Meet Stephen from The Teacher Bible, an Australian teacher who is dedicated to creating engaging resources for upper primary. Stephen has created his online brand, Teacher Bible, which shares tips for teachers in the form of video, images and digital products. He is a passionate educator who is generous with his knowledge to support other teachers.
Why did you want to become a teacher and what inspired you to create an online account?
I have always been destined to become a teacher. Throughout my years post high school and during university I've always worked with kids. Prior to becoming a teacher I worked casually as a swim teacher, after school and before school carer, as well as a carer during holiday programs. Working with kids brings me great joy and I love every minute (well mostly every minute!).
I decided to create an online account because teachers around me at my school saw benefit in the resources I created. I hate using generic tasks and worksheets and I'm always trying to reinvent the wheel; therefore, I decided to share my resources in the hope that other teachers out there would see value in my resources with their classes.
You are known for selling comprehensive novel studies with teacher guides. What is your process for creating engaging resources and what tools do you suggest teachers use?
I love the classroom environment when reading a book, particularly as a whole class. Therefore, I wanted to create some meaningful activities after reading part of a book that could enable students to express their understanding in a creative manner.
When going through this process I came across this concept of 'One Pagers' from Betsy @nowsparkcreativity (she is on Instagram, has a website and also her own podcast). I loved that One Pagers gave students the ability to express their understanding in many ways using their 'sketchnoting' skills (sketchnoting is something else I've worked on a lot with my students. 'Verbal to Visual' is a great place to start to learn more about it).
After creating these templates on PowerPoint my students absolutely loved it so I now create them for each new book I read with my class. I currently have Refuge and Parvana in this format, and I will soon be adding Parvana's Journey, which is the sequel to Parvana.
Is it hard to have a good work life balance when you have an online teacher account and teaching position? What strategies do you have to maintain good teacher mental health?
Well some people may call me a workaholic, but it is just something I enjoy, I don't see it as work. It is just part of my job and maintaining an online account adds no extra workload as it is just a place where I can share my teaching and keep track of my journey.
In terms of maintaining good teacher mental health I always shut down from teaching after a certain time. I'm not one to take work home as I feel that is breaching my personal time. On weekends I do nothing (except for maybe report time) and I make sure I manage my time well during the week so that I'm organised for the week ahead.
Who are some of your favourite online teacher accounts?
There a number I seek inspiration from, they include: @misskyritsis, @miss_fairclough_, @nowsparkcreativity, @shakeuplearning, @buildmathminds, @robert_kaplinsky and @makemathmoments.
What is the best thing about creating an online teacher brand?
The opportunity to share your work and communicate with other great teachers doing the same thing. The teacher community is always so supportive, and I highly recommend it for any teacher out there.
What advice do you have for teachers wanting to start an online account?
Just do it. From my perspective there is only positive things that can be gained from it. I don't see any negatives at all. It is up to you how much effort you want to put into it. Some teachers just sit back and take in all the great ideas to use in their classroom, while others have certainly built quite a well-known brand and are now bringing in a substantial side hustle income.
You can find some of Teacher Bible's products and social media links at: Teacher Bible @ Tip the Teacher