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An Ode to the Teacher, Parent and Child During this Exam Season.

Hack Your Hormones

An Ode to the Teacher, Parent and Child During this Exam Season.

A tale about why and how your child, your teacher friends, or even you as a parent of exam aged children might benefit from WillPowders this exam season. 

Allow me to set the scene and tell you a little story… It ain’t no fairy tale, it’s a bit Brothers Grimm.  

Before my life at WillPowders, a life I am so grateful for,  I was an Assistant Head Teacher, Head of English and an English Teacher at a large, inner city, mixed comp, so I’m definitely qualified and have a few things to say about combatting stress during the exam season. Suffice to say, I left the profession, a job I once loved, after 15 years, which I think is probably the biggest tell when it comes to how stressed and disillusioned I was. I worked so hard to create a career that I thought might, one day, culminate in becoming a Head Teacher,  but it just was not meant to be and that really is okay. I’m really okay. 

A snippet of the current education climate and why supporting the mental and physical health of our kids has never been more important… 

(I would like to preface this snippet with: I’m not trying to terrify you; I’m a parent too, and as a fellow parent, I believe information is power!)

Firstly, I want to give a massive shout out to my Teaching Tribe who, over the past 5 years, have faced so much adversity, have had their resources and budgets slashed and have been pushed to any normal limit and beyond, but they are still expected to get results and shelve any sense of being human during term time.  All the while, they adorn their teacher/ parent/ social worker/ nutritionist/ counsellor/ bouncer hat, make an outdated curriculum exciting and inclusive, generally work their magic with a smile on their face and walk through those school gates with the determination to ensure that every child they teach gets the best of them.  Their families and own kids certainly don’t. It’s all used up. This is not a tale of woe, it’s simply the truth - for those who have stuck it out, are still doing it for the right reasons, you are actual heroes! 

And now to the babes I used to teach, and what a privilege it was: the truth of the matter is, our kids are surviving in a broken education system, where teachers are leaving in their droves out of pure self preservation, resulting in our kids being taught by non specialists or supply that they don’t know and who don’t know them; they are being taught a curriculum designed by the powers that be and which is not fit for purpose in a modern world; they too are being pushed to their limits, expected to snap back after lockdown (yes, it’s still a thing for the kids) and sit exams that have been written by the middle class for middle class children, children who have been read to every night; whom have come home to a hot meal; whom have experienced life outside of their hometown; whose parents can prioritise their education outside of the confines of the classroom; whom have been supported emotionally and whom have been nurtured by loving parents and family.  It’s just a crock and this doesn’t reflect many children’s realities! 

All our children are thrown into a race at the age of 4; the survival of the fittest and brightest and for some of our kids this can be utterly terrifying, cortisol inducing and a gut wrenching experience. The point is, every child is different and those differences should be celebrated and nurtured. Whether they are neurodivergent, learn best by doing, have a cheeky chappy or sassy Susan side, love reading but can’t add up - whoever our children are, they are still brilliant and they deserve creativity and innovation.  But the reality is, the education system forces them down a predetermined tunnel where one shoe fits all, and this, my friends, is not the fault of teachers or school leaders, this is because of the government and their supposed “expertise”. Surely, it’s time to change this outdated narrative? 

Whilst I could wax lyrical about everything that is wrong with our education system, talk about the real impact of Covid which is still manifesting and rearing its ugly head, I won’t.  Why? Because as a veteran teacher, I am hard wired to remain solutions focused, optimistic and positive, especially when it comes to our kids. There are many schools who are winning, many school leaders who have the creativity to navigate these muddy waters, but there are some who are drowning, who need more support and who are being failed by the system. 

So…How can WillPowders Help You, Your Kids and Your Teacher Friends like they have Helped Me?

Whilst I’m not prepared to share or relinquish my new content writing gig, which has quite literally given me my life back (sorry), I do come armed with a teacher, parent, student WillPowders’ toolkit that might just be the exam season survival bag that the country is crying out for. 

As the exam season approaches, the pressure to perform well can be overwhelming. Students are desperate to ace the tests, parents are determined to support their kids and hope for happy smiling faces on results day and teachers pray to the Gods that they’ve done enough. 

The actual exams are one thing, but the lead up and preparation requires resilience, self motivation, patience and hard work, which can be hard to summon when parents may be facing a daily challenge of encouraging their kids to revise, sweetening the deal with the promise of a tenner for every grade 9;  teachers are likely spending their evenings marking the latest assessment and planning in response to what went well and how to improve further; kid’s brains just cannot retain one more formula or remember whether it was Shakespeare or Charles Dickens who wrote A Christmas Carol! Not because they’re not clever and brilliant, but because there’s just too much! It’s a tough gig for everyone involved. 

Armed with a green pen, highlighters, post it notes, late night cramming  and maybe copious amounts of wine, energy drinks and ultra processed food, the trio of parent, child and teacher emerge from the exam season looking like they’ve been dragged through the school yard, relieved that it’s over, but their mental health and energy compromised all the same. 


The question is: does it need to be this way? Do we need to simply survive when there are so many natural ways that we can help our bodies and brains?  Integrating natural supplements into your routine could provide valuable support for both cognitive function and stress management, allowing you, your kids and their teachers to survive the exam onslaught. 

Calm L-Theanine Capsules

WillPowders’ Nootropic Stack 

Introducing Calm, nature’s gift when it comes to managing anxiety, a whirring brain, lack of sleep due to worry and that general overwrought feeling. The L-Theanine, found in Calm, is an amino acid found in green tea leaves, which trigger  your GABA receptors, which are responsible for dopamine release. L-Theanine is known for its calming effects, kicking cortisol to the curb and promoting alpha brain wave activity which are the waves present during meditation. Imagine asking your teenager to meditate and take a breath or suggesting meditation to a busy parent or full time teacher who has been living off granola for the past 3 months because they haven’t had time to cook a meal. Well, now you don’t have to because the  L-theanine in Calm can enhance relaxation, focus, and mental clarity, helping students to remain focussed without feeling stressed, parents to stop catastrophising and teachers to keep a lid on their inner rage when they’ve had to ask their class to pick up a pen for the 500th time. 

My Calm

As I watched my last ever year 11 class walk into the exam hall, I tapped my blazer pocket which was home to my bottle of Calm and gave it a little nod of acknowledgement.  I have never felt less worried about my kids who were about to go into battle with the mammoth English exam.  Instead of frantically reminding them to READ THE RIGHT TEXT and HIGHLIGHT THE KEY WORDS IN THE QUESTION, I told them they were brilliant, that they had put the work in and now it was time for them to show off.  I hugged, high fived, threw some smiles in their direction and got on with my day, feeling an absolute sense of trust in myself and in them.  Knowing that I was leaving, I did consider quietly slipping a couple of my kids some of my magic L-Theanine, but that would have been illegal and I would have got in big trouble, so I didn’t, but I really wanted to.  Instead, I spread the word about my magic pills, telling my highly anxious kids to tell their parents about WillPowders’ Calm! If only they had listened, something I prayed for everyday!  

Box of Nootropics sachets with three sachets stacked against the box to the left of it

Brain Powder - A Nootropic Powerhouse 

Nootropics, also known as cognitive enhancers or smart drugs, are substances that can improve cognitive function, memory, creativity, motivation, and overall brain health. Mental alertness, helping students to retrieve answers that are buried under a mound of information can be significantly improved, but most importantly, nootropics found in Brain Powder can reduce stress and anxiety, helping kids to pick themselves up and approach their exams with a sense of calm, clarity and perspective. The caffeine boost in Brain Powder is a nootropic boost and not a jittery jab like kids’ usual toxic energy drinks that they seem to be their fuel of choice. Combined with Calm, Brain Powder won’t leave you or your kids feeling wired, only ready for anything when they need to reboot their va va voom. 

