Day in the life

Sarah Hannafin

My first lesson of the day? Manslaughter. It's a Year 13 law group and we're discussing degrees of provocation, which makes an interesting debate. I did law at university, but soon decided I didn't want to make it my career. Let's just say it didn't sit well with my ethics - but it's still a subject I enjoy teaching.

I started the A-level here and numbers have gone up every year. I enjoy working in a boys' school because it allows me to deliver lessons that are tailored to the way boys learn - primarily with lots of activity and variety.

After break I'm on lesson support, which means I wander around the school, popping into classes, looking at pupils' work and giving them a reward voucher if they've done something special. I also carry a pager and if a colleague's having difficulty, or a pupil is being uncooperative, they can page me and I will be there to help deal with it.

At lunchtime I do outside duty. It can be grizzly if it's raining, but this afternoon the sun is out and I sit on the bench, eating my sandwich and chatting to some of the boys.

It's a great chance to build relationships and learn more about the pupils. Then after lunch, I have a Year 10 RE class. I used to be head of RE, but gave that up when I became assistant head. I'm not teaching much RE this year - that way, the new head of department can change my schemes of work without offending me.

Finally, I do some drop-in lesson monitoring. It's not Ofsted-style observation, simply a chance to gauge what colleagues are doing. I tick boxes on a grid, to mark whether pupils are on task and whether the classroom is looking nice.

In the evening I spend time working towards an MA in education. I'm thoroughly enjoying the lectures and reading, but I have a 4,000 word essay to do, which I keep putting off. I really don't like writing essays. Never have, never will.

Sarah Hannafin is assistant headteacher at Chichester High School for Boys in West Sussex. She was talking to Steven Hastings.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Sarah Hannafin

Latest stories


Coronavirus and schools: LIVE 28/9

A one-stop shop for teachers who want to know what impact the ongoing pandemic will have on their working lives
Tes Reporter 28 Sep 2020
video interview

WATCH: Tes Career Clinic two-minute tutorials

Are you looking for your dream teaching job? Then you need to watch our two-minute tutorial series. Grainne Hallahan shares her job hunting tips in the latest Tes Career Clinic series
Grainne Hallahan 28 Sep 2020