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TikTok postings and teachers' stress - this, and more...

30 November 2021

As mentioned last week, this week is upgrade week here at Teacher Tapp! 🎉 So if you get a message asking you to update your app, please do! There are lots of exciting things planned for the months ahead which we can’t wait to share – for now, please keep tapping and keep upgrading! 🙏

1. Half of secondary school teachers affected by TikTok postings

Recently in the media, there have been reports of students posting videos targeting their teachers on TikTok, so we asked whether anyone had been affected by these.

Just 3% of primary schools say that a member of staff has been affected by the TikTok postings. However, half of secondary school teachers say that they know someone at their school who has been affected. In particular – more female than male teachers say that they know someone affected (52% vs. 46%).

Given that the incident happened to a teacher in the North West – it will come as no surprise that it reported itself as the most affected region – with 62% of secondary teachers in the North West reporting knowing someone who has been affected.

2. Most teachers are citing workload as a cause of stress

What are the biggest strains on your wellbeing? You said: workload, admin and accountability are the biggest drains on your happiness. Three-quarters of you reported that their workload and work-life balance has made you feel stressed or unhappy at work. In particular – it’s the younger teachers who are struggling the most finding the right work-life balance.

Younger teachers also cite pastoral concerns as a drain on their wellbeing. 46% of teachers in their 20s say this, compared to 33% of those in their 50s+. Perhaps older teachers have had more experience dealing with pastoral issues in the past and so are more able to not let it stress them out as much!

Over one-in-three teachers don’t feel able to speak about their mental wellbeing in school. In particular, younger teachers are more reserved than others – where 42% of teachers in their 20s do not feel able to speak about their wellbeing.

One-in-three classroom teachers reported that their leaders don’t care about staff wellbeing, yet 99% heads asked said that they do. Is the difference due to the perceptions of staff when faced with the reality of their day-to-day duties?

But how can we improve staff wellbeing? Nearly two-thirds of classroom teachers and middle leaders think that better communication would improve staff wellbeing. 63% of classroom teachers were also clamouring for a reduction in admin requirements to improve their wellbeing.

What else could leaders do to improve staff wellbeing? A quarter of you said there was something else we missed – but what else? Let us know on social media! 📱

3. Question-by-question is the way to mark exam papers

Marking scripts question-by-question is just easier, right? Well – some of you disagree – in fact 16% of you prefer marking entire papers in turn, rather than doing it question-by-question. Are there any patterns which may shine a light on which of you prefer marking whole papers in turn? We asked secondary teacher their preferred way to mark exam papers.

Many of you suggested it might be subject-related – and you were right!

Marking question-by-question is most popular among most maths and science teachers, where 90% of teachers say it’s their preferred way. On the other hand, art teachers appear to be bucking the trend. 32% of art teachers prefer marking each student’s paper at a time – what is it about them that makes this a more common approach?

It is also true that younger teachers are more likely to mark whole papers in turn. Do they know something we don’t, or should you be convincing your younger colleagues to turn to the side of question-by-question?

It was suggested on social media that if we’d have asked primary teachers as well, we might have seen a different result!

4. Teacher Tapp mentions in the wild 📣

A critical aspect of you answering questions on Teacher Tapp is that it unlocks research that gets shared with you on the app, but also goes out into the wild and knocks ministers, policymakers and other decision people upside the head with your views!

Here are a few mentions we had in the press over the past week.

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

The most read it this week was: How to avoid common dual coding mistakes

And here are the rest for your reference: