Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/556/6610

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 November 2008

A day at the chalk face

The workload of a teacher

When the alarm goes off at 6.15 I get up and am instantly depressed by the knowledge that tonight there is a parents' evening.This means I won't return home till ten in the evening.

A Huddersfield teacher, member of the National Union of Teachers (NUT)

After breakfast I dash out of the house up the hill to the rail station. For once, the train turns up on time and I get to work for 7.20.

First, I set up my laptop and get all the lesson activities ready on the computer. Then I check my email with the latest calls for help from different departments.

I suddenly realise that today is the deadline for year nine monitoring. Oh crap! I get my planner out and fill in the data forms and send them off via email.

That's one less thing that management can harass me about.

Then it's off to the staff room to do some photocopying and pick up my register and daily bulletin. On the way I remember that my head of department is off again and that I had better go next door to sort his lessons out.

Strike ballot

When I get to my pigeon hole I see a set of NUT notices about the strike ballot that were supposed to have gone out two days before. I put the notices into members' pigeonholes.

I set off back to my classroom with the hope of marking a set of books before the start of school. Five minutes into marking and one of my year 11 students comes in asking for help with her coursework.

I explain a few points to her and then it's back to marking. Fifteen minutes later and more students arrive asking for help with coursework. I realise that the set of books I'm marking will have to be finished another time.

By now its 8.20 and I head back to the staffroom to see if I have been taken for cover for an absent colleague. Yes of course, I've lost my free period again. Looks like that set of year eight exercise books will have to wait again for marking.

At 8.35 the first bell for registration goes and my ill-tempered year 11 form slouches into my classroom. During registration I do the register, read out the bulletin, check report cards, dish out uniform passes and tell off several students for being late yet again. So much for a relaxed start to the day.

Period one begins and five minutes into the lesson a student from next door says the cover teacher hasn't got a clue what the year eight class are supposed to be doing. I leave my class for ten minutes and sort out the class next door.

As the lesson progresses I get several more interruptions. This time from a class two doors down where the cover teacher can't find textbooks. I realise that it's going to be one of those days.

Homework

At morning break I let a group of girls from year seven into my room to finish off some homework. I dash off to the loo and get stopped by one of the secretaries on my way back to my room. Apparently, my son's head of year wants to talk to me. I promise to return the call at some point and head off back to my classroom.

I ask the girls if they are ok and then I am collared by a student teacher. I spend five minutes finding some IT resources for her and then realise that I had better set off for the other side of school. Period three I am covering an absent colleague's lesson.

When I get to the classroom there's been a fight and I have a big crowd of kids to disperse. Eventually I get the class into the room and we start the lesson. I mentally prepare for what I've got to do at lunchtime:

At the end of lunchtime I get ready for afternoon registration with my form. During registration I am asked for help by the new teacher (NQT) next door. Of course, I don't mind checking some of the essays that her year ten class have written. I'll do it after school no problem.

Ten minutes into period five and a year seven kid comes into my room and tells me no one has turned up to cover the lesson for my absent head of department.

I then try to teach two classes for the next 15 minutes whilst waiting for someone to turn up. I get back to my year ten class and set the class another homework, which is met with a wave of moans and groans.

3.10 at last and the bell for home time goes off. By this time I'm feeling very thirsty and realise that I've got the year 11 coursework club again after school. I rush down to the humanities office for my water bottle. Returning to my classroom I get stopped twice by different colleagues regarding various new initiatives in school.

I let in half a dozen year 11 students and get them settled with their coursework. I finally get down to marking the set of year eight exercise books that I started about 8 o'clock this morning.

Having marked that set of year eight books I get my classroom ready for the parents' evening.

At about half five I go to the staffroom and heat up some left over curry for my tea. After eating I nearly fall asleep and then return to my classroom. I make a start on marking the books of my other year eight class.

I have eight lower school classes which leaves me with 240 exercise books a week to mark! Never mind the GCSE classes that I've got.

After an hour's marking it's nearly 7pm and my back is killing me and my head is starting to pound. I just want to go home. The first parents start to arrive and I start running on empty. Somehow I manage to keep going until 9 o'clock.

By this time my brain is frazzled and I feel totally exhausted. I make it home shortly after ten. The next day of toil looms like ground hog day.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 12 November 2008:


Socialist Party campaigns

Defend workers' jobs and pay

PCS union: Strike threat wins talks

Confined to one room

Fast news


Socialism 2008

Socialism 2008 - an inspiring weekend


War and occupation

Iraq, Afghanistan... End the occupations!


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

A political awakening propels Obama to victory

Why Labour won the Glenrothes by-election


Socialist Students

'Students in the Red' day of action

East Anglia region demands free education


Education

NUT leadership fails to call strike

Scotland: Victory for the Vale of Leven Four

The workload of a teacher


Socialist Party review

Prescott: the class system and me


 

Facebook   Twitter



Home   |   The Socialist 12 November 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter



Related links:

Teachers:

triangleThe menopause: breaking the taboo

triangleCardiff teachers strike against 'death wish' workload

triangleLabour council axes union facility time

triangleCollege e-learning mustn't replace teachers

triangleTerrorism and classroom spying

School:

triangle'Prevent'ing terror or preventing opposition?

triangleRoad accident highlights need to save school crossings

triangleEducation under attack! Reports from the front line of the fightback

triangle9,000 tuition fees legacy - debt and slave labour

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

29/7/15

Glasgow

Striking homelessness workers win

29/7/15

Huddersfield

'Prevent'ing terror or preventing opposition?

29/7/15

London underground

Back tube strikes

29/7/15

Austerity

Anti-austerity protests from Northumberland to the 'English Riviera'

29/7/15

Jobs

Coal closure costs 700 jobs

29/7/15

Housing

Workplace news in brief

29/7/15

TUSC

Campaigns news in brief

29/7/15

Austerity

Help fund the party that fights austerity!

29/7/15

Nottingham

Nottingham rehab unit campaign

29/7/15

Workers

The menopause: breaking the taboo

29/7/15

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

29/7/15

Cardiff

Wales: Stop the Bedroom Tax evictions!

28/7/15

Socialist Party

Media coverage of Socialist Party's statement on Corbyn

28/7/15

Metro

Mirror and Metro report view of "exhausted nurse"

23/7/15

Tolpuddle

Determined mood to defend the unions

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

triangle29 Jul Striking homelessness workers win

triangle28 Jul Corbyn's support shows anti-austerity message is popular

triangle27 Jul Blairites' terror at popularity of left-wing ideas

triangle23 Jul Determined mood to defend the unions

triangle23 Jul Anger at the 'Labstainers' - Labour's lack of opposition to attack on...

triangle22 Jul Demo of protest and anger at Suruc attack

Jeremy Corbyn, photo David Hunt, Wikimedia Commons

triangle17 Jul Support for Corbyn's anti-austerity message rattles Labour machine

More ...

triangle3 Aug Leeds Socialist Party: LGBT + equality

triangle4 Aug West London Socialist Party: Socialism is international!

triangle4 Aug Harrogate Socialist Party: Capitalism and mental health

triangle5 Aug Salford Socialist Party: Hungary in 1956

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice