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Teachers - can you help me settle an argument please?

(53 Posts)
olivo Sun 04-May-14 09:06:48

How much time do you spend working at home? And how'd o you sort it? I asked DH if he could entertain the children today as I have loads of work to do and a pretty tight deadline. I worked last night, and will do tonight and tomorrow night, but would like to spend the day tomorrow as a family day.
DH says he knows no other teachers who have to do so much work at home. His bf is a teacher but in a subject with little marking, and his wife doesn't work, so he does not have all the household/ children stuff to do on top of work.

I am feeling overwhelmed and these sort of comments from him don't help. I am an experienced teacher, btw.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 04-May-14 09:09:26

It depends wht you teach? KS3 English teachers will generally do more marking than PE teachers. What do you teach?

Goblinchild Sun 04-May-14 09:10:16

He's being a prat and I assume these are his children too? It's not about the workload, it's about parenting as a couple and getting a work/life balance between you, juggling the jobs, the house and the children and the being a couple balls all at the same time. As a team.
Send him to the TES forums for a browse.

olivo Sun 04-May-14 09:11:07

Oh sorry,yes, I teach secondary, MFL plus another subject at GCSE, so lots of marking, controlled assessment etc. I also have additional responsibilities which tend to eat into my non contacts at school so marking is done either after school or at home. After school time is limited as when I don't have meeting s I have only an hour and a half before I collect children.

0ellenbrody0 Sun 04-May-14 09:11:11

I work until 6 everyday and usually Sunday afternoons (primary), if that helps.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 04-May-14 09:11:18

Well, when else are you going to mark and plan your lessons?

Has he not heard any teachers ever, moaning about planning and marking? Does he live in a bubble?

olivo Sun 04-May-14 09:15:00

This was my point! He doesn't know many teachers at all, and clearly has not read newspaper or a forum. I'm not asking for time to swan off to spas or sit in the garden with a glass of wine, I just need to get this done or I'll lose my job!

Fwiw, we have been together for over 10 years, and I have always been a teacher, so it's nothing majorly new!

I have begun to think it to just me.......unfortunately, I work in a dept where no one else has children so I always seem to the one who never has time.

Goblinchild Sun 04-May-14 09:18:15

He has one friend who is a teacher, and you. That's what he's basing his complaint on?
I used to work from 8am til 5.30 or 6 at school, then from 2am til 4.30am at home during the week. Then Saturday off, and several hours working on the Sunday. I am FT primary.

olivo Sun 04-May-14 09:19:34

Thank you. I know there are rate hackers who wing it with less work, but it would seem I am probably average. Need to show this thread, I think!

olivo Sun 04-May-14 09:20:01

Rate hackers? Teachers!! Bloody auto correct....

Goblinchild Sun 04-May-14 09:22:04

Show him the whole Staffroom topic, it's full of people working ridiculous hours. I'm on supply now, I leave for work at 7.30am and leave the school when I've marked and tidied at around 4.30-5ish.
And that's it.

longtallsally2 Sun 04-May-14 09:23:02

I taught secondary English as a single person and used to allow 3 hours/day marking and preparation, Mon - Thursday, and then would work 6 hours on a Sunday. I stopped as I couldn't organise that workload around a family.

The time when I was most organised, I got up and marked from 5am - 7.30, leaving me just 30 mins to do after school. I was pretty tired in the evenings, but at least I could relax, have a glass of wine etc, and a lie in on Saturdays to keep sane.


Coconutty Sun 04-May-14 09:29:09

The teachers I work with all day they have no life.

They plan, mark, assess, plan, mark, assess all night and weekends.

It's a nightmare job and you need to be very dedicated with a good support network if you have a family imo.

Maria33 Sun 04-May-14 09:37:12

I am a teacher and I work hard. I never work weekends and I make the essentials fit into a 50-60 hour week - Minday to Friday. Why is anyone working longer than that? This is not a job for perfectionists. There is, quite simply, too much work to be done in the time allocated. Accept that, do your best and then STOP!!!! Creating a culture where we are continually managing the impossible is not helping the situation.

I think the tax payer gets good value from me: I'm a high end graduate, I do my job effectively and am prepared to work for less in exchange for extended holiday time. If they want my life and my health, they can sack me (they won't) and I'll move into another profession.

