Dyspraxic teachers - lesson planning and workload

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Dyspraxic teachers - lesson planning and workload

Post by lemoutonbleu » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:58 pm

Hi all,

I was diagnosed with dyspraxia about 3/4 of the way through my PGCE in languages. I was convinced I couldn't cope with being a full time teacher so after graduating I worked as a supply teacher while exploring other options.

After a few months I was offered a maternity cover post, and I managed to persuade them to let me work 4, rather than 5, days a week. This part time post turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done - it was at a wonderful (though challenging) school, with fantastic facilities and really supportive colleagues. Luckily, one maternity cover post turned into two and I was able to complete my NQT on a 0.8 timetable. Importantly, I realised that I was able to be a teacher and that, actually, there were times when I really enjoyed it.

The job, I enjoy (maybe even love). But being a dyspraxic teacher, I hate.

Working part time gave me the extra time I needed for planning and organisation, but I was still working 11-12 hour days at school (school closed late so I was able to stay) followed by at least another half day on my day of and often more than another half day the weekend. This improved only slightly as my time there went on.

The time would be mostly be taken up by planning. Very often it would take me 30 minutes+ to plan one lesson before even preparing resources. and a lot of that time was spent scratching my head. I tried not to make too many resources myself but did often ending making my own because I failed to see through the logic of other people's plans/resources/PPT presentations. On top of that, marking would be take me at 2.5 hours at least to mark one set of 30-ish books - much much longer of course for extended pieces of writing. I nearly always fell well short of the school's marking requirements. Though it was generally agreed that these were totally unrealistic anyway, I always noted I marked less then my colleagues. Another thing that took up a lot of my time was procrastination. Because I can't see through things very quickly, I quickly lose focus - you know the story.

I am now working abroad in ESL where workload is, naturally, much lighter (though so is the pay, sadly!). Although there are far fewer demands it is planning that I am still struggling with. One of the things I'm trying to do this year is 'practice' planning and work on my time management because, next year, I want to return to the UK to a full time teaching job. It is something that excites me and fills me with dread in equal measure. Like I said, I enjoy the job but I don't enjoy spending long hours in front of a computer or with a pen in my hand thinking about what I need to do. Often this causes me a lot of anxiety as well.

So, dyspraxic teachers. Tell me:

- How do you help yourself organise your time?
- How do you plan lessons? (One technique I found that helped me was taking a blank A4 sheet for every lesson and writing the lesson sequence - but I need more tips!)
- Any other tips?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Dyspraxic teachers - lesson planning and workload

Post by Hoddo45 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:08 pm

Hello :)
It is comforting to read your post and know that other dyspraxic adults cope with teaching.

My boyfriend is dyspraxic and we met whilst doing the PGCE.

While I am now an NQT, teaching my own class. He was unsuccessful on his last teaching placement and never achieved QTS.

He is due to resist in placement next April, but I'm worried about how he is going to cope.

Could you please share with me any of the techniques you use that to help organise as a teacher?

Thank you.

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