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Festive fun, flexible working and three other findings to kick start your new year!

6 January 2020

🥳 Happy new year! 🥳

What better way to kick off the new decade than with some exciting Teacher Tapp findings? We can’t think of one either…

1. You’re going mad for the vouchers

We’ve been working with John Catt Educational to award a £10 book voucher for every 100 questions you’ve answered since December 1st . We’ve been blown away by all the furious tapping – we awarded 2340 vouchers in just one day last week!

If you haven’t got a voucher yet, keep tapping to earn one. If you have got one, keep tapping to earn another. You can only spend vouchers on books from this Teacher Tapp category on the John Catt website so if the voucher is reported as not valid that’s probably why. Oh, and don’t forget to let us know which book you chose 🤓.

2. Four Festive Findings

Is Christmas Day the best day of the holiday season? When we asked you which day you predicted would be your favourite, Christmas Day itself came out on top. And, although it was the most popular option for each age group, we noticed that it gets less popular the older you get. Our guess is that the stress of cooking, sorting presents and managing the kids only escalates with age!

Christmas is a stressful day for many. Add that to all the booze and boisterousness and you can get some pretty disruptive behaviour. Did you tell anyone off for their disruption? Most seem able to turn off teacher mode when you leave the school gates, but others were clearly working with a tough crowd on Christmas Day…

Meanwhile, on the night before Christmas, we sought to test your soothsaying skills by asking what presents you thought you’d be likely to receive the next day. We then asked you on Boxing day what presents you’d actually received.

Your predictions were eerily accurate (though you slightly underestimated your chances of getting chocs, socks and alcohol). Perhaps you knew what you were getting in advance? That’s definitely our guess for the new mobile phone that 1% of you got. Otherwise that’d be some crazy clairvoyance!

Turning to the more religious aspects of the holidays, just one-third of you attended a religious service over the fortnight. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise since 6-in-10 of you say you are not religious.

Are your own religious beliefs related to your views on the teaching of the Bible? We were intrigued to see that two-thirds of you thought it either not very or not at all important that young people have a well developed knowledge of the Bible. Based on your answer to other questions, we split you into those who declared they were ‘active’ Christians (i.e. had been to a religious service recently or said they had prayed in the last month) and those who are ‘inactive’ Christians. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the active Christians among you feel it is more important for young people to have a well developed knowledge of the Bible.

3. How much do you want to teach?

The end of a year is often a pensive period, and once again we asked whether you were thinking of leaving teaching any time soon. Nearly a third of you say that you are thinking about moving professions in the next three years. However, nearly all of you would like to stay connected to education somehow – either working in a different phase or sector, or working in an adjacent policy area.

We also asked you why you became a teacher in the first place. Teachers who’ve been in the profession longer are less likely to report altruistic reasons as their motivation for joining. Are older teachers just worn down and jaded? Perhaps. But it’s also possible that they feel less of a need to depict themselves as selfless in their motivations. There’s also the possibility that in teaching, as in politics, the especially noble are pruned off over time as the job makes it harder to exercise that nobility.

Also, perhaps teachers really just aren’t that altruistic? Whether you’ve been teaching three years or thirty years, we found that half of you would leave teaching now if you could find a job that matches your salary.

One curiosity is that you nearly all work full-time and yet many of say you don’t want to. Of those who are currently working full-time, just half of you say you actually want to work full-time. One-third who are currently full-timers would prefer to have a 4-day a week contract and one-in-ten of you would prefer to work a 0.7 FTE or less.

So, why don’t you? We asked whether you had EVER made a flexible working request in your career, and nearly all of the full-time teachers said they hadn’t. Perhaps you assume it will be turned down or that your career prospects will be damaged in some way? Whilst we hope teachers don’t all put in requests for reduced hours because there aren’t enough teachers to plug the gaps, we’d like to learn more about why you don’t! (Watch this space…)

4. Why, it’d be an honour!

The New Year is a time for honours as well as parties, so we asked how you’d react to being offered an MBE or similar honour for your services to education. We all know you deserve it! Two-thirds said you would accept an ‘honour’ for education services, whilst 15% said you’d join the very long list of public figures who have turned one down. (And 20% couldn’t decide.)

While most of you were ready to graciously accept the crown’s recognition, head teachers were the most clearly decided in their decision.

Given their role in the educational ecosystem, headteachers are likely an ambitious bunch. But the difference here could also be explained by the mundane fact that heads, being more likely to acquire Honours, have spent more time considering how they’d react to such news.

5. Finally, we know you love our daily tips, so here are the ones from last week…