This Christmas is going to be like
no other. Although we are all hoping that we will be able to get to see at
least some of our loved ones, it is likely to be a lot quieter than usual.
Schools are having to have a rethink about how they do all of their usual
activities on the build up to Christmas as many of them will either have to be
scrapped completely or changed to allow for social distancing.
Christmas plays in many schools
have been cancelled or some have decided to just do them per class and film
them for the parents to watch from the comfort of their own home. Another tradition
that has had to be rethought is the Christmas disco that many children have at
their school. These again will not be able to take place as they normally
would, but many are having a small party or film day in their own individual
class bubbles. Christmas fayres will not be able to go ahead but the school may
still be able to run a raffle etc. Although you as a parent may feel like your
child is missing out, they actually on the whole seem rather excited that it is
something a bit different this year.
Teaching has had to change
drastically this year with strict Covid restrictions coming in to play. Often
as Christmas approaches teachers are busy planning Christmas plays and winding
down the class ready for the break but it is very unlikely that Christmas plays
will be going ahead this year and if they do, they will be somewhat different.
You may find it hard to get the
children to concentrate as much as they often start to get excited and may
easily become distracted but rather than getting stressed by this, embrace it
and start to bring Christmas in to your lesson plans. Think of way in which you
can incorporate Christmas to plan an exciting and creative lesson that the
children will love getting involved in. For example, you may set a task that
they need to write a letter to Father Christmas or using math work out how long
it would take him to visit every child in the UK on Christmas eve.
It is also important to teach
children the background behind Christmas and where it all started from as many children
may simply think it is all about presents etc.
For a number of years now many
teachers have complained that too much is expected of them and that they should
have more help in the classroom and also time to prepare, plan and mark work.
Most teachers have a TA working with them but often they do not have a TA with
them all day. IF the teacher needs to go out the room, they cannot leave the
children unattended so this makes it very hard for them if they have no TA.
A teaching assistant can sit with
a small group of children or sometimes one or two individuals to help them with
the task that has been set. It is their job to ensure that the child
understands what they need to do and to possible help them explore the answers.
IF you are struggling to control a
disruptive class then you may decide to split the class up and ask the TA to
take a group so you can concentrate more of your attention on the ones that may
At present, although they want to
limit the number of teachers that have contact with the students, they also
need to ensure that they have adequate cover should a teacher go off ill or
There are a
wide variety of primary schools in the UK ranging from large academies catering
for in excess of a thousand pupils to small rural primaries which have just two
classes and a total of less than fifty pupils on roll. It is a matter of
personal choice which setting suits you as a primary school teacher with some
teachers starting out at one end of the spectrum and changing their preference
as they progress with their career but does it make a difference to your career
progression and is a larger school better to work in if you have set your
sights on a headship?
The most obvious
variance is that a larger school will usually have a higher turnover of staff
giving the current staff the opportunity to apply for other roles in the
school. On the other hand, it is easier in a smaller setting to take on extra curriculum
responsibilities giving teachers the chance to develop their leadership skills
in a less threatening environment.
for CPD, that is continuing professional development, in a small school may be
insufficient to allow staff to undergo a wide range of training each year thus
restricting the opportunity to access the qualifications needed to enable
career progression. This should not hold back an ambitious teacher however and
promotion prospects should be explored at the annual professional review that
each teacher is entitled to.
coming under a lot of pressure at the moment to keep schools open for those key
workers that have to carry on working through this crisis. This may mean that
they are working on rotation to ensure that there is adequate cover for the
number of pupils that are in the school.
Ver the last
few years there has been a shortage of teachers not only training but actually
staying in the profession and a lot of this is down to pressure and increased
there is such a demand for teachers than when a job becomes available, some
schools are having to hire staff that they normally wouldn’t purely because
they have had very little or no other applicants. This may mean that teachers
that do not have the sufficient experience are being put in to roles that are
out of their depth.
students are being put of training to become teachers due to the stress levels
that come with the job, which seem to have increased drastically over the last
few years. Something needs to change in the industry to make it more attractive
to students in to progressing in to a teaching role.