While a great deal of people realise what it actually takes to be a teacher and prepare hundreds of young people each year for adult life, others remain of the impression that it’s a bit of a breeze. And they’re right aren’t they? Being a teacher isn’t so bad, you only work 9am-3pm AND you get SO much time off – not to mention work with the ‘younger ones’, well that’s just a bit of sand pit playing and story time isn’t it?
Oh wouldn’t life be easy if we all just decided to teach?
I mean first there’s the blind panic at 1am, 3am, and finally 5am, when you convince yourself that you’ve forgotten to prepare something vitally important for the ESTYN visit, or the 6am ‘stuff in’ where you cram everything and anything into your mouth (whilst showering, brushing your teeth, and putting clothes on) because you HAVE to leave before 7.30am to even reach the school at an appropriate time. No biggie, nothing too hard there, just a standard start for any old soul, don’t you think?
Then, once the bell goes and hundreds of excitable, fresh, children grace one small room. You can easily find ten minutes in your day to check through eleven emails emails including an invite to a thought sharing process on using technology across the curriculum, numerous requests for feedback on how on how the new numeracy textbook is helping every child individually, and reminders to prepare a short presentation for assembly that will begin in period three. It’s also parents evening this week, and well that makes everything effortless. You’ll definitely find a spare few hours this afternoon to do all of the write ups whilst several children tell you that the project due in tomorrow has been completely forgotten about, but it was your fault, not theirs, because you didn’t remind them for a sixth time over the past month.
Classes continue on as normal and these are by far the most undemanding part of your day, delivering lessons consisting of a starter, a main body, a plenary, some targets, some discipline, five minute fun break tasks, extra pens, pencils, rubbers, a surprise head inspection and several interruptions can be done with your eyes closed. Oh and don’t forget the ‘I still don’t get it’ forty five minutes afterwards, they are pure and utter bliss.
By lunch time you’ve breezed through the first couple of hours, so it’s only right that you enjoy the generous ten minutes you have left before the next bell to eat a sandwich and a cold coffee from 10am (let’s now call it a classacino – all the rage with most teachers).
The afternoon arrives and Art, English, Geography, Science and anything else the children asks questions about comes into play. The behaviour of all pupils is fantastic at this point due to low energy, so you think about that extra twelve classucinos you should probably have consumed in the two minutes you used for a toilet break instead, but nevertheless full steam ahead. Once work is set and there’s a moment of concentration and silence, you daydream about the printer actually cooperating and not having 50 essays to mark for Friday, imagine how much easier this easy life would be, just picture it.
You should probably go home at 3.30pm, but sitting down for five minutes wouldn’t be the easy thing to do. It’s probably best that you find a space in the staff room to finally fit in some planning, report writing, assessments and marking until around 5pm, because rush hour doesn’t begin then either. Bonus!
By about six thirty, it’s time to have a good bath and food. This is the most relaxing half hour of the day, besides all of the above, because that’s just a standard walk in the park. Disclaimer: If you are a parent, there is no relaxing, let’s be realistic here.
And finally, after another day in paradise, it’s time to lie in bed and think of your day wistfully, enjoying the sensation of an easy day in the office and the achievement that you feel. Drifting off to sleep, feeling lucky that you will soon wake up and do it all over again – but you love it (even though it’s incredibly testing), and that makes it all worthwhile.
And this ladies and gents is why teachers don’t deserve a half term… Just in case you were wondering.