Bright side

Don't wallow in self pity, says Sara Bubb. Make a list of the good things about your job and read it when you get fed up

Tired, ready for bed by 9pm and feeling more stressed out than ever? This time of year seems to sap everyone's energy and the only things in abundance are germs.

You need to motivate yourself. The Teacher Support Network recommends writing a list of good things about your job. Even if they are not perfect, there are plenty of things that are better now than in September and everyone gets a buzz when lessons go well.

Have a rant, but don't get into a habit of moaning. It does no good and brings you and everyone who hears you down.

Put your energy into changing what can be changed. What can you look forward to? Planning holidays is good: what are you going to be doing at half-term, Easter, Whitsun and the glorious summer? What about something to celebrate teaching? You could nominate someone for a teaching award. It takes no time at all to do so at

Just write why you think a teacher, head or teaching assistant deserves to win. Wouldn't it be lovely if somebody nominated you? Yes, there is a category called The Training and Development Agency for Schools award for outstanding new teacher. Each of the UK's 14 regions has a winner and then there is an overall winner. It was Susan Ward from Juniper Green Primary, Edinburgh, last year and Christine Finnegan from St Hubert's RC Primary in Warley got it the year before.

Lord Adonis, the schools' minister, will be celebrating the first people with Chartered London Teacher status at an awards ceremony next month at the Institute of Education, University of London. England's capital is the only place in the world which awards its teachers such a qualification in recognition of the day-to-day work which makes a difference to children and young people.

More than 38,500 people have registered on the scheme and more are joining every day*. Enthusiasm is catching, so paint a smile on that face, throw yourself into things and celebrate.

Sara Bubb is an education consultant specialising in induction. She regularly answers questions on our forums at * Visit for more details about Chartered London Teacher status

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