Negócios & Finanças


16th October 2020

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3 minutos

At my 30th birthday dinner, my mother took some time to reflect on my achievements. “You know, Sarah, by your age, I was married and had two children, with another on the way.” I’m not sure what she expected at this point – a This Is Your Life reveal of my heretofore unmentioned husband and adorable toddlers, maybe? – but the message was clear. It’s an exchange that many women in their twenties and thirties will recognise all too well. These are what I refer to – not fondly – as the “you’ll be next” years. I’ve heard a version of “you’ll be next” on a number of occasions (including a family wedding, at which it was suggested I might like to “get a shift on”). It doesn’t matter what women do, what they…

3 minutos
a load of hot air?

The government guidance for school opening stresses the importance of “good ventilation” in classrooms and maximising the amount of air flow by “for example, opening windows”. That’s all very well in warmer weather, but do classroom windows still need to stay open now temperatures have started to plummet? “The main issue [with closing windows] is the opportunity for the virus to concentrate in the air,” says Jack Gilbert, professor of paediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, and a specialist in microbes. “Every human emits 38 million bacterial cells, 7 million fungal agents and likely equivalent viral particles per hour. So, if you have [even just] 15 children and a teacher in a classroom, the math looks bad! Hence the importance of diluting the concentration effect by constantly exchanging air.” Theoretically, if everyone…

2 minutos
morale is fragile, but teachers remain strong

It’s tricky to explain to others why teaching is so gruelling, isn’t it? Even the sympathetic often don’t really understand what can be so exhausting. The pandemic has done nothing to alleviate the pressures we already face. The mental energy required to do our job at the moment is staggering. Morale has never been quite so fragile. Increased cover means even less time to prepare, mark and deal with the fragility of the students. There has clearly been an impact on attendance and student mental health. Imagine: we give students an overview every time we start a new topic, and until a week ago we couldn’t even tell them if they’d be examined this year. It makes us feel like we are lacking: why would our students understand that we are often…

2 minutos
there’ll be tears before bedtime – but that’s ok

“But I spent hours preparing it last night,” I sobbed, not even caring that the tears now seemed to be escaping from my nose in one hideous wet mess. I felt a gentle tug on the now soggy rag in my hand, and a fresh tissue replacing it. This scene was to be a regular feature in my mentor meetings, not to mention the informal drop-ins with my mentor, in my training and NQT year. My mentor had a door that was always open to me. It was also a door that was directly opposite my classroom, making it easy for me to stumble through it at the end of a tough session. She would quietly put aside whatever it was she was doing and listen. Often, she wouldn’t say more than two or…

2 minutos
don’t think wrestling and teaching are alike? it doesn’t matter what you think!

When I was young and couldn’t sleep at night, it wasn’t because I was absorbed with dreams of pedagogy and setting homework. Becoming a teacher honestly never crossed my mind. My destiny was set: I was going to be a wrestler. It’s easy to dismiss professional wrestling as a carnival act of make-believe. But spend a bit of time in front of it and you’ll quickly start to appreciate the narrative arcs, the character development, the classic dichotomy of goodie versus baddie. It’s pure pantomime, a soap opera come to life. In the end, I didn’t become a wrestler. But my day does start and end when the bell rings, and I’ve had plenty of lessons punctuated with heavy bumps and beautiful high spots. Maybe this career isn’t so different, after all? The…

2 minutos
muting the whatsapp whisperers

Dear Thomas, Am I alone in thinking that parent WhatsApp groups have become a modern-day curse for teachers? Eva Dear Eva, Oh, the lure of a WhatsApp group! So convenient for last-minute changes of plan or, as you say, for useful information that might circulate. It would be dreary, though, wouldn’t it, just sticking to travel schedules and deadlines? Inevitably, it just takes one person to push hard at the boundaries and…whoosh. You’ve lost it. A school is only as good as its parents. Forty years ago and more, pupils were never allowed to object to their teachers. No parent would countenance it. All complaints were rejected out of hand. That wasn’t good either. But now it’s swung too far the other way. Parents getting disinhibited and carried away in online chat groups is only part of…