Off the Cuff in the classroom
Teaching is one of those jobs that ironically does not come with a timeframe‚Ä¶ ironic because the whole schooling day is built around timeframes‚Ä¶ 1st lesson 9:00-10:00am, assembly 10:00-10:30pm, break 10:30-10:45pm, 2nd lesson 10:45-11:45am‚Ä¶ blah blah blah‚Ä¶ you get the picture! But it‚Äôs what happens during and after the regulated structure of the school day that makes teaching (as topped by numerous voting polls) one of the most stressful jobs to undertake.
Firstly, there is the school day‚Äôs break and lunch break. This is the time when pupils run ragged outside, burning off the endless buckets of energy they contain, and teachers can ‚ÄòRelax‚Äô and have a snack before going back to a chaotic busy next lesson. However‚Ä¶ how many break times have you missed because you have had to deal with pupils that have misbehaved or failed to complete work? Before you know it, the bell has gone and it is straight into next lesson.
Then there is the lunch break‚Ä¶
How many lunch breaks have you missed because you have had to photocopy worksheets, or again, deal with misbehavers, or run another errand such as planning or marking? ‚Ä¶ Naturally with a sandwich in one hand and a Biro in the other, and the complimentary cold coffee on the table!!
Now you have not only missed morning break, you have missed lunch time break too, walking down corridors with half of a sandwich still in your hand.
Our school teaching days may finish at half past three (or there abouts), yet our teaching role STILL continues. Staff meetings and parental evenings are usually mandatory reasons that we stay after hours at school. Understandably, this has to be done to find out future events, schemes, planning etc‚Ä¶ or to report back to parents how brilliant their child‚Äôs progress is during lesson time or other issues.
Planning and Marking are another reason that teachers stay behind after school. This is mostly because school has all of the resources and the facilities needed there already, and it is a nice, quiet place to work in. However, this usually results in us coming home late, having to quickly whip up something for dinner, before finally sleeping at a ridiculous time, ready to get up early in the morning and repeat the process all over again. On the other hand, you could take your planning and marking home with you. The benefits are a comfy sofa or your own kitchen table, but‚Ä¶ again, it seems to take forever, and same scenario, you have to quickly whip up a dinner before eventually getting miniscule time to sleep.
Planning and marking play a big role in teaching, almost to the point that this seems to be what teaching is centred around. Planning helps contribute to great lessons and helps us know what we are doing with the children day to day. And marking helps to monitor the children‚Äôs progression. As 1st note education teachers, help is at hand as¬†planning is offered, reducing planning time considerably.
But what if we were experienced teachers whom knew our schemes of work off by heart and could go into school teaching lessons without all of the planning? And planning time would be reduced to a quick scan over to make sure the lesson was suitable?
I have a great link for you to follow of an article that discusses about improvised lessons. It could be a great time saver and help teachers recuperate some of that time they never seem to have!