The Not-So-Secret Diary of a Teacher
Rebecca, Second Class teacher in an Educate Together school in Dublin and more recently during lockdown- a DIY fanatic. I completed my BA in St. Patrick’s College, my PGCE & NQT year in England, taught abroad for three years in Qatar and now I am back in Ireland for the second year. I love teaching English and enjoy getting really creative with lessons.
My alarm goes off…
Do I need to get up at this time? Absolutely not!
But I do it anyway because I really enjoy my morning routine. With eyes half closed, I make a cup of coffee (Butler’s coffee is my go-to as of late) and do my make-up and hair. It usually takes me an hour to get ready and for me, it’s such a nice way to start the day. I’m not rushing, but I arrive at school at 7.30/7.40am to make sure that I’m set up for the day.
I know that when I am older and if I’m fortunate enough to have children, that this time will be filled with them, so for now, I really do enjoy my mornings while they are calm, organised and with plenty of time for coffees.
I am responsible for…
My typical day…
Starts with a coffee in hand, each and every day. I’ve gone through my morning routine above, which never really changes. Except I certainly don’t get up at 6.00 a.m. at the weekend. The children arrive to school at 8.30 a.m. and the fun and madness begins..
The best part of my job…
The creativity, the laughs, the impromptu lessons, the fact that no day is the same and seeing the children have fun. I really do love my job.
The most challenging part of my job is…
Feeling under-skilled and second guessing my ability to properly meet the needs of some children with specific needs.
I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by excellent staff, who have such a wealth of knowledge on different needs.
But personally, I always second guess my own ability to meet individual needs and whether or not I’m doing it right. It’s a confidence issue for sure, thinking that I am not doing enough.
However, with regular collaborations with staff members and CPD, my confidence in this area is growing.
I am inspired by…
I flop! (lol). I tend to leave school quite early. Arrive early and leave early is the way I like to work.. Once home, I usually go for a walk or do a workout (depending on the energy levels). After that, I really enjoy spending time making nutritious, healthy meals. This takes up a good proportion of the evening and I do really enjoy it. For the best part of my NQT year, I spent every evening doing school work and I hated it! I had no life whatsoever and always felt that I couldn’t catch up.
Now, I aim to do my work in the mornings or for 30 minutes some afternoons and that’s it. Once the essential work is done, everything else can wait. Teaching is one of those jobs that there is ALWAYS more that we could do. If we don’t spend time on ourselves and switching off, we can reach burn out very quickly. With that in mind, I may spend some evenings jotting down notes for the following day, but other than that, after work is time for me.
I spend some time on my Instagram account most days too, either chatting with other teachers, answering questions or uploading some ideas that I found useful that day. It does take time and I won’t post unless I am ready to give it 100%.
Each evening, my partner and I will watch whatever program we’re into on Netflix with a cuppa and head to bed around 11.00 p.m.
The motto I live by…
The best resource in your classroom is YOU! Live your life outside of school. Spend time with those you love, do things that you enjoy and know that your life does not revolve around school. Life is too short to be spending all of your free time doing endless paperwork, laminating pretty resources and creating amazing resources. The children deserve and want an enthusiastic, motivated teacher. The resources help, absolutely, but ultimately it’s YOU they need. Look after yourself, do the essential work, work smarter not harder and the rest will take care of itself.
A huge thank you to Rebecca for sharing her not-so-secret diary!
We love the sound of Rebecca’s morning routine – can we get one of those coffees too please Bec? 🙂
Would you like to share your diary or like to suggest a teacher 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!
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?