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The Teaching Space Podcast

The podcast is on pause for a year (as of August 2021) as I am tackling the final year of my masters in education (which I am doing alongside my full-time job). In the meantime, please revisit the considerable back catalogue of episodes. Also, give me a follow on Twitter, where I am still very active and sign up for my personal newsletter here. You can visit The Teaching Space website here:

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Jun 30, 2018

Podcast Episode 27 Transcript

Welcome to The Teaching Space podcast, coming to you from Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

Hello and welcome to Episode 27 of The Teaching Space Podcast. This show is all about books. I will be sharing five amazing books teachers will love.

I recorded a similar episode right at the start of the podcast which was Episode 3. You'll find that here.

Summer Break

Before I start recommending books, however, I have a little bit of housekeeping to share with you. The Teachings Space is a term time only podcast and I am just about to start my summer break. So this will be the last episode until Friday the 7th of September, 2018. So there's going to be a bit of a break but do not fret.

Over the summer break, I am going to be doing some very exciting research and prep for the next lot of episodes when we start the new academic year.

I'm also going to be spending plenty of time in The Teaching Space Facebook group. I'm planning to do lots of live videos and also launch a couple of challenges. These will have a productivity theme and also be kind of focused on having a really good year come September.

In addition to that, I will still be very much active on Twitter and Instagram, so please do give me a follow over there. Okay, that's your housekeeping, let's crack on with the episode.

The Books

I'm going to share five amazing books teachers will love. You will find links to each of these books on Amazon here in the show notes.

Fair warning, there isn't a traditional teaching book on this list. Controversially, they are all about you. We spend our entire careers focused on our learners and rightly so, but we do have to remember to look after ourselves too. These books are about productivity, success, health and well-being.

(1) How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind By Dana K. White

Dana blogs at I love the strapline to this blog, it's reality-based cleaning and organising.

Through her self-described de-slobification process, she has learnt what it takes to bring a home out of disaster status, which habits make the biggest and most lasting impact and how to keep clutter under control.

Now, why have I chosen this book? Well, teachers are the busiest people I know and it's very easy to let the home management aspect of life slide when you're super busy at work. I have used this book to help me keep my home under control so I thought it'd be a really good one to recommend to you.

My top takeaway from this book was The Container concept and I mentioned this in Episode 26. The idea behind it is that everything has a container and your staff should fit into the designated container. If it does not, you need to get rid of stuff. One in, one out.

She goes into a lot more detail in the book and also in her other book, Decluttering at the Speed of Life. So, both of these books, in fact, are highly recommended.

(2) What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast By Laura Vanderkam.

This is a powerful book about high productivity from best-selling author Laura Vanderkam. She blends stories of fascinating people with cutting-edge scientific research to show us how to maximise our valuable mornings, make the most out of our working hours and enjoy the results with deeply satisfying weekends.

My top takeaway from this book was the fact that I waste my early mornings and I made some major changes to my morning routine off the back of this book. And also reading this got me to read Laura Vanderkam's other book, 168 Hours.

(3) 168 Hours By Laura Vanderkam

It's no coincidence then that recommendation number three of this list is 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam. That magic number, 168 refers to the number of hours you have in the week. The book is all about where time really goes and how we can use it better.

My top takeaway from this book was that I did a time study. This essentially means keeping track of every 15 minutes of your day and noting down what you're doing in each 15-minute block.

And I learned so much from this process. It was off the back of the time study that I created a really good productive morning routine, which includes going to the gym and getting loads of stuff done.

(4) The 5 Second Rule By Mel Robbins

Let me tell you about the book. According to Robbins, it takes just five seconds to become more confident, break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt, beat fear and uncertainty, stop worrying and feel happier and share your ideas with courage.

The 5 Second Rule is a simple one-size-fits-all solution to the problem we all face and that is that we hold ourselves back.

My top takeaway from this book was interesting actually because I thought it was going to be just far too woo-woo for me. But Mel Robbins's narration on the audiobook is excellent. She just doesn't have that, how can I put this, woo-woo tone to her voice at all. She's very, very motivating and sounds like somebody you could really enjoy a drink with.

I got the fundamental message from Mel Robbins that quick decisions are good in lots of different scenarios. Action is key and that's what I took away from The 5 Second Rule.

(5) The Four Pillar Plan By Dr. Rangan Chatterjee.

This book is about the fact that everyday health revolves around Dr. Chatterjee's four pillars.

These pillars are relaxation, food, sleep and movement. By making small achievable changes in each of these key areas, you can create and maintain good health and avoid illness.

My top takeaway from this book was balance. There are four pillars and you need to spend time on each of them. It's no good saying, I am just going to focus on food now or I'm just going to focus on exercise. That's not okay. The fact that there are four pillars means you have to spend time in each of the pillars. And so that was a really big takeaway for me. And this book is highly recommended, in particular the audiobook is excellent.

They Are Books Focused on You!

And there you have it, five amazing books that teachers will love that aren't about teaching at all. These books as I said at the start are focused on you. Your productivity, your success, your health and your well-being.

I really hope you enjoyed hearing about those five books and that you might give one a try. Hop over to to grab links to each of these books.

Wrap Up

And that brings me to the end of the show. As I said, I will be taking a break over summer and will be back at my microphone on Friday the 7th of September, 2018.

Please come and join the Facebook group, which is called The Teaching Space Staff Roomso we can hang out over the summer. You can join in some challenges, you can participate in some live video chats. Let's have some fun on Facebook, it would be great to see you there.

Also, don't forget we have 27 episodes for your listening pleasure. Do re-listen to the back catalogue if that's something you'd like to do.

Also, hop over to as I hopefully will be sharing some blog posts over the summer as well. Thank you so much for tuning in and I hope you'll join me for the next episode in September.