Monthly Archives: September 2014

Teaching Links – Updated January 9th, 2015

Hi all

Here is a list of all the education resource sites I have come across in my time in the profession, hope they all help out, and if you know of any others feel free to comment them or tweet them to me @youngproteacher and I’ll put them up on here for you. Not all of them are free so bare this in mind when looking them up. I will try to update this at the beginning of each month so hopefully new sites will appear on here constantly so there are plenty to work from!

TES: http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resources/
Primary Resources: http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/
Instant Displays: http://www.instantdisplay.co.uk/index.htm
Communication4All: http://www.communication4all.co.uk/HomePage.htm
TopMarks: http://www.topmarks.co.uk/
Studyzone: http://www.studyzone.tv/
Teaching Ideas: http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/
Primary Treasure Chest: http://www.primarytreasurechest.com/
Sparklebox: http://www.sparklebox.co.uk/
Nrich: http://nrich.maths.org/frontpage
Teacher’s Pet: http://tpet.co.uk/#/home
The Teacher’s Corner: http://www.theteacherscorner.net/

TeacherLED:  http://teachr.co/1BzIOTi

ShowMe: http://teachr.co/1HxVNsb

The Geographical Association (one for teacher training materials):  http://teachr.co/1AoNdst

I hope these help

Mr M

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Scottish Independence – My Take

Now I know I am an education blogger, but honestly there hasn’t really been much in the education world that has caught my interest lately, mostly because of the hype around the Independence referendum in Scotland, so I decided that as it could have an impact on education, that I would give my take on what could happen and describe what I would like to see.

Now it has been a while since my Economics A level days, but economics has still been a minor interest of mine, so when it comes to looking at economic statistics, I’m always intrigued. I personally feel that Independence for Scotland will be fiscal and economical suicide, and here’s why.

Firstly, let’s look at the currency. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond MSP believes that they will be able to keep using the British Pound, to which Westminster have pretty much responded with ‘over our dead bodies’. This of course doesn’t mean that Scotland can’t go on using the pound without such agreement with Westminster, but they would have to build reserves of around £20billion. How would they do that? Well they would have to cut back on building ammenities such as schools, universities and hospitals, which could be disastrous for Scottish Education and Health, which are two areas in which Scotland are considered strong. If universities and school plans are cut, how can Scotland fund the free higher education that it currently has? It was made known recently that in order to achieve this policy in the first place, Scotland cut around 140,000 places. In short, this idea is far too expensive and can lead to disastrous consequences.

The next crucial point to look at is membership of the EU and other links. As it stands the whole of the UK pays billions of pounds to be a member of the EU. Again the question that needs to be answered is ‘How does Scotland intend to fund that?’ Well one way to do that is to increase tax and prices on everything, which is going to have a big impact on the incomes of families as wages still remain stagnant and below inflation as it is, so making the cost of living even higher will seriously slow down consumption, and slow down the economy even further. Losing membership of the EU and UK will mean that Scotland loses an awful lot of trade links around the world, meaning it’s import and export market will be affected, and that will cause price rises as well.

The next point to ponder concerns Scotland’s share of the national debt. Alex Salmond has claimed in an argument that if Westminster does not give an Independent Scotland an agreement to stay in the British Pound, Scotland will default on it’s share of the debts. Well that is a suicidal comment in it’s own right. If Scotland does indeed default on it’s debts, that will give Scotland a reputation of ‘sure give us money but we won’t give it back’. Does anyone else think that sounds like an Icelandic bank? What this will mean is that an Independent Scotland will be charged astronomically high interest rates on any loans they do take from other countries, which will not be sustainable for Scotland to pay back.

Here’s another thought which hasn’t really been mentioned. If Scotland becomes an independent nation, does that mean all Scottish people in the UK become foreign and would require a visa and English citizenship to work in this country? If that is true imagine how many people may find themselves forced to leave the country and head back to Scotland. That would certainly be a significant chunk of Parliament out. It could also mean jobs for English workers suddenly become available in England, but it would have the opposite effect on employment in Scotland. If thousands of people suddenly end up in Scotland without work, the unemployment statistics will go through the roof, putting huge amounts of pressure on the welfare state in Scotland. Not going to look good don’t you think?

So given all this, what would I like to see? Well you would think I would want to see the Scottish people vote No, and that is what my logic would argue. But actually I would like to see Alex Salmond suffer so in a cynical way I would like to see them vote Yes. I would like to see the result of them becoming independent, the SNP raising all the wages of his political party and then end up begging us to let them back in the UK.

If of course Scotland votes No, then what does that mean for Alex Salmond’s position? You would think all people who voted Yes but got outvoted would lose all faithin Salmond’s convictions and would find himself in a position where his own party’s standing is destroyed. I do personally think that Independence will benefit the SNP, not the Scottish people.

If any of you are Scottish, I would be interested to hear what your views on what Scotland should do are as you will have a say in it in less than 24 hours time.

Daily life of a primary school teacher – My take

So here it is, the week where we’re all back to school as teachers and pupils. To mark such occasion, I wanted to talk about what being a teacher is like from my perspective. Of course these opinions are my opinions and may not necessarily represent the views of the general population.

We hear all the time about what being a primary school teacher is about from the perspective of the government, but what we also hear is what the teachers themselves describe as their daily life. Things that the government often mention is that the job starts at 9am and finishes around 3.30pm, the job has a significant amount of holiday time amongst other things. These are often joked about by comedians when it comes to education, but I’m going to offer an insider view as to what the profession is really about. Yes I’m a final year student, but having spent 4 years in the profession already, I have already had a good amount of experience of what it means to be a teacher.

What you see as a parent is that you drop your child off at school around 8.50am for school to start at 9am (obviously I’m aware that times vary from area to area but this is an average) and then pick your child up again around 3pm. In that time you expect a teacher to be teaching lessons of different subjects and broadening the depths of knowledge that the child can take forward. But what you don’t see is the amount of work that goes on in order to make those lessons happen. The hours of planning and resourcing spent both in school and at home, the marking of the kids’ work to inform these hours of planning. I often arrive at school around 7.30am and often leave sometime around 6pm and sometimes even later in order to keep up with the workload. I have to say even with this amount of time, sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough hours in the day to keep up. What does this mean? We need to use our weekends as well. In short, teaching isn’t a 9 till 3.30, 5 days a week job, it’s a lifestyle 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This notion of doing the job for the holidays as well is naïve. Whilst the children get a 6 week holiday or sometimes 7 week holiday in the summer, what are the teachers doing? Well whilst some people believe we all go on holidays in the sun, what the vast majority of us do is spend a lot of time planning lessons for the next batch of children coming through our classroom doors in September. We also have to set our classrooms up (these things don’t appear by magic you know) in the best possible way to promote a love of learning in our classroom. In reality we might be lucky to get a couple of weeks to be able to wind down to ourselves.

Pay and salary is a topic that has come up a lot in the last few years with all these strikes over pensions and conditions. I’ve done a bit of research and the average pay per annum for an NQT (which I will be soon) is around £22k outside of London, around £28k inside London. With the amount of hours put into our work, that equates to around £3 per hour. Doesn’t seem like much does it?

So despite all this, what brought me into the teaching profession? Well Sue Cowley describes education and teaching as one of the most challenging yet most rewarding professions in the world. In the current circumstances you’d find it hard to disagree with that. I went into the profession because the thought of having an impact on the future of our children’s lives, from being able to put a smile on their face today, to seeing them graduate into long and successful lives in the days of tomorrow fills me with a great sense of pride and honour that you do not get from a desk job. Sure the job has it’s stresses, whether it’s caused by the government constantly on our backs, or the child who just decided they didn’t want to do the work you put so much effort into planning in that one day. But do you know what? For me the rewards outweigh the stresses. You pour all your emotion into teaching, and I have all sorts of cards and drawings that the kids have made for me, and there is no greater thing than a memory of every class you teach. I will look back on my journey when I eventually retire (who knows how old will I be when that happens) and will look back on all those young people I’ve had an impact on and be proud of what I’ve achieved.