It’s getting cold out there. Almost time for your big coat…

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1. Does family size influence your teaching?

One of the criticisms of Teacher Tapp is that we sometimes ask weird and pointless-looking questions. We don’t disagree!

BUT, you may be surprised at what influences how a person behaves and thinks. Hence, this week you told us how many siblings you had. In isolation, it may not seem interesting. But when paired with other questions, it becomes so!

For example, teachers with at least one sibling are more likely to report that they know how to lead a group. In particular, 83% of teachers who have four or more siblings agreed with this, compared to 74% of only children.

And those of you who have more siblings are also more confident in your teaching quality!

35% of you with four or more siblings say you would rank within the top 25% of teachers, compared to 28% of only-child teachers.

Only children seem particularly harsh on themselves all the way through the scale!

2. 😷

Attitudes towards mask-wearing have changed significantly over time. Last September (2020), 50% of you were wearing a mask at some point during the school day. After schools reopened in March this year, that figure jumped to 94%.

Now, mask-wearing appears to be at its lowest point. Just 3-in-10 teachers are reporting to be wearing a mask.

Masks appear to be particularly popular in more affluent schools, especially fee-paying schools.

One of the other new bits of Covid guidance this year is that children should still come in to school if a family member tests positive for Covid. However, 3-in-4 of you don’t agree with the guidance, and many of you strongly feel that this shouldn’t be the case.

That said, headteachers were a bit of an outlier. Double the percentage of headteachers (26%) agree with the guidance compared to classroom teachers (11%).

3. The Geeks Shall Inherit

Do you think you could spot a future teacher from among your current students?

Well, you needn’t look too much further than the geeky kids! 4-in-10 of you said that you were one of the geeky kids when you were at school. Maths and science teachers reported themselves as the geekiest teachers of all 🤓.

The next most popular group of students were the sporty lot (23% of teachers). It may come as no surprised that over 50% of teachers in our “Other” category, which contains PE teachers, fell into this group. Maths teachers were also the next most sporty set of teachers!

And when it comes to being cool, English teachers put themselves in this group at one of the highest rates! (They’re also the most likely to be a goth too!)

4. Looking forward to exams?

This week the exams regulator Ofqual said that pupils in some subjects will receive additional information about their exams in February. The info will help students narrow down their revision to fewer topics.

However, only 8% of you agreed with Ofqual’s decision to release information about the content of exam papers in February. By far the most popular option (with 43% of the vote) was this month, October. Second was January.

And 12% of you favour running exams as normal this year, without any advance information – harsh!

Ofqual also said that the 2022 exam boundaries will be set at a mid-point between the 2019 and 2021 grades.

The majority of secondary school teachers agreed with this decision. However, the remaining teachers were roughly split between sticking with 2021’s grade boundaries, or biting the bullet and reverting back to 2019 straight away (22% each).

Male teachers were more likely to want to revert to 2019 level straight away – with 28% of male teachers wanting to do so, compared to 19% of female teachers.

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

The most read tip this week was: What is ‘spelling voice’ and why do I need it?

And here are the rest for your reference: