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Is teaching some subjects more stressful than others?

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

  1. Thank you for the post, good to know I'm not alone. Although maybe I am just not entertaining enough.... and can not motivate them, otherwise they would love languages or course.
  2. So....is anyone going to mention music?? :)
  3. At least in Maths 2+2 always =4 ... It means that whilst syllabuses change the content doesn't too much. Quite a lot of the marking can be managed efficiently, too. Though it is a core subject, parents and pupils also recognise its importance. I also taught ICT with 60% coursework which has a marking scheme which means effectively you have to always have the cumulative project in and look over the whole thing as otherwise you could end up awarding marks twice over for the same thing, I think Maths has some benefits. So many students do find coursework deadlines difficult however much you help them. I agree, RE would be my nightmare subject to cover though even then, when I have covered varioius topics, I have found using a mind mapping approach can be a key to success.
    The 'best' subject is one where you are fully comfortable with the content, familiar with the course and the method of assessment and have the materials and resources you need. Too many changes from on high prevent teachers from ever having that pleasure and create stressed teachers. Changing courses means text books are out of date too soon. I've even been teaching courses when the course syllabus lags behind teh course start date. Stressed teachers will find it harder to convey their subject enthusiasm and knowledge and leave the pupils uninspired.
  4. I agree totally with this. Increasing opprobrium and pressure to 'get' all students a C or above despite their lack of interest/willingness/work ethic OR the simple fact they are not C grade students. Not everyone is.

  5. Please don't tell you are not allowed to use text books? I thought it is only where I work. Well, how can pupils get ever academic if they don't use books.
    Do you think we could use them if they were on KINDLE?
  6. I sympathise. The Education System over here is just plain ludicrous. Expectations are impossible to reach; targets for ALL kids, despite their lack of interest or how many times you tell them to take out their headphones, put away their phones, write a sentence. Whatever. Bottom line is that somehow you are expected to get these darlings up to standard, whatever that is and everyone is a commodity. In my experience, there is little support, much criticism and you are on your own with SLT who are so far up their own *** there to make the occasional undermining visit to your classroom. Kids can repeat and repeat - oh sorry is that resit? until they get an A*. The pressure is such that in my last school, there weren't any smiling faces (staff). Lots of cheating and fudging figures (staff) and one teacher left after a month because of palpitations. Nervous breakdowns abound and all this centred around such a fake environment with parents calling to complain about their little darling - you know the 'genius' kid who isn't performing to scratch - because he's a lazy little f***er. Planning for five lessons, differentiation to suit all 30 kids, giving extra marks for a comma in the right place - all in the name of targets. All for what? Is there any learning in all this? I think not. BTW the subject is English.
  7. Definitely Science. As a practically-based core subject you have all the getting out, putting away, washing-up, maintenance, ordering and health and safety issues to consider. With clumsy students the possibilities for them to injure themselves or damage equipment are wide-ranging and some students have a careless approach to things which can cause major problems. Even the most carefully planned and rehearsed experiments can go wrong and you also have the additional pressure of trying to get all the students a decent grade in a core subject whether or not they want to do it.
  8. graeme27uk

