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What Teachers Tapped This Week #49 - 3rd September 2018

3 September 2018

According to the data, over 85% of you are now back at school. Excited for another go on the school-year rollercoaster? PUT YOUR HANDS UP IN THE AIIIIIR…..

RIGHT, onto results! This week we learned…

1.Now is better than later

If the early starts of September are jarring your system at least you can be pleased to know this month will probably be easier than the winter.

Teachers seem pretty convinced that pupil behaviour gets progressively worse over the term, with December predicted as the most headache-inducing month. 

Primary teachers particularly find December challenging. Perhaps because their charges are more excited by the thought of Christmas and toys. 

Secondary colleagues meanwhile had a downer on November. Mock exam blues anyone?


2.Who gets the ‘notoriously difficult’ kids?

If you spent all of last night awake and worrying, it might be because you’re a teacher who has been told you have a “notoriously difficult” class this year. 

Putting aside any debate about the ethics of advance-telling someone their class is difficult, it seems that you not alone. 

17% of teachers have been told they are teaching a notoriously difficult class this year. 

Primary teachers are the most likely to receive a warning, whereas secondary teachers are more likely to believe they are teaching a difficult class even if not told! 

More alarming… newer teachers are told this more often! And they also believe they have more challenging classes. Is this because they really do have more difficult classes – (after all, it’s easier to punt difficult kids onto a newbie who isn’t around during timetable creation) – or is it more a product of friendly teachers giving a new recruit the sort of heads up that experienced hands don’t need because they already know the pupils?

The jury is out. Thoughts on how we might create a question that would get to the bottom of it all?


3.New year, new haircut, new suit ??

Move over London Fashion Week, the real sartorial event of September is the first week of school, when everyone shows off their new haircuts and trades blister-plasters to aid with their new shiny shoes. 

Earlier in the summer we found that over 60% of teachers had a haircut within the first month. 

And this week we discovered that 34% of teachers had already bought new clothes ready for the start of term. Plus another 31%, who t have some kind of shopping death-wish, were planning to buy some during the last week of the summer hols. 

Before you go getting all sexist and eye-rolly and blaming ‘the ladies’ for the shopping habits: CHECK OUT OUR DATA…

That’s right. Men and women were equal in their intent to get new clothes – it’s just that the women were marginally more organised and had already been to get them. ?

Equal Vanity For All! This is what we like to see. ?


4. Watch test reactions carefully

Last week we asked a few questions taken from a test used to look at our reactions to certain situations. One of the questions was about our reaction to a very poor exam result. It’s useful because this is the sort of reaction we see from pupils all the time. Here’s what teachers said they would do:

On its own the score is mildly interesting – particularly if you picked one of the more unusual answers.

More useful is how the questions compared to answers given when the same users were asked about the conditions of their life. 

People in the top and bottom group (the sad, and the angry groups) were much more likely to say that conditions in their life were not excellent. By no means is this universal. Some people who felt sad and angry also said they had excellent lives. But there is a discernible pattern of difference in life conditions of those who exhibit greater sadness or anger at tests. It’s perhaps worth watching out for. 


5. If the government pays physics teachers more it will naff most people off

Rumours are flying again that a shortage of physics teachers may need the government to lift their wages (while keeping others flat). We’ve looked at this before but a re-test is always worthwhile in case teachers have shifted their minds on the issue.

They haven’t. Around half of secondary teachers do not like the idea of offering extra cash to physics teachers. 

Primary teachers are even less chuffed. A whopping 69% do not agree they should be paid more. 

HOWEVER – secondary headteachers are the most sympathetic to the idea. Could an injection of cash into physics teachers’ wage packets win headteachers over to government favour?

Only if they are willing to put up with a lot of complaints!


6. Is it time for the PrizeDraw yet?

Over the summer we ran a prize draw where each answer gave ONE ticket for entry into our chance to win the Teacher Tapp School CPD Canon

We will be in touch tomorrow with one lucky winner to arrange delivery to their school – so do make sure your email address is correct (via the top left menu button in the app).

Remember: £300 of book goodness is on the line for one school! It’s worth a quick check. 


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

How I got my life back from teaching

10 Ways The Dust Of CPD Gold Is Wasted

Forest school for trads

How to stay positive in the new school year (according to a neurologist)

How to get through a no free-period day


Right folks – that’s it for another week. And remember, if you think today is scary, just think how this week feels to the new kids…

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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