The following article comes from primary school teacher Karl McGrath, who discusses finding the work-life balance for teachers.

Recently I became much more active on twitter and it has been fantastic for bite-sized CPD, resources and connecting with other educators. I have ‘so far’ found it to be an incredibly positive place. However, there is always a dark side to social media. I think that most people unintentionally escalate conversations and this is clearly through passionate debate.

I have seen a large amount of negativity directed towards this year’s cohort of NQT’s. This has either been as a result of their interrupted training year or because of their unbridled and excited enthusiasm.

This sense of excitement got me thinking. I had seen a lot of posts saying which books should I read or which online CPD should I do for September.

I simply want to stress to students or NQT’s that although you are keen and want to keep the momentum going it is incredibly important to remember that you are more than a teacher. I think what I am trying to say is if you’re like me and really enjoy teaching, teaching theory and talking teaching. Then find the balance, read your copy of Dula Coding then once you’ve finished balancing it with some INSERT NOVEL NAME HERE or if you’re also like me binge-watch crime drama on Netflix. Especially given that this September is going to be very different from any year that’s come before.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say something, being a PGCE student is hard work and as an NQT you will get release time to develop your practices (there will be the temptation to mark and catch up here, but try to use you NQT time to develop). You really deserve to enjoy your 6/7 weeks of the summer. So try not to go into your class every week to set up. Try not to spend the evenings laminating word wheels at home with your personal laminator and try not to read every book published about behaviour management or pedagogical approaches to teaching Science. Your sanity will thank you.

Enjoy your summer, and if you want to talk teaching or StarWars you can find me @MRMICT. :)


Karl McGrath

Karl has worked in education for over 7 years. He started as a Learning & Equalities Mentor where he used his passion for computing and film production degree to help children, who would ordinarily struggle to access the winder curriculum, produce films and animations about a range of topics, from Egyptians topics to natural disasters.

After completing his PGCE he began teaching in Year 5 in a three-form entry teaching school in Newcastle upon Tyne. He is currently lead on computing and runs a CAS community of practice. Karl has also delivered workshops for NQTs, student teachers and experienced teachers alike. Most recently he delivered a workshop at the #CASVirtual20 virtual conference.

Karl is incredibly passionate about how technology can be used to inspire the next generation and he believes that everything a teacher does should be rooted in the most relevant educational research.

Follow Karl on Twitter – @MRMICT.

Visit Karl’s ‘Pedabytes’ blog here.

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