A day in the life of a Primary School Teacher (Part 1)
Updated: Jun 9
1am Oh no, I’ve just woken up drooling with my head on the laptop. There’s a ton of gibberish now all throughout one of my school reports. What time did I fall asleep? I better get into bed and I’ll try and salvage the school report tomorrow.
6am The alarm goes like a boom of thunder in the bedroom. The radio presenter is far to chipper for this time of the morning and he’s now playing Justin Bieber, I don't seem to have welcomed a pleasant start to the day! Maybe just one hit of the snooze button I was up writing those school reports late last night.
6:10am Okay it's time to get up, drag yourself out of bed Miss Teacher, you need to be early today. Last night was the school disco and since you were having to patrol the masses of children hyped up on sugar (which the PTA were selling at an alarming rate) whilst being asphyxiated by the amount of lynx body spray the junior boys were wearing, you didn’t get chance to do any of your normal after school prep.
6:45am I'm out the shower but the morning just got a whole lot worse. A lorry has overturned on the A1 and spilt its load all over the carriageway so they’ve closed it. My direct route to school is now no more. I need to get on the country roads fast before everyone else is on them trying to rush to work.
7am Breakfast, but no time to eat so I’ll take it with me. I throw some cornflakes in the bowl along with a teabag (note to self: remember to take that out later and put it in your mug before you pour the milk on) Clingfilm over the top of the bowl and take-out breakfast is ready. I grab what is left of the milk out of the fridge and thats breakfast sorted for when I reach my destination.
7:10am I’m heading out the door, I’m going to do this, I’ll still manage to be early! Whoop whoop!! Click of the seatbelt and I’m off the driveway. Argh! That’s not a lot of petrol fingers crossed that lasts!
7:35am I’ve made it to school the country roads took twice as long and were a bit dicey at times, but the bonus of being early I didn’t struggle for a parking space in the staff car park…what a win on an already hectic morning!!!
7:40am First things first, breakfast and a cup of tea I'm in serious need of some caffeine to start functioning properly. Eating breakfast in front of a computer screen whilst trying to sort out next weeks planning is something I usually reserve for Saturdays. I say that like its a treat? It's not, but the work has to get done.
7:50am The caretaker appears at the door. 'I saw your car in the car park are you okay you’re early?' That’s the nice part of the job of being a teacher, the caring community which schools can be amongst the children and the staff. It can make your day totally worthwhile.
7:55am Time to start assessing the room from last nights damage. Well at least the kids didn’t leave it in too much of state although there’s a random headband still on one of the desks and what appears to be a sparkly party shoe underneath one of the others?! All in all not bad, well not as bad as the day the junior kids used the room in the evening for their Christmas play dressing room, left the place in total state and ate all the chocolates out of the year 1 advent calendar.
Now down to that list...you know the one, that to do list that's never ending and only ever seems to get longer. I need to get organised for todays lessons and I MUST check that the laptops are plugged in properly so that they’ve got enough battery for later.
8:10am I've come to use the photocopier and wouldn’t you know its ran out of paper and there never seems to be a new box already open when it runs out on me. I hate these plastic straps that they wrap around the paper box, it's like a extra challenge in the day of trying to get it off. A minute later…who am I kidding I can't wiggle this plastic strap off it's too tight. No Miss T don’t even think about trying to snap it with your hands you’ll never manage that, you should have just fetched some scissors in the first place, short cuts never work!
Another staff member appears to use the photocopier, they want A3 paper so I kindly let them in before me whilst I track down some scissors for this plastic wrapping.
I disappear to the staff room and return a minute later with scissors in hand only to find the other teacher knelt on the floor in front of the photocopier with all the doors wide open. It’s done its usual trick and jammed. The computer screen says its jammed at D2 but there’s nothing stuck in D2? After 10 minutes of taking the photocopier apart we end up just taking out any piece of paper we can find and turning it off and on again. That does the trick but it’s 15 minutes of the day that I’ve now lost, so much for early!
8:30am My TA has arrived. Quick brief of the day ahead and a list of tasks that need doing and we’re both busying away getting some jobs done, that is until the head comes in.
