How are teachers feeling this evening?
This evening I have been thinking about how over my years of teaching how the Sunday night feeling has changed for me.
As an NQT, I would be exhausted having spent nearly the whole weekend planning lessons from scratch and thought that if I had not spent an hour planning an hour’s lesson that it will not be good enough. I was worried that if I had not had time to plan all my lessons, that I would not find time later in the week to fit in the planning and that everything would all fall to pieces! I later found out that sometimes my meticulously planned NQT lessons were the worst!
My planning is now much quicker just as my PGCE University Lecturer told me it would eventually be (although it is harder to believe at the time you are told that!). I also had the usual NQT worries about controlling Year 9’s and 10’s! At the time, I spoke with their excellent Head of Year who helped me to realise that managing the behaviour effectively of these particular year groups would come with experience, persistence and making the effort to build relationships. He was right. I now enjoy some of my best lessons with these year groups and am currently Deputy Head of Year 10 and feel I have good relationships with these students.
In my first year as a TLR post-holder, I was worried that I had not had time to plan my lessons as I did in my NQT year and carry out my teaching and learning responsibility duties so lo and behold I started off by spending the whole weekend working again! This could not continue for the next 40 years or so of my career! So I then decided to stop reinventing the wheel in terms of lesson planning and resources. This then freed up more of my time to concentrate on my TLR post and to have a day’s rest at the weekend!
Of course, I would occasionally create a resource from scratch still but learnt the art of tweaking and adapting already good lesson plans. Although we want trainee teachers and NQT’s to spend time thinking about the planning of their lessons, I think it is vital that they are taught this essential skill of adapting good lesson plans so they can concentrate more on their lesson delivery.
As a relatively experienced teacher and TLR post-holder I now question this when I have a ‘Sunday night feeling’ worry:
“Is it something that can wait until Monday morning (I could always get in a little earlier if necessary) or even later in the week to think about?”
I make sure that my lessons are planned for Monday and have an action plan on my Outlook calendar for the week so that I know I am organised and have some buffer time during my ‘free periods’ in case something else comes up (it normally does in any day of a teacher!)
Above all, it is important not to be working until late into the night on a Sunday (I wish I could talk to myself on this one from the future to the past NQT!) Nothing can set you up worse for the week and it can affect your sleep that night and cause you to oversleep in the morning, arrive late and cause more problems! The students (and you) need a relaxed (in the sense of confident, prepared and organised) teacher in front of them and more successful learning will be able to take place.
Well there’s my second blog post done and I am now off to bed so that I am ready for an exciting week ahead:
- KS223 PiXL Conference on Tuesday
- Annual School Celebration Evening (one of my favourite events)
- Meeting my Year 7 Science class for the first time! I am always excited to meet the new generation of Science students and their enthusiasm and hope that it may continue!
Goodnight and sleep well!