Hello, and welcome to the Qualified Tutor Podcast, the podcast that brings you the latest in the world of tutoring EdTech and education and hopefully inspires in us a big change that each and every one of us is capable of.
Qualified Tutor is an industry-leading tutor training organisation and an online tutoring community for 1000s of tutors around the world. This podcast is the voice of this community, where we aim to hear from tutors, teachers, entrepreneurs, coaches, business experts, students, tutor printers, and more from the world of tutoring about what inspires them every day, how they can help tutors like you and what they’ve learned about tutoring along the way.
The question is, what will you learn today?
Ludo Millar 1:12
Hello, and welcome to this the 97th episode of the Qualified Tutor Podcast. We are but a few days out from the Love Tutoring Festival 2. And I have with me here today two individuals who have helped to make this Festival happen. So in the next 25 minutes or so, you’ll be hearing from Diego Melo who is the CEO and Founder of Nudge Education. And Hannah Mitchell, who is part of the Nudge Minds team at Nudge Education. And the two of them will be delivering the lunchtime Nudge Education Insight Sessions from 1-1:30pm UK time GMT, every single lunchtime Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday of the Festival. So this conversation is to understand a little bit more about that. So without further ado, I will stop talking now. And I will hand over to Diego and Hannah. But just so listeners, you tuning into this podcast, have a bit of a context to our two guests today, I’m going to give both Diego and Hannah 60 seconds to introduce themselves. Diego first …
Diego Melo 3:11
Wow what a challenge. Okay, yeah. So I had to two incredibly cold showers today so far, absolutely cold to the bone. I’m taking currently very conscious, deep diaphragmatic breaths. And I got a whole lot of work done. And I cannot wait for the Love Tutoring Festival because it’s gonna be a good one. If you’re listening to this and wondering whether you should get involved, just don’t bother listening. Just get involved. Just quit the podcast now, go on. No, maybe not or maybe just go straight up to the website. After this. Maybe you can do it simultaneously, you can open a new tab, and get involved from things like mental health, all the way to the business of tutoring and everything else. I’m excited about this. And Ludo, thank you so much for giving us all at Nudge Education, the platform to help out with this and contribute towards this amazing thing that you guys are doing. And man, you’ve put in some very hard work into this. So yeah, thanks for that, too. So that’s me.
Ludo Millar 4:18
Let’s go. I’d say that was going on 60 seconds. Thank you, Diego.
Diego Melo 4:22
Was it really?
Ludo Millar 4:24
Okay, fine, it was a little bit over. Hannah, let’s see if you can match that.
Hannah Mitchell 4:30
Lovely to be here, you know, and yes, indeed a challenge. I’m Hannah and I took 10 minutes out today to do a guided meditation on saying yes to the moment. So hopefully that channels through right now. I am the Service Lead for Nudge Minds and also have spent many years coaching in clinical Sports Therapy, mindfulness and movement. All things mind and body with professional athletes internationally and within education environments. So delighted to be here, excited for next week and for what we can bring forward.
Diego Melo 5:08
Was that 60 seconds?
Ludo Millar 5:10
That was just underneath, so the two of you, 120 seconds in total. So, I guess what listeners want to be hearing after this, then, is what are the Insight Sessions? What are the insights that you’ll be providing every day at the Festival over lunchtime?
Diego Melo 5:31
Okay, well, do you mind if I go in Hannah. It’s just I mean, you can talk about the Insight Sessions in particular known as in a second verse. So Nudge Education Insight Sessions are our own homegrown, relevant, CPD sessions for our team, they run biweekly. Why am I telling you that because out of that, we suggested that to you Ludo that we run some of those things that we do, and it is so overly talked about certain elements of CPD rights things like, I mean, in a way, it’s important that we keep talking about them. But on the other hand, it’s like, is there something else we could be hearing about and talking about that will further enhance or enhance our experience of being alive? Of doing a job? Of connecting with our students? And the answer is yes, the answer is absolutely, yes. So within those, Nudge Education Insight Sessions that we run biweekly for our team across the country, we explore things like neuroscience, mindfulness, and meditation. We look at issues to do with language and gender and identity. So we look at concepts of human proximity and conductivity, how do we build rapport with young people? How, you know, all sorts of things, it doesn’t quite fit that CPD thing on dyslexia or on autism, and stuff. And we thought, whilst some of that is really, really important, and some people will really benefit from hearing those mainstream kind of CPD things, we thought perhaps we could take some time during the Festival, to offer something that we all really, really benefit from at Nudge Education, which is that space to breathe and to be calm and to find centrality within. And we’re going to be doing some work around mindfulness and meditation and the sun, the physiology of stress in relation to performance. And is that useful, is what’s out there useful. And we’re going to take some time to literally slow right down at lunchtime. Do you want to go into it a bit more and see exactly what sort of things we might be doing tonight, if that’s helpful.
