The decline of the primary teacher job and my life as a perpetual student

Starting my second year of university with hope, dreams and an everlasting supply of pasta I moved into my new home ready to start the academic year and to continue my journey into teaching. However first lecture, sat with my bic Biro poised and highlighters neatly arranged, I am greeted with statistical evidence that in fact the number of jobs for primary teachers are dwindling. The number of jobs has hit such a low that they have even created a module regarding back up career ideas, asking you to produce a poster for an alternative career and research the possibilities of this instead of your preferred role.
Now this shortage in jobs shocked me as I had read so many articles about baby boom, the amount of children in a class and the teacher shortage that is looming. So when I was informed that the government were slashing 500 jobs in schools as well as calls for a cut in teacher training – I started to question job stability and whether after 4 years I would be able to find a job or would I be another NEET with a degree?!
So moving onwards and upwards in decided to look into becoming a lecturer. Pay is better, the idea of researching and being a published writer also appealed greatly and the importance of interaction is also available. In short my personality would fit lecturing far more than primary teaching. I wouldn’t have to deal with fussy parents picking fault with my teaching style nor would I have the responsibility for shaping their wee precious prize. From being in the forces I have developed a ‘no nonsense’ persona that levelled with my sarcastic tendencies create a difficult mix for young children; yet that would probably push he older generations to work harder. If not- then that is their prerogative and they are wasting their money.
So looking further into it, I spoke to one of my lecturers who spoke about how to get into this field. Such fantastic information was gleaned!
Instead of back in the day where an interest and a degree would get you into work – a masters and a phd is now compulsory. Another reason why I am focusing on this career role – a perpetual student it seems I shall become! However I will enjoy having a masters and a phd to my name…
It is all about the extra letters after your name – the abbreviations say it all….
So here I am – convert to the method of lecturing – by passed primary in favour for sarcasm, more money and being a perpetual student ..

Fiction Makes You Better at Stuff

That Happy Wedding:

Fiction – literature and the importance – got to love this writer!

Originally posted on Classroom as Microcosm:

nprPVY0I’m planning some research on whether reading/studying fiction and other kinds of narrative is really such an important thing to do.  I was therefore immediately drawn to this article (even though it’s Saturday night and I’m desperately trying to finish grading a stack of papers): a commentary on why techie geeks should read fiction.

Is it true?  Does reading fiction make us more creative?  Can it be “a funhouse mirror, a fantastic reflection that changes your perspective on something you see, but don’t necessarily see, every day”?  If so, is reading fiction better at doing that than other kinds of reading, watching, listening, doing?

I occasionally have a brilliant, creative, articulate, interesting student or meet a brilliant, creative, articulate, interesting person who writes well and analyzes admirably but claims to never/rarely read fiction.  I want to spend time following these people around to discover how they became so evolved…

View original 34 more words

Let’s Not Try to Figure Out Everything at Once

That Happy Wedding:

Let’s calm and take things a day at a time – stop rushing around everywhere and take time to stop and look at clouds. Smell the flowers and watch a leaf blow past in the wind- same with children- let’s not rush them and their development. We need to allow time for them to enjoy their childhood and learn at their own pace. By rushing educational development children miss out on key emotional developments that are vital to social interaction and maturity.

Originally posted on The Happsters:

Lately I feel like I’ve been rushing from one thing to the next. I have a tendency to try to multi-task and get everything done as fast as I can. That’s why I love this quote:

Let's not try to figure out everything at once Let’s not try to figure out everything at once. (Source)

Here’s my mantra for today. Hopefully it will remind you to be more present as well.

Today I will:

Go with the flow
Breathe deeply
Live in the moment
Focus on the task at hand
Take my time
Notice the little things
Accept what is

Do you multi-task a lot or are you good at focusing on one thing at a time? Let me know in the comments!

View original

Goodbye Somerset hello Cardiff !

So after much consideration I have transferred from my degree within a college to a proper bonified university course. Where the graduation ceremony won’t be taking place within a canteen!
They are quite strict with transfers yet with my grades that I managed and my sheer determination and insistence they accepted me!
New academic year, new start, new Uni, new house …. What more! :)
Job hunting now (student loan doesn’t cover much!)
Cannot wait to get my teeth into a proper Uni course. Yes my first year was technically ‘proper’, the feel of it and the opportunities gleaned from it would have been non existent!
Wish me luck y’all
Expect to hear a lot more from me now

Should I stay or should I go now?

Well here I am end of my first year a d I’ve already started to think where I will be in my third year as I’m currently in a 2 year Fda and so will need to move in my third year. Not a problem I hear you say?!
Why worry now? Just leave it to fate and get through your second year first…
Well through research research research I have found it is damn near impossible to transfer in my third year! Ahhh! So after much deliberation and tons of emailing around I have decided to transfer now… Scary!
How many more times can I move universities but this is what I want- I need this to become what I want to be.. A primary teacher :)
And I think with the competition out there for pgce applicants I need to go for a better Uni with a better reputation
Wish me luck!!!

4 Team Building Games (To Confuse And Anger Children)

Originally posted on Daniel is funny:

Children aren’t even fully formed versions of themselves, so to expect them to work perfectly as a team is a fool’s gamble. Watching any number of seven-year-olds attempt to create a cohesive group is like dropping a bunch of octopi into a bucket of scrap metal and hoping that they think progressively enough to build you a new computer. All you end up with is a wriggling, disorganized mess, and probably one or two less octopi/children.

