Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Tales from New Teachers

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Tales from New Teachers

Article excerpt

a cunning plan

The problem

The workload of my training year - the cycle of marking, planning, essay-writing and so on - was pushing me to the limit.

The first time I was given the target of being "more organised" in a lesson observation, my jaw dropped. I had often referred to myself as a perfectionist and a control freak but now I felt like a fraud. But the strain of teaching is surely enough to test anyone's organisational skills.

The options

Of course, the most obvious option was to have a mini-meltdown, sitting in my study surrounded by academic papers, exercise books and meticulously planned resource packs. However, I quickly realised the detrimental effect that admitting defeat so early would have - I should at least wait until half-term to pile on the self-pity.

Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I decided to restore organisation to its rightful place at the top of my CV. I didn't just need a school timetable, I needed a working timetable and, for that matter, a social timetable.

So I created said super-timetable, with the days of the week (and the weekend) across the top and horizontal rows relating to several areas: planning, meeting my mentor, marking, homework-setting and course-related tasks such as observations, reflective journals and lesson reflections. …

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