Ludo Millar 7:57
I love that. That was the the wider vision from Diego and now, the real nitty gritty of it.
Diego Melo 8:05
Is there a pattern somewhere that, Ludo, that you’ve recognised??
Hannah Mitchell 8:12
And as Diego says, I think we really wanted to bring something forward that would help take care of us and ourselves as tutors and practitioners and educators, something really relevant that would support us, and especially recognising the difficulties that we’ve all experienced with change in the last couple of years. But what we want to bring forward is how we can recognise the impact of stress, the physiological response, the emotional response, how we can intervene, and what practical ways we can do that. So discussion around what all that means, and then also bringing forward simple techniques – I say simple, but they’re actually quite difficult. Otherwise, we don’t do them all, we should normalise them, and that these are simple techniques, but it’s quite hard to bring our attention to them and access them when we are high-performing people, when we are looking to push ourselves or really support other people. So we’re going to work every day for 30 minutes together or share some space together to explore this subject and then bring it into practice, really embody a practice of mindfulness of breathing techniques, so we can use that as we go forward.
And now a word from Diego Melo, one of today’s guests, about the vision behind Nudge Education.
We are Nudge Education, a movement of like-minded professionals trying to eradicate chronic disengagement from the face of the education sector, one child at a time, and point every chronically disengaged child towards a life that is worth living. So if you want to find out more, please go to nudgeeducationco.uk/workwithus and get involved with the movement.
Performing is just something we do every day, isn’t it? I mean performing daily activities, we call it ‘performing’. So one of the measures around anxiety and depression is your ability to what? perform daily tasks, right. It’s the word that he uses to perform. So from the moment we get up to the moment we go to bed, we’re performing acts of, I guess, engagement with life and people in our environments. And I guess what I’m excited about is that we’re not necessarily labelling a stress as a physiological curse. But more understanding that as a natural response to some of the things that we really, really care about, be it protecting, be it working with a student, be it running a marathon. But the other thing that I’m excited, and I’ve learned lots and lots and lots from Hannah, recently, in the past two years as Hannah was my physio actually, not sure if many people knew this, but there you go. And then, anyway, we’ll tell you about how our paths crossed and workwise some other time, because we had no idea. And they were about to cross. And that’s probably the point where everybody listening says, ‘Ah, come on, tell me more about that’. Because it’s probably more interesting. But yeah, so it’s more, it’s more about how actually, stress is an absolutely intrinsic part of high-performing athletes.
It provides clarity, determination, extra strength, and so on, you know, I mean, to put it bluntly, have you ever seen some of those videos on YouTube, of when a mother, a simple frail mother managed to lift a car to save a baby? And where do you find that strength? Where do you find that absolute power? It’s through, I guess, the hormones that stress can provide to you, and how it works through the fibres of your body and your muscles, you know, how do you hang on that tiny little, for me, that tiny little hold in a climbing wall, you know, 8 meters up with no harness or anything. You know, it is stress and it’s adrenaline, it is those hormones, but when that becomes just a thing that you experience on a day-to-day basis, every hour of every day, it will disable you. And actually, ultimately, what we know these days about the impact of stress is that it’ll disable you to a point of death, you know, and it will generate chronic conditions. There are enormous links around chronic stress and chronic illnesses like cancer and so on. So we don’t want to dive in too deep. But I’m really excited to provide people who function actually if I may say so controversially, in a somewhat sometimes toxic environment, full of like constant demands and constant pressure, and it’s constant blaming, and it’s constant not good enough. I think finding a space where we can sit amongst the fire and not be burnt. Exploring a tiny little bit and experiencing a tiny little bit of what that feels like, will be great for everybody attending the Love Tutoring Festival. You took some deep breath, Ludo, how did that feel?
Ludo Millar 13:43
Yeah, Diego’s a psychic. He knows my every movement. No, I came off a call with the Nudge Education team today and after some encouragement, or at least some prompting, it will take some, I think, what was it I’ve written it down actually, I took 15 deep breaths in a row, just 15 big deep breaths with your diaphragm moving up and down. And it made a big difference to my clarity of thought and my low-lying levels of stress. So you will experience that at least, if not more, in the lunchtime sessions. But I wanted to hear from you to a little bit more about what you hope Festival attendees can gain from participating in these Insights Sessions. Hannah, can we turn to you first?
