The Not-So-Secret Diary of a Teacher
My name is Adam and I am a primary school teacher from County Kerry, currently teaching in County Cork.
I qualified from Mary Immaculate College in 2019 and have spent the last 2 years subbing in part, but mostly working as a Special Education Teacher.
My first SET role was in a 5 teacher, 2 SET school in Kerry. Currently I am a Senior Infants in an Educate Together school in Cork.
I have a huge passion for PE, Literacy and professional development, and I love sharing my journey online!
My alarm goes off…
(on school days only!) at 7am. I am a morning person so once I’ve gotten 7-8 hours of sleep, I am good to go! I usually leave for school at 7:50 and arrive at school at 8:15. The children arrive in school from 8:30, so I spend the early part of the morning prepping for the day and supervising the children as they enter the classrooms.
As there are 2 Senior Infant classes, I go between the two classes to ensure the children are settling in. There are a lot of students in the school, so the children enter at staggered times – 8:30, 8:40 and 8:50.
Once all of the children are in, we get ready to engage in Ready Set Go Maths station teaching for the morning. I start in 1 class, and move to the other class after 30 minutes.
Psst… check out our blog-post on morning routines HERE.
I am responsible for…
Supporting the needs of the children in Senior Infants. There are 2 streams of each class in my school, so there is a SET assigned to each class level. I work with both Senior Infant class teachers to ensure the needs of the children in these classes are met.
I engage in Ready Set Go Maths station teaching in both classes, as well as Literacy Stations in 1 of the classes.
I am also responsible for withdrawing children for additional support. I have 3 Literacy groups whom I support with Phonics, Tricky Words and Blending. I also withdraw children for support in the areas of social skills, emotional regulation, behavioural regulation, memory skills, and fine motor skills.
I am also responsible for planning out my lessons through monthly plans and the children’s support plans. Engaging in constant dialogue with the parents of the children who I support is key to ensuring the children are supported effectively.
My typical day...
Starts with Ready Set Go Maths station teaching in each of the classes. I work with smaller groups using concrete materials to establish an understanding of number concepts. I then withdrawal some children for short sessions with regards to fine motor skills and social skills.
After small break, I work with Literacy groups in one of the classes. In this class, 3 groups engage in the PAT programme, while the other two rotate between word work and levelled readers.
The rest of my day is spent withdrawing my Literacy groups, as well as withdrawing for behavioural and emotional regulation support as well. I am on yard 2 out of every 3 days this year, so this dictates how my timetable plays out.
The children head home at 1:30, and at this stage I take my lunch break, before preparing for the next day!
The best part of my job is...
Is the children. It is so cliché but in a year where we have been very isolated, the children have helped unite us all. Infants can come out with anything and this unpredictability makes for interesting days. They make me laugh every day and they make my days in school worthwhile and very fun.
I also love seeing my children progress. When I don’t need to give a child support anymore, it is amazing for them to see their progression and to instil a confidence in them that they make not have had at the beginning of their support.
Psst… check out one of our EPV Summer Course for teachers “Fostering Emotional Resilience & Harmony in the Classroom” HERE.
The most challenging part of my job is…
Children struggling to progress. Despite my best efforts and the child trying their best, sometimes some children just can’t grasp some concepts, and this breaks my heart. The concepts I am covering with my withdrawals are fundamental skills so it is imperative that they get them. It breaks my heart when the child’s effort doesn’t result in the progress they deserve.
While this is challenging, it motivates me to ensure I give these children the best chance of success.
I am inspired by…
The children themselves. To see what they have been through in their lives, pre and during Covid, inspires me to push myself further and further. Some of them come from tough backgrounds and still come into school with a smile that could light up the room. This inspires me to do the most for these children and to find the best in every situation.
My number 1 tip for teachers is…
Put the children at the forefront of your teaching. They are the most important people in the school, and their needs, interests, strengths and weaknesses should be thought about when planning your teaching – no template works for all classes.
My favourite teaching & learning strategy is…
If done right, it can give children a great opportunity to share opinions and listen to others in a way that is more intimate than a whole class discussion.
Psst… check out our selection of blog-posts on teacher tricks and tips HERE.
I try to relax where I can. I usually have a few bits to organise for Instagram, as well as trying to get out for a run or walk most evenings. But for the most part, I try to relax, enjoy my down time and catch up on Netflix or watch a soccer match.
The motto I live by…
What is for you won’t pass you by.
It can be disheartening in teaching when things don’t work out the way you want them to. But remembering that you will get what you deserve is something I found very important to remember.
A huge thank you to Adam for sharing his not-so-secret diary – we love circle time too!
Would you like to share your diary or like to suggest a teacher, principal 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!
Okay so we’ve all been there – a job post comes up on your screen that you hadn’t seen before and the deadline is that day!
You quickly rush the application to get it in before 3pm and pray to Beyonce (she’s like God, right?) that it’s acceptable!
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.