Today my guest is Daniel Steele who is a primary school teacher, basketball aficionado, Dad of two little humans and the brains behind the wonderful website Upgrade Think Learn.

Dan is an old friend of mine and a legend of a bloke who also happens to be a vice principal at a school by the beach in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. He is also a writer and chock full of enthusiasm and creativity. I rang Dan one night after home schooling all day to pick his brains about a worry that many parents and myself had shared about how our kids are going missing so much school. What he had to say made me really think and also allowed me to get some perspective on all of it and realise that more important than how our kids will go academically is how they actually are in themselves.

Dan made me think about what we can do to help them and us through this really tricky time and reminded me that as always prioritising our mental health, how we feel in our heads and hearts will ultimately be the thing that gets us through. That being said this week I’m leaning into getting more sleep, drinking water and getting out each day for a walk or a run. It’s simple but whenever life gets tough I always think those seem to be the first things to go. When I’m spiralling into a really bad head space I run that mental checklist. Have I had water today? Have I eaten? Did I sleep? Have I exercised? It’s amazing how many problems seems more manageable if we’ve done those things. Also side note to any teachers out there thank you, you are on the front lines, are often the one consistent face parents and families are seeing each day and you are so valued. Thank you for showing up for us, our kids and our communities.


ABC Education

Reading Eggs

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Berry Street Education Model

You’ve been listening to a podcast by me Claire Tonti and this week with Daniel Steele. For more from Dan you can find him at

And for more from me you can head to my website or on Instagram @clairetonti

Thank you as always to RAW Collings for editing this episode and if you’d like to contact the show you can email me at [email protected]