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Primary school teachers - tell me about your day(14 Posts)
Please give me a day in the life of. I’m considering going in to teaching and want to hear as many first hand experiences as I can. There is a lot of negativity on Mumsnet about teaching but there must be some of you that love it?!? What are the challenges? What is the work/home life balance like? And has anyone got into teaching following a previous career - how did you do it?
You could start by reading some of the hundreds of threads in The Staffroom answering the same question. Reinventing the wheel happens a lot in primary.
Get up and sort own kids out.
Arrive at school at 7.15-set up phonics/literacy. File work, copy sheets needed for other lessons.
8.20 morning briefing
8.30 prep work for TA and explain tasks.
8.45 children in and teach till 12, usually phonics, literacy, assembly, maths.
12.45-1 eat lunch
1-3.20 teach foundation subjects
3.20-3.40 seeing children out/ringing late parents
Staff meeting, planning meeting or club until 4.30/5. Then marking and finishing planning.
Feed own kids, dinner, homework, bed then get laptop out at 8.30 and plan for next day lessons, finish marking and do assessment etc.
This obviously varies according to the time of year.
Yup, totally agree with @holidayshopping.
Sorry —missed the rest of your post. I hate it as the work life balance is pants during term time-my kids hate my job and it nearly destroyed my marriage. I only cope by being part time. I wouldn’t recommend anyone went into teaching-it’s not the job I went into 29 years ago. The young people in my staff room are constantly crying due to workload and because there’s no money-are stuck at the bottom of the pay spine with no scope for career progression.
You are also only ever as good as your last observation (there’s lots of those and your pay depends on them!) and if the SMT don’t like you, you can v quickly be put on weekly monitoring and then capability. I’ve seen it happen a lot-mainly to -expensive- older teachers.
I haven't been teaching as long as Holidayshopping but I still enjoy teaching. I worked in finance before becoming a teacher in my late 20s which has helped me as I know I don't want to go back to working in an office because it was boring. The hours are long during term time and if SMT doesn't like you you are better off moving school but I enjoy the holidays and teaching children. No idea how I'll cope when I go back after maternity leave though and have to balance my own child's needs with school so may be back here hating it.
I did a pgce but there are some teachers who have done on the job training if you need to earn while you train.
Think carefully about what you want from a job and maybe do some volunteering. Try and stay as long as the teacher stays to have an idea of hours. Everything really depends on school and management and my head is ok. Been through special measures and 2 ofsteds and there has been no one pushed out if the school but previous head was definitely a sociopath and he is now a head in another school ....
I adore teaching, and I have done other things so I have stuff to compare it to! Of course it very much depends which school you work in.
7:15ish - arrive! Log on, send things to printer. This takes much longer than it seems like it should.
- get printing, make tea.
- forget tea in staffroom EVERY MORNING, go back for it.
- do any marking/setting up for the day
- do trimming
8:00ish - colleagues start to arrive, my morning is inevitably derailed but fear not! for I got in so early that I am ahead already.
8:30am - TAs arrive, they do sticking in which I feel awkward about asking them to do every day even though they actively want something to do.
8:50am - have a wee! very important
8:55am - kids arrive, line up outside with them. Sometimes get grabbed by parents, children tell me I look cold/tired/happy/am wearing a dress.
9:00am - register! We all read for a bit. Lessons start. Usually maths first thing.
10:30am - BREAK! I have break duty once a week, if I don't I power through some marking. Have a wee.
10:45am - lessons again! Usually Guided Reading and English
11:15am - children start to ask me "how many minutes until lunch?"
12:30pm - LUNCH! 3/4 of the children leave immediately, running. The further 1/4 desperately need to talk to me about something, or want to stay inside and have to be forced to leave. I eat school dinners with the children, teach them how to use cutlery, then come back and do marking. Have a wee.
1:15pm - collect the children from lunch, register again. Someone is inevitably still eating or brought in by someone from SLT because of 'an incident' which happened at lunch. Afternoon lessons are usually history, Spanish etc.
3:20pm - HOMETIME! Children shout "Missmymum'sherebye!" and have to be dragged back and shake my hand and point out where exactly their mum is. I grab any parents of children who have been in Serious Trouble and have the children explain to parents in front of me for best results.