Hannah Mitchell 14:43
Yeah, I really want to bring forward that, although it can be quite terrifying when we turn attention to the fact that you know a lot of us day-to-day deal with chronic stress or flood of stress hormones that we can intervene and the tech, once we know the techniques and start to cultivate awareness and space, and embed that as a practice, it is very possible to bring us out of stress state, a sympathetic nervous state into a calm, parasympathetic nervous state, we can do this by using diaphragmatic breathing practices, we can do this by the breathing techniques that we’re going to bring forward. And also, I really wanted to give us that opportunity to really practice this together. So cultivating mindful awareness and in a really nice community, in a safe space where we can explore actually it. No, there’s a lot of normality in chronic stress. We have a lot of experience in this right now. But there really are a lot of very powerful interventions that we can use to help cultivate space. And we want to add in a lot of compassion towards this as well, because we know that’s what we need.
Diego Melo 16:00
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think for me, it’s about there are different routes to life, where it’s less stressful. But if you’re looking at tutoring, whether somebody is underachieving in school, or whether somebody is chronically disengaged, like marriage education, we are bound to absorb some of that. College, you know, the T-word ‘trauma’, or energy or frustration. And we’re put in a place that is quite tricky, as tutors, in the sense that it doesn’t really, we can’t really, you know, we can’t just perform a magic trick and get somebody to catch up with their academic work or pass with a star three levels or perhaps move away from experiencing enormous separation from the education sector, and within months pay back in the education sector, as a high-performing student, we can’t do that, for somehow it’s expected of us to do it. Which is understandable, we expect a doctor to help us, cure us, right, or sort us out, or fix some of those last we work in and we can’t work towards that with a child, it’s not entirely our responsibility.
So we absorb all sorts of stresses, and actually, eventually, it goes nowhere other than stays in the body. And that toxic, toxic stress releases lots and lots of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, all of which will influence inflammation around the cells, which again, drives things like high levels of anxiety, and so on. So I hope that people, number one, will be able to, as I say, sit in the fire and not be burnt, they’ll find that centrality of peace, you know, that, which is no hugging anywhere else other than the acceptance that this is a fire so that it’s burning, it’s not that it’s orange, whatever it is, it’s just where we are, we are here now. And find that inner peace. And actually the brain responds really, really well to that, you know that the pre- let’s not get too technical, but the brain responds really well and begins to calm some of those other parts of the brain, tiny parts, actually with immense power that are saying to us, ‘Oh, this is terrible’ or ‘This is no good’. But then recognises it just as it is. That’s the first thing.
But then secondly, I hope that people get a glimpse. Certainly a glimpse at- when I got that glimpse, I held onto it for dear life, because it was amazing, is how much wellness these practices can promote. And I’m frustrated because the most I mean, Lewis Hamilton, guess what he does lots and lots of: meditation, lots of mindfulness, lots of breath, work, and just listen to some of the things that he does on some of these other apps that do like lessons and stuff. And you hear that some of the high-performing people, the most calming people, or most sort of karma, people who are very mindful and very present. So no wonder their brain is regulated in a slightly different way. So for us teachers who have one of the highest rates of signing off sick in the country, my hope is that we can sit in a fire and not be burnt. We can turn a fire and I guess appreciate where we are, in a way without having to be consumed by it.
Ludo Millar 19:51
I really love that that phrase, I think that could become the tagline of these sessions.
Diego Melo 19:59
Which one, Ludo, I can’t remember what I said now …
Ludo Millar 20:04
At least it’s all being recorded. [LAUGHS] So yeah, sitting in the fire, but not being burnt. And you know, this idea that we’re right in amongst it, we’re participating actively. We’re learning, we’re meeting new people. But we’re caring for ourselves. We’re being empathetic towards our own bodies and our own minds and also those those of those around you.
For those of you who know the Love Tutoring Festival, you will be delighted to hear that … we’re back!
From Monday 24th to Friday 28th of January 2022, the Love Tutoring Festival will return bigger and better than ever. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re in for a real treat. The most loved festival in tutoring, the Love Tutoring Festival is a five-day, online celebration of all things tutoring. With some of the biggest names in tutoring, education and pedagogy and hundreds of committed and motivated tutors from all four corners of the globe taking part, it really is the biggest party in tutoring. We will again be working on a freemium ticket model this year, with all our events totally free, apart from our famous, and ludicrously inexpensive, CPD-Accredited workshops. You can find out more, including the confirmed speakers so far, how to grab your place, and key information on our wonderful sponsors at qualifiedtutor.org/lovetutoringfestival.
