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What Teachers Tapped This Week #48 - 28th August 2018

28 August 2018

It’s holidays… BUT – there is still tapping to be done, AND we are running an amazing giveaway over the summerFor every question you answer throughout August you will get a raffle ticket to win THE TEACHER TAPP CANON. Also, spot prizes for users who have long answering streaks.

RIGHT, onto results! This week we’ve looked at…

1.Teachers are looking forward to going back to school

Are you happy returning to work? The overwhelming majority of teachers say ‘yes’. (Thank goodness!)

Newer teachers are the most enthusiastic…

But headteachers are also psyched, too. Especially in secondary schools. What’s going on with you all?!

We’ve seen a trend among headteachers that they seem to like their jobs A LOT and certainly more than most classroom teachers, even though they report much longer working hours. This is probably a good thing as we need a constant pipeline of new heads as older ones leave or retire. Maybe we should even talk up the joys of the role more often!

2.Hardworking Teachers

Possibly one reason why heads are so happy is that they like hard work. Or, at least, they identify as a person who is a hard worker and, therefore, hard work makes them feel more comfortable.

Secondary heads in particular say they are hard workers (72% strongly agreed)

Women also report being hardworkers more often than men.

lot more!

Maybe this also explains why headteachers are more likely to have been head boy or girl than teachers in any other job role.

3.Teachers value holidays more when on them

In the past week we asked a fairly simple question. If you had the choice would you want an extra £1,200 pay or 2 weeks’ extra holiday.

Most teachers (53%) picked the extra two weeks. There were sharp differences in the choice depending on job role. Heads, who are paid more, were most likely to want the extra holidays. Presumably because the tax implications mean the £1,200 reduces down to around £700 anyway. Among classroom teachers the money was preferred (by 59% at primary, and 50% at secondary).


Back in February, we already asked this question. But that was just after a half-term, right when the school year is starting to close in on teachers pushing towards exams, and when bank accounts are still low from Christmas. Did teachers back then give a different answer? Yes, yes they did.

In February, teachers were more likely to go for the £1,200 – by 60% to 40%. 

We thought this might be to do with the weighting of the sample. If we had too many heads in the sample they might skew things. But the ratios haven’t really changed. So what’s going on? We need to dig a little more and check our sampling (we can reweight to ensure it’s not because a certain demographic group are dominating) – but it may simply be that teachers value holidays more when they are on holiday, and value them less when they feel the school year is starting to run away from them!

4. Chisel vs Bullet Tip

Nothing has quite garnered Teacher Tapp fascination like this year’s vote on the best board markers. Not only did chisel vs bullet tip give rise to hashtags such as #teamchisel but we also got our highest ever poll of over 2,700 teachers – woot!

What did we learn?

First, primary teachers are more commonly give a specific allocation of marker pens whereas secondary teachers can have as many as they want.

On chisel (33%) vs bullet (67%) there wasn’t as much difference in age or subject as we thought there would be. 

Younger teachers had a small additional preference for bullet tip, but it was a minor touch.

On social media, some tappsters swore blind that maths teachers are always in favour of bullet tips because they write numbers and shapes on the board. AND YET…

Maths teachers don’t seem that different to everyone else! It’s the English teachers who are the oddity – with 38% loving the cursive look of a chisel tip.

We also learned that pretty much everyone hates yellow markers – with 78% of you wishing they would disappear from pen packs.

However, a few science did get in touch to say they needed them. For drawing urine? Pollen? Iodine? The mind boggles.

5. ??????

In classrooms, men cry at about half the rate of women.

And in secondary schools, they barely ever cry in front of classes EVER – not even from happiness.

Here’s the data…

Does this tell us something about the type of men that choose to teach in primary school? Or, is the difference caused because there are more experiences in primary school which make you want to cry from happiness or sadness? After all, you’re more likely to see children crying in primary school (from their own happiness or sadness) and you get to know fewer pupils but on a much deeper level in primary. It therefore makes sense that one is more prone to crying.

Would secondary men who move to primary cry at the same rates as their colleagues? It would be interesting to find out.

Aside from gender there’s a fairly startling reality here about the visibility of teachers and how difficult it is to hide emotions when teaching. Remember, this wasn’t about crying just anywhere – for example a toilet. The question asked if teachers had cried in front of a class. And the majority of female teachers said they had cried in front of a class – including 8% from pain. How many other customer-facing jobs provoke tears from their workers in this way?!

6. Do you forget names too?

Co-founder Becky has a habit of forgetting names when she first hears them, so she was relieved to find so many people agreed with this question!

Men also fared much worse than women on this:

Bit of a pain when you’ve got to remember loads of names on the first day of school!

Still, there’s apparently a whole science behind the reasons why. Watch here to take your nerd levels to the max.


7. Finally, as ever, we learned that you really love our daily tips, so here are the links for last week:

Is student progress a measure of teacher effectiveness?

An art history of exam season

To be a genius, think like a 94-year-old

8 things school inset can learn from education conferences

Life is a game; this is the strategy guide (handy for assemblies)

Attendance awards might not be a good idea after all

What’s the evidence on classroom displays?

Right folks – over and out for another week…

In the meantime, keep sharing what we are doing. Here’s a powerpoint slide (with script), a PDF, and a black-and-white one-pager to help.

Remember, we need more of you before we can do the really exciting and detailed analysis!

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