Crying kid.

Yay! Team building!

I work with kids, and I stay away from any sort of team building activity. It’s not because the kids certainly can’t do it – I’ve seen children accomplish all of the activities below. It’s that, in a great number of the times I’ve tried it, I end up with opposite of the intended effect happening. When it comes to teaching kids how to work together as a unit, I just…

View original 957 more words

Happiness Tip: Find Your Passion

That Happy Wedding:

They truly do say once you love something everything will fall into place… well I fully support this theory. My passion has been many things over the years and yet only now, can i truly say that I have found my true passion within teaching. I have more ideas than ever before and my interest and motivation has sky rocketed! When on placement or volunteering I feel happy, relaxed and pushed out of my comfort zone. When I am not on placement I feel almost lost without my passion of teaching children and find myself grasping onto any aspect that may help me with my future career just so I can get back to my nirvana, my passion.

Originally posted on The Happsters:

Find Your Passion

Happiness tip: Find Your Passion

I know, I know…Finding your passion is easier said than done. Some lucky people know what their passion is from an early age, but most have to work to figure it out. When you find your passion, you are not just happier yourself, but your passion becomes contagious and inspires others to find their own passion. One of my favorite quotes about passion is “When we focus on leading a passionate, meaningful life, we are also inadvertently creating a spectacular ripple effect of inspiration in the lives around us.  When one person follows a dream, tries something new, or takes a daring leap, everyone nearby feels their passionate energy; and before too long, they are making their own daring leaps while simultaneously inspiring others.”

Not sure yet what your passion is? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. Are there certain activities that come…

View original 91 more words

6 Smile Facts in Honor of Power of a Smile Day

That Happy Wedding:

Power of a Smile Day may have been over 5 days ago but surely everyday we should be smiling?! One smile to a stranger could change that whole persons day which in turn could change 100s of peoples days from mediocre to plain old jolly. Imagine the impact if we smiled at 5, nay! 10 strangers today and how great we will feel in return – and look much younger!

Originally posted on The Happsters:

It’s finally here: Power of a Smile Day (June 15th)! Did you even know there was such a thing? While I know you all practice your smiling skills every day, today we should all be especially conscious of our smiles. Maybe take this day to hand out a happy note or two at the same time!

Here are a 6 fun smile facts:

6 Smile Facts

6 Smile Facts

#1 Smiling releases endorphins. These endorphins relieve stress and help you feel better.

#2 Smiling is known as an expression of happiness and acceptance across all cultures.

#3 Smiling is contagious. A Swedish study found that people had trouble frowning when they looked at other people who were smiling. Their muscles twitched into smiling on their own!

#4 Babies start smiling in their sleep as soon as they’re born. Smiling is something that comes naturally and isn’t learned.

#5 Smiling can reduce your blood…

View original 82 more words

Why are less qualified staff placed with the younger children? Baby sitter or Professional?

Using Schon’s (1986) reflection on and in action I will reflect on why less qualified and less experienced staff are placed within the younger children play rooms in nurseries. Not only in the placement that I was in but in other nurseries around the UK, there are staff who have basic qualifications in child care looking after children who need the most care. I found this to be strange within placement and reflected in action that it may be because the Staff who are less qualified within the placement setting were the youngest and so they had the energy levels associated with young children aged 12 months to 3 years. However on further reflection, reflection on action, I started to reconsider this when I found other students also had the lower qualified staff with the youngest children – and they were not the youngest staff members.

The youngest children come with the most need for risk assessment and policies affecting their health and safety. When children are this young not all information regarding the children has been compiled yet. Allergic reactions for example may not have been discovered and so a knowledge of first aid, food hygiene and emergency procedures – these require training. Another could be the rules and regulations of putting children to sleep for nap time – there is a lot of complications that can occur and training needs to be utilised to concur any risks. As well as these, other more mundane everyday tasks also require risk assessments, on the job evaluation and re-evaluation, reflection and planning that although can happen through experience, it is considered to be at a greater understanding and depth if there is an accredited qualification alongside.

To work within the early years there is pressure and stress from all angles. Parents, colleagues, management, media, Government and OFSTED are all chucking policies and questions and liability at you from all directions. To work with the youngest of the young I believe would create more pressure. Especially when you consider the media and the cases that have come into light regarding child abuse and neglect within nurseries; the majority of all children harmed are under 3 years of age putting the pressure onto those within the nursery rooms. With this pressure you would expect the pay to reflect this as it would in any job – high stress, responsibility and pressure = more money. However, as the staff have lower qualifications they do not qualify for the higher pay brackets and so the job is being performed by underpaid and under-qualified people.

To combat this it is important for the need of further training provided by the management. To be a good practitioner, knowledge and experience is needed and to give continuous professional development within the setting not only will increase the likelihood of better knowledge but also less stress and pressure creating a better environment for the children to be cared for within. It could be argued that business nurseries do not want to increase the staff’s training because it would mean they would be paid more… however the jump from unqualified/level 3 to qualified at a higher level is only 9p an hour. Although that is a small amount, nurseries would have to pay for training and keeping them up – to –date however I believe that this needs to be done as children need that knowledge gained through training. That is the difference between a babysitter and a professional.


In conclusion I believe practitioners should only be deemed as such if they continue their professional development and this is done through CPD.