A Day in the life of a Year 5 Teacher

Ever wondered what a daily routine is like for a primary school teacher? Melanie Hull completed her Bachelor of Learning Management (Primary Education) in 2015 and takes us through her typical day as a year 5 teacher.

Interested in pursuing a career in primary education? Read more about our Bachelor of Education (Primary).

“Every day for every teacher is totally different but here is a snippet of my day….”

The first thing I do when I get to work is …

Turn up the air conditioner, turn on some beats and greet the teacher next door. We have a quick chat then it’s time to make sure I am organised for the day. This means writing the daily schedule on the board, making sure all the photocopying is done and lastly…. check my emails.

The three activities I’m most likely to do with my students in a day are..

1.    Have each student state one thing they are grateful for – you’ve got to keep it real sometimes. It’s always good to remind the students of how lucky we are to have the basic things. I find this activity really puts a smile on their dial.

2.    Practice times tables every day. It’s probably one of the more tedious activities to do, but in year 5 it is the basis for everything.

3.    Read, read and read. Go over the top, dramatic, use different voices, put your actor hat on! Kids love to see you ‘embarrass’ yourself or be that little bit silly sometimes. It really engages them and gives them a bit of encouragement to put their reading hats on too.

Something people might not realise I do is …

Think about my students and what they need 24/7. You will literally be lying in bed and then you’ll think of an idea for a student or something you want to tell a student. The brain NEVER stops.

Tip: keep a notebook by your bedside for those 12am, 2am, 4.30am ideas. They won’t come back to you during the day no matter how hard you try to remember that really good thought!

Something I didn’t think I would be doing as a teacher is …

Working so hard throughout my ‘holidays’. To be an organised teacher who is ready for their students on their first day back you must work in your holidays. It’s not like you spend your whole two weeks tapping away at your computer but you do always have it in the back of your mind. The biggest positive is that you can do that work in your pyjamas catching up on Netflix, or by the beach sipping a lychee cocktail or while you’re in the park watching your doggo make new friends.

Something I did think I’d be doing is …

Always striving to make education fun and engaging. The more you build that relationship with your students the more it makes you want to plan bigger and better things for them.

Something students who are considering being a teacher need to think about is …

It’s not a 9 to 3 job! I arrive at work at 7am every day and leave around 4pm. Then I continue to do any more work that needs to be done at home, on weekends and throughout school holidays. Some teachers come at 6am and leave at 3pm. Some teachers stay till the sun sets. It’s all about how you manage your time and self.

Something I wish I knew about being a teacher is …

You won’t always get your dream job, or location on the first try. Put yourself out there and take advantage of any experience you can.

The best bit about my job is …

Having a laugh with the kids or telling them my stories. The way their eyes light up or when they laugh at you makes your heart happy.

Anything else?

Invest in some cool sneakers! Ladies, heels will kill you eventually. 

Want to give your advice to incoming students? Alumni can sign up to the 30 Minutes a Month program and complete monthly tasks to earn rewards while assisting future students in preparing for the learning journey ahead.

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