Keeping a journal as a teacher, why and how? TAKE THE 30 DAY CHALLENGE!

I challenge you to journal every day for 30 days. It takes just 10 minutes each day. Try it and see if it improves your teaching and mindset. It’s easy with the outline below.


In a time when New Year’s resolutions are made and broken in a flurry of, “in 2018 I must do this more, or that less”, I’m posting about keeping a journal. This is something you can do that’ll help you no end in the upcoming year.

Last week I posted about New Year’s resolutions, and suggested some you may find useful now we’ve all crawled back to work. Read NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS AS A TEACHER HERE. But, today I’m talking about one particular resolution which I’ve found great in 2017 – and I challenge you to try it!

But I don’t have time for that!

First of all lets clear that up. This takes ten minutes a day. I challenge anyone to find ten minutes to focus on this. Set a timer, and after ten minutes, you’re done.

So, why would you keep a journal? I’m way to busy for that, what’s the point?

Journaling helps you see the positive in things

The idea of forcing yourself to think of one positive thing that happened in your day and writing it down focuses your mind on the good. Sometimes, everything can feel negative, like the whole world’s against you – but it’s never 100% bad.  Using the structure I suggest you’re prompted to think of one good thing to take forward from your day, and focus on that.

Shows you the distance you’ve travelled

I’ve not been keeping mine for long, since October 2017, but I can already look back and see how I felt before particular events and how I’ve overcome them. In November I had a small operation. Reading my entries for the days leading  up to it are interesting, it was clear I was nervous of the unknown. The sense of overcoming it is visible in my posts afterwards.


This is a bit of a less holistic one. Unfortunately, in education we are accountable for our students’ progress – it’s all part of life as a teacher, so it goes in the journal. Note down the strategies that you’re trying with that difficult class or student, or something that worked really well so you’ll remember to try it again. I don’t name students in my personal journal, I keep a separate record of difficult students, conversations I’ve had with them and their parents for future reference. But, either way, if anyone ever asks what I’m doing about the progress of that class, I’ve got the answers.

Keeps you focused on your aims 

At the top of my journal structure I have my key aims, which I work towards every day. Writing the journal focuses my mind on them so that I’m not drifting off into distraction. Occasionally, after writing my journal, I’ve reworked a lesson for the following day as it doesn’t fit in with my aim of “teaching creatively”.

So, that’s why – but how?

There’s no right or wrong way to this, what works for me may be different for you. Forget the bits that you don’t find helpful and add to the ones you do.

My journal structure: 

My aims:

  • Write for ten minutes daily about successes, progresses and areas of development for the day
  • Work towards main goals which are:
    • Teaching creatively
    • Blog about education weekly and engage online daily
    • Write creatively as much as possible
    • Value and prioritise my most important relationships

Prompt questions:


  • What happened today?
  • What were today’s biggest successes?


  • What are my plans for tomorrow?
  • How am I going to make progress towards my goals tomorrow, or just enjoy myself?


Go on, copy and paste the above into your word processor now, in ten minutes you’ll have begun.

Try it for a month, and see how you get on!


What are you particularly thankful for today?

How are you going to work towards your goals tomorrow?



2 Replies to “Keeping a journal as a teacher, why and how? TAKE THE 30 DAY CHALLENGE!”

  1. Very interesting article. I’ve kept a diary on and off for over 30 years (mainly when travelling) but this is usually narrative and factual. As I move from acting Headship in one school to a substantive Headship in another, I’m really focusing on my strengths (and how to use them effectively) as well as my weaknesses (and how to develop them). I like the idea of a journal and this is a good structure to use.

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