8:40am The head appears at the classroom door.
The Headteacher 'Good morning, I’ve got a meeting and can’t do assembly, would you do a hymn practice for me?’
Me 'Yes of course, no problem'
I really need to learn to say no more often! I run down to the hall to set up the projector and the CD player for the children’s favourite songs. It goes surprisingly well at least not all technology is against me this morning!
8:50am There’s a knock at the playground door from a parent. The instant feeling of dread wells up throughout my body and my brain is now on overdrive. What’s this about? Will it be positive or negative? Have I forgotten to do something?
I open the door and she undoes her handbag and produces a school shoe from it then hands it to me without saying a word. I look totally confused (wouldn't you?!) and then she realises I have no idea whats going on and I’m informed that her daughter came home in matching pattern shoes, but not matching sizes after last nights school disco. Another mess to sort out when the kids come in. How this child made it home in a shoe that was 2 sizes too small for her I will never know?!
9am The bell is ringing and it's time to start, I feel like it should be lunch already there has been so much going on. The kids start flooding through the door and the TA and I eagerly watch all the girls’ feet coming in to see who has a matching shoe...we are clearly naive and think this is going to be an easy mystery to solve. Well it would be a simple task except Clarks seem to have the monopoly on school shoes and there’s 6 kids in my class with identical shoes. One has enormous feet compared to the others so she's ruled out and another has well labeled shoes, hallelujah that parent! So it's just 4 to sort out. This still isn’t as simple as I think it's going to be when I realise 2 have the same size feet and 2 also have the same initials written in their shoes. I leave it to the TA to puzzle over, I have to take the register.
9:10am Register taken and we’re now heading down to the hall to do the impromptu hymn practice. I spoke to soon earlier, I thought that technology finally seemed to be with me, well turns out it's not. The projector has turned itself off and now I cant get the laptop to wireless connect with it again. This is a **pickle** (insert word as appropriate).
The children flood into the hall and I frantically try and sort it out but at least it’s not as bad as the time I accidentally shut down my laptop right at the beginning of a lesson whilst OFSTED was observing me. Teaching the main lesson effectively whilst turning on a laptop and wireless connecting to a temperamental whiteboard was no easy task, but hey I’m a teacher. We’re built for many scenarios, we learn to fly by the seat of our pants and most of all we have a brilliant game face even when we’re dying inside!
9:30am We’re back in the classroom and it's time to start the first session. On the timetable, Numeracy. I'm halfway through our mental starter when a kid bursts through the door…
Child ‘Sorry I’m late the cat had a wee on my reading folder’
Me ‘What on that reading folder you’re holding?’
Me ‘Was mummy cleaning it, is that why you were late?’
Child ‘No she was looking for my glasses’
Me ‘Did you not find them?’
Child ‘Yeah they were in the garden, in the soil and mud bit’
Me ‘Did you not bring them to school?’
Child ‘Yeah I did’
Me ‘Where are they then since you’re not wearing them?’
Child ‘They’re in my reading packet,’ child says cheerfully whilst brandishing the cat wee marked reading folder towards me.
My sense of smell tells me that he was spot on with his knowledge...his reading folder hasn’t been cleaned! I look over towards Mrs. TA with that look that says 'please can you help' whilst simultaneously also saying 'I’m so sorry'! She kindly obliges in sorting out said child and his reading packet, what would I do without her?
I continue the Numeracy lesson whilst surveying the damage, in the background, as the TA sorts out the bag. Glasses are given a wash and returned to the child so that they can at least see the board, although who am I kidding they never look at the board anyway, they're too busy trying to make mischief with anyone else around them who will entertain the idea! The reading book and reading diary have been laid to rest...IN THE BIN! There was no saving either of them after it soaked right through and the book bag, well, that made its way down to nursery to go into the washing machine.
The rest of the lesson goes quite well without a hitch at least something has been a success today!
To read part 2 of 'A day in the life of a Primary School Teacher' follow this link https://www.overamorningcoffee.co.uk/post/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-primary-school-teacher-part-2