Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


I'm a Primary School Teacher, AMA

78 replies

solarpoweredmice · 06/03/2022 18:14

I teach Year 1 and this is my first year teaching. I really enjoy reading the education threads on here from parents so just wanted to offer the other side of the story for anyone interested.

OP posts:

RelentlessForwardProgress · 08/03/2022 17:33

thank you @solarpoweredmice


Tanaqui · 08/03/2022 17:43

I would say the opposite @RelentlessForwardProgress, if you are moving because she needs more challenge and stimulation, then choose the school that will provide that- if the learning is interesting who notices the building?
I've never done lockdown training in 25 years of teaching!
Definitely work on social skills- things like turn taking - fine and gross motor skills, knowing traditional songs and stories are all more useful pre reception skills than reading and writing.


Iamtheweedonkey · 08/03/2022 17:43


Just realised you’re not OP, unless you name changed. I’d still like to know more.

In my school, we have never practiced anything like this, other than fire drills.

Iamtheweedonkey · 08/03/2022 17:46

I work in a primary school, was a ta for 8 year's, and recently become an unqualified teacher. I cover classes throughout the school, from nursery to year 5. I also tutor year 6 before school. I love my job, no day is the same. I am hopefully going to start training in September or next year.


KylieCharlene · 08/03/2022 17:56

How do you keep a lid on the Queen B's in the class - and do you find, in general that these kids tend to be the ones that are academically quite good at the work too?


RelentlessForwardProgress · 08/03/2022 17:58

thanks @Tanaqui

Interesting there are two different opinions. We go back and to ourselves about which option. I think its made harder because DC's current school is lovely but has to close, we aren't moving them by choice. We have a couple of days to make a decision Confused.


GizmosEveningBath · 08/03/2022 18:07

My DS really struggled to adjust to being in year one after reception, he missed the construction corner, play doh, junk modelling etc. Do you think there needs to be more play based learning in year one to make the transition from reception less abrupt?


solarpoweredmice · 08/03/2022 18:42

@KylieCharlene I don't have any 'queen bees' in my class. I can think of one child who would fit that description in a different year one class and they are very academic, yes.

@GizmosEveningBath yes, definitely. I know some schools have a gradual transition away from play-based learning throughout the Y1 Autumn term and I feel that that must be nicer for the children. It's definitely a shock for them to come into a far more structured environment.

OP posts:

Rainallnight · 08/03/2022 18:44

Great thread, OP! My DD is in Year 1. I’ve developed the impression this year that state school is pretty much just about teaching the herd and that more individual support and communication isn’t possible.

Am I right? Do you agree?


YukoandHiro · 08/03/2022 18:46

Is homework in reception and year 1 really necessary?

What do you find most annoying about parents?


LittleSnakes · 08/03/2022 18:52

Maybe the lockdown training isn’t as common as this teacher told me then.


Iamtheweedonkey · 08/03/2022 18:53

I think due to covid, so many children are at a disadvantage, getting the kids up to a certain level is definitely key in my school. However, every afternoon, all year groups run interventions, much of the time these are for children who are at the lower end, although higher up the school a big push is placed on the children who will just scrape through.


Iamtheweedonkey · 08/03/2022 18:59


Is homework in reception and year 1 really necessary?

What do you find most annoying about parents?

I think reading is extremely important, and would place this as the most important homework. I feel with certain subjects, the teaching has changed greatly and it can prove tricky for parents to help the child.

solarpoweredmice · 08/03/2022 19:04

@Rainallnight I think all schools aim their teaching at the majority and then challenge their highers and scaffold their lowers, so in that sense yes it's about teaching 'the herd' but it also depends on exactly what you mean. I have less than 20 children in my class (I'm in a state school but I'm aware this is closer to private school class sizes) and it's certainly easier to give them 1:1 feedback and tailor my teaching towards the, than if I had closer to 30 children. Is there a specific reason you've developed that impression?

@YukoandHiro I think all children would benefit from doing work at home (writing, reading, maths etc) but not necessarily homework. We only set one piece a week (+daily reading) but I have a feeling a lot of my children's parents just do their homework for them which makes it more pointless.

OP posts:

solarpoweredmice · 08/03/2022 19:06

Oh and @YukoandHiro most of my parents are lovely, but I do find it annoying when they ask why their child got 95% in a test rather than 100% or when they don't read any of the newsletters that the school sends out or emails that I send out and miss key information for their children.

OP posts:

Liveandkicking · 08/03/2022 19:17

I’m an ex primary teacher, working in another educational role for a charity. I taught for ten years pre-children. Now I have my own primary children I look back and think my lack of parenting experience means I wasn’t as good a teacher as I would be now. Do you think teachers of younger children should have to spend time observing/caring for children in a family setting as part of their training? I think that would beneficial.


LondonQueen · 08/03/2022 23:02


Oh and *@YukoandHiro* most of my parents are lovely, but I do find it annoying when they ask why their child got 95% in a test rather than 100% or when they don't read any of the newsletters that the school sends out or emails that I send out and miss key information for their children.

That's my one bug bear "but no one told us" about key information when there are newsletters, emails, text messages and ClassDojo!

LondonQueen · 08/03/2022 23:05


Is it true that once a year you have to practice with the children what to do if there is someone dangerous outside? Hiding under tables and stuff? A teacher once told me this and said all schools have to do it. But I don’t really believe it.

There is no legislation to say that UK schools must have a plan in place, however in the world we live in a lot of schools have done, including my own and my DC's school, all but one in my local area have. Parents were informed one would take place at some point in the coming weeks but not given an exact date, same with staff (at least at my school)

thelittlestrhino · 08/03/2022 23:08


I am pondering becoming a TA, this obviously needs a placement in a school. Do you look forward to the help of a Free pair of hands or do you get frustrated at having to "teach" them along with your 30 pupils?

We literally couldn’t do the job without you! I have worked with some truly remarkable TA’s.

IKnowYouDontTurnTheLightOn · 08/03/2022 23:14

@LittleSnakes I’ve been teaching for over 20 years and have only done lockdown training once. And my DC did it once at primary and weirdly nothing since. It was 2017 - when there were about 3 terror attacks in the UK in quick succession. I hated it - it felt very frightening. I’m glad we haven’t had to do it since.


LittleSnakes · 09/03/2022 07:37

Interesting, dontknow. I’m glad you told parents. I’d really like to know if something like this was happening in my school.


TheHoleNineYards · 09/03/2022 07:52

I’ve been teaching (secondary) for fifteen years in four different schools and have done a lockdown practice in one, once. Parents were told in advance.


sashh · 09/03/2022 08:01


I'm really worried about my DD starting school, she is July born and will start when she is 4 years and 1 month old.

How are the younger ones coping in your class?

My elder niece was an August baby, so she did GCSEs at 15 and A Levels at 17, she in now an employment solicitor.

Febrier · 09/03/2022 09:55

Great thread OP. I have three questions.

  1. What do you most enjoy teaching and least enjoy?

  2. What's the best bit of your job, and the worst?

  3. Are you familiar with the work of Mason & Watson when it comes to mathematical thinking? I would recommend their book Questions and prompts for mathematical thinking and I believe that there is a Primary version. My specialism is KS4/5 but I'd be happy to make some suggestions for differentiating mathematics if you have specific areas.
    For example, single-digit addition you could ask questions such as:
  • create three addition problems with a sum of 9.
  • create an addition with three addends.
  • can you create an addition with a sum greater than 10?

solarpoweredmice · 09/03/2022 17:40

@Liveandkicking I kind of see working with primary-aged children as 'training' for how to be with my own future children, so that's interesting! It certainly wouldn't hurt to do that, really the more understanding of children, the better.


  1. I most enjoy seeing my children grow and make progress (academically and socially) and being there for them when they need someone. I know some of my children don't have the best home lives and I like being able to be an adult who's there for them if they need me. Least enjoy would be staff meetings, marking and planning.

  2. As above, really. A worst part is also that it can be extremely stressful at times.

  3. I'm not familiar, but I think my class would enjoy these sorts of questions as an activity
OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?