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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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Jan 11, 2020


Hello and welcome to the Teaching Space Podcast. It's Martine here. Thank you so much for joining me.

Martine:      Today, I have a guest on the show and we're going to be talking productivity. Rather than have a big intro, I'm going to hand straight over to my guest, Justin Hockey. Justin, welcome to the show.

Justin:             Thank you, Martine. It's great to be here.

Martine:            I'm so pleased to have you on. Could you tell me, I'm going to get you to introduce yourself if that's okay, who are you and what in the world do you do? And where in the world do you do it?

Justin:             That's a great question. With modern technology, anywhere in the world is just about possible. So my name is Justin and I'm a music teacher. I've been working in various countries around the world teaching music. India, Australia, and now South Korea, so that's where I am right now in South Korea. I teach at an international school. I'm also married and with a child. So that adds into the productivity mix, as I'm sure many of your listeners will also experience or know of.

Martine:            Let's talk about productivity, because you and I both have a common interest in being the most productive people we can be. You said you're a music teacher. What is it about the role of a teacher that makes productivity such a challenge?

Justin:             Gosh. I mean, I've had some notes about this. I wrote down three things to prompt me: people, processes, and products. People, I mean, as a teacher in any setting you're dealing with people, obviously your colleagues and supervisors, or bosses, or heads, depending on whether it's a further education setting or a school. For me, I'm at a school, and currently a junior school, or what some parts of the world call an elementary school or a primary school. So, I have over 300 students I see each week. And so, dealing with that many moving parts, people as it were, is a challenge. And then there's all the processes that go with that in terms of routines that are meant to happen but of course, in most schools no one week is the same as the next exactly. And particularly this time of the year when we're recording it, it's coming up to Christmas.

And then I said the word product, which is not necessarily perhaps the best word. But I guess the outputs. What are we trying to achieve? We're not manufacturing devices or selling products in a store. We're shaping people's lives, and whether that's shaping adults' lives, young adults' lives or children's lives, that's something which in some senses is a never-ending job. So, it's very easy to, as a teacher in any setting, to feel like the work is never done. Because in a sense, it never is. There's always more to be done, and people can quite quickly burn out or become overwhelmed. And I know for myself and many of the listeners, we've been there and experienced those challenges. And so I'm excited about sharing some of my insights and journey so far. But obviously, like teaching itself, it's almost like a never-ending process of learning to be more productive. Like climbing a mountain, the higher you get, the more you realise is ahead of you and how far you've come.

Martine:            You alluded to the fact that you have some strategies that you use. I'd like to kind of attack this from two angles. Initially, if we talk about the sort of general approaches and resources and things like that, and then go specifically into productivity apps and tools. So, if we start general and then sort of drill down into the detail, that would be great. So tell us what you do.

Justin:             Great. What I thought I would do is approach this through three people that I've come across. These are not people I've met in person, but they're all ... Well, certainly one of them is a teacher herself, and the other two are people that I've seen referenced in productivity generally. So, the first one I'll start with is Angela Watson, and for a long time she was an instructional coach and teacher in the United States, and now she runs her website. She's got a number of brands, or a number of websites I should say. But I guess the key one is the 40 Hour Work Week Club for teachers where she essentially says, "As a teacher, it is possible to cut down your work week to 40 hours." And I signed up to her email list and blog and podcast at least five years ago, and she still offers this course as well as a number of other services online, which tens of thousands of teachers have signed up for and gained a lot out of. But four of the key things I gained from her are batching, lists, using the calendar and mindset. I mean, there's obviously other things that go with that, but I'll just touch briefly on each of those.

Batching was such a ground-breaking concept to me. The idea that as a teacher, or any worker really, you've got a bunch of tasks that need to be done, and some of those tasks are actually similar to each other. So, for example, you might have a whole bunch of planning that needs to be done, or you might have a whole bunch of physically moving things around your workspace that needs to be done. And rather than trying to do a little bit here and a little bit there, if you can arrange your schedule or arrange your time such that you are batching these tasks, grouping these tasks together, you tend to get them done better during that time because you're not scattering your attention across days or weeks or even months. And you're also, by the fact of thinking through what types of tasks you need to get done, that tends to force you to think more carefully about what you're doing, and when you're doing it, and even perhaps why you're doing it.

