2014. It doesn’t seem long since we all bounced through the training room doors on August 28 – full of energy and raring to go. Come 22 December, we were all struggling to stay focussed after several weeks of intensive teaching practice. But why did we all end up so tired? And why do teachers need the long holidays they have each year?
Firstly, our primary task is to teach – imparting knowledge to the next generation. Teaching is a difficult task: some children can take on information rapidly; however, not all children pick up concepts as quickly as others and some have some extremely tough barriers to overcome to make any progress at all. We have to take time to provide pathways in our lessons that enable all students to make progress - supporting those finding it tough and simultaneously pushing those who are making faster progress. This process is known as differentiation.
To be able to plan these different pathways for each student, we need to take time to plan. When you have a limited armour of resources as a trainee, it can take a long time to print and design worksheets and laminate resources. Furthermore, students cannot progress unless we invest time in marking. Students need to have their misconceptions addressed and know their next steps for progression.
All in all, we need to disengage for a while from our pedagogic lifestyle in order to recuperate and bounce back!