Why teachers don't like Wednesdays

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The Independent Online

If a teacher were to rewrite the lyrics of the Boomtown Rats' hit "I Don't Like Mondays", it would probably be renamed "I Don't Like Wednesdays". Research published yesterday showed that unruly pupils are at their worst on Wednesday mornings, between morning break and lunchtime.

The finding emerges from a survey of 15,000 teachers carried out by Les Kennedy, a history teacher and executive member of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers. He presented his findings to the union's annual conference at Scarborough yesterday.

Teachers were asked to record the time and details of any incident and the age of the pupils concerned – although not the gender. Mondays and Fridays were the calmest with a reduction in the level of abuse aimed at teachers. Wednesday was by far the worst, with the morning low point for behaviour continuing into the afternoon.

Mr Kennedy had two theories for the midweek malaise: first, by the time Wednesday break-time came along, the pupils had been in school for two days with no end in sight to the week; second, he believed it was significant that the worst period came after pupils had filled themselves with fizzy drinks, and all the additives they contain, at break.

Wednesday mornings were "not a good time to be teaching anywhere between year nine and year 11 [ages 14 and 16]", Mr Kennedy said.