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All things toilets and would you encourage your children to become teachers? This, and more…

04 May 2022

1. Toilets 🚽

In all honesty, we’ve had some pretty tough questions go out on Teacher Tapp recently (blog post pending on why this is). We wanted to make sure that you, our faithful Tappers, know that we’re still thinking of you (and care about your bladders). So last week, we asked if you struggle to find time to visit the bathroom during the school day.

70% of you agreed that it’s a struggle which is down 7% since we last asked in 2019. Nevertheless, it’s still a relatively high number of you that struggle to find the time for the bathroom during the school day πŸ˜”

Stacked bar chart showing the results to the question "I struggled to find time to visit the bathroom when I need to during the school day", comparing results from 2019 and 2022.

We looked at the results based on teacher gender and found that 44% of male teachers said that they didn’t struggle to find the time to visit the bathroom. This got us thinking πŸ€” could this be because male teachers are more likely to be out of the classroom compared to their female counterparts? Or is it that male teachers may need less toilet breaks than females?

Stacked bar chart showing the results to the question "I struggled to find time to visit the bathroom when I need to during the school day", split by gender.

On the subject of toilets, it made sense for us to ask about the students. We reasked whether toilets for students are safe spaces for everyone, even during break times and compared the findings to when we last asked in 2019. 27% of you disagreed that toilets are safe places, which is up 12% from 2019.

Many teachers on social channels said that they’ve experienced more students asking for toilet breaks since schools “reopened”. Could this be related to the pandemic? Has there been a dip in students ability to concentrate for extended lengths of time and so toilet requests have risen? πŸ€”

Stacked bar chart showing the results to the question "The toilets for students at our school are safe spaces for everyone, even during breaktimes", comparing results from 2019 and 2022.

We analysed the data based on seniority and phase to see if there were any disparities in responses.

Headteachers were most likely to ‘strongly agree’ that toilets are safe spaces for students. In reality, how often are headteachers made aware of these incidents unless they are severe enough to warrant the input of the headteacher?

Classroom teachers were most likely to disagree to the varying degrees. This could be because they’re most often the ones who deal with the immediate aftermath of any incidents that have taken place.

Stacked bar chart showing the results to the question "The toilets for students at our school are safe spaces for everyone, even during breaktimes", split by phase and seniority.

2. To Be, Or Not To Be, A Teacher

Last week, we asked if you’d encourage your own (perhaps hypothetical) child to become a teacher πŸ‘©β€πŸ« A question that awakened the Twitter following! Most of you said that you wouldn’t encourage your child to become a teacher but you’d be supportive if they wanted to πŸ₯°

Interestingly, the ‘yes’ respondents are most likely to be headteachers and the ‘no’ respondents are most likely to be classroom teachers, middle leaders and senior leaders.

Bar chart showing the results to the question "Would you encourage your own (perhaps hypothetical) child to become a teacher?", split by role and opinion.

We wondered if there had been a change in your opinions so we compared the findings to the last three years.

13% of you said that you’d actively counsel against your child becoming a teacher, which is a 5% rise since last year and the highest it’s been since 2019. It’s worth noting that since we started asking this question over half of you have consistently said ‘no’ in some way, shape or form.

Stacked bar chart showing the results to the question "Would you encourage your own (perhaps hypothetical) child to become a teacher?", comparing results from 2019-2022.

3. Student Behaviour

We asked when student behaviour is at its best and worst in your school.

Indoor lessons came out on top (89% in primary and 84% in secondary) πŸ† What was quite surprising is that some of you, across primary and secondary, said that behaviour is at its best during outdoor lessons, 5% in primary and 6% in secondary.

This got us thinking πŸ€” How often do lessons take place outdoors? Is it a ‘treat’ or is it part and parcel of day-to-day life? Weather permitting of course, or maybe not! Maybe we’ve stumbled upon a question for the future… πŸ‘€

Now for the drum roll πŸ₯ When is student behaviour at is worst?

Bar chart showing the results to the question "When is student behaviour at its worst in your school?", split by phase.

Ahh lunchtimes 🍱 With an overwhelming majority in both primary and secondary. Quite surprisingly, the difference between breaktime and lunchtime behaviour is quite large, is this due to classroom teachers being on duty more at breaktime than lunchtime?

19% of primary Tappers chose transitioning between lessons, some of us at Teacher Tapp headquarters were surprised by this finding! As primary students are often in the same classroom all day, we wondered if primary teachers were referring to social transitioning times e.g. coming in from lunchtime or perhaps it could be walking to a specialist classroom like a computer room? We’d be interested to know your thoughts on these findings on Twitter.

4. Where are all the ELSAs? 🧊❌

Our co-founder, Laura McInerney, was recently asked about Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs). Laura, who is extremely knowledgeable in all things education, was flummoxed – she’d never heard of ELSAs. So, we thought we’d ask you 😊

We found that ELSAs are more prevalent in primary schools but the vast majority of primary and secondary schools don’t have ELSAs. 30% of you were unsure, suggesting that either you’re unsure what the role of an ELSA is or that you’re unsure if anyone in your school is qualified. In case you’re wondering, here’s some information.

Bar chart showing the results to the question "Does your school have an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)?", split by phase and opinion.

5. Qualified Staff

We asked if you thought your department or faculty is currently well-staffed with suitably qualified teachers, 78% of you agreed with this πŸ₯³

When we compared the results to 2019 and 2020 we noticed that this years findings were inline with 2019 but has fallen since 2020. Could this be due to the ‘great reshuffle’?

Stacked bar chart showing the results to the question "My department or faculty is currently well-staffed with suitably qualified teachers", comparing results from 2019, 2020 and 2022.

Surprisingly, 27% of you from arts and D&T departments disagreed that you’re currently well-staffed with suitably qualified teachers. Is there a shortage of specialist teachers in these subjects? Or what’s the threshold for being considered as ‘suitably’ qualified?

There was a recent Twitter thread discussing the degrees that teachers have and the impact that it has had on their subject knowledge or ‘ability’ to teach specialist subjects, particularly in secondary schools. The responses were mixed, some teachers said that their degree was necessary to be able to teach a subject well, with others saying that their degrees didn’t help much at all. Some food for thought there…

Stacked bar chart showing the results to the question "My department or faculty is currently well-staffed with suitably qualified teachers", split by subject.

Finally… we know you love the daily read, so here are the ones from last week

The most read tip from the past week was: How do exam writers put together questions for tests? πŸ€”

And here are the rest for your reference:

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