Thursday, 19 March 2015

What do you do all day?

Over the last few months I've had to change the way I work because of my diagnosis, and it's been a challenge. I started thinking about how my teaching day used to be and wondered how many other teachers do the same thing.

I used to arrive at work between 7.30am and 7.45am, and make a quick stop in the science office to grab a cup of coffee and offload my coat and bag. Then it was across the school to my main teaching lab to set up for the day, or logging into a computer in the office to do some last minute preparation/printing or read the emails that had arrived since the previous afternoon. On many days there was a meeting around 8am - a staff briefing, a departmental briefing or a year group meeting. My form would arrive at 8.15, to a room at the other side of the school from my teaching lab. I'd register them, deal with planners, missing pens, detentions, exam timetables before waving them off for the day and dashing over to my teaching lab, often being beaten to it by the first class of the day. I'd have to log in again to the computer, because someone else might have used the lab for their form, and try and get the lesson off to a start. It'd waste ten minutes and there was never a smooth start to the lesson, which could lead to some behaviour issues.

I'd come up for air at 10.30, usually finding my coffee sat where I'd left it two and a half hours earlier (I recommend Tervex mugs!) Break was supposedly 15 minutes, it never was. I'd shove a banana in and probably teach another two lessons, making it to lunch at 12.50. Forty minutes for lunch.... usually spent trying to answer the urgent emails that had arrived during the morning, sort out planning for the next week, catch up with colleagues to talk about shared classes, then one more lesson before teaching ended at 2.30.  

One afternoon a week there is a department meeting or school CPD session that usually ran until 4. Six times a year there are twilight ones that go on for an hour after that. As exam season approaches there are more and more pupils who want help after school - that can easily take up every spare evening. Plus detention duty once a half term.

Of course there were PPA hours scattered around my timetable. They were clumped together at the start of the week, making Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday the ultimate test of endurance.

Once home, there was always marking to do, based around a format that seemed to require triple marking a lot of the time.

It's no wonder I was exhausted. Worse, I see my colleagues still doing this. I read emails where the ICT support have delayed the evening back up until 11pm so that staff can still work up until that point.

Is this you? Can you get out of this pattern? You need to.

1 comment:

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