It’s the second week of full return. Nights are getting longer. The sun is peeking through the clouds on occassion. How are you feeling about it all?
Most of you say that you’re much happier to be back teaching face-to-face after a difficult two months. Sure, it isn’t September levels of enjoyment – but it is close! (Given this is normally a time of year when people feel run down and behaviour is stalling, being anywhere near September enjoyment levels is a big win).
This is also a reminder that behaviour is similar or even better than it would be in normal times. It seems that students are having no difficulty in slipping back into the old regime. And movement restrictions mean they are getting to class in a more timely fashion than usual. Could it be that some of these new rules might stick around even if old life can return?
Not everything is normal for everyone, though. The staffroom is not a place where the majority of you are able to socialise at the moment. Staffrooms are still open in most schools, but only a minority of you are able to relax and talk to colleagues there.
Primary starts and ends
In primary schools there have been some tweaks to the arrangements of the school day. In September, 8-in-10 schools are following the DfE guidance and have introduced staggered starts and ends of the day. It means fewer parents on site at once and large numbers of milling parents waiting for multiple children. It looks as if quite a few primaries have returned to a single start and end of the day, though 7-in-10 are still continuing with the staggered approach.
Sadly for children, very few clubs are running at the moment. A few primaries are allowing clubs to run that serve year group bubbles, but normal lunchtime and after-school activities are very much restricted on the school site.
A better you
Many of us have a lot of free time at the moment to sit at home waiting for the world to re-open, and yet still struggle to do all the things we should be doing to make sure we say healthy! There are some quite stark age and gender patterns.
Younger teachers seem to best at drinking water (perhaps because it wasn’t invented as a self-care activity until relatively recently). Older teachers seem to be better at exercising regularly.
When we asked you to pick just one area to improve, the majority of you picked exercise, with eating a more healthy diet a close second. However, a significant group of older teachers chose sleeping better – something that becomes increasingly difficult as you age.
Worries about exams – or lack of…
We know a lot about what isn’t happening this summer: there will be no exam board organised examinations. However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty for Years 11 and 13 about how their school will assess them. It seems that anxiety levels have fallen a little since we last asked in November, but most teachers agree that these Year Groups are suffering from the uncertainty.
Those of you working in fee-paying and more affluent state schools are much more likely to report that your students are anxious about the situation. We know from previous questions that you are getting more messages from parents asking what is happening and putting pressure on the grades awarded.
Have you got your voucher yet?
Don’t forget that every question you answer on Teacher Tapp at the moment is edging you towards the magic 150 questions needed to receive a John Catt Book Voucher.
The first voucher will be a 50% offer one. At 300 questions you receive a £10 voucher. (And then at 450 it’s 50%, and at 600 another £10).
Keep your eye on the eligible voucher score on your headline stats homepage. And if you want to get started with picking what you’ll choose, go to the Teacher Tapp section of the John Catt bookshop now!