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Is teaching some subjects more stressful than others?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by wiemaranerlover, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. That nobod reads or cares about. Have four standard ones and cut 'n' paste. The parents expect more from a core subject.
    Which means you can rehash the same lesson plan up to 10 times (depending on the number of forms in the year.
    Whereas having kids who hate the subject having to do it three or four times a week until they leave is so much easier.
    Also, how often to SLT actually check your levels and/or targets? In core subjects, they are pored over in grea detail. I've seen whole year groups magically hit their year 9 target in subjects like art, music etc, and nobody bats an eyelid.
    Come on, music is dead easy to teach in comparison to a core subject (I know, I've done both).
    cyolba, divide and rule is the watchword of today :)
  2. casper

    casper New commenter

    Another rough day, freezing in the entrance to my department which is falling down, 3 degrees today. cannot put any naughties outside to calm down as parents will complain as it os sp cold. Warm in my teaching room just icy blast if the door is open.

    Awful behaviour, now need to change some of the year 9 reports as some of them were so awful. Oh, yes it must be the option form that has been handed out and they realise they do not have to do music soon. They will of course remind me of this every week until the en d of the year. feel rubbish tonight.
  3. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Shouldn't really be doing it as a (good!) English teacher! x
  4. davidmu

    davidmu Occasional commenter

    kyris, do you make up every example in your worksheets without reference to any textbook? Unless you do you are infringeing copyright laws and can be fined thousands of pounds. It might pay you to inform your SMT as regards this.
  5. I'm quoting davidmu, but all your replies echo my own feelings. What generally happens is we use copied and pasted exam paper questions, from all the exam boards, endlessly reformatted into booklets personalised for each student based on what they got wrong the week before. Sometimes we use Ten Ticks for a bit of variety.
    Aside from the obvious pain of all this copying and collating, it lacks explanations of the topics so the kids become very reliant on the teacher for verbal delivery and this makes them over dependent. I mentioned this a time or two but the response was frosty so I just get on with it.
  6. Yea some subjects are worse Science is one of them planning practical work 3 weeks in advance
  7. I would say say that as for the subject (not considering the kids or targets or levels or HT's expectations) History is lovely to teach. Very enjoyable and with quite a lot of freedom regarding delivery and assessment.

    When teaching English at KS4 the pressure is huge and ridiculous - I have been shouting all week that I am a teacher not an alchemist but no one seems to hear! With subjects like History or Media Studies at KS4 you can target key students to opt for them so they have at least some of the necessary skills although this does not mean they are going to achieve their taget easily (if at all). The beauty of a Core Subejct is that kids will see the value of them (and likewise their parents) whereas they may not for an optional subject such as Media. However, if a child has opted for a subject we tend to assume they want to study it so will at least have more than a passing interest.

    As someone who heads up English,History and Media I would argue that I prefer to teach the optional subjects but they aren't necessarily any easier than a core - the pressure is just hgiher.
  8. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Alternatively, you could do thing like they do in my school and force all students not deemed 'clever enough' to do a language into choosing between ICT or Media Studies. Then, because they think Media Studies involves watching films all the time, they all choose media and you end up with a sink class of kids who were given a choice between a rock and a hard place and you're stuck with this for two years. Media in it's current inception is not a brilliant qualification anyway. Nearly all the skills it teaches are covered in English anyway.
  9. I can speak of personal experience here.

    For ten years I was deputy head of English in a very poorly run school. The pressure to deliver results was unbelievable (and totally unrealistic). The sheer volume of planning and marking was a massive grind. The only thing you ever heard was 'English, Maths and Science' like a ruddy mantra. It was as if other subjects didn't count at all.

    I was then lucky enough to move over to Religious Studies. It was like a dream come true. I now found myself teaching every single student in the school (which made reports a bit of a task) but I only had each group once a week which meant I only ever did one lesson plan for each class and repeated it.

    In a year I took the results up from 15% A*- C to 50%. I loved teaching it, found it really interesting, and although the management were a nightmare to work under, it was much easier than teaching core English. I would never want to go back to English again.

  10. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Wow, calm down! I've never personally seen good reading comprehension, punctuation skills or chapters which inspire creative writing in a textbook, which is why I don't really like them and I do feel that resources made by the teacher who knows the class are far superior.
    There is a world of difference between that and finding thirty different reading comprehension skills. That isn't differentiation, it's spoon-feeding.
    But if you use good textbooks which you feel inspire and challenge your classes obviously use them, but I haven't.
  11. I am an RE/Citizenship/PSHE specialist and I agree they are not easy to teach. The kids don't take them seriously and they are generally seen as subjects lids put at the bottom of their list. The school also now gives us a low priority.
  12. Need to find out how put up a nickname but HAD to comment as I'm a history trained, 2nd year teacher, i/c PSHe, mainly teaching KS3 RE but also x12 lessons of English!!! Am somewhat stressed it has to be said! :) Any tips for handling the pressure?
  13. You work in an Academy by any chance?
  14. I do love my job and I have sympathy for the stress of results on core subjects but day to day managing a curriculum and teaching a subject that is "less important" has it's own stresses that a teacher of a non practical subject cannot begin to imagine. Imagine, if you can in your fantasy world, a class of 30 13 year olds for an hour with pots of water, paintbrushes, paint, sculpture materials, clay etc etc. In your hour you have to do this... Try to include a starter, plenary, cleaning up, all making progress and not trashing the place or injuring anyone along the way. All this up to a possible 5 times a day!!
  15. I feel your pain!

  16. I feel your pain.
  17. The core subjects produce the most stress because Core Teachers tend to get lumbered with maximum class sizes in all years right upto GCSE. Inmy last Teaching job I was teaching Science to classes of 35 with all of the marking, student admin, report writing and Parents Evenings while some of the non-core subjects had class sizes of 10-15 for GCSE where ther kids had opted for subjects they liked and were good at. Also they tended to have smaller more comfortable classrooms without the poor accoustics and hard floors found in Science Labs.
  18. What's your view on languages?

  19. I taught English for years before turning to Learning Support & Loved every moment of it! I think teaching bottom sets can be fantastic, or dreadful- depending on their make up & so on.
    I'd say after 30 years of teaching that teaching Food Tech. is the hardest subject. Not only are you working in a practical subject with knives, graters ,boiling water, oivens etc & with food- but you have to teach the theory too AND get it all done cooked & cleared up by the bell ,for the next group. You can't just chuck the bird boxes or the books in the tray for next time, you have to have it ready & sort of presentable, to go home. Eeek!
    I take my hat off to all those D/T teachers who teach cooking all day then go home & cook for their families. Triple pay bonus immediately!

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