The Not-So-Secret Diary of a Teacher
The Glitter and Coffee Teacher – I can always be relied on to have stashes of glitter and coffee in my classroom and am usually wearing something sparkly with a cuppa in hand! Plus G C are my initials! I have been teaching for 11 years and have been a mum of one for 3 years. Both are roles I adore.
My alarm goes off…
… and my first words are ‘Alexa, snooze!’ I’m not a morning person and am lucky to have a toddler who doesn’t wake early! My lovely hubby makes me a coffee every morning! Once I’m up I’m fine … I just don’t like getting up!!
After “a five, a hug and a kiss” my hubby and little boy head off – hubby to work and little boy to my parents – and I leave for school. I have a very short commute so not enough time to get stuck into listening to a podcast or anything but a few cheesy pop tunes do the trick to kick start me for the day.
Psst… check out our blog-post on morning routines HERE.
I am responsible for…
25 6th class children; their learning and their wellbeing.
My typical day...
As they say – no day in teaching is ever the same but we always start our day with a check-in circle. As the children arrive into the classroom they start work on their daily Mental Maths and Number of the Day. This gives a structure to the mornings and gives everyone time to settle in. It gives me time to stamp their homework from the previous night and to check in with anyone I need to. The same morning routine also helps as the children know exactly what is expected when they arrive into the classroom.
Once that’s out of the way we have our check-in circle. This is one of my favourite parts of the day as it develops relationships between me and the children and among each other too. I have found out things I wouldn’t have found out otherwise. Everyone starts by giving their energy levels between 1 and 10 and are welcome to explain why or to leave it at that. If someone is a very low number I always have a private chat with them afterwards to see if all is ok. Again I have found out things this way that I may not have otherwise. This can also give a good insight into any challenges or behaviours that crop up. We have a question of the day – some are funny, some are serious, but all are important for showcasing everyone’s personalities and traits. Then it’s on to our daily Acts of Wellbeing: Mindful Monday, Talk-It-Out Tuesday, Wise Words Wednesday, Thankful Thursday and Fab Friday.
I usually stay in school after the children have gone home until about 4 or 5 to correct work, organise displays and plan for the following day. As I’m not a morning person, I like to stay in the afternoons and have the next day ready to walk into.
The best part of my job is...
The children I struggle to reach – either academically or otherwise. They’re the children who play on my mind and who I always wonder what more I could do to help them.
Also I’m not a fan of correcting copies – that’s a challenge for me!
Psst… If you dislike correcting copies as much as Gillian, check out our CPD course “The Marking & Feedback Masterclass” HERE.
I am inspired by…
My number 1 tip for teachers is…
Develop relationships with those in your class – it’s the best way to connect with them and to get the best out of them. Respect works both ways – model respect for them and they’ll return it.
My favourite teaching & learning strategy is…
According to my class the strategies I use all the time are visualisation strategies such as K W L charts, pictures, tactile activities, PALS and group work. Apparently I make everything into a game!
I love spending time with my hubby and little boy, going for a walk or a run and catching up on boxsets or reading.
The motto I live by…
Less Bitter, More Glitter!
A huge thank you to Gillian for sharing her not-so-secret diary – we’re feeling the positive vibes bouncing off the screen as we read! And we totally get the morning thing – thank God for Alexa eh?!
Would you like to share your diary or like to suggest a teacher, principal, SNA or education professional whose diary you would like to read?!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate yourself or someone else – ah go on!
Go on, go on, go on!
NQT Picnic is a specially designed online event for NQT’s in July 2022.
It is a daunting experience starting your very first teaching position – whether it is subbing or your own post! College seems like a long time ago now and you may be starting to feel a tad nervous.
Following the huge success of NQT Fest & Picnic in 2021, we are delighted to share this special event for NQT’s in July 2022 with you!
Free Resource for Teachers – End of School Year Activities!
What an exciting time of the year! Your main lessons and topics are complete and the pupils are getting excited for their summer holidays. It can be a challenging time to keep pupils engaged in classroom lessons due to exciting events on the horizon like school tours or sports days, so I like to keep things light and fun and still try to ensure the learning is taking place.
Ciara McGuane is the Summer Course Director for Rahoo.ie.
Her career highlights include being filmed by BBC London teaching in the classroom and guest-lecturing at the Institute of Education in London. She has worked as a teacher, school leader, teacher trainer and initial teacher training tutor prior to setting up Rahoo.
This is always a hot topic for teachers and so important to get it right.
Here are some mistakes that teachers have shared with us when they did our EPV Summer Course on Classroom Management with Niamh Byrne, Irish Primary Teacher.
We have dipped in and out of the CPD course to learn what to do instead!
Why do we remember the words of lyrics we haven’t heard in years? Why do some experiences stick in our heads more than others? Something made them memorable!
Make your lessons stick by trying to make some aspect of it different. This could be as simple as playing music (we have played classical music when students were working independently in the past) or hooking them into the lesson with mystery tasks or controversial questions that spark debate.
When planning ask yourself: What can I do to make this lesson memorable?