1. Making masks mandatory?

Face masks are a big part of our ‘new normal’. Wearing one is compulsory for anyone over the age of 11 in shops, places of worship, on public transport and “anywhere people might come into contact with people they don’t normally see”.

What about in schools?

While a quarter of primary schools are leaving it up to teachers whether they mask up, 40% have banned them or are discouraging their use. The situation is less certain for secondary teachers, with nearly half stating they’re not yet sure of their school policy.

The earlier return of primary schools likely gave them more time to create a mask policy. On the flipside, secondary schools are being buffeted around on the evidence of virus transmission among older students and may mean more thought is needed before determining the best approach.

What about parents? The daily school run brings many parents into close contact, especially if the school is on a main road and picking up kids involves huddling on pavements. Should parents be wearing masks as well?

A tiny minority of schools believe so, but – as with so many things at present – the vast majority remain unsure.

2. What else is a new normal?

Aside from masks, you’ve already been thinking about what measures will be implemented in schools from September.

Split lunches and online homework are popular across the board, however private schools are three times more likely than state schools to be implementing a new uniform policy.

Could it be that they’re finally sloughing off some of the stereotypical trappings of hats and blazers? Or is it simply that wearing one’s own clothes requires a larger wardrobe of casual clothes, which is harder to assume when a school’s intake pulls from a wider economic group?

3. Is the tech taking over?

In the wake of the ‘Zoom boom’, two thirds of teachers will now be (at least somewhat) changing how they use technology in the classroom.

Those of you teaching science, language and Art/DT were the most enthusiastic about tech – with 1 in 4 intending to use it a ‘great deal’ when schools return.

In contrast, EYFS/KS1 and Maths teachers were less sanguine about software with 1 in 4 saying they wouldn’t be changing how they use technology in the classroom at all. However, it’s worth noting that maths teachers were already amongst the most likely to use tech in their classroom and for homework even before lockdown – so it’s possible they were just ahead of the curve.

4. The psychology of a promotion

It’s a heady brew of emotions when you get offered a promotion. But what are your first thoughts?

Being a conscientious bunch, over 40% of you told us that your first concern would be whether you could live up to the responsibility. Though, only a marginally smaller number of teachers told us that their first thought would be about a pay rise!

Note, however, the predictably big difference in these results by gender and age.

At all ages, women are much more likely to worry about their ability to undertake the promotion than men, whereas men’s first thought is about their paycheck (until they’ve been in the profession for 20 years at which point they switch to worrying about whether or not the job will be interesting – possibly because they’ve already pocketed so much cash!)

Of course, as shown in other research on patterns of self-reporting among men, it’s just as possible that men are less likely to say that they’re concerned about this. Tough talk is a real thing – even on Teacher Tapp! But it joins the mountains of evidence that women tend to comparatively underestimate their abilities and are less likely to negotiate on pay.

5. Finally, because we know you love the daily reads, here’s our tips from last week…

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