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Teacher Burn Out: Should I stay or should I go?

Whether you've been at a school a year or a decade, moving onto new pastures can be a tough decision to make. There is often guilt attached to leaving students and fellow teaching staff- but there shouldn't be! More than ever, teachers are leaving the profession they once loved. Before making the leap to a new life outside of teaching, you might want to think about moving on to another year group or even another school. It could reignite that passion and energy for this most rewarding of all vocations.  Just like clouds, every school is different! From one-form entry schools , to inner-city schools to mixed-group village schools, there are so many variables - not be mention different ethos' and leadership styles. Maybe you're ready for a change?  Should I Stay or Should I Go? When answering the below questions, consider what is most important to you and your well-being. Think about how sustainable your current work routine is long-term - you don't want to be burned

Make learning times tables fun!

As of 2020, Year 4 pupils will have the joys of taking the times tables test (officially the Multiplication Tables Check). The government tell us that the purpose of this test is to show year 4 pupils are fluently able to recall times tables. As of the end of year 2, pupils are expected to at least know their 2, 5, and 10s but this upcoming test means many schools are hoping to get more pupils confident with their times tables as early as possible. Does this have to be a grueling daily task of copying out times tables with the hope that it sticks? NO! There are so many fun ways to learn times tables and for pupils to gain confidence, fluency, and speed in answering any multiplication sum.

free fun times tables multiplication test games primary school

22 club

Also known as 99 club and I'm sure other names too. This is a weekly test in which pupils aim to beat their previous scores, get 100% on their test to get to the 'next level'. By practicing in class and at home, pupils are motivated to complete the bronze, silver, and gold levels. I've seen this work from year 2 onwards with Year 2 getting 10 minutes to complete their tests, Year 3 - 8 mins, Year 4 - 6 mins, Year 5- 4 mins, and Year 6-2 mins. Each year the pupils start from 22 club (22 questions from x2 and x10) and go through 33, 44, 55, 66.. etc. I definitely recommend this as a whole school approach to times table learning because it's a timed test that pupils enjoy doing each week and really motivates them to practice at home.

Percy Parker

There are plenty of music-based ways to learn times tables and this is one FREE resource that my Year 2s love. WARNING: These are catchy songs that you'll never escape - even during your summer holidays. Also, I wasn't a fan of the x10 song because of the message “just add a zero” which is against how I and many should be teaching multiplying by 10, 100, and 1000. However, I did use this as a teachable moment with my class as we proved that adding a zero doesn't work on our place value charts.

Multiplication football game

This game (available on TES) is a printable board game of all the times tables plus x15, x20, x50, etc. It's great to have as a wet play activity as well as for pupils who have completed their work. All you need are two counters and dice and the rest is simple. Instructions come with the board game and it's fun and accessible from year 2 +.

Beat The Teacher 

Download this FREE RESOURCE here. You can test the speed and fluency of your pupils with these multiplication grids! Can they finish their grid before you? Bring in a special guest (headteacher or parent helper), can they beat them?


A very simple game with no resources needed. The first one to say the answer wins - Great as a team game or for individuals. I learned this game when I was supply teaching in a year 3/4 class. Two pupils go head to head to answer the multiplication question first and stay in the game. It was a nice filler activity for the last 5 minutes of the day. It is helpful to have all their names on lollipop sticks if you want it to be random to see who the next opponent will be. You can also have a question master to run the game for you.

Check out my TES shop for great lesson plans, ActivInspire flip charts, and worksheets.


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