Friday, 25 September 2015

A day in the life

At 6.30am my alarm goes off.  I let it snooze a couple of times then I get up.  I feed the dogs and chickens.  It's getting colder in the mornings and so far it's still light at that time.  I have my shower, eat breakfast and get ready to go to work.

I arrive in school by 8am and spend an hour setting up my classroom for the day ahead. That could be photocopying, preparing the interactive whiteboard, meeting with colleagues, sometimes meeting with parents.

At 9am the children arrive and my day begins.  Today we had a visiting football coach so the first hour was a sporty one.  Then we discussed healthy snacks in preparation for the school's healthy habits week.  I teach 6 year olds.  One boy had 2 x 4 finger Kit Kats for his snack!! We talked about healthy snacks v treats.  It might surprise people that kids are pretty clued up.  They knew all about sugar, salt and fat not being good to eat.  Shame their parents don't listen!

After break, it was numeracy time.  We carried out a survey asking all the other classes in school 'Are you scared of bees?' (our context for learning is Bees this term).  We'll use the results to make graphs and diagrams next week. 

At 11.45 the RCCT (Reduced Class Contact Time) teacher came to collect my kids and the rest of my day is for me to do my planning and paperwork for next week.  All teachers in Scotland get 2.5 hours a week non contact time for prep.  It's not nearly enough.  Today I planned my whole week and photocopied worksheets.  I also arranged to go and visit the wee village school next week.

I had a meeting with my HT, I worked with 4 children whose behaviour wasn't good enough to get all of their Golden Time and I helped the probationer with her paperwork.

I left at 4pm, one hour after the kids left.  And I've brought home a box of paperwork  (I'm re organising the way I do reading and need to make new individual folders for each child to take home)

I love my job, I really do.  No day is ever the same.  Yesterday we spent the whole morning filming with a visiting specialist for a video that will be shown at the Harvest Service at the end of term. We made posters telling people what they could do to help save the bees.  We had a music lesson.  Noisy but fun!

When I got home tonight I made bolognaise sauce and now I'm slumped on the sofa, exhausted.  Absolutely exhausted.  Last night on FB I came across an article that suggests you can be a good teacher only working 40 hours a week (we get paid for 35 hours).  I don't know anyone who works at that level.  More like 50-60 hours a week.  All my colleagues are tired and we're just 6 weeks into the new academic year. 

That part time post is looking better and better.


  1. Oh Gosh! You sound like my niece who is also a teacher. I talked to her one night last week around 10pm and she was doing class work. She is at work some nights still at 7pm easy. She said once that she could actually live there and still need more time. She loves teaching but says the politics of it all takes the joy out of it.

  2. Nothing but admiration for teachers in the state system. Part0time would be a great solution if you can, for lots of reasons.


  3. My daughter is a teacher here in the US. She has crazy days. She loves it, but there are parents that just don't care and provide homes that do not support education, most can't even take care of themselves properly much less their children. When the children don't behave appropriately it's the teacher's fault. She is interrupted all day and has to do most of her planning at home and prep after school. Often teacher meetings and parent meetings and events take that time away. The kids are unruly and disruptive at times (due to their lack of proper upbringing and nurturing), so teaching is hard. She is at a low income neighborhood, where the opportunity is little. Very sad. But she is hanging in, although the principal often supports the parents instead of the teachers to avoid conflict. Anyway, my daughter will be getting married in March and it's not determined yet which city they will be moving too. I hope her future teaching positions prove to be more rewarding that these have been. So I feel for your days. It's interesting to read about yours!

  4. It's definitely a vocation. To think that teachers have the future of our country in their hands and they don't get the support they so clearly need is unsettling. You do so well, and the giving of your own time should be rewarded and appreciated not expected.