Ahmad Osama, 29, is in his seventh year as a teacher. He teaches science at Aotea College, a decile 5 school in Porirua. He is among 50,000 teachers expected to walk out on strike next week in protest of their pay and conditions. A particular issue is the increasing work-load teachers have to juggle on top of their lessons. Here, Ahman tells Herald education reporter Simon Collins about a typical day at school for him.
TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2019
I woke up – no alarm needed (despite going to sleep at 12am). I had teaching on my mind. I considered trying to go back to sleep but I was wide awake as I considered the challenges ahead of me today.
5am: I left for work.
5.30am: I arrived at work where I finalised my plans for the day and got resources prepared for classes, including printing.
6.30am: I checked my emails, and responded to a variety of emails from parents and students. I re-marked year 12 biology assessments which students had completed resubmissions on. I'm fairly happy with their marks as they demonstrate that students have a good understanding of the topic. I will need to catch up with a few more students to do resubmissions as they have been absent.
• A day in the life of a teacher: No lunch break and checking emails at 10pm
• A day in the life of a teacher: '10pm laptop closed. I haven't got all my work done'
• A day in the life of a teacher: '18 hour day, and only 30min with my family'
• Teachers' strike: It's not about the money, workload so large 'we often see people crying'
7.30am: I checked over permission slips for a field trip I am in charge of. Some students had not returned the permission slip so I needed to email their parents.
Went over Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) requirements for the trip including students' medical requirements. Double checked bookings (field trip venue and bus provider).
8am: Went down to my class to set up for my period one class.
8.15am: Went to my whānau leaders (deans) meeting, where we discussed attendance and academic progress with hui ako (form) teachers.
8.50am: Year 12 biology class. We went over our next topic, discussed the achievement standard i.e. what is required for this topic, and went over expectations of the field trip. Students completed activities on population numbers of New Zealand birds.
9.50am: Year 11 science. We discussed neutralisation and what products are formed from this type of reaction. I went over instructions for a practical with the class. Students carried out the practical. I monitored this to ensure safety procedures were followed (I need to be particularly careful when students are using Bunsen Burners). After the practical, students packed up the gear and I asked them to share their observations with the class.
Interval. I met with a student and discussed their progress at school. I went over my expectations with them. I put them on a whānau leader (deans) daily report so I can monitor their progress and success.
11.20am: Year 10 science. I went over how to complete research scientifically: How to research; Putting information from other sources in their own words. Students continued on their research.
12.30pm: Non-contact time. I met with three students individually for 10 to 15 minutes each. We discussed various topics including their timetable, attendance, behaviour, uniform and academic progress.
1.30pm: Lunchtime. I met with a student and their caregiver to discuss uniform and attendance. We have seen some positive changes but we want to see this continue to improve. This student has so much potential and I want him to have all opportunities available to him when he leaves school.
2pm: Parent teacher interviews. I met with 11 parents over the course of the afternoon. We discussed various topics including student behaviour, attendance, academic progress, pathways at school and their child's learning needs.
6pm: Had a dinner break.
Checked emails – I responded to a variety of emails from parents and students.
7pm: I completed the marking of the year 12 biology assessments that I started this morning.
7.30pm: I rang multiple parents about a range of topics including behaviour, attendance and academic.
8pm: Relief writing for tomorrow's lessons – I will be on a field trip with my Year 12 biology class.
9pm I went home.