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What is a typical day for a trainee teacher?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by bijalc, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. bijalc

    bijalc New commenter

    Hi! I was wondering, what is a typical day for a trainee teacher?

    If the school day starts at 9, would you get there an hour early?

    What time would you leave school?

    How long do you spend on marking and lesson planning?

    Thank you!
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I teach secondary, so perhaps it's a bit different to primary, which I see on a different post is what you'll be teaching.

    In all the secondary schools I've worked at you have core hours where you need to be on site, say half an hour before school starts, and half an hour after it finishes. This might not be the case for you, but you'll be told when you start the placement.

    I've worked with people who prefer to get to school very early to complete planning/marking in the morning, or people who show up just in time for the bell (as you'll be a trainee I'd say try to make a good impression by showing up in good time!). Some people prefer to stay at school after the end of the day to complete planning/marking, while others have commitments so go home ASAP and do it there later on. I think in secondary schools you're more likely to have after school meetings at least once per week.

    I'd say it also depends on how you're getting to work, whether you're using public transport etc., how far away work is. My second PGCE placement was about 1 hour each way by car, although not along big roads so it was always the same journey time, but I did get to work maybe 45 mins before class. I always left as soon as possible after school, so as to avoid rush hour.

    It also depends how organised you are, and if you're using a lot of resources (which I guess you will be as a primary teacher, compared to secondary).

    Basically, your school will tell you the parameters, then do what works best for you.
  3. Lucy2711

    Lucy2711 Occasional commenter

    I'd also add that there's something about being in school but not teaching or behind the door of a classroom, eg at the beginning and end of the day, that can help build relationships with other staff (teaching and non-teaching), getting informal advice etc. There's also the chance to speak to your mentor - there you have to work out when is going to be the best time to talk to them as they may have commitments that constrain their availability.
    I'd be upfront at the beginning if, for instance, you need to be away by xx pm in order to collect a child from childcare - schools should understand that. But always give positive messages about when you will be there too!
    Lara mfl 05, JohnJCazorla and bijalc like this.
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I think possibly the best answer is there is no typical day.

    It depends on phase - primary v secondary.
    It depends on subject - drama or P.E with extra curricular v history and English with their marking load.
    It depends on provider - the light weight nature of the PGCE with time to read and plan or the crazy salaried SD where you teach huge amounts.
    It depends on whether you are 22 with parents who look after you or whether you are 44 and look after a family and your own parents.
    It depends on whether the school has comprehensive pre existing planning or if you are planning mostly from scratch.
    It depends on whether you are prepared to work from home or if you want to do it all in school.
    Some days you are in uni and you thank your lucky stars you chose a course with one day a week at uni to get a break from the bubble of school.
  5. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Primaries usually start around 8.40 but getting there an hour before is sensible as a trainee. There will be plenty to do before they come in. It will depend on your own circumstances though.

    Leaving is up to you. The children will finish around 3.15pm. Then they'll be after school clubs, staff meetings, and general marking, getting things ready for the next day and tidying up to do. I would say expect to leave somewhere around 5.15pm. Possibly slightly earlier somedays or later on days with clubs/meetings.

    You will undoubtedly find you will need to do more work outside school to keep up with the planning, preparation and assessment stuff. Possibly another 10 hours over the week, maybe less or occasionally slightly more. Too much more is going to be unsustainable in the long terms so take it as a warning sign you need some help.
  6. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I don't think there is such a thing.

    My typical day (been teaching for 20 years) goes something like this..

    Up at 5 am

    Off to school at 6 am to avoid terrible traffic - get to school at 6.30 am

    Work for two hours

    School day - finish at 2.45 - then stay 20-60 minutes after school (if no meetings).

    I typically work 1-2 hours in the evening - I do not go beyond 9 pm and I try not to work too much at weekends these days.

    Good luck
    Lara mfl 05 and bijalc like this.
  7. scott1980

    scott1980 Occasional commenter

    I work in ks2 sen. I get in at 8am.kids leave by 3.30. I leave by 4pm.i make sure I mark in class or catch up during ppa. I plan and assess at home but always finish working at home by 8pm.i work a couple of hours at weekends. I have a baby so I have to prioritise family time.
    peakster and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Unless things have changed, I'm not sure that this would be allowed-except in emergencies, all trainees were expected not to leave to pick up their children, just as FT teachers can't. Also some schools seem to expect lunchtime commitments/afterschool club running/trip participation too (not just you on your own OP, with other staff!)
  9. Lucy2711

    Lucy2711 Occasional commenter

    Surely it depends on the time?! (Or are you assuming in the middle of the school day? - I'm thinking of after school.)
  10. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    It depends on what your school mentor does. I would advise to mirror their hours. Having said that, I often got in before my mentor and left after they had left. Sometimes I felt like I was being a hindrance to them so I left early so that they could have time to themselves.
    I was always told not to spend longer than the lesson length planning it, so for example, if the lesson was 1 hour then don't spend more than 1 hour planning it. Planning takes a long time when you first do it though. Make sure your mentor gives you plans and you can just adapt them or use them as guidance. It is important to put your own stamp on things. Never deliver a lesson that your mentor has planned, always adapt and embellish it in some way e. g. Different resources, more challenge, more scaffolds, different questions etc.
    Don't take any marking home whilst on placement--what if you lose the books?
    Try to do the marking at lunchtime if you can. Even better if you can mark with the child during the lesson and provide instant feedback.
    The thing that takes time is finding resources so I would advise you to obtain passwords for all the various resources websites.
    tidyone and bijalc like this.
  11. htaylor16

    htaylor16 New commenter

    When I was training I got into school around 7:30 and some days left around 5-5:30, sometimes as late as 7:30 if u books to mark or lessons to plan. Don’t expect a 9-3:30 day.
    bijalc and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    Lots of good advice here and I think it is vital that you don't "burn out" by doing too many hours. I would advise you to save enough energy because Teaching can be exhausting, especially when you begin and are "learning the ropes". This will help you Teach with vitality and keep your patience and enjoy the experience more.
    bijalc and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  13. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Don't stay at school beyond about 5-5.30 as an absolute maximum.
    Ilovejumblesales likes this.

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