The ‘festive’¬†workload for teachers
This Christmas break has been manic! You‚Äôre probably thinking it‚Äôs because of all the unfinished Christmas shopping that I haven‚Äôt done, right? Or maybe you are assuming that I am one those people who pre-ordered shopping online, hoping to miss all of the commotion of the hustle and bustle that late food shopping brings‚Ä¶ yet still manage to queue up for THREE hours waiting for my pre-ordered food shop, as everybody else has also had the same idea!! Nope!! I am talking about the stress of having to spend my days off planning and preparing! This is the process whereby it comes to the Christmas hols, and rather than spend missed quality time with your children, (children whom have been waiting for you since the start of September, but the afterschool workload has been too much), you are YET AGAIN planning!!! This kind of thing makes and breaks families and that is the truth! The paperwork that comes with a teaching job now days makes the occupation difficult to undergo. It‚Äôs a bit of a sour subject to discuss over the Christmas period, yet I know all teachers that really respect the posts that they hold, are all in the same position right now, just as I am at this very moment of my ‚Äòso called‚Äô break from a busy work schedule, still planning and re-designing a new scheme of work for next term. Why do I do it? I love teaching! So as I type this post, with a half glass of wine beside me for company and a box of chocs for a morale boost, I take a sip of vino and ‚Äòsalute‚Äô to all the teachers that are working during these holidays and I sympathise in relation.
I will leave you with this blog I found on TES website that shows an enthusiastic primary teacher in the same boat, offering a breath of fresh air into why we all do the job‚Ä¶
‘Yes, we’re overworked and stressed, but I love teaching and I love our students. We need to stop complaining and get on with it’
16th December 2015 at 15:26|
School staff must stop being so down on themselves, writes one enthusiastic primary teacher
I am frustrated with news about teaching at the moment. One moment we hear the government slating, to keep wages low, I reckon, and to get their new curriculum through;¬†the next they talk us up because it suits them when there are question marks about working conditions.
But what compounds the problem is teachers being really down on themselves and the profession, and snidely ridiculing the opinions of cheery colleagues as¬†the result of¬†naivety¬†and inexperience. Too often I get criticised for the audacity of not jumping on the moaning bandwagon.
I’ve been teaching in primary for six years. This is my second school, and both¬†have been in tough areas of Manchester. I’m the maths lead and¬†assessment lead, and have helped cover the long-term absence of the KS2 lead¬†at my current school, so I certainly know what hard work and long hours are. I have clinical supervision as part of a package my school buys into because my class are so “challenging”.¬†I got married this summer and my wife regularly remarks on how unavailable I am, which sucks, but I crack on.
As you can see, I have much to complain about, but why should I? I accepted extra responsibility with my eyes open, so it would be unfair to complain about that. The normal gripes of data and paperwork are unfair as well, in my opinion, because we should¬†be held largely accountable for pupil performance, and we should¬†be recording what we and pupils do in class.
What gets me through is hearing my mates talk about their jobs in accounting and IT; they¬†earn so much more than me but hate their jobs because they are soulless and unrewarding. I love working with kids, and I think the vast majority of the work I do at school and in my own time is necessary.
This week I have made a hall full of stroppy kids laugh, seen my maths team finish in the top 20 of the National Young Mathematician award, had eye contact reciprocated for the first time in weeks by one of my “at risk of permanent exclusion”¬†boys, heard a boy who literally couldn’t get children to sit next to him last year talk about how fun his friends were at playtime; the list could go on.
This is the stuff I go to work for, as do the thousands of great teachers across the country. Unfortunately, a lot of paperwork and extra responsibilities come with that. We think we have it bad? You should hear what SLT have on their plates! At least we get the nice stuff too; God knows what keeps them motivated.
I’m the one who tells off the moaners in the staff room and cheers them up, and so I suppose that was my motivation for writing this. We need more positivity about the job.
Zac McKenzie is a primary teacher in Manchester¬†
I hope¬†everybody has¬†had a nice Christmas day and will¬†have a great New Year
Please feel free to comment
Andy T (1stNoteEd. media consultant)