Day in the life

19th December 2008 at 00:00
Geoff Hatch, Sociology teacher and assistant headteacher at Joseph Rowntree School in York

I ride to work on my 50cc scooter, which the pupils think is lame, but I love it. I get in at about 7am and it's bliss: peace and quiet, no crowd around the photocopier, just a chance to do some work and enjoy a cup of coffee. They call me two scoops here: I like my coffee strong.

First lesson of the day is A-level sociology and we play a game I've devised called Outburst, which involves people talking non-stop for a minute about different topics we've covered. Winners dip into the "Tin of Tat", which is full of plastic specs, yo-yos that don't work and other junk my mother-in-law collects for me. Pupils love rubbish.

I'm not actually a sociology specialist. My degree is in history but I've also taught business studies and special needs in my time. If you're enthusiastic and hard-working you can teach almost anything.

After break, I video a lesson taught by the head of economics. I've got responsibility for teaching and learning and I'm putting together a video vault on the intranet, so that staff can watch colleagues in action. It's a good way to see other teaching styles and pick up new ideas.

At lunch, I supervise the queues for pizza and cookies, then sneak away to eat the healthy sandwich and fruit my lovely wife's packed up. Then I register my form group of Year 11s. I've just been appointed assistant head so I'm not supposed to have a form, but this lot have been with me since Year 7 and I couldn't abandon them.

In the afternoon, I teach a GCSE sociology class on the effects of divorce. Some children speak movingly about their own experiences, so it's a good discussion. After school, it's the Year 7 quiz club, which would normally be the end of the day, but tonight there's an open evening. It's a big night for the school and the place buzzes.

The low point is arriving home after my two daughters have gone to bed. Missing them for one night makes me sad, but it doesn't happen often.

Geoff Hatch, 36, was talking to Steven Hastings.

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