Martine:            I think that batching was a big game changer for me in terms of how I deal with marking. I think marking is one of those really, really good examples of where batching can just make you far more efficient, because I really have to get into a zone when I'm marking assignments and things like that. And it takes me a long time to get into the flow. So, if I end up doing a bit of assignment marking here and there, I never actually get into the flow of it at all. So, one of the things I always batch is assignment marking.

Justin:             That's exactly it. Marking, writing reports is a big one which I'm in the middle of. Anything dare I say tedious. But also, whether it's involving other people or things yourself, batching is certainly a great way to start approaching things. And if there's nothing else that listeners go away with, that would be something, one I would say if you haven't tried it, start looking at how you can group your tasks or processes together so that you're not scattering your attention and time across things like that. Another big thing that Angela Watson talks about is making lists. And this really comes into the question of apps. It's like, well, there are great apps out there. But at the end of the day, you need to have some sort of centralised list of tasks and projects and goals that you have, whether it is on an app, whether it is in an analogue form such as a diary or a notebook, or even a combination system, a hybrid. But somewhere to create lists. And then thirdly, calendar. Some system, again, of having a calendar, whether it's Google Calendar, a notebook, or again, a combination.

And the fourth aspect that Angela Watson has brought up time and time again and has in fact written a whole book about recently is mindset. Because productivity, at the end of the day, shouldn't be just about getting more things done faster. Anyone who's been in the game long enough will realise you don't just want to be working faster, because you end up like a hamster on a wheel. But thinking about, hang on, what's this all for? What kind of mindset am I going into this with? A sense of dare I say sort of abundance or scarcity? Scarcity in the sense of, "Oh, there's not enough time to do everything, I'll never get everything done, and I'll just frantically try and put out all the fires." Or, of a sense of abundance, of saying, "I as a teacher am able to make choices about what's most important for my teaching, for my professional life and even my personal life. Because of course, you can't really divorce or separate your personal life from your teaching life. Those two are inextricably linked. So that's Angela Watson and some of her things there. Before I go into the other two, I thought maybe perhaps you have any questions or comments on that, Martine?

Martine:            Yeah. I wanted to say that I'm a big fan of Angela Watson's work. I don't know if you know this, Justin, but I actually did the 40 Hour Teacher Work Week a couple of years ago, and it was a real-

Justin:             No, that's news.

Martine:            ... yeah, it was a real source of inspiration to me, and I really enjoy Angela's podcast too. And I will make sure I link to all of that information on the show notes, because I think it can bring lots of value to any listeners to the podcast. So yeah, totally agree with you, I'm a big fan. I also liked the point that you made when you were talking about to-do lists and calendars and things like that, getting focused on the process and not kind of getting into the apps first or the tools first, just having a calendar in any format. Just go analogue first to get used to what the tool is for. And then start thinking, "Actually, could I use this app? Could I use this tool?" Just start with the I want to say kind of productivity concept, and then look at the tools afterwards. Because you've got to get used to using a list and using a calendar. And those things are sort of at the foundation in my opinion of being more productive. So, I think that's really, really good advice.

Justin:             It is great. And just as teachers, I mean, I'm sitting here thinking, yes, I want my students, I teach music, I want them to be able to use composition software or digital keyboards. But at the end of the day, if we don't have what in music, we call musicianship skills, in other words, being able to think musically without tools, devices, or even instruments believe it or not, then we sort of miss something somewhere. And I think productivity is quite similar to what you said about understanding the concept of the calendar in terms of physically having a calendar, or physically having a to do list puts into perspective what tool or what app you're going to use. Yeah. That's a great thought cycle there.

Martine:            I like an app as much as the next person. And I kind of get a bit of shiny object syndrome if a new app comes out. I'm like, "I really want to try that. Apparently, this new thing's really good." But it's important to stop, work out what you actually, what the foundation you need to look at is first, and then get into the apps. So great point.

