A New Direction: Part-Time Teaching

Becoming a part-time teacher this year, is an exciting new chapter in my teaching career.

I always knew I didn’t want to progress through the hierarchy from teacher to team leader to SLT etc. as I really love the time with the children and the more you step up the ladder the further you are away from them. Of course, I recognise that these roles are crucial to those young people we teach, but they were just not for me.

I have spent many years trying to be a full time teacher as well as writing things, sharing what I do, creating resources and supporting teachers through my SLE role. This has been exciting and I have learned loads, but I finally reached the point where I couldn’t keep juggling everything that I was doing. So the solution is a compromise…part-time teaching.

Subject Specialist Teacher

I have been asked to become a “Computing teacher” several times since the suggested implementation of the Computing curriculum and I have always refused. I believed it was deskilling the staff and reducing the opportunity for cross-curricular teaching of an incredibly creative subject. To some extent, I still believe this, however, as of this September this will be my role in my new school.

The compromise came when looking for 0.6 teaching jobs. I was reluctant to try a job share as you need such a good working relationship with the other teacher and coming from an unknown that can be incredibly tricky. There were options such as ‘set teaching’, but these generally took place every morning, which restricts what you can do in your ‘free’ time having just the afternoons to make use of. Finally, an offer came that I couldn’t refuse, yes it was teaching Computing across the school (PPA cover) but with the ambition that Computing would become an integrated part of the school curriculum with teachers (eventually) taking back the ownership of the subject and having individually designed support to help them on their journey. So here I am.

Pros and Cons

Since accepting the role, I have been weighing up the pros and cons and really thinking about what I need to ‘rethink’. How is my role going to be different to that of a ‘Class’ teacher. What do I need to put in place or think about that I wouldn’t usually? What will be simpler and what will be more challenging? Here is my list:

Part-time Teaching Pros and Cons

This new role will definitely be an adventure and a very different teaching experience to that which I’ve experienced so far. With this in mind, I have developed 3 priorities:

  1. Build relationships with the children
  2. Work closely with the staff to get to know them, their class and their curriculum
  3. Make the most of seeing the progression to try new things and add challenges

The problem I had here was the initial relationships part. When a class teacher, starts a new role, they get a ‘meet the teacher’ day or morning, or at the very least an hour. As a part-time teacher, I did not get this opportunity. After all, who would I teach? Eventually, I will teach everyone, but that would be a bit of a hectic morning if that was the case…Then it dawned on me. What if I could increase the profile of the Computing subject, whilst getting to meet some of the children before Summer? So I spoke to my soon to be headteacher and arranged a Computing Afternoon called ‘Computing Bytes’ with the idea that children will get short chunks of Computing knowledge from across the Computing curriculum.

The blogpost about this afternoon is here.

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© Sway Grantham 2013 - Version: 1.13