The pride, the workload and toilet breaks: my life after teaching

It feels like barely a month goes by without seeing another blog or report about teachers are walking away from the profession and the recruitment and retention crisis. I'm not judging: I was one of them. After four years at the front of a classroom, I put away my interactive whiteboard pen for the last time and went back to journalism. It's been a...
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Dear students, thank you for being so wonderful that I forget about the stress and enjoy my career

Dear students, Thank you. You may not know it, but you're fantastic. As the teacher, it is my job to create an environment that's as conducive to learning as possible. This may include considering seating arrangements, presentation of material, my attitude in class, how I handle discipline etc and, as much as I consider all of these aspects of the ...
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10 things I learned as a lazy NQT

I was a lazy newly-qualified teacher (NQT). While there were negative aspects to that, there were some definite positives too. I eased myself into teaching, churning out a steady run of "satisfactory" lessons in my first year. I was really well supported by a motivated, organised and inspirational teacher – if she was long-suffering she didn't let ...
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11 life lessons for students

I wrote the following letter to one of my classes a few years ago. I've removed a few specific comments – feel free to share this with anyone you see fit. Hey guys/gals, You are awesome and I want you to know that. You are a special group and I want to leave you with a few pointers/ideas/life lessons. This is a general list – don't take any of it t...
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Teachers, stop using collective punishment – it makes you look weak and lazy

I have given up on collective punishment. Don't get me wrong, I have been that teacher. It was many years ago, but I can still feel the sheer desperation and the feeling of vindictive hatred towards the pupils who had wrecked my well-intended, well-planned lesson. Eventually, I realised it was wrong – or perhaps I got better at managing my classes ...
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