Saturday, 7 November 2015

Returning To Full Time Teaching

My Role Play Area
You may or may not have noticed that my blog has been rather quiet of late, I haven't written a post for almost two months. In September I returned to full time teaching in a reception class, which is a pretty new age to me. I've mainly taught in key stage one (year one & two) so it's taking a bit of getting used to. I actually started my teacher training on the 3-7 years route then swapped to 5-11 in my third year as I didn't think working in the early yeas was for me after all.
Eight weeks and a half term down I'm really enjoying it. Enjoying doing something that is 'just me'.
 
Even though I'm enjoying it, it has been really tough, trying to juggle being a mum, looking after the house whilst teaching has been pretty exhausting. There's the never ending loads washing to do, cleaning, cooking etc at home. At work (which also comes home at times) there's the planning, classroom upkeep, teaching, assessing etc to do.
 I'd love to be a 'pinterest mum', to me that would be perfectly organised with a pristine home and plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately I'm finding there are simply not enough hours in the day and getting the work/life balance right is a challenge. I'm sure all you other working parents can relate!
 
I actually can't believe we are in November! September flew past in a whirlwind of settling children in to my class, getting my head round collecting evidence for the reception baseline assessments and some difficult behaviour from Eliot at home.
Getting my head round how a reception class is set up, utilised and managed during the day has been a learning curve. Having a home corner/role play area in my classroom is also something I'm not used to. In September it started out as being a home which I didn't really do anything to. Over half term I changed it to a classroom which I really enjoyed doing. Some of the children in my class already enjoyed playing 'teachers' so it seemed like a great idea to encourage them to use their imaginations and develop their vocabulary.
 
As you can see in the photos I included the aspects most classrooms have, teachers desk, book corner, children's work table and an ICT area which you can't see but consists of my old commodore amiga 500 keyboard.
After my maternity leave ended in 2014 I went back to teaching part time, meaning I shared a class with another teacher. One of the things I've enjoyed the most since returning full time is that this class are my class. No picking up where someone else left off or leaving work you'd really like to continue with, everything is your sole responsibility (which is where the workload increases).
So I thought I'd share the pros and cons of teaching full time from my own personal experience for anyone else who may be considering it...
 
Pros
  • Behaviour expectations are established by you
  • You know what has been taught and how well the children have understood because you have delivered the lessons
  • Work does not have to be rushed to be completed
  • Rules & classroom routine are what you have set up
  • You take the class through their week of learning
  • You make more of the weekends & evenings with your family
 
Cons
  • workload is immense & YOU are completely responsible for keeping on top of it
  • Less time with your own children
  • You don't have someone to share the big jobs with (like reports at the end of the year),
  • You are at work five days of the week
 
So there you have it, a quick update on how I've found returning to teaching full time. It of course is the main reason my blog has been so quiet!
 
I'd really love to hear your experiences of returning to work full time whether in teaching or another job!
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