This week, I would like to pass creative control over to my friend Katie Tollitt, creator of For Teachers YouTube channel. Like me, Katie is keen to share her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm with the teaching community. Alongside friend and co-creator Ryan Speed, she creates content about her current teaching role in Hong Kong as well as her experience teaching in the UK. As their first ever subscriber back in January, it has been exciting for me to watch the channel grow rapidly throughout 2018 (over 4000 more subscribers have since followed my lead). It currently boasts over seventy videos that aim to support and inspire fellow teachers. With 150,000 views to date, Katie has no plans to put down the camera. She is excited to continue growing her channel and online community.
For Teachers YouTube Channel
As teachers, we feel confident sharing our knowledge with our students. In fact, as we present information and support them on a daily basis, our confidence grows. But as I typed ‘Teacher YouTuber’ into the video search engine, I was surprised to see that there were very few British teachers, or even international teachers, who had dared to share through this medium. It became apparent that this would be an effective way for me to pass on my ideas, and maybe even learn some new skills myself. Ryan and I had worked together previously in Manchester where we often took risks in our lessons, so it felt quite effortless to figure out the branding, ideas and message behind For Teachers. After noting down our most asked questions about teaching abroad, we filmed our first videos. It didn’t take long for us to find our flow and begin to build a community.
Here are five of my favourite videos so far:
Reasons to Become a Primary School Teacher
We had to start with the basics! As teachers, there are many questions that we seem to receive regularly. Is the salary good? Why are you ALWAYS on holiday? Should I become a teacher too? As positive minded educators, we decided to allow our subscribers a glimpse into the world of primary teaching and shine a light on the pros of the job. After all, once you find a healthy work-life balance, there is a lot to love about being able to work with the eager minds of students each day. I later followed up this video with a very balanced and truthful second instalment named ‘Should I become a Primary School Teacher?‘. This seems to have provided adequate information to those who are considering teaching as a career. Or at least, I hope it did!
International School Teacher | A Day in the Life
YouTube is a fantastic platform for those who are happy to share their feelings, experiences and thoughts with those who might find them useful. Creating vlogs is a great way for me to connect with my subscribers and answer the questions that I receive each week. As over 100 different countries have tuned in to watch For Teachers, I can say with confidence that the channel is building a dynamic, global audience. This video, specifically, encouraged a teacher from Thailand to move to Hong Kong! Thankfully, she’s enjoying teaching out here! It’s important for me to remember the influence that these videos may have on the people who tune in to watch. I know that my regular viewers trust my content, and these vlogs are the perfect way for me to express my thoughts creatively.
Teaching Abroad – Working in Hong Kong
There are so many misconceptions about teaching abroad. I vividly remember searching on YouTube before applying to move to Hong Kong in the hope of finding videos with information about the application process but found very little content available. After many of my ex-colleagues from the UK asked about teaching internationally, I decided to create some videos tailored to their needs. In more recent videos, we have discussed the interview process, how we cater for children who speak English as an additional language and even the salary to expect as an expatriate teacher in Hong Kong. It’s important for us to discuss this as it may be the missing link for a teacher who is desperate to begin their international teaching journey. As the channel grows, this is an area that we would like to explore further. Feel free to send any questions in!
Behaviour Management | Tips For Teachers
Behaviour management is a relevant discussion regardless of where you teach in the world. Sometimes I feel as though my inbox must mimic that of an agony aunt; new teachers find classroom management particularly tricky to get right! Whilst I acknowledge that I am still on this learning journey myself, I have learnt a few tricks over the last six years that I feel confident sharing with my subscribers. In this particular video, Ryan and I discuss our top tips regarding classroom management. Traffic lights, reward charts, countdown timers… we’ve tried it all! Most of this will, of course, be learnt on the job, but I like to think that the advice given will help to speed up the learning process for new educators.
Virtual Reality in the Primary Classroom
For Teachers has led to many exciting collaboration opportunities. From time to time, there is a wildcard upload with an unexpected theme. One of my personal favourites features Playdium Hong Kong. They invited us to join them and investigate the many ways that VR (virtual reality) can be used within the primary classroom. We spent an hour in a virtual job centre, cooked up electronic toast and worked as a team to navigate a haunted house. As teachers who spend most of our time watching our students learn through investigation, it was a lot of fun to swap roles and enjoy this new technology ourselves. I like to think that, as the channel continues to grow, there will be many more opportunities to experience the limitless potential of this new digital age. Stay tuned!
I hope that this introduction to For Teachers has inspired you to check out the channel. I would be even happier to find out that this article has motivated you to create some video-based content of your own! There is limitless potential for creation through this medium. It takes guts, dedication and enthusiasm… but school teachers already have these traits! If you have been inspired by the content or wish to share your thoughts with me personally, feel free to join the @ForTeachers community on Instagram. Thank you, Adam, for the opportunity to share on your blog.