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Has behaviour changed since you started teaching? (This, and more findings...)

26 October 2021

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1. When is behaviour at its best?

Do you look back on the start of your career and fondly remember the behaviour of students? Some of you might, as 43% of you say that behaviour has deteriorated since you started your teaching career.

Primary school teachers were more adamant. Over 50% of you with over 10 years of experience said behaviour had deteriorated since you started teaching.

If you think this is just down to nostalgia, however, the secondary school teachers suggest otherwise – as their experience is different. Twice as many of you think it has improved, compared to primary teachers. Though deteriorated was still a more popular answer!

Weather can also play havoc with the behaviour of students. According to 57% of you, wind is the worst for student behaviour. When you have windows you can open – even more of you think that wind is the worst weather for behaviour.

2. Lesson observations…to grade or not to grade?

Here is an example of a real, changing trend, which we are now able to share because you’ve all been tapping for several years!

Three years ago – in the heady days of 2018 – we first asked if your school graded lesson observations. Back then 24% of you said yes. Now, it’s just 12%.

In that time, the proportion of teachers in favour of graded lesson observations has also dropped from 15% to just 9%.

That said, some teachers remain more in favour of lesson observations than others. Teachers in their 20s are twice as likely to be in favour of graded lesson observations compared to teachers in their 50s.

Could this be because new teachers are more used to being observed and graded as part of their teacher training? We’d love to know what benefit those who would prefer to be graded feel they get out of it. Do let us know on social media!

3. Job talk – your future!

Are you the sort of teacher who sees themselves running a whole fleet of academies in future, or are you happier tucked away in your classroom figuring out how to engage minds in each and every lesson?

Last week you told us which job you’d most like to be doing ten years from now. And one of the obvious issues was that while 23% of teachers want to be a senior leader, only 9% want to become a headteacher.

On Twitter, lots of people challenged the result. “Doesn’t it matter how long you’ve been in the profession?” they said. “If you’re only just starting out then you won’t want to be a head because it’s too far off.”

Good point! So, behold: here is the chart of future aspirations taking into account how long people have been in their jobs. As you will see… things don’t change very much! 😬

After 5 years, teachers do see themselves moving into senior leadership and headship at higher rates than before. But things don’t shift as much as you might expect! The most sought after job in the 5-20 year range is still senior leader over headship. And for those in the profession over 20 years, staying as a classroom teacher is the most preferred of all!

Don’t despair, though. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! We don’t need that many headteachers. And we do find that (a) 27% of current senior leaders want to become a headteacher in the future, and (b) 4-in-10 headteachers still think they’ll be in a job in a decade! (And 21% would like to be a chief executive of a trust – so there won’t be any shortage for those roles, either!)

Perhaps more worrying is the division between genders. Across both phases, male teachers were far more likely to aspire to become headteachers than female teachers.

For primary teachers, 21% of male teachers want to be heads compared to just 9% of female teachers. There was a similar pattern in secondary schools, where 10% of male teachers would like to become headteachers, compared to just 3% of female teachers.

What’s particularly interesting is that the percentages aiming for senior leadership are similar across all primary school and secondary female teachers. Yet, when it comes to the leap into headship, the appetite really drops off for women, particularly in secondary schools.

4. Teacher Tapp mentions in the wild 📣

A critical aspect of you answering questions on Teacher Tapp is that it unlocks research which 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 tip this week was: Could you tweak the classic “Think, Pair, Share” activity?

And here are the rest for your reference: