Who Unlocked Your Potential?

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In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday...
Read more about @TeacherToolkit

How can we unlock the potential of teachers?

Last week I have the privilege of visiting the school where I took my examination qualifications. This was the school that inspired me to become a teacher…

Over the last three years, working with teachers and schools across the world, I believe my teaching career has come full circle. I suspect it’s not the end, but I’ve definitely had a peak!

What are your career highlights?

If you asked ‘What are some of the best things that have happened?’ to me in my teaching career, I would list all sorts of pupil anecdotes, achievements from examination grades as a teacher, school cultures and successful job interviews, to my life as a teacher-blogger and author, winning awards and being listed as one of the most influential people in Britain.

However, going back to the school where I was once a pupil, and being invited by the school to come back and train some of those very teachers who first inspired my journey into teaching has to be my (new) career highlight, ever!

Surviving lockdown…

Working outside of schools supporting teachers working inside of them, I’ve seen all my physical work disappear. At the start of the pandemic, I wrote about my life as a freelancer and how challenging it was, adapting and collaborating to find other ways to put food on the table.

Yesterday I was inspired by a short post by one of my blogger-heroes, Seth Godin. “Better [schools] challenge you. They support you; they spread the word. They pay on time. They pay more and expect more.” This post best summarises how I have refocused my energies and my work with schools. Do less, not more.

Thankfully, my work remains just as fulfilling, if not more so.

Working remotely in an online world

In the last six months, my teacher-training work (during the pandemic) has reached over 5,000 teachers. Supporting schools as far away as Brazil, South Korea and Australia. In terms of this website, 1.6 million people accessed this website. On Twitter, over 45 million impressions on my channel and growing membership!

Trips planned to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Czech Republic and destinations all across England, gone.

Who was the person that unlocked your potential?

Still, one school was adamant I attended in person, and I am forever grateful. The school who unlocked my teacher potential, Fleetwood High School in 1989. I spent that day reminiscing with the staff about the people who unlocked my teacher potential—those teachers who supported my free school meals background, seven state schools and a mixed-bag of qualifications.

It was an incredible sensation to give back!

My teaching journey was never on a straight line. Thankfully, the people I had around me heavily influenced the teacher I am today. It was an emotional day listening to some colleagues say how proud they were of me.

In a world of free speech, with social media outrage from all corners, the people who are most important to you are all that matters. Whilst some continue to argue with each other and one or two take keyboard snipes at your ideas, I’ll keep focused on influencing thousands behind the scenes.

My place in the profession has taken on a new role. Pandemic or not, I plan to inspire the next generation of teachers. I want them to have a long and fulfilling career as I…

Thank you Fleetwood High School.

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