Ah-Ha

Dispel scattered thoughts, reduced concentration, mood swings, fatigue, brain fog and memory impairment with WillPowders’ Ah-Ha. The ingredients have been specifically chosen to hand your brain back to you.  With  Ginkgo Biloba, Panax Ginseng, and Phosphatidylcholine that can help to improve memory, reduce anxiety, and enhance concentration; Omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties and can benefit brain health, potentially improving mood, attention, and memory; Lemon Balm which can calm the storm and reduce stress and anxiety; B12, B3 and B6 which are important for nerve function and neurotransmission and Vitamin C which is essential for overall health and cognitive function. 

To experience the magic of Ah-Ha, start taking it now ready for the summer exam season to build up your stores; 3 months of consistently taking this nootropic powerhouse will provide you and yours with the maximum benefits. 


Amino Acid Magic 

WillPowders’ Collagen supports the synthesis of collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the body and plays a crucial role in maintaining the structure and integrity of various tissues, including the brain. Supplementing with collagen peptides can support brain health, enhance cognitive function, and promote overall well-being. Collagen peptides also contain amino acids like glycine, which has been shown to have calming effects on the nervous system, helping to reduce stress and anxiety during exam season. For more information about the powerhouse, Glycine, check out our dedicated blog

The beauty of WillPowders’ collagen is not only that it derives from grass fed bovine collagen, or that it is highly bioavailable, or that it free from nasties, it’s that it is a completely tasteless clear protein that you can add to drinks, soups, sauces, scrambled eggs, anything that it can dissolve in.  It can withstand any temperature due to its hydrolyzed nature, making it so versatile and such an amazing, undetectable source of sneaky nutrition. Check out our recipes for ideas.

Mint Chocolate Protein Powder

A Protein Punch

Much like WillPowders’ Collagen, the Protein Powder range is made with bone broth which is rich in collagen, gelatin and the amino acids glycine and proline which contribute to cognitive function, memory retention, and overall brain health. A clean source of protein is essential for maintaining brain health and supporting neurotransmitter function, and the added bonus of the WillPowders’ Protein range is that it is deliciously kid friendly.  Packing your babes off to school after a breakfast protein shake or pancakes is just one more way that you can support their hardworking brains, keeping them fully satiated until lunch and helping them to avoid the sugar ladened pitfalls of the corner shop. 

Amino Acid Magic 

Neurodivergent children, including those with conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other developmental differences, often have unique nutritional needs that require special attention. Among the essential nutrients for their optimal development and well-being, protein stands out as a crucial component. Ensuring sufficient amino acid intake supports the production of neurotransmitters which play a vital role in regulating mood, behaviour, attention and cognitive function, which can be especially important for neurodivergent children.  In addition, protein helps to regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates, preventing sudden spikes and crashes in energy. Stable blood sugar levels are essential for maintaining focus, attention, and mood stability, which can be beneficial for children with ADHD or other neurodevelopmental conditions.

As an ex teacher, I obviously  have some expertise in teaching SEND children, but I have gained this through experience, working closely with an amazing SENDCO and with a wide variety of SEND children, not necessarily because I was trained in the intricacies of teaching neurodivergent children.  This is the ugly the truth for teachers who work in mainstream education opposed to specialist provision.  And whilst I filled my toolkit up and was fairly successful in creating an inclusive classroom culture, I know that I am nowhere near as skilled as my colleagues who have specifically trained in SEND education, yet I was still expected to work as well as them.  Teachers like me need to lean on their expert colleagues to fully meet the needs of all children, regardless of their starting points and SEND status, otherwise, they simply fail their children and detrimentally impact their futures.  

Chrissa, a loyal WillPowders’ customer and CEO of Sunshine Support, an award winning SEND consultancy company that provides support to teachers and parents of SEND children, which she founded after her own ADHD diagnosis and the neurodivergent diagnosis of her own daughter, is an expert in her field.  Sunshine Supports helps parents, schools and teachers to navigate the stormy waters of EHCPs (Education Health Care Support Plans) and provides strategies, training and resources to ensure that all children meet their potential.  Whilst she is not a nutritionist, she is a mum who believes that nutrition can often be a mechanism for success and she supports loading our kids full of nutrient dense protein like WillPowders' Protein Powder and Collagen.

Providing your kids with a protein rich snack before an exam, or revision session can help to keep their minds off their groaning guts and focused on the task at hand.

Box of Electrolyte Hydration Sachets

Hydration with an added Brain Boost!

Electrolytes play a crucial role in maintaining hydration, nerve function, and muscle contractions, all of which are vital for optimal cognitive performance. Long study sessions and stress can deplete electrolyte levels in the body, leading to fatigue and decreased mental clarity. Supplementing with ElectroTide can help replenish electrolyte stores, improve hydration, and sustain energy levels throughout the day, helping your kids to remain focused.  Even better, WillPowders’ ElectroTide comes in handy travel sachets, meaning your kids can pop a couple in their pocket and quench that thirst throughout the day.  You might also suggest they offer their insanely dehydrated teacher one as they dash from classroom to classroom, helping them to avoid absolute burn out. 

Pure MCT Oil

MCT Oil - Literal Fuel for the Brain!

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of fat that is easily converted into ketones, which serve as a readily available source of fuel for the brain. MCT Oil has been shown to enhance cognitive function, increase mental clarity, and boost energy levels, making it a valuable supplement for exam preparation. Adding MCT oil to your morning coffee or smoothie can provide a quick and sustained energy boost, improve focus, and support mental performance during long, long study sessions. MCT Oil also supports you in craving crushing, allowing you to say no to sugar spiking, gut damaging ultra processed foods that kids and teachers bodies naturally cry out for as their energy levels take a beating during the exam season. MCT Oil is very potent, so start by adding 1 teaspoon into food or drinks and slowly work your way up to 1 tablespoon. 


An Ex Teacher’s  Top Tips 

  • Remember, an exam result doesn’t define you and it doesn’t have to define your future.
  • Healthy habits can serve you well.
  • Step away from the books! Move your body, get outside and take a breath. The morning sunshine can support dopamine levels.  You need 3 minutes of good sun, or 20 minutes on an overcast day.  
  • Good sleep is so important.  Cramming late into the night will only hinder you. 
  • Get some blue light blocking glasses for those endless hours of looking at a screen. 
  • Ask for support if you need it. Keeping the dialogue open with parents and teachers can help to dispel fears and anxiety. 
  • Celebrate your successes - little wins and little bits of progress count for a lot. 
  • Take plenty of breaks - revising in chunks, telling your parents, friends or teachers what you have learned will help you to remember it. 
  • Mix it up - divide up your revision equally across your subjects. 
  • Stay positive and keep your cool - your brain needs some zen to work its best. 
  • If you don’t know something don’t agonise over it, simply move on - it will probably come flooding back.  

Final Thoughts

Teachers, parents and kiddos, you can only do your best and it is completely natural to feel overwhelmed with it all. The most important thing is to try and come out the other end of this exam season unscathed because the lasting effects of letting the stress and anxiety in can be more damaging than not passing an exam. If meditation and breathing exercises aren’t your bag, you’re so time poor you feel constantly breathless, maybe you should give some of what WillPowders has to offer a go. 

Getting through the Exam Season the WillPowders Way: for Parents, Kids and Teachers 

Breakfast

  • Wake your brain up with an ElectroTide
  • Fuel your kid’s body with some protein for breakfast.  Make a shake, pancakes, or sprinkle some protein powder over some full fat Greek Yoghurt. 
  • Parents and teachers, make yourself a WillPowders’ Coffee or tea. 

Lunch 

  • If you or your babes are feeling jittery, anxious, nervous or stressed, pop 2 Calm tablets
  • Make yourself a Brain Powder for those afternoon slumps. 
  • Have another Protein boost or WillPowders’ Coffee or tea

Dinner

  • Pop two tablespoons or two large scoops (per person) of Collagen into dinner.
  • Find your yum with some Protein Ice Cream.
  • Take 2 more Calm tablets before bed to support a good night’s kip.  

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