Justin:             Excellent point, Martine. And you used a keyword there, stop. Which, you and I haven't talked about this next person yet, but Michael Hyatt is the next person I'm going to talk about.

Martine:            Love Michael Hyatt. Great minds.

Justin:             Yes, indeed. Michael Hyatt has written a number of books. And for those listeners that don't know who he is, amongst other things, he's been a former CEO of one of the major book publishers in the United States, and for the last almost 10 years now he's been running his own company. Which, amongst other things, focuses on productivity and helping people to succeed in life and be more productive, but being productive in the right areas. And I took one of his courses about two years ago. I signed up for the Free to Focus course, which is now also being turned into a book. And just think of the title, Free to Focus. He talked about productivity, that I mentioned earlier in fact, productivity not being a hamster wheel that we want to get on necessarily, but rather a question of other priorities.

I mean, Michael Hyatt was the one who really clued me into this idea of freedom. We want the freedom to be productive and the freedom to focus, but not for the pursuit of just endless work. But rather freedom to achieve what we want to achieve, and then freedom to then go on and live our lives in a satisfying and successful way. So that's one big thing for Michael Hyatt, Free to Focus. He's also done a number of other books, and in some cases courses. Your Best Year Ever is about goal setting. Which, as he says, Free to Focus is about the day to day and week to week productivity, nuts and bolts. They think, "Oh my gosh, I'm overwhelmed by to-do lists, and students, and emails and all of those things." That's like being stuck with the trees.

But then if you want to look at the forest for a moment, his Best Year Ever course and book, and of course there's many other people who do this, looking at the goals you have for the months of the year and even for the year. Setting yearly goals is such a valuable thing to be able to do. And then he says even ... We talked about the trees, and then there's the forest, but perhaps you can look at the whole national park if you like, if want to use that picture. He's written a book called Living Forward, which is about writing a life plan. Which, until I'd come across the concept, I mean, who thinks of writing a plan for their life? Most of us are busy writing plans for our lessons or our semester curriculum, whatever it is. But he does talk about a life plan.

And if you can, or when you can, make the time to really stop and do that. And it's a process. You don't just do it once and think, "Yeah, tick that box. I don't have to ever think about that again." But thinking of how I came onto this and how you prompted me on this is stop. So, within the Free to Focus productivity system, he's got three steps really. And Step One is Stop. Step Two is Cut. And Step Three is Activate. So, stop is really a process of actually hitting pause on everything and saying, "What am I actually doing this for?" Which, can bring in the question of, "What are your life goals? What are your yearly goals? Or what are your quarterly goals?" So, taking that time to stop. And then secondly, the idea of cutting. Because once you've paused even just for five minutes to say, "Well, hang on. What do I need to get done today, let alone this week, this month, or this life?"

Being able to perhaps eliminate in fact within the cut step, I think from memory here, the first thing he says is eliminate. “There are some things on our to do lists, that don't actually need to be there. And if we can't eliminate them, perhaps we can delegate them to other people. Or if we can't delegate them to other people, we can automate them.” In other words, we can set up a system, a process, or in some cases and Apple tool to actually do that for us. And certainly, with social media posting or depending on the kind of teaching you do, there might be things that you can delegate to other people or to apps or processes. And then the third stage he talks about is activating. Which, is the actual process of going out and executing your to do list. So that's Michael Hyatt. And then there's one more person I'll talk about. But I'm sure you've got some thoughts on Michael Hyatt too, Martine.

Martine:            Yeah. I do like Michael Hyatt. I think he's got a lot of good stuff to say about productivity. I found it interesting when you were talking about the life plan. And part of me was thinking, "I haven't even got a lesson plan for tomorrow, let alone a life plan." I'm kidding, I do have a lesson plan for tomorrow.

Justin:             Where are your priorities?

Martine:            Absolutely. But I think personally that's kind of a next step for me, so I might check out his book. Again, I'll make sure this link's in the show notes to all of those books. I'm very good at having a yearly plan, breaking that down into quarterly goals and things like that. But going further than a year is kind of scary sometimes isn't it. So, your point about it being a work in progress is something that you don't just set and that's that. It's a really good one. So yeah, thanks for the book recommendation, I'll be looking into that.

Justin:             Most welcome. So next, we've talked about Angela Watson, who herself is a teacher, and Michael Hyatt who comes from the corporate and business world. And the third person I want to talk about is Cal Newport. Funnily enough, I guess you could label him as a teacher. Cal Newport, for those who don't know him, is a professor of computer science at one of the big universities in the United States. And amongst other books, he's written perhaps the most relevant book here to our discussion is Deep Work. The concept of deep work, which links to batching. Having the time and space, and most importantly attention and focus to execute or to really work deeply on things. Now, this may be in terms of research, or it might be in terms of preparation, even marking and report writing. Those are all deep work type tasks that, if we can eliminate distractions, minimise disruptions, having the time and space to do deep work, which could be something as short as the famed Pomodoro Technique of 25 minutes of blocked out time, everything from 25 minutes through to half a day to even a day. (Check out Episode 12 on the Pomodoro Technique)

I mean, in the book Deep Work, Cal Newport talks about people who take whole weeks or months to do things. But of course, they are not your bread and butter teachers typically. Some of them are ... Adam Grant is one famous example he gives. And Adam Grant is an author, and I think he's certainly in one of the big US colleges. He's a professor, and he still teaches students. But he's arranged his schedule such that he does have chunks of time, several days of the week where he can just focus on his research for example. I could rave on and on about Cal Newport. I'll just mention one other book he's written called Digital Minimalism. And it's a book that came out back in February of this year, 2019. And he really pushes deep into this idea of if we're trying to execute on deep work, if we're trying to eliminate distractions and interruptions, what does that look like in a digital world?

And Cal Newport himself famously has never had social media accounts, no Twitter and no Facebook. And yet, he's been extraordinarily productive with putting out research papers and acquiring a significant teaching post at a university. So Deep Work and Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, well worth investing in for anyone who's trying to get their heads around the overwhelm as it were of being a teacher, or indeed anyone else in the 21st century.

Martine:            I read Deep Work quite a few years ago, and I think I'm due for a reread actually. But you just reminded me of possibly one of the biggest shocks to the system for me when I went into teaching just over 10 years ago. I came from a corporate background, and I think the biggest shock was not having any stretches of time to try to get into that state of deep work. I was always just snatching a quarter of an hour here and there between sessions. Having a one-hour lunch break suddenly became quite an attractive stretch of time where I could be doing some deep work. So, I think going from corporate to teaching, that was the biggest change. The fact that we, as teachers, often don't have a whole day or a half a day where we can just get our heads into something. So, I think I'm due a reread on Deep Work. I loved Digital Minimalism, it really challenged me.

Justin:             Oh yeah. And I was just reading it today, Digital Minimalism, thinking, "Gosh, I really need to get back into this idea of trimming, of cutting, or even detoxing from a whole bunch of digital input." Yeah. That's a thing with this, it's a journey of learning and in some cases relearning or revisiting these concepts and ideas.

Martine:            There are some great recommendations there, Justin. Let's start moving towards tools and apps, because we're both big fans of tools and apps. Talk to me about your current productivity toolkit.

Justin:             Sure. I will start again with Michael Hyatt. Forgive me for banging that drum. But Michael Hyatt has, interestingly enough, he was really into his digital tools and still is. And in fact, I think I found you, Martine, because Michael Hyatt and yourself or certainly someone who knows you are on a Facebook group for Notion, which I will mention shortly.

Martine:            That's right. Yeah.

Justin:             So, you have him to blame for that. But Michael Hyatt, he put out, he created I should say basically a diary, a planner. Because he had been using digital tools and apps, and still does. But he reached a stage about three, four years ago when he realised to achieve this deep focus state and be really strategic and plan, he needed to be going back to analogue tools, so pen and paper. So long story short, he created the Full Focus Planner. And because I've been following Michael Hyatt, I saw sort of the early pre-release material and was one of the first users to sign up for the Full Focus Planner. So, I still carry that around. It's been really interesting, because I can see in analogue form, I don't have to go through apps, or apps that I might have used and stopped using. But I can pick up my now close to eight quarterly planners that I have and flick through them and see days and weeks where I've been very almost religiously following the system that he has in terms of making a list and using the calendar, and scheduling the day, and reflecting on the day.