3:30pm - any uncollected children deposited somewhere safe for the night. Have a wee. [Staff meeting once a week until 5pm, usually finishes earlier if they know what's good for them] Back to the classroom. Walk in small circles for a bit, my TA prompts me to maybe do marking. Marking. I mark as much as I can in lessons, and my school is amazing about marking so it's not onerous.
4:30pm - Leave. Home. Eat. Do planning in my pants in front of the TV. Over-plan. Spend hours searching google for the perfect image to go on this word-mat. If planning English this term then there is more planning at home, if I'm not there's a lot less!
Weekend do a couple of hours planning, try not to overthink making it all pretty.
Same opening gambit re your timings except I'm in a private school so don't teach music, PE or languages.
Thank you @OpiningGambit that’s a very detailed response!
Very similar to @OpiningGambit except for the marking. That takes a good couple of hours every night.
We are expected to do a club one night after school so that takes to 4.15.
Usually meet with another teacher one night per week to look at tracking / assessment / targets / pp children etc.
I'm part time though and one of my days off is filled with planning and preparation.
5.45: get up, make packed lunches, sort clothes, pack car with last nights marking, eat. Get kids up and ready.
7am: drop kids at childminder, drive to work. I live rurally so this is a long drive.
7.40: arrive at work. Drink tea, photocopy, trim, stick things into books, sort room, set up whiteboard, working wall. Wee.
8.40: kids start to arrive. Sort out any issues from yesterday, read with as many as i can. I have no class ta, so i have to do this. Kids do AR quizzes. Register.
10: Guided reading.
10.30: break. Duty 2 times a week. These days i don't drink enough!
12 to 1: lunch. During lunch i run clubs 3 times a week for readers and those that need maths interventions. Once a week i run a homework club. One day i have a free lunch. Usually get about ten minutes to snarf down a soup.
1.30 : topic
2.30: mental maths or times tables games
2.45: assembly. I have to do one every 4 weeks.
3.10: tidy up stack chairs
3.15 let kids out. Deal with parents. Then mark until 5. Try to get either maths or english done and take the other sets home. Guided reading only marked twice a week, but spelling, maths, english, spag and topic are every day. I have a wheelue trolley!
Sometimes meetings till 5.
Arrive home at 5.45. Pick.kids up, cook tea, do their homework / read. Try to spend a bit of time with them.
Usually around 8 or 9 i start marking.
Fall into bed when done.
At weekends i plan for a few hours. I try to get the bulk of planning done in my ppa. Any assessment is usually marked at weekends.
None of this includes the afterschool clubs in the summer, or the sats revision over Easter and after school, or the productions.
I do find it tiring. I do think i am getting too old for it. I do think my family suffers.
11:15am - children start to ask me "how many minutes until lunch?"
You don't teach my eldest then - that starts about 5 minutes after breakfast!
I'm supply... until about mid October it's going to be drop own kids off... kill time... pick own kids up while remaining surgically attached to mobile phone just in case.
Make sure my DCs are up
Get ready, make sure they are ready to leave and have what they need and have had breakfast
Drive to work via their school
Put out the guided reading if I didn't do it the night before
get my own resources ready - normally this would be photocopying but my TA chooses to come in early and does it when he's got his own stuff ready
give the TA the planning and check he's OK with what he's doing
load up all the stuff on the computer - white board files, exemplars etc that I'll need in the morning
supervise the few children who come in early, get them to put the books out
write the learning objective on the board
speak to parents who have something important that needs mentioning before school
welcome the children in - sometimes on morning playground duty before school
take any important messages from the office
take the register unless the TA has seen I'm talking to a parent and has done it for me. Ditto the lunch register
Do the morning activity plenary and give the answers for peer marking
Do playground duty/get the room ready for the next lesson/listen in on TA groups if he's asked me for my opinion about a child otherwise do some paperwork and leave him to it
Lunchtime - marking, talking to any concerned children, getting ready for the afternoon
Afternoon - teach two lessons, sometimes playground duty
End of day - talk to parents, tidy up the classroom, put out resources for the next day
Sometimes a staff meeting
Then home and marking, checking the planning for the next day and finding anything I need to take in from home.
Catch up on emails that can't wait.
Dealing with anything important that I need to do.
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