What is it we need in teaching? What makes it so difficult, time consuming and stressful?
I know what it isn’t, it isn’t Nicky Morgan, her (it) or any other politician that adds fuel to the fire we’re trying to address.
In a formal observation one of my students had a ‘eureka’ moment, we love those don’t we?! Except she’s 16 and her mind was blown with the concept of smelling through her nose. Great girl, sweet girl, happy girl. But every time I give her a test result back without the much needed ‘C’ grade a piece of her is crushed. Why? Because less than a C is a fail isn’t it? Regardless of where that student started, regardless of the progress made or their limitations. This is what I hate most about my job.
As HoD I kept being asked questions by SLT as to why some students weren’t at a C grade, then they ask what they can do for you to enable you to get these students a C grade. My answer for most of these questions was ‘time’. I need ‘time’ with the students. I need ‘time’ to prepare differentiated resources. ‘Time’ with my department to plan effectively. I need ‘time’ to construct a gap analysis, I need ‘time’ to analyse this, I need ‘time’ to prepare resources based on it. Oh, and I must mark students’ books, plan lessons, make worksheets, go through data, learning walk my department, evaluate their marking, and deal with any issues within the department. I just need more TIME! I’m working until 10:30 at night Mon-Thurs – I know that isn’t normal, my school has 1 year to go from special measures to ‘outstanding’ so that is the norm for this type of academy.
This wasn’t just pressure as a HoD, this is very real stress and pressure on staff in every position in the school regardless of experience. The constant monitoring and grading of teaching staff does get exhausting. We all do our best, is that not good enough? Oh, you didn’t see my objectives when you came in? If you bend over I’ll stick them up your A***.
I don’t particularly care about observations, learning walks and the likes, I work hard and really just care about how well my students perform. I do care that I don’t get fired though; which is why I’ve never told them that I don’t give a s*** about their thoughts on whether my objectives were or were not written with a verb. I teach science, English is important, but science is obviously importanter (just kidding).
What am I doing here and where did I get the time? Well, peer marking and examination weeks are super! That’s not true. I’m not at work, I’m on my sofa thinking about work.
Here’s what I think. If someone spends the time making something, it should be used for good and so that others don’t waste time recreating the wheel. Which is why I’ve set up a science resource bank of worksheets I’m making as I go along, I’m uploading the ones I have full copyright of – before this I used lots of images and cutting and pasting from various sources.
Feel free to follow and share my ramblings and my resources.
Those from Blighty will find them here
Yankeedoodledoo’s will find them here
Anyone that wants to join Teachers pay Teachers can do so here This is a great (free to join) site set up in the US by a teacher and contains amazing resources!
To be honest I’m pretty sure the Yank’s can use TES too – that will contain a bigger catalogue of what I’m uploading.
Feel free to drop me a message about resources that you really think need to be made.
For parents of kids – All sites are free to join and if you don’t have a printer send the resource to their teacher and ask them to print it for you – 99% sure they will. If they don’t they’re an a** so just nag the hell out of them until they do.
Disclaimers: This is not the view of my employer (to my knowledge, it might be though). I’m not dissing SLT’s – I had an amazing SLT link who I admire very much. Just kidding is my favourite joke. I don’t care about your opinion of my grammar on here. I drift between uber professional and potty mouthed tramp, I’m cool with that. No children have been taught the F word by me. As much as I’m sarcastic and silly, I really want to make top notch resources.
The Science Resource Bank is a work in progress and will forever be that way.