And then there will be days, dare I even say weeks or two here and there where I barely scratched the planner with my plan. Yeah. That's just an interesting self-reflective point for me. But that's certainly one tool I could recommend, is the Full Focus Planner. And if you're not using the Full Focus Planner, it doesn't just have to be that one. Anyone I think these days who's questioning this idea or exploring this idea of productivity needs to think about the time to be switching off from digital and using analogue or working out what balance and what hybrid system if you like of using analogue and digital tools.

So, with that I'll go onto digital tools. I mean, gosh, most of the major ones certainly that I've seen you talk about I've seen you use at one time or another. So, Asana, been there, done that. Todoist, I was using that for quite a while. Trello, I think Trello I actually started using more frequently because you had mentioned it, Martine, and enjoyed that for quite a while. Google Keep was another one I started to go onto. But if I'm really honest, none of those at the moment I'm using. I still have the accounts for some of them. But in the last certainly 30 days, six weeks, I haven't really used those. I've been really getting into WorkFlowy. And again, Martine, this is something you had put me onto. And the thing I love about WorkFlowy is that it is just so simple. In fact, some of the reviews and some of the people who mentioned it said it's almost like you sign up for it and think, "Is this thing broken? Am I missing something?" Because it looks so simple, or it is so simple.

And yet, the more you use it, the more you realise it's powerful. And certainly, that's my approach. And I think this a key thing. Whichever app, or whichever tool you're using, digital or analogue, and this is a perspective I have as a music teacher, is, it's an instrument that you're learning to use. And you will get better at it the more you use it. And you may reach a stage where you think, "Well, actually this is really not the tool for me to use in my setting, or at this point in my life, or at this point in the year," or whatever it is. And that's fine. But look, for me, WorkFlowy is certainly the tool I've been using the most lately. And I have two accounts, one for work and one for home, and then can share the dots, or the documents as it were. And just quickly for those who don't have a clue what I'm talking about, WorkFlowy essentially is ... I mentioned dots because you open it up and you just see these bullet points. And then you can create your own bullet points.

But the killer feature as it were of WorkFlowy is you click on the bullet point and it opens up that bullet point as a whole new screen, or document I should say. And so you can then add more bullet points, click on those bullet points and have further levels. So, as they describe it themselves, it's an infinite level of ... levels if you like of being able to go into this mega document you're creating. And then hashtags, that's the one that's really started to make me realise that it's a quite powerful tool if you understand the hashtags. And then just being able to check off the check lists. So that's some of the tools and apps I've tried in the past, and WorkFlowy that I'm still using.

Notion. Notion, again, look, I was using it for quite a while and I thought, "Wow, this is amazing." I'd actually transitioned to Notion from Evernote. Now, I still have an Evernote account, and still click things nowhere near as much as I used to, but I still click things on Evernote. And Notion at the same time seemed like a great alternative to Evernote. And there seemed to be this quite geeky, and I use that in the best sense, community of people saying, "Look, Notion's amazing. Look at all the things you can do, and look, here's something." The capacity to create notebooks and templates and share them with others is incredible. And I'm not ruling out using Notion myself in the future. But look, as a music teacher working with hundreds of kids every week and juggling all sorts of things I thought, "Look, I don't want to get caught up on spending so much time on the tool that I don't actually achieve the things that I'm setting out to do. Which, is get a whole bunch of things done for us." Which, is why WorkFlowy, for me, is the best digital tool I've got at the moment.

Martine:            That's such a good point. And the way that you've compared WorkFlowy to Notion, I can really relate to what you're saying having used both tools, and I'm a fan of both tools for different reason. Notion has so much potential. At the moment I'm using it as what I would call a personal wiki. And all my aims and goals and that sort of life planning piece that I haven't quite done yet, that will all be in Notion, because that's the sort of thing I can spend some time on, and I can lay it out in a really nice way. And Notion is really, really good for that. But when it comes to things like quick capture of information, or the kind of web clipping that you describe that you do within Evernote, Notion's not quite there yet because it's a massive, flexible tool that could be lots and lots of different things.

