Theres so much talk about the ‘bold’ teachers – only back from their holidays and planning a strike – how dare they – sure they only work half days and get loads of time off during the year!
I suppose I’m writing this post out of frustration as I’m fed up with this media spin on what teachers do/don’t do and all the wonderful holidays teachers get.
Roles during a typical day
Teacher – teaching the curriculum
Listener – listening to the tales/stories/news/ problems that children are desperate to share.
Mentor – encouraging and supporting children
Creator – creating lessons and resources that are inspiring, motivating, fun and enjoyable – using the latest methodologies.
Manager – managing a team of up to 30 children (completing tasks, staying on task, working hard, being respectful)
Planner – planning for lessons, for the things that could go wrong, a variety of tasks catering for the needs of different children. Planning for everything that could go wrong and having a back up in place.
Performer – delivering exciting lessons that maintain children’s interest and enthusiasm.
Organiser – organised materials/ resources/ books/ the classroom environment for the team
Negotiator/Mediator – negotiating arguments and fights between children and sometimes parents
Cleaner – cleaning up after the team, helping the children to clean up
Nurse – tending to children who don’t feel well/ who hurt themselves
Social worker – supporting children who have difficult circumstances at home
Thinker – trying to think of how to support the child who isn’t getting the new maths concept/ who isn’t listening/ who has no one to play with.
Worrier – worrying about the child who is upset/ is finding things difficult.
Supervisor – watching carefully as the children enjoy their yard time
Assessor – checking for understanding/ seeing who is struggling or who needs more challenging material
Inventor – making resources to cater for the different needs of the children in my care
Coach – coaching sports teams/ music groups (mostly done during lunch times or after school)
Budget manager – trying to stretch the limited funds/resources to get the best materials for my class. (often spending my own money)
Corrector – correcting mistakes, copies, textbooks, behaviour, and giving detailed feedback.
Banker – collecting and sorting money for trips/ tours
This is just a collection of the many different roles effective teachers have to play every day.
Teachers get wonderful holidays – there is no denying it so I’m not even going to try. A week in October (Halloween), 2 weeks at Christmas, a few days/ a week in February, 2 weeks at Easter and 8-9 weeks during the Summer as well as 2/3 other days during the year – meaning primary teachers work 183 days a year out of 365 (104 days for weekends and 10 days for bank holidays). Therefore teachers get 68 days holidays a year in comparison to 20-25 that an office worker might get.
The average school day starts at 8:50am and finishes at 2:30pm – approximately 5 and a half hours. Another perk of the job – teachers can leave the school building at 2:30pm with the children. So again this is a perk of being a teacher.
Personally, I arrive at 8am and leave at 3.30pm/4pm (most days) as do a lot of my colleagues. On Mondays and Fridays I have music classes during lunch time and I’m on yard on Tuesdays. I then do more work at home – correcting copies/ making worksheets/ making presentations/ organising trips/ planning/ preparing lessons/ assessing the childrens work etc.