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3 Oct 2014
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School Days
The government has announced new measures to deal with truancy, exclusions and bad behaviour among school children. We asked Kevin Sexton, a teacher who has to deal with frequent classroom disruption, to describe a typical day for us.

"I've been teaching over two and half years, in inner city schools. At present I'm Head of PSHE & Citizenship and am running the geography department with another colleague. This year my school has already been through an Ofsted inspection, the introduction of the Numeracy and Literacy strategy, and implementation of the Citizenship strategy and organised 5 field trips (one to Berlin with 40 pupils). To say my life has changed is an understatement, Monday to Friday (sometimes Saturday & Sunday) my life is dominated by my job. The following account is an average day in my life."

6.30  Wake up, run the bath, eat some cereal, collect my books and papers, and try and leave the house by 7.15am

7.30   Arrive at school, prepare my lessons for the day. Ensure the resources that I need are available. Photocopy worksheets for tomorrow's lessons. Meet with Pastoral staff to ensure that all the PSHE materials are ready for the 50 form tutors that day. Mark some homework, and set up my room for lesson 1.

8.45    Head teacher's briefing, after this I have to run to Year 8 assembly and encourage them to join the school council and stand for election.

9.10   Lesson 1 & 2 lessons are one hour long, teaching mixed ability groups. Scissors are all counted back in safely. Three pupils have no homework, so set a detention for after school - even though I am already meant to be at another meeting. During lesson 2 a pupil gives me verbal abuse, meaning my break time will be spent dealing with this together with his learning mentor.
11.20    Spend lesson 3 handing out resources for the supply teachers who are covering lessons for our colleagues who are off sick. Spend half an hour on the phone chasing a missing order of textbooks ordered last August.

12.20   Lunchtime eat my sarnies, sit and discuss the AS & GCSE coursework with a colleague. Speak to deputy head about a citizenship conference I'm attending and planning my cover lessons for this event

13.20   Lesson 4 & 5 - I'm on internal exclusion this afternoon, watching over the pupils who have been excluded from lessons. Am meant to get marking done but spend more time controlling their behaviour. Try and get photocopying completed for handouts needed for seminar I am presenting. No joy, this gets done after school

15.20    Do a presentation for the 20 or so NQTs at our school about citizenship; go back to my classroom to clear it for the next day. I'm out all day so it's more than likely the room won't be in the same state when I return. Lock away all resources and books; I've learnt this lesson the hard way.

16.45   Meet with a fellow PGCE tutor at a local education college to discuss the implementation of 'citizenship'.

18.00   Get home have tea, start preparing lesson for my A level group on Friday, mark Year 7 End of Unit tests. Sit down and write list of pupils who need chasing up for various behaviour issues from that day. Ring colleague to discuss arrangements for cover in my lessons.

21.00   Coffee, watch tele and ready for my bed by 10.30pm

NB: Wake up sweating - forgot to go to detention!

What are your thoughts on the current education system? Click here to have your say.

Teacher in a classroom
Listen - Interview with Kevin Sexton on the Today programme. (25/04/2002)
Listen - Is there a shortage of teachers? Barry Sheerman and a head teacher discuss. (24/04/2002)
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