It’s not unprofessional to have a life.

Can Teachers Ever Get the Balance Right?

An interesting article. I personally managed to get the balance, possibly too far in favour of life – but honestly I don’t feel like I’m letting the kids down. They aren’t going to care if I sit up all night making a worksheet with pictures and key word boxes and carefully organised differentiated sections – in fact they would be just as happy with page 43 in the textbook and a target of how many questions to do. Granted I am a maths teacher,but I’m also a special needs teacher.

I could spend three hours now planning a lesson, and go into school tomorrow and get ready to give year eight an all singing all dancing lesson on negative numbers with interactive props and an animated power point and a game and then one of them will kick off or two of them, and suddenly I’ll be standing there amidst the chaos wishing dearly I hadn’t bothered because I’m now in the situation where I can’t move ANY kids forwards because I have no solid work to hand over to my fleet of TAs whilst one of us deals with the scream, swearing and dickery.

I realise that ‘I just give the kids worksheets’ sounds like I’m a bad teacher – I’m not. I’m a very good teacher for SEBD kids – where the planning is all about the individuals temperament – don’t give that one too much writing, this one needs a pen not a pencil, only one question at a time for him, double side the worksheet for her, but NOT for her mate. Never mentional negative numbers to that class, don’t give year nine rulers after lunch, save chapter three until this one’s back from court, don’t push it too hard with the algebra it’s contact day.

The lessons I plan are simple because the relationships I have to negotiate to deliver them are complex. For that I nee to be firing on all cylinders, not up until 2am making a powerpoint – that’s what is for.


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