    graeme27uk New commenter

    Hardest subject = Science.
    1) Have to get 2 C's or more at least to count on governmental targets, especially for the hallowed Ebacc... if one of those grades goes below a C then it effectively wipes the other out. Do we get more time to get more out of the students? No.... we are just told work harder, do more and get them the grades. It is really depressing when a student gets a C in one and just misses out on the other and gets a D. But you get told by the management that you have failed. How come NO other subject has this demand?
    2) Always compared to Eng and Maths... just because they can write poetry and use a calculator does not mean they are fab scientists. Plus combining all three disciplines into one is a pain, whereas some might be better at say Biology, than Physics. English and Maths get just as much curriculum time as we do but only need 1 grade... and STILL they cannot do it?!
    3) Courswork - we have coursework as well! Not only exams which students struggle with due to the higher demand of literacy in Science, but also they have to actually be bothered to do writing and thinking with coursework!
    4) Continually having to justify "Why are we doing this?" "When will I ever need to know the structure of an atom?"...
    5) Continual change of curriculum - I know Science is not alone, but its beyond a joke. BTEC 2006 spec, BTEC 2010 spec, new BTEC coming 2012... GCSE 2006, GCSE 2011, GCSE 2012... modular to linear... internal coursework, external coursework... APP, AfL, HSW, Science Strategy, Triple Science..... STOP FIDDLING WITH THE SODDING CURRICULUM!!!
    6) Science is an academic subject, which for some reason, people seem to either not want to admit or shy away from. We run both BTEC and GCSE, though the GCSE is geared towards academic students. Still, I feel that if we are to make any progress with Science then we need to really wake up and appreciate that Science requires hard work and some academic discipline and is not something that you can just turn up to the day before and expect to succeed with. Heavens forbid students be expected to recall information, retain information in their head. They seem to cope with mundane trivia about the latest pop show, or magazine pin-up... Students as a whole are typically disengaged with what I would term "proper" Science that I loved when at school. They seem to lack an enquiring mind and a desire to find out about themselves and the world around them. It is so refreshing when I teach my Triple Scientists as at least they ask questions that are intelligent and enquiring rather than... "why do I need this" or "this is boring" over and over again.
    7) Practicals - ever done 30 kids with bottles of acid, magnesium burning, bunsen flames... its a great thing to do and I love practicals. However, there is inevitably the little oik who thinks its grand to squirt acid at someone's blazer or such, or try to mix their own chemical concoctions. And who gets the blame in the end? We as teachers... filling out Risk Assessments, filing any incidents and then following them up. You get them to put goggles on when using acids and explain to them carefully that it's dangerous to rub their eyes, hence the goggles. What do they do? Rub their eyes... good for Experiential Learning.... not good for the paper work.
    8) Parents... again some reinforce the "why do we need this" attitude. They never used atomic theory so why does their little cherub need it.
    9) GCSE Science - A' Level Transition - how HUGE a gap? And we wonder why there is an A-Level drop out with pure sciences...
    10) I love teaching Science and its great working with most of the students and wathcing those little light bulbs come alive. Also watching them develop their science and moving to A-Level with dreams of becoming researchers, doctors, whatever. But my god its a tough love scenario....
  9. Is that the Spar for retail therapy or the spa for relaxation and pampering?
  10. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    I don't think being rude about other subjects furthers your argument.
  11. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    I don't think being rude about other subjects furthers your argument.
  12. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    In every school I have worked in English and Maths have the same amount of currciculum time and Science has significantly more.
    In some cases English are entering students for two GCSEs too.
    As are Maths and English.
    We have exactly the same problem in Maths. I know less about teaching A Level English.
  13. FYI - it's not just secondary teachers being told to get 'grades' up or consider options. Many primaries with challenging intakes are being reprimanded for not having children at national standards despite lack of resources, support, or acknowledgement of how far many of these children have actually come. When they bring in social progress as a measurement of success many more hard working teachers will be recognised for achievement!!
  14. Superior on what grounds? Why do you seem to think choosing a textbook resource excludes the knowledge of a class that you might use in making one?
    It wasn't really as serious example - I was just interested in where the line gets drawn.
    I'll calm down when we stop perpetuating this myth that textbooks are, by default, worthless and that teachers should exhaust themselves constantly reinventing the wheel. I'm not ashamed to admit that there are people out there who can communicate the concept of the punctuation of direct speech more clearly than I can, or that someone else has collated a series of extracts which make a perfect example of how to use different narrative voices. We all have different areas of expertise and rejecting someone else's experience and idea just because they are wrapped up in a book rather than on a PowerPoint found on a website is one of modern education's more idiotic pronouncements.
  15. graeme27uk

    graeme27uk New commenter

    True, and I did not mean offence, though this is the attitude that I am frequently faced with from "da management".
    I retract the statement if it causes offence.
  16. I generally find that the most stressful subjects are the pupils.
  17. graeme27uk

    graeme27uk New commenter

    Not the one I am in. We get exactly the same amount of time as Maths and English separately, plus they seem to be able to override other subjects at will and have "intervention" whenever suits them. Do this the other way round and the response is shot down as heresy!
    Yes I'd agree, but the point being that they are separated out. In Science you have to combine both skills and apply them.
    I know Science is not alone in this, but it still makes the subject harder if students cannot see its value to them.
  18. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    To be honest airy, I feel the same way about most teaching resource websites as I do about textbooks: I don't think there's anything wrong with using them as a stimulus but I just personally feel that they (out of necessity) aim down the middle too much, so to speak, and to be blunt I prefer using my resources.
    There is a huge over reliance on textbooks and on worksheets from teaching websites in my department to the point where I suspect they are actually unable to create their own resources (happy to use mine, though!) and the poor attainment at English seems to indicate that perhaps they aren't the best resource. That isn't a personal criticism of you: if you're using textbooks, and they work, great - I prefer not to and discourage my department from doing so as well.
  19. ~Perhaps they have been watching too much Harry Potter and are now mistaken, and thinking you are all magicians.
  20. Unless you're thinking of mental sparring (from what you describe), you must have meant that you need a day at the *spa* (?!). [​IMG]

    Good luck!

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