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This day’s portion

Teachers don't read

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The irony of being a teacher of English (and an English teacher) is that you don’t get to read much. There’s just not enough time.

Incredibly, some people hold the absurd notion that teachers are out of the gate and heading home at 3 o’clock. In my experience this is simply untrue. Last week my working day ran from around 7.30am to 6pm, with a 20m break. What people outside of teaching probably don’t appreciate is the stress of a strictly timetabled day–you have to be in your classroom at a given time, which means you have to complete work by that time. If you don’t you’re doomed to a nightmarish lesson.

I get home at around 6.45, eat and get the kids ready for bed (well, my wife does most of this work, but still). I try and finish my school work at school, but most nights there’s a small amount of printing or reading to be done. The working day ends at around 8 o’clock. I’m in bed by 10 and up at 5.45am. Repeat until half term.

No time to read.

Of course, when I was doing a completely pointless job I had lots of time to read. I even read Paradise Lost.

I’m not sure whether this is a professional problem. I miss reading proper, adult books, but I know Traitor, Face, Tribes and newspaper articles about Richard III and a Leicester car park inside out.

Leon Paternoster

Leon Paternoster


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