Our teaching staff know how busy life can be as a teacher, especially as you take those first steps in your career. We asked trainee maths teacher Charlotte Tate, who is based at National Church of England Academy, to describe a typical day for her both in and outside of the academy, providing an interesting insight into life working in education…
I wake up pretty early so that I can get ready and arrive at work on time. After months of doing my teacher training this now seems normal and I wake up at this time even on the weekends. I enjoy my journeys to and from National as I use this time to listen to audio books. I don’t have time to read much anymore!
I arrive at the academy and greet the other early risers. Before lessons start, I spend my time checking my emails for any important memos and running through my day plan in my head. I make notes of anything I need to remember (take compasses to my year 8 class today!) and create mini lesson schedules on post-it notes so that I can have a quick reminder of my plan to look at during a lesson. It’s possible that I would have an observation today from my university mentor which counts towards me passing the teacher training course, so I also use this time to make sure I have all the resources I would need for that too. If this was the case I would be feeling very nervous and wishing the lesson to be over already so that I can hear my feedback!
Lessons begin. When I am teaching I make my way to the room, set up my PowerPoint and welcome the students in. A starter task would be introduced for the students to do while I take the register and then the lesson would commence as normal. During all my lessons as a trainee teacher I am observed by the original class teacher. This is a great support and comfort to me as I always get constructive feedback following a lesson and access to any support that I may need.
It’s second period now. If I was free I would spend this time reflecting and evaluating my previous lesson. I consider what went well in each lesson and make notes, then consider what did not go well and how could I have improved that. These reflections I then use to give myself targets to work on which I would try in the next lesson. Once I have finished reflecting and setting myself new targets I can always find another task to do. I could be marking books, planning lessons or working on my assignments for university. Sometimes I can use my free periods to go observe other teachers teach to pick up hints and tricks.
My day continues like this with a break to go to form time and have lunch. I will teach, then reflect, then teach, then plan, then teach… and so on. I am never bored!
It’s the end of the day now. I may spend a few minutes writing my reflection if I was teaching last period or I will begin wrapping up my work, say goodbye and return home.
I have arrived at home. I always make sure to do no work for a minimum of two hours, I think it is important that I can relax so that when I do continue working my brain is ready and focused – this means I can do my planning to the best of my ability. I spend this free time cooking, catching up with my fiancée or maybe seeing some family.
Finally I wrap up my work, check that all the planning I need for tomorrow is done and finishing some plans off if it is not done. I will organise my work, collecting any resources that I used and my reflections into a folder which will be assessed at the end of my teacher training. Once I am happy that I can wake up and not have that horrible ‘what have I forgotten?!‘ feeling, I relax, watch some TV or play a game, and eventually go to bed ready to do it all again tomorrow.
Thank you to Charlotte for giving us an insight into her world, and we all wish her all the best as she develops her career as a teacher.