 And as such, it doesn't do everything as quickly as perhaps you want it to. That's my kind of overriding sense of where Notion is currently. And you're so right when you say, "The Notion geek crew," who I do count myself as part of in a very, very lovely way. We're always changing our Notion setups and finding new and exciting ways to do things. But actually, sometimes by spending all that time on that, you're not being terribly productive in other areas. So, I think you make some really good points there. And I miss WorkFlowy. I'm not using WorkFlowy for anything at the moment. I love WorkFlowy. You described it really well.

 I don't know if you've come across my good friend, Frank Degenaar. He does a lot of WorkFlowy tutorials and things like that, and he's written a book on WorkFlowy.

 Justin:             I think I have. In fact, did he interview you on his podcast, or the other way around?

 Martine:            He did.

 Justin:             Yes. And I'm pretty sure that's how I came across you, Martine, was Michael Hyatt was raving about Notion. And he mentioned there's a Notion group, so I looked at the Notion group. And then there was your friend, Frank. And then there was a link to your podcast. And I thought, "Goodness me, there's actually a teacher out there talking about productivity." So, the rest is history.

 Martine:            Isn't it funny how these happen? I love that. Frank's book's excellent. It's called ... I always get the title wrong, but it's something like Do Way, Way More With WorkFlowy. And he's got like a WorkFlowy academy going and all sorts of things. He's a good contact.

 Justin:             Brilliant.

 Martine:            But it's great that you're using WorkFlowy in such a good way by the sounds of things.

Justin:             Yeah. If I could just talk about literally work flow, I mean, it's quite funny how they created that name. And I was looking at Google ... My school, my organisation uses Google Docs. That's the other thing. With Notion I thought, "Notion's wonderful, but when I'm trying to create something that I'm going to use with my colleagues, then really Google Docs is where it's at for better or worse."

Martine:            Yes, me too. I'm in the same situation.

Justin:             And Gmail. So, with Gmail, Inbox Zero, I remember coming across this years ago, Inbox Zero. And I was like, "Oh my goodness, I can empty my inbox, and wow, this is amazing." And look, I don't get it done every day or even every week sometimes. But certainly, in the last two weeks, to pick an example, in the last two weeks I've hit Inbox Zero probably about 50% of the time. And my current process or workflow of that is looking at what's in my inbox. And if it's not something I can do straight away or snooze and forward, in fact there's something called Follow Up Then. This is another web service. Follow Up Then, where you forward an email to for example, and then it shoots that email back to you, snoozes the email then sends it back to you at the right time.

Anyway, so if I've got something like a task that needs to happen next week, and I'm not going to forward it on to myself in a week's time I'll put it into WorkFlowy. So WorkFlowy sort of becomes the ... In fact, there's a section in my WorkFlowy called Dumping Ground or something, words to that effect where I just dump in all the tasks out of my inbox. So, then my inbox is clear, and then I can go into the tasks, prioritise them, move them around, allocate time horizons or dates. "This needs to happen this week, or today, or tomorrow, or next week." So that's I guess part of my work flow with WorkFlowy and email.

Martine:            Your WorkFlowy work flow. That's brilliant. And thanks for highlighting, the snooze function on Gmail is an absolute life saver for me. We don't use Gmail in my work environment unfortunately. We are a G Suite for Education college. But for some reason, we're still using Outlook for emails, which is deeply frustrating to me. Because obviously, the Google tools all play beautifully together. But that aside, I use Gmail for all of my personal stuff. And I do pretty much get to Inbox Zero every week, but it is with the help of the snooze tool. So, for those who aren't using Gmail, then that service that you mentioned just before, I'll link to that in the show notes, because it's essentially a non-Gmail version of the snooze tool by the sounds of things.

Justin:             It certainly is, yeah. The snooze tool on Gmail, in fact, I think it kind of snuck up on me. I didn't even realise the snooze tool was there. I've been using this other service called Follow Up Then and then realised, "Hang on a minute. Gmail actually does this anyway." Although, the slight difference is in there are some things that the snooze is good for, and other things which Follow Up Then is better for in my opinion. And the best way to discover that is to actually go out and try it yourself. And one other quick one on email is something called Boomerang, which one of my colleagues put me onto. And Boomerang is wonderful. If you're up at some odd hour of the day or night, and you want to send an email to someone or even a group of people, but you don't want to email them at 3:00 in the morning or 11:00 at night, the weekend, you can use Boomerang to basically have the email held and then sent out at a later date or time. So, Boomerang is another one I've been using for email.

 Martine:            There's a good list of tools and the apps there for us to have a little play with I think, Justin.

Justin:             For sure.

Martine:            Amazing. Is there anything else you would like to mention as part of this interview about teacher productivity?

Justin:             Just, I was thinking Martine, I'm no guru at this. And if anything, I'm having to relearn all of these things. So, I've shared a number of tools and people and resources with your listeners. But honestly, there are some of these things I need to go back and revisit. So, it's a journey. So, for anyone who's out there and maybe you've never heard of any of this before and you're just starting out, or you've tried all of these things, or tried some of these things. And maybe you reached a point of not feeling that all of them work necessarily. The keyword I can say there, key encouragement is, look, it's a journey. And what will work for some people won't work for others. But some things will work at different times for us. And as teachers, as educators, gosh, our work can seem like a never-ending process.

But look, a podcast like yours, Martine, and reaching out to people, productivity is all wonderfully great. But at the end of the day, if we're missing out on better human relationships, whether that's at work in terms of the students and colleagues we work with or in our personal lives, then something's missing. So that's a second aspect there. And one other thought I'm just going to throw in there knowing you've been to a Research Ed Conference, I'm very jealous by the way, for anyone who's listening, they're just about to ... April 2020 they're hosting one in Shanghai, and I'm hoping I can get to that one. So, for the listeners who don't know, Research Ed is a conference run by teachers for teachers looking at research based or research informed practises in education.

And the tie that I think I spotted there with productivity is the gentleman Joe Kirby. Joe Kirby, I don't know if he still works at the school, but the school is called Michaela Community School in London. And he's written an amazing blog, which I'll send to you, Martine, and you can share with the listeners called Hornets and Butterflies. And he addresses I guess this question of productivity from the point of view of, is what we're actually the most effective thing to be doing? So, hornets being the high effort low impact things that we do in schools, or in institutions of education. And the butterflies are the low effort, high impact things that we do in schools.

And so this springs up what for some people are quite controversial things about, "How much marking should we do? And how much feedback, or what kinds of feedback should we do?" And a whole bunch of other workload related issues, which ultimately tie back into productivity. Because as I've said, as we've said, you can be as productive as anything. But if you're not actually focused on the right things that fit into a bigger picture, then you need to at some point pause and look at where it's all heading. So, there's a few other things I thought I should share with everyone.

Martine:            It is. I will look forward to reading that article and know a little bit about the Michaela School. So, I'll find that really interesting to read. And as you suggest, I'll share it in the show notes so the listeners can have a look. April 2020 is going to be a really good part of the year, because that's when the Guernsey Research Ed is happening, and I've got a recap episode from when I went to the national conference back in September 2019. So, I will make sure I link to that in the show notes too. But you're going to have such a good time if you can go. You'll really, really enjoy it. (Check out the Episode here)

Wrap Up

Justin, thanks so much for coming on the show. I have one final question for you, and it's an important one. Where can people find you online?

Justin:             Great. The central location I guess for my online presence is my website, which, It's hockey as in same as the sport, H-O-C-K-E-Y, I'm also on Twitter, with a rather awkward user name, which is linked on my website. So, I'll just leave it at that. But yeah, that's my main online presence. And I've got a sometime blog, a blog that I sometimes write on that. And certainly, there's at least on article on there so far about productivity and some of the tools we've described today.

Martine:            That's brilliant. Thanks again, Justin, it's been a pleasure having you on the show.

Justin:             Likewise, and thank you so much, Martine.