Let’s raise standards in tutoring together.
We just drawing to a bit of a close here, I want to end with some really key specific details about the event. So someone listening to this now is lining up the Monday or the Tuesday at 1pm to come and join one of these sessions and learn a bit more about the breath work and the meditation that you’re talking about. What what can they expect in the half an hour?
Diego Melo 22:07
Okay, Hannah, so I mean, we’ll be introducing the whole thing and introducing ourselves and you know, the context in which we want to teach. And I’ll let her go into the detail in a minute. But really, we just want you to experience much like what you did Ludo. It’s only 15 breaths, or 10 breaths, or two minutes of pausing. And what it is to your body’s sensation is actually an outcome to what’s happening in your brain. We want you to experience that as a way. I know there’s lots of people who will hit the bottle and hit you know, hit this and hit that and do that and do this, which, fair enough. I think you know, whatever suits your pain, but I feel like perhaps if you haven’t yet experienced this, this is amazing. It really is amazing. And it should be prescribed by the NHS.
But Hannah, tell people, how are we going to break this down into smaller chunks?
Hannah Mitchell 23:16
Yeah. Okay. So let’s start our sessions off. And we will introduce what stress means, the physiology of stress, how this is going to impact, how this potentially impacts our lives, our performance, and then we spend the first 10-15 minutes discussing this, and then we’re going to go into a 10-minute practice each day. And this is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. And we are going to use that 10 minutes of time to explore the breathing techniques that we’ve mentioned, but also bring in as a short meditation. So we can really embody and use that experience. So the first part of it is going to be a discussion. Diego and I are going to discuss these subjects in a little bit more detail as to what we’ve gone into today. And then the last part is we’re all gonna go into practice this inexperienced, that space of comms in last 10 minutes or so, we’ll do this.
Diego Melo 24:24
Yeah, that’s cool. So I think that’s pretty much it. Nicely sized. Well, we can just play this next.
Ludo Millar 24:30
Yeah. It’s just good. Exactly. No interaction with Hannah, just a pre-recorded message. No. What’s key is that the you know, that there’s an extra half an hour between 1:30 and 2pm, before the post-lunch sessions start on each day, and we’ve built in that time so that attendees have a few moments to go and grab some lunch or to decompress a little bit and go out, take a walk, that kind of thing. But if you’d like to stay on and chat more with with Diego and Hannah, then they will be available from 1:30 till 2pm as well. It’s just we don’t want to build in a mindfulness session that takes up the entire lunch period. That’s fairly ironic. So, yeah, we want to give people a half an hour session so they have time but if you’d like to stay on, Diego & Hannah have agreed to stay on a little bit longer and chat.
Diego Melo 25:26
We are so holy that we will forego our own sandwiches.
Ludo Millar 25:31
Yeah, listeners, none of us from the delivery side will be having lunch. Just an intravenous drip of enthusiasm and warmth and collaboration. So thank you very much the two of you. That was short-fire, short and sharp little sessions on what the Insight Sessions will be about and what people can expect from them. That was really very kind and very kind of you also to give up your time, during lunchtime to deliver these sessions. I think you’ll have lots of people emailing you, contacting you after the Festival saying, ‘I’ve been doing this everyday since the Festival. It helped me learn enormous amounts’. So great, we will see you in just four days’ time for the start of the Love Tutoring Festival.
If you’re catching up on this in the months after the Festival, then know that these sessions were incredibly useful and they will always be back for the next Festival. So 24th to the 28th of January 2022 is the Love Tutoring Festival 2. I have been your host here of the Qualified Tutor Podcast, Ludo Millar, I’m also the Director of the Love Tutoring Festival. Hannah and Diego will be at the Festival next week delivering the Nudge Education Insight Sessions. And finally, Diego will be delivering a keynote on the Monday on a journey through the science of the five cornerstones of holistic education. That’ll be at 12pm GMT on the Monday and he’ll be teaming up with Lucy Spencer from Education Boutique after lunch on the Thursday the 27th of January. So if you’re at the Festival, you’ll be seeing my face a lot. You’ll be seeing Diego’s face a lot and and, at the lunchtime sessions, you’ll be seeing Hannah’s face a lot as well. So, one final time. Thank you, both of you. And we’ll see you all next week. Thank you.
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