to think working at your childs school might be a bad idea, too many eggs in one basket

(56 Posts)
PussInBrogues Tue 29-Apr-14 13:37:30

alot of people seem to say working at your childs school is ideal
because of the hours and the holidays
i won't be working for the next few years, but am thinking towards the future

but i see some of the mums i know that do this, sort of overly invested in the school.

because it becomes their childs educators
a big part of their social life
their employers

and any upsets can be very over whelming for them

so im wondering what other people experiences are
good or bad

DoJo Tue 29-Apr-14 13:51:13

My mum taught at my school, and on the whole I would have preferred her not to. The major issues for me were:

1. She would be told about infractions which weren't the kind of thing that a parent would normally be called about, so I would get in trouble twice for things that weren't really that serious.

2. Pupils in her class would take their frustrations with her out on me come play time or lunchtime. She was firm but fair, and this often didn't go down well with the more unruly pupils who would call her names and use her perceived strictness as an excuse to be unkind to me.

3. I was at school for an extra hour or so most nights, waiting for her to be finished. There were a few other pupils whose parents taught at the school, so wee often played together, but it meant that I didn't really have much 'after school' time at home.

4. It was hard to invite friends over because many of them couldn't see past the 'going to a teacher's house' aspect of it.

There weren't a huge number of upsides that I can think of now - she wasn't there as 'my mum' so it wasn't particularly comforting or reassuring to have her there, and she tended to take my teachers' sides over everything anyway (probably rightly so in fairness). Knowing them all personally made her much more inclined to defend their decisions which sometimes made me feel as though my point of view wasn't even considered.

It wasn't all bad - she was there for all my school triumphs, even the ones which parents wouldn't have been invited to like quizzes in assembly and the like, but I think it did breed a bit of resentment on my part that I couldn't just be 'like everyone else', which was important to me at that age.

On the other hand, you have to do what works for your family and I don't think I am permanently emotionally scarred from any of these things, so if it is the only way you can return to work then it might be completely different for you, especially if you are aware of potential issues beforehand and can agree some ground rules about how to manage it so that everyone feels treated fairly.

Ruushii Tue 29-Apr-14 14:16:56

Yanbu. After working in a few schools, I can safely say I wouldn't want to know what goes on behind the scenes when my dd goes to school. That way I can at least try and convince myself that everyone is professional, likes children and actually cares about their job!

PussInBrogues Tue 29-Apr-14 14:17:33

dojo thanks for the reply
did you ever feel it affected your confidence and independance

i would worry about my dd being too overly attached to me being around or about all the time

My DM was a teacher at my secondary school. Never bothered me but then again I was never caught a goody two shoes so was never told off.
I am also a secondary teacher and won't think twice about working in tge same school as my DCs. Oh and my Auntie was a teacher (taught me in infants) so still had a family member in my primary so can't say if it made any difference not knowing any members of staff smile

secretcbeebiesfan Tue 29-Apr-14 14:27:26

I think it really depends on the personal circumstances. Would you go for a TA role? Or a teacher?
So long as you explain to your DD the difference between school and home then I can't see the problem. If you are going for a TA role then it will be great because you can leave straight away together meaning you get lots of after school time. I have worked in a school where a child in my class had her mother working in the school as a TA and it didn't change anything, the mum would simply hug and kiss her child before she entered the class and barely saw her for the rest of the day. They both just got on with their days. If the child was ever naughty, the teacher would deal with it. I am sure the only time mum would be called was if it was a serious matter, where any other child's mum would be called in the same situation.
There will be pros and cons to it, but I say go for it smile

IneedAwittierNickname Tue 29-Apr-14 14:39:45

Quite a few of the TAs in my dcs (primary) school are also parents at the school, with a few more working as dinnerladies lunchtime controllers. Afaik none of them work in their child's class. Seems to work well.

Feminine Tue 29-Apr-14 15:08:23

We have way too many Mums in our children's school.

I don't like it. I don't want other parents knowing too much about my children.

It is almost at the point of saturation actually.

Isthatwhatdemonsdo Tue 29-Apr-14 15:15:16

I'm a TA I started at my son's primary when he was in Y5. I worked in reception. I didn't really see much of him to be truthful. I can't see it being a problem.

turkeyboots Tue 29-Apr-14 15:21:26

We also have loads of school Mums as TAs. Most are fine, but some have a habit of getting involved in playground disputes involving their child. There has been formal complaints about them blowing quarrels between KS 1 kids out of proportion and but no visible results.

I really don't think they should be allowed to work with any year they have kids in.

Stinklebell Tue 29-Apr-14 15:26:47

I wouldn't work at my child's school. It's a little bit too close if you see what I mean.

I help out in class with reading and stuff sometimes and was asked if I wanted to apply for a LSA position but said no.

PrincessBabyCat Tue 29-Apr-14 15:42:50

She would be told about infractions which weren't the kind of thing that a parent would normally be called about, so I would get in trouble twice for things that weren't really that serious.

This.

My mom was a teacher at my grade school (grades K-8). Yes, she got spoken to every. single. day. about stupid things I did. I got yelled at twice. Eventually, my mom got tired of it and said if she wouldn't call the other parents don't complain to her (do you really need to know your kid threw a crumpled paper at another student?). Also, because I was a "teacher's daughter" I got disciplined harsher than other students because I was expect to set an example, and teachers didn't want to look like they were showing favoritism. It didn't help that I had behavior issues that got me sent to the office or on the wall at recess often. Then there's the issue that kids think you didn't do your own work, so when I turned in book reports or research papers the kids would ask me detailed questions about what I researched.

Like DoJo said it wasn't all bad, and I was pretty popular. My mom's class was a few grades ahead of mine, so they would also look out for me too (and sometimes my mom would hire her more mature classmates as babysitters). She never got involved in my playground bickering and let other teachers handle my in school discipline while she yelled at home. I actually had her as my teacher too, but luckily by then I had already been with my classmates for 6 years so we were all cool with it.

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 29-Apr-14 16:23:44

Princess, out of sheer noisy did you call her Ms babycat or mum.

I wouldn't like it either, home life is home life and school/work life I like to keep separated.

kentishgirl Tue 29-Apr-14 17:13:47

I think it's ok in support roles, but I know plenty of kids of teachers/TAs who get bullied because of it. Best to be at different schools.

Funnily enough we were talking about this last night. Met someone who was son of a strict teacher, and lots of the kids used to pick on this boy because of his Dad. Now boy has grown up he owns a local company and gets great satisfaction out of tearing up the CVs of those who bullied him, when they apply for a job.

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Tue 29-Apr-14 17:26:09

I work at my Dcs school. Never bothered my ds, the novelty of "we got your mum in English today" soon wore off. They also liked the availability of spare lunch money. The teachers went out of their way not to talk to me in school about their problems in school.(they had plenty, so I wish they didn't save it up for consultation evening) Dd, on the other hand doesn't like it,won't talk to me there,hates me talking to her friends.yet her teachers love her, and talk to me about any minor problems. I treat her like any other student.

wol1968 Tue 29-Apr-14 17:33:47

TBH I found just volunteering with reading in the school could be stressful enough, looking back - my DD was fine but my DS was not quite 'standard issue' and was involved in a fair few trivial incidents which seemed to bring out the teacher's inner tinpot dictator on more than one occasion. (He's not so bad now, has matured a bit, I think). The worst occasion was when his class teacher collared me in the corridor in a place where everybody could overhear, to inform me he'd been sent to the hall for snapping at a girl who was winding him up. I'm so glad I'm working now and don't feel the need to volunteer there to plug gaps in my CV.

I think maintaining a certain distance from school affairs does encourage staff to deal with things more professionally, and parents to pick their battles if anything does go on.

Andrewofgg Tue 29-Apr-14 17:42:01

My father was a teacher and for about a year my sister was in his class and it was disaster. To this day (and it was in the early sixties) I know that she had classes in his subject on Monday, Thursday, and Friday because those were the days there would be a row at table which would be a continuation of what had happened in class.

I believe some LEAs have an unofficial policy of avoiding this; so siblings have first claim and children of teachers at other schools come second. Of course that's only possible where there are enough choices. In some cases parent and pupil must just suck it up.

manicinsomniac Tue 29-Apr-14 17:52:49

I work at my children's school:

For me, the benefits are:
90% off fees (it's an independent school)
I have never needed childcare, term time or holiday (school runs from 2 months old and children can be either with me or in activities until I can leave)
Term dates fit
No drop offs and pick ups

Cons:
I don't like teaching my own children

For my children, the benefits are:
They actually get to see me which, as a full time working single mum, they probably wouldn't do otherwise.
They always know exactly what is going on

Cons:
They suffer from reverse nepotism - eg I teach performing arts and my children who are old enough to be are (naturally I suppose) very good at this. But I will always baulk at giving them the lead parts because of people calling favouritism.
They get embarrassed if I tell one of their friends off
Sometimes it seems like our whole life is the school

Jinsei Tue 29-Apr-14 17:56:57

My friend works as a TA at her dc's school, and she loves it. My dd is at the same school, I have no issue with other parents working there.

thornrose Tue 29-Apr-14 18:01:41

I was a TA at my dd's Primary school for a couple of years and I'd say never again! Some children came to me and told me every little thing dd did and said. Teachers and TAs tried to talk to me in the staff room about her which I found very irritating.

However dd has AS and she was going through a particularly hard time during the years I was there. I guess if you had a child that behaved well and was pretty unremarkable in other ways then it would work out.

TattyDevine Tue 29-Apr-14 19:26:11

I worked at my son's school for a while while he was in reception and for a short time in year 1. He wasn't old enough not to love me being there.

The things I didn't like about it was that things I could normally stand my ground about as a parent I felt I couldn't as a member of staff as it would come back to bite me on the bum, as our head teacher is a bit of a cow.

I don't want to be told whether I can go on social media (I am not talking about talking about work or school or pupils, just being on there full stop), not being able to park where everybody else is allowed to park, and a few other things. I didn't like not being able to challenge the head in my capacