What keeps me awake at night

28th November 2014 at 00:00
Work is my entire life but I'm at a dead end

I arrived home at 6.05pm. I had left the house at 7.52am. I dropped my four-year-old off at her school's breakfast club, then took my 11-year-old halfway to his school because the bus didn't come. If he had been late, he would have got a detention.

I suppose the picture is the same for millions of parents, but I suspect that's where the similarities end.

I had not slept for two nights (Friday and Saturday). I minimised my food intake (if I ate too much I would fall asleep and I didn't have time). I was unable to take my children swimming, help them with their homework or go to church. My son ironed his and his younger sister's uniforms for the week. He can, of course, but should he have to? He also made lunch for himself and his sister on Saturday.

Some people reading this may think I am neglectful, that I don't deserve to have children, that I don't look after them or give them enough of my time.

I do not mean to be neglectful. But I am a teacher and I had an observation on Monday morning.

It went like this: carpet session (direct teaching) delivered, learning objectives met, activities on each table completed, all children engaged, learning clearly taking place. But I used only the terms "subtract", "minus", "take away" and "deduct" when explaining subtraction to five- and six-year-olds when I should have used more words. I also didn't challenge my "tops" enough (even though their learning task was to use a variety of mathematical skills, culminating in them subtracting). Grading: requires improvement.

During my feedback session, I learned that Ofsted doesn't grade individual lessons but the school has to for the purposes of pay progression.

So what next? More pressure, of course. Yet more sleepless nights trying to work out how I went wrong this time, even though I addressed all my areas for development.

I hope you had a lovely evening. Mine wasn't over until after midnight - I had marking and preparation to do for tomorrow.

The writer is a teacher in the south-west of England

Tell us what keeps you awake at night

Email jon.severs@tesglobal.com


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