A teacher

Do you know what a teacher does?

Teachers don’t just teach, they:

  • prepare lessons 
  • mark work
  • assess pupils’ levels 
  • monitor pupils’ levels
  • record the learning needs of pupils
  • record the progress of pupils
  • record the achievements of pupils 
  • report on the learning needs of pupils
  • report on the progress of pupils
  • celebrate the achievements of pupils 
  • cover other classes when colleagues are absent
  • watch for problems and abuse (safeguarding)
  • implement school policies 
  • attend training
  • attend staff meetings
  • manage/ buy their resources 
  • meet with parents
  • contribute to school life 
  • contribute to community life

A blue character is standing with his hand on his hip, and his other hand pointing his finger as though explaining something. He is wearing glasses and a blue jumper with a red shirt underneath - very teacher like.

How many hours per year do teachers teach?

‘Teaching time’ varies from country to country but teaching time is just the time spent in front of the class and does not include other duties such as assessing students, attending staff meetings, preparing lessons or running extra curricula activities. For many teachers, these ‘extra’ activities may fall outside of their statutory working hours, meaning they are having to do these additional tasks in their own time!

Teachers often give up their own time and spend their own money making sure their students are given every opportunity to do achieve their best.

Under scrutiny

Teaching is also one of the most scrutinised professions in the world. 

In many places teachers face regular observations by senior staff and government agencies. They frequently have reems of paperwork to complete on pupil progression and lesson plans. They have to answer to parents on a daily basis, many of whom have strong opinions on how their children should be taught. In addition, teachers are measured, not by their own work, but by their pupils’ progression and test results.

That’s a lot of pressure to be under!

A blue character wearing yellow dungarees has one hand up to their forehead and their head down, looking exhausted and sad.

Be understanding

Our children have a right to be properly educated and supported at school. Parents and carers have a right to expect that teachers will work with them in ensuring this happens. However, it is also vital that you also consider the pressures on teachers. 

When speaking with teachers make it clear that you understand how busy they are. That will go a long way to breaking down any initial barriers that may exist and will be a great start in building positive relationships.

Key learning point:

~Teachers have a very heavy workload but they also want what is best for your child. Let your child’s teacher know that you understand this, it will help you get off to a good start. 

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