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I'm a primary school teacher. AMA

31 replies

fourtytwochairs · 13/07/2022 19:15

I just finished my first year of teaching and have been in Year 1. Will also be in Y1 next year. Everything is much more relaxed now that the year is ending and I know some people will have questions about reports/end of year data, so happy to answer what I can :)

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Nidan2Sandan · 13/07/2022 19:25

What's the cutest thing one of your students has done 🙂

I remember my sons Yr1 teacher saying how he always made sure to tell her how much he liked her outfit each day. I bet R and Yr1 kids are adorable little terrors 😆

Witchesbelazy · 13/07/2022 19:26

What is your approach with children with obvious but undiagnosed SEN due to the huge waiting lists atm?

Farmhouse1234 · 13/07/2022 19:30

What are the most annoying / unhelpful things a parent can do or behave? And the most helpful

Spudlet · 13/07/2022 19:32

What do you make of Kemi Badenoch and her ‘superfluous support’ that she thinks should be cut from schools? I was at my son’s school today and I didn’t see anything or anyone that I’d have described as superfluous, frankly!

thistimelastweek · 13/07/2022 19:34

Is your SLT help or hindrance?

fourtytwochairs · 13/07/2022 19:41

@Nidan2Sandan how sweet of your son! There are so many sweet/cute moments that I couldn't pick an ultimate one, but it always makes me smile when I do the register and they answer, "Good afternoon Mrs Fourtytwochairs, you're the best teacher in the universe." or along those lines.

@Witchesbelazy I aim to meet their needs regardless of a diagnosis, so by providing what I can for them both academically and socially.

@Farmhouse1234 most helpful is being supportive of their child's learning and making sure they read with them at home. Least helpful is the opposite of that + when parents are told their children have been violent beyond what is normal for a child, and they either laugh about it appear unbothered.

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Somertime · 13/07/2022 19:43

What is your favorite end of year gift?

PatchworkElmer · 13/07/2022 19:45

Honestly, do you get annoyed with parents constantly wanting to talk to you? Asking because one of my friends basically wants a chat every day about nothing of any significance (child’s reading/ what they said about play time/ fairly standard stuff). I keep thinking I’d be getting a bit fed up if I were the teacher 😂 Or maybe I’m a very lax parent because I only ask for a word when something is a fairly big deal- I think I’ve had 3 or 4 quick chats over the course of the year.

TankFlyBoss · 13/07/2022 19:46

Is it normal to be at "expected" level? Is this doing well, or is does it really mean ok just not fab

PatchworkElmer · 13/07/2022 19:48

Oh and would you be offended if a 5 year old presented you with a highly dubious picture at the end of the year? Mine has very proudly drawn an (unfortunately phallic) rocket for his teacher and is adamant it’s to go in her thank you card. I’m trying to work out if they’d see the funny side.

fourtytwochairs · 13/07/2022 19:50

@Spudlet I would completely agree with you, there's really no superfluous support.

@thistimelastweek depends on the member of SLT! Head is very much a hindrance, everyone else is a help the majority of the time.

@Somertime I really appreciate hand-written cards from children, I've saved a few from my previous classes (while training) just because they never fail to make me smile.

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Amithatbad1 · 13/07/2022 19:51

I've just finished my PGCE and will be teaching in Year 3 next year.
What tips/advice/warnings would you give to an ECT?

SecondhandTable · 13/07/2022 20:01

Have you had any summer born children who were 'out of cohort' due to starting reception at compulsory school age? And what is your view on the benefits or otherwise of doing this? Just interested in your opinion I suppose. My eldest has just turned 4 and will be starting reception at 5.

fourtytwochairs · 13/07/2022 20:08

@PatchworkElmer my class have very chill parents so I don't have anything to complain about! I know there are parents in other classes who want a meeting with the teacher if their child scores 19/20 on a spelling test, and that would exhaust me. Also, I would laugh to myself if I received a card like that but it does depend on the teacher!

@TankFlyBoss yes it's normal, it's simply where you'd expect a child to be at that age. If a child is expected it means they're fine, they're where they should be, but equally aren't exceeding where they should be.

@Amithatbad1 my biggest piece of advice is to believe in your abilities as a teacher and to trust your own choices. I don't know if you have a year team or year partner, but if you do then remember that just because they have more experience than you it doesn't mean they do things 'better' than you. Also, everyone gossips lol so try and figure out who you can trust.

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fourtytwochairs · 13/07/2022 20:42

@SecondhandTable I haven't experiened that yet so I can't really comment, sorry!

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Biscuitandacuppa · 13/07/2022 20:45

How have you found the level of work outside of school hours? Are you spending all of your evenings and weekends prepping stuff?

fourtytwochairs · 13/07/2022 21:06

@Biscuitandacuppa I'm usually working in the school building for about 30min before the children arrive, and just under 2 hours after. I don't do anything at home so generally I've found the workload fine.

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TankFlyBoss · 13/07/2022 21:09

@fourtytwochairs thank you

Sprogonthetyne · 13/07/2022 21:21

Will it be looked down on if I don't get an end of year gift? I'm leaning towards not really wanting to, but I've got another kid to go through, and I don't want her to get off on the wrong foot at the kid with ungrateful parents.

(Please answer honest, not just what your meant to say)

noblegiraffe · 13/07/2022 21:24

Would you go on strike in November over pay with your colleagues given that your pay is set to rise at a rate far above theirs?

(Perhaps not the type of question you were expecting, but something I'm interested about hearing from younger staff).

Threetulips · 13/07/2022 21:28

How do you treat your teaching assist/s? Part of the team or random slave?

FleasAndKeef · 13/07/2022 21:31

How do you manage quieter/more reserved children in the class?

As a child, I was always being told to "speak up" more in class, and my husband says he was told similar. Our son is an introvert and can be shy in big groups, so I fear he will suffer the same comments on his school report every year too!

fourtytwochairs · 13/07/2022 21:43

@Sprogonthetyne no, it wouldn't bother me at all. About half my class got me Christmas gifts and I'm imagining a similar number will give me end of year gifts, but if they don't I'm not fussed. A card would be appreciated though.

@noblegiraffe I don't know, honestly. It will probably depend what most people in my school are doing. If I was one of the only ones striking then I would feel too uncomfortable to do so, but if at least half are then I will too.

@Threetulips I'm very grateful for my TA and try to thank her regularly for her work. I hope she feels like part of the classroom team.

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fourtytwochairs · 13/07/2022 21:46

@FleasAndKeef I got the same comments on my reports! It's nice if children contribute, but if they're shy or lacking confidence I try to only ever ask them questions they will 100% get right or questions that have no wrong answer. They don't have to answer questions all the time.

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KindergartenKop · 13/07/2022 22:18

In secondary schools there's a huge focus on increasing the progress of kids. How do you measure this at ks1 and 2? Do they do baseline tests in reception? How can your performance be judged without baseline tests. And what tests do they do?

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