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Teaching: Fact or Fiction

Teaching: Fact or Fiction

Over the years, us teachers have heard many hilarious stories about what we apparently get up to during the school day and indeed throughout our countless school holidays.

Today, I thought it would be useful to set the record straight on a few of those things.

School holidays/pay

Teachers get so many holidays and it’s the taxpayer who is paying for them!  FICTION

Teachers’ salaries are divided equally, so they get paid the same each month. Full timers are paid to work 195 days per year and that covers just 1265 hours per year.  FACT

School day

Teachers only work 8.30 – 3.30 on school days. FICTION

Most dedicated teachers find that they have to work much more hours than that during the week and a lot also spend time doing planning, preparation and assessment at the weekend too. In fact, staff meetings are compulsory as are parents’ evenings, so a typical week always includes at least one day where the teachers must stay until around 5pm. Many teachers also wake up early and make sure they are in school at a decent time to be full prepared. FACT

Early Years

In EYFS (nursery and reception), there is no teaching; they just play all day. FICTION

Actually, in nursery and reception classes, there is a lot of play that happens, but a lot of learning occurs through play. EYFS teachers and other staff spend a lot of their day questioning, scaffolding and encouraging learning in many different ways. They also observe what is happening and plan opportunities to push the children’s learning on. In addition to learning through play, short, structured sessions are also taught including phonics. Setting up an EYFS environment also takes a lot of time and thought to ensure different interests and needs are catered for e.g. tuff spots, writing areas, challenges, mathematical development. FACT

Primary Lessons

Lessons in primary schools are just made up of cutting and sticking. FICTION

Some lessons in primary schools may contain an element of cutting and sticking, but certainly there is a lot more to them than that. It would be impossible to fulfil the national curriculum if that was the only thing that happened. However, it is sometimes really useful for children to cut out their own pictures and stick them onto worksheets. As lovely as it is to have every resource ready, it is impossible to do that on a constant basis. FACT

Senior Positions

The older the year group you teach in primary, the more senior a position you hold. FICTION

Just because one teacher has a Year 6 class and another has a Year 1 class does not mean to say that the Y6 teacher is automatically more senior, more experienced or a better teacher at all. We all have our strengths and weaknesses in life. If someone feels confident and does a great job of teaching reception children, why should their aim be to ‘progress’ to teaching Year 6? It is silly to consider that the structure of teaching positions is based on the year group one is responsible for. FACT

Teaching is Easy!

Teaching is an easy profession. FICTION

Although there are elements of teaching that can be relatively simple and free from complications, largely, it is a profession where you have to balance many plates at once. If teaching were just that, it would be less complicated. On top of the lessons, it seems that we have many other roles too: peace keeper, homework setters and markers, counsellor, first aider, social worker, banker, report and letter writer, trip organiser, educational psychologist, nurse, driver and so on. Throughout a teacher’s career, many things will change in terms of school and national policy, so it is imperative to keep on top of these revisions. Furthermore, continuous professional development is a must and individual targets must be met each year to progress through the pay scales. FACT

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