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Being a teaching assistant has made me feel more alive than ever – and even more determined to become a teacher

Being a teaching assistant has made me feel more alive than ever – and even more determined to become a teacher
"Frankly, I question your sanity going into teaching," a former boss said, in response to my request for a reference for my part-time PGCE application. I can't say I blame him. On my first day as teaching assistant (TA) at a local primary school (a job I have taken to complement my PGCE and bring in a little cash) I encountered two news reports abo...
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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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10 things I learned as a lazy NQT

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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My son's life will be shaped by people who care – teachers, teaching assistants and parents – not SATs or his autism

My son's life will be shaped by people who care – teachers, teaching assistants and parents – not SATs or his autism
I have a son who's 11 and has been doing his SATs this week. He's a bright little boy and he also has autism. He's got a sense of logic that would give Mr Spock a run for his money, combined with a social detachment which leaves him unable to understand why he needs to (in his words) "do yet another stupid maths paper, which will be exactly the sam...
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Too many school governors just don’t put the effort in

Too many school governors just don’t put the effort in
"Can we make these reports a bit shorter? I didn't read it."  Carol, a recent addition to our governing board, peered expectantly at the chair while the rest of us looked something between aghast and infuriated. The chair faltered in surprise while Mr Frank, the careers advice lead – who had spent hours of his own time writing the report, on e...
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