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Primary Education News
News How can the teacher experience be improved in schools? – open thread
Enhancing the student experience is often discussed, but what about teachers? What could make their life better in school?
After 35 years as an English teacher, a friend of mine's retirement speech was full of reflections on the joys of the profession.
From taking pupils to the theatre for the first time and sobbing at the end of Blood Brothers with year 9, to seeing students' excitement when sharing a wonderful text.
She said: "I remember a year 11 boy slamming down Of Mice and Men at the end after George had killed his brother and shouting 'No, that's not right, I'm not having that', then rushing out of the classroom before the rest of the class could see his tears. Their excitement manifested itself in so many memorable ways."
Students were understandably at the core of her speech. But she also had some choice words on the teacher experience. And there were a few things that she thought would make a big difference.
Number one: being able to go to the toilet. She said: "All women teachers probably have massively wonderful pelvic floor muscles, because you're stuck, you can't suddenly leave a class to go to the loo, and if you do find a chance to escape they're always horrible."
This was closely followed by access to a decent cup of tea. "By the time you've made your drink at break time, you then have to dash off to your next lesson, so the whole staff room is littered with half drunk cups of tea and coffee.
"Actually caring about what the staff room looks like and providing a drink at break time would go a long way."
A ban on members of the public unnecessarily scowling at school children when on school trips was also on her list, as well as a call for a quiet space to do work in school with a good computer.
How would you improve the teacher experience? No matter how extravagant or unrealistic, we'd like to hear what you think would change school life for the better. Whether it's time to eat your lunch, a comfy armchair or a bunker to hide from lesson cover requests, share your ideas below.