacher.com

Autism with Charlotte Olsen /Suzi Books Tiny Voice Talks

In this episode, Toria talked to Charlotte Olson, author of the Suziebooks series, talking about Autism, her own journey and experiences and how the books have been written and used to help other families whose children may find new experiences challenging. 
  1. Autism with Charlotte Olsen /Suzi Books
  2. Equality with Ashna Mahtani
  3. Invisible Illness with Yasmin Omar
  4. Journeys to Leadership with Adam Woodward
  5. Bright Leaders, with Chris Reddy

This week I have carried out a number of pre-podcast interviews and started recording podcasts that will go out over the next half-term. Every conversation that I have had has caused me to reflect and all have touched my heart. So what is coming up?

  • Tiny Voice Talks Authenticity with Matt Dechaine
  • Tiny Voice Talks Creativity with Maria Wojciechowska
  • Tiny Voice Talks Going Global with Evo Hannan
  • Tiny Voice Talks Investment with Nic Owen
  • Tiny Voice Talks Becoming with Teacher Paul
  • Tiny Voice Talks Uniqueness with Lesley Barrington
  • Tiny Voice Talks Kindness with John Magee
  • Tiny Voice Talks Potential with Julia Skinner

There are also others I have lined up, but they are my secret for the time being.
I genuinely want to thank everyone who has come on and had their voice heard. I have learnt so much from you and I am so pleased that you have truly found your voice! If you want to have your voice heard, then please get in touch!