Teaching is not worth sacrificing your family or your mental and physical health for.

Guys - we need to say:"Enough!" And get in the sunshine with our kids.

I'll climb off my soap box now smile

BackforGood Sun 04-May-14 09:37:49

When I was teaching, I averaged 12 hrs for each day I worked - so 60 hours a week when I did FT, 36 hrs a week when I was working 3 days a week.
I'm Primary, and also have worked in special.
So, depending on how many hours you are actually in school, then the hours worked at home will vary.

Maria33 Sun 04-May-14 09:39:57

Oh -I'm secondary English and find that marking from 6-7 am is very effective in keeping the week manageable. I'm efficient and get a lot covered in that hour..

Ewieindwie1 Sun 04-May-14 09:41:14

Hi, I do sympathise. I am a secondary English teacher full time and at times I have felt like I'm going under. Does your partner appreciate that during school holidays you are perhaps taking more than your fair share of the domestic load? And that's fine... But during term time it's different.
Just to say this is the WORST time, with GCSEs, AS and A2s looming. It WILL get better. And don't be afraid to recycle resources, get the pupils to mark spelling and vocab tests, do reading tests then answer in pairs aloud, crosswords, word searches, labelled drawings, wall displays etc. always set learning vocab for home works - no marking. Cheat where you can: it's the only way to survive.
I think MFL gives you an incredibly heavy workload because the subject requires lots of small, individual activities. Your pupils are lucky to have you so don't feel that you are in the wrong. It's about a balance that you can live with. Good luck

Goblinchild Sun 04-May-14 09:41:38

Olivo, you are both working FT?
Are you splitting all the household jobs and childcare equally too?

Ewieindwie1 Sun 04-May-14 09:42:42

By the way Maria, I agree absolutely. Nicely phrased .

Goblinchild please tell me this is a typo!

'I used to work from 8am til 5.30 or 6 at school, then from 2am til 4.30am at home during the week.'

When working full time I would work every day until 6 and then usually do another two hours in the evening. I worked at boarding schools so Saturdays were another working day but I didn't coach sport so usually had Sat afternoons off to plan the next week's lessons. I always tried really hard not to work on Sundays but sometimes it had to be done.

mousebacon Sun 04-May-14 09:48:26

I'm primary. On a (very) bad day I can have 120 books to mark at night Our school requires green and yellow highlighting, spelling and grammar corrections and a 'next step comment at the end.

Obviously I try and mark some at lunchtime but if I've been on duty or had behaviour issues to deal with it doesn't happen.

My dh is not much help either so I end up having to wait until the children are fed and in bed before I can even start.

Sorry, not much help but you're not alone OP.

olivo Sun 04-May-14 09:48:31

I agree Maria, to a certain extent, but easier said than done.


olivo Sun 04-May-14 09:51:38

Doh, posted too soon! It is the GCSE coursework marking sinking me right now!

We both work FT, we pretty much share the daily child care, but obviously, I do holidays. Weekends depend, usually he gets an afternoon too to go to the match, I get an afternoon to work!! I do laundry, bathrooms and kitchen, he does garden and hoovering.

Have had lots of reports to write just recently, so he probably feels more 'put upon' than usual. It doesn't help that friends of ours often say how good he is taking the children out all the time. They never say it to me!!

Goblinchild Sun 04-May-14 09:56:04

'Goblinchild please tell me this is a typo!

'I used to work from 8am til 5.30 or 6 at school, then from 2am til 4.30am at home during the week.''

Nope, it isn't.
I have a son with Aspergers who was going through GCSEs and A levels.
So I'd be dealing with him, supporting all the things he found tricky to access and helping him structure and organise his work. I also have a husband, and I liked a break in the evenings to remind me of why I was alive.
DS'd be in bed by 11pm, so I'd sleep from 11ish until 2am, work in peace and quiet til 4,30am and then sleep from 4,30am til 6.45am.
Then on to work.

Maidupmum Sun 04-May-14 09:56:12


Goblinchild Sun 04-May-14 09:58:21

Antoinette, you said that you worked a couple of hours at home, I used to work for around 2 1/2 hours at home every evening Mon-Fri.
Same, no?

lechers Sun 04-May-14 09:59:42

I teach Humanities A levels, and so have a very heavy workload. All my marking is A level essays. No flick and tick for me.

I find I work every day at school (finish at 2pm to pick the kids up) and then do 3-4 hours in the evenings. I don't work Friday evenings, but often start Sunday evenings (about 4pm ish for the next week). I try not to work holidays.

However, I find It is impossible to do it in less than that. This is the minimum I do, sometimes it's more. The exam board decided in March that it was going to totally rewrite it's subject for September. So now, I have to totally rewrite my lesson plans, schemes of work, methods of assessment for Sept, as per college policy that I will have to have my SoW in place for Sept.

It's easy for people to say you can do it less if you're efficient, but I think that fails to recognise that different schools / subjects / key stages place very different demands on what is / is not acceptable!

Nocomet Sun 04-May-14 10:16:48

DD1 said she felt sorry for her teachers on Thursday. She had spent the whole day writing Drama and English practice papers. She said she'd written loads and her usually dreadful handwriting had got even worse.

She's dyslexic and her spelling and writing are massively hard work to decipher on a good day. She felt very sorry for her teachers marking as this was not a good day!

olivo Sun 04-May-14 10:18:23

How lovely to have such a thoughtful DD, no comet. I had on Thursday,from one student, 'can't I just have some more time and you can mark it next week?' angry

Same in terms of amount of time Goblin, I was just gobsmacked that you get up in the middle of the night to do it! I'm a nightmare if I wake up in the night so props to you.

SuffolkNWhat Sun 04-May-14 10:24:39

When at work (am on maternity leave at the moment) it is a minimum of 2 1/2 hours at school after school ends. Then another 2-3 hours each night after DD is in bed. Weekends I work the majority of Saturday and try to leave Sunday free but at report writing time that is taken up too.

NCFTTB Sun 04-May-14 10:27:59

I spend the whole of Sunday afternoon working (primary.) I also work through all the breaks I am not on duty and most of lunchtime.

olivo Sun 04-May-14 10:36:01

Thank you again, the more you add, the more I see I am pretty normal in terms of what I do.

minecraftismysaviour Sun 04-May-14 10:44:20

just gearing up for 2 day marking stint. had my day off yesterday sad you are not alone sad

Goblinchild Sun 04-May-14 10:45:40

So now you need a partner who understands that it isn't you being over-meticulous, badly-organised or fussing. smile

olivo Sun 04-May-14 11:23:52


aneatercog Sun 04-May-14 12:07:37

I teach secondary English and have the mark load from hell.

While DH is sometimes miffed at how much I have to work at home, it's not at me, it's at the job teachers have to do. He savages people at his work who bang on about teachers' holidays, and gives them chapter and verse about the marking, emails and prep I do. grin

This weekend, 60 scripts, with separate feedback sheets in addition to the comments on the work. One exemplar essay written by me.

I still fitted in watching "Caligula", "Never Let me Go" and "Welcome to the Punch". But then it's been pissing down for two days now.

BigRedBall Sun 04-May-14 12:32:57

Watching with interest. What about ks1 and eyfs teachers? Do you have loads to do after school and on weekends too? What about half terms and holidays? How much work do you do then?

LizzieVereker Sun 04-May-14 12:45:52

You're not alone. I teach secondary English.

School finishes at 3.30, I usually stay till 5.30 to mark or prep. I go home and see DCs, eat dinner etc. I then work from 8.30 till 11 pm ish, and most of Sunday.

This week coming I have to present to Governors one evening, which will mean 6pm -7pm. Next evening I have to accompany a student to a competition, 6pm till 8.30pm. Next evening, Parent's Evening, 4pm till 7.30pm. I am panicking about when I will write 90 reports and do extra revision classes for 6th formers. Before school maybe? I was wondering if I could take marking to do at the competition, but that would be so rude to the students.

DH is v helpful with housework and the DCs, and has been really supportive, until last weekend when he flipped out at me. He says he's worried I'll get sick. He wants me to say no to things, but what can I say no to? I get where he's coming from, I really do, but I cannot make my workload less. I'm an old hand, I know all the short cuts, I'm ruthlessly efficient in my "frees" etc. I have said no to working Saturdays, to do revision classes.

Sorry, that was long. I feel for you OP thanks [links arms emoticon]

Goblinchild Sun 04-May-14 12:56:14

BRB, the level of assessment and annotation is still significant in KS1, and in EY, the record-keeping of evidence for children that can barely write is of epic proportions.
Still marking with positive comments and steps for improvement, and the differentiation required means making resources tailored to that.

Goblinchild Sun 04-May-14 13:01:09

I think that you make a good point Lizzie.
I'm an experienced primary teacher and the decades of experience make no difference to the workload. It doesn't get easier; in many areas I struggled more than an NQT with their extra time, lack of a curriculum responsibility and in many instances, their lack of children.
Most jobs get easier with time, if you don't take promotion. Not teaching.

Philoslothy Sun 04-May-14 13:05:46

I taught mainly History, am on Maternity leave at the moment.

I worked from 7am until 6pm in school and then a few hours at home every evening from Monday to Thursday. I would try not to work weekends but often did about 4 hours.

Philoslothy Sun 04-May-14 13:06:13

I don't work in the holidays.

tiredbutstillsmiling Sun 04-May-14 13:07:30

I'm a secondary English teacher. I work 4 days so can spend one quality day with DD (unfortunately can't remember quality time with DH due to hectic work/life balance).

Typical day: get up at 5.00 am and work til 6 am. I then get myself and DD ready and I drop her off at nursery at 7.30. I then work again til 8.30. School day ends at 3.30 and I'll work til 4.30 so can spend some time with DD before she goes to bed. I rarely work evenings as more of a lark (especially at moment as I'm 28 weeks pg!) but I'll get up extra early at weekends. I prefer working then as the house is quiet.

Not sure how I can keep in doing that til I'm 68 though! Hoping to have paid off mortgage and then can go work in Asda or something!!

tiredbutstillsmiling Sun 04-May-14 13:09:04

Looking forward to my "year off" come September! Maybe that's the solution - pregnancies every few years!!

Goblinchild Sun 04-May-14 13:10:50

I think the fact that the primary curriculum changes so often, that people swap year groups, that the planning expectations and assessments change frequently and confusingly, all add up to constant revising of what and how you will teach and to which groups.
Which involves working in holidays, in order to be prepared.

MissMillament Sun 04-May-14 13:28:27

I'm a secondary English teacher. I get into school at 7.45 each day and leave around 6.15. Very often I then work for a couple of hours after the kids are in bed, although I try to take a midweek night completely off. Weekends I make sure that Saturday is completely family time and then I ususally work for 6 or 7 hours on Sunday. I am constantly behind on my marking and always feel I could be doing more. My DH is amazingly supportive and does more than his fair share of housework and childcare in term time; I reciprocate in holidays although I still work a couple of days a week in half terms and holidays. It isn't helped by the fact that my department has no schemes of work and I am new so I have to plan from scratch for everything.

BigRedBall Sun 04-May-14 13:36:09

Goblin if you're an organised person does it make any difference? Do you get faster with experience?

BigRedBall Sun 04-May-14 13:37:21

Sorry didnt refresh before posting. You've pretty much answered my question already goblin thanks.

Everyone know teachers only have to work 9-3 innit.

This time of year is especially bad. It does balance out at other itmes of year slightly - so some good days and some bad.

I did teaching degree - I struggled with the work load on placement - I remember people telling me it would get better when I qualified...I told them they were mad!

Yes Scotladn we have changed from 5-14 to c for e and now standard grades seem to have gone to be something else...I can't keep up!

Solopower1 Sun 04-May-14 13:43:49

While reading this thread I was thinking that it does get easier - but actually, I agree with Goblinchild. No matter how experienced you are (in my case, I've been teaching for nearly 30 years) or even what sort of teaching you are doing, there is always something new to take on board and work just seems to swell to fill the available time.

And someone said it's not a job for perfectionists, but teachers have a lot of responsibility and if we don't do our job properly, our students suffer. Also, it's a matter of pride in our work for most of us. I hate it when I have to cut corners - my job satisfaction plummets.

What got easier for me was that I now have bendy days when I can get up as early as I need to and work all weekend if necessary. But that's simply because my children have left home.

Solopower1 Sun 04-May-14 13:48:20

I am really sad that so many of us are working such long hours. I think it's a terrible shame.

It makes me angry too, because it is avoidable! More free periods during the day, for example, would make a huge difference.

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