“Are you aware what you’re letting yourself in for?”

Gulp!  Whilst LSA’s and Teaching Assistants are undoubtedly a godsend in a school, I wasn’t exactly sure where Y2’s TA was going with this one!  “I mean…”, she hurriedly continued seeing the look of horror and dejection on my keen, bright-eyed, innocent face, “you do know that you’ll spend 10% of your time teaching and 90% doing paperwork?”  I nodded, more than aware of the strains that admin brings.  Behind me I heard a snort of indignation from the teacher I’ve been placed with; “You’ll be lucky if you even spend 5% of your time teaching”.  Marvellous, when can I start?

Of course I’m more than aware of the paperwork side of teaching, but maybe you aren’t?  Teachers have to plan, the government says so, as does common-sense – you can’t face a class of 31 six year olds without some sort of activity planned; however, you have to be prepared for planning to go wrong!  If planning goes wrong you’ve got to amend your previous plans…and plan again, and record your plans, then write about why you re-wrote your plans….plan, plan, plan….zzzzz….

Sadly that’s not all – you aren’t just a teacher, you’re a carer, responsible for every single little body that is in your classroom.  You need to look after your class, and children need to be listened to and watched.  I’m not saying it’s a chore ensuring all children are safe, happy, free from abuse, but there is a large paper-file aspect to ensuring children are cared for.

Ultimately, teaching is more than a 9-3.15 job.  It’s a 7am-10pm job and it is never finished.

So, if you want to enter the profession, think about the administrative side of teaching – it’s not all about the 6 week summer holiday!


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