The One With All the Negativity

This advert popped up on my social media feed today:

My response:

I’ve been a teacher for 16 years and worked in many schools. I’m respected (in the main) and valued. I’m happy. I spend time with my children and husband at the weekends. I’m free to be me. There’s too much negative press about teaching. I love my job. I love my school and my colleagues.

A fellow social media user asked me for my secret….

1. I know what I’m doing. I’ve been doing it 16 years, 39 weeks a year.

2. I do what’s needed to benefit the children I teach. If there’s no impact on my pupils, that task goes to the bottom of the to do list. (Currently: handing in weekly planning, setting weekly homework and putting up “wallpaper” displays jointly hold the bottom spot!)

3. I don’t bring marking home. If it can’t get done between 0830 and 1730, it stays at school.

4. I don’t plan in minute detail (see 1&2) My plans for OFSTED day were on one red post it note. Plans scribbled in a planner, or on a post it note, contain enough detail for me to teach from. I can think of 2 occasions in the last 12 months when I’ve planned at home (pre-OFSTED day and the day my access to the cloud broke at school and I couldn’t plan in my PPA time)

That’s it.

They’re not secrets. They’re habits and strategies I’ve developed to keep my workload in check. Teaching is a task that will fill the time you give it.

(Finally, on paper, I’m a better teacher now than I was 7 years ago…. and back then I wasn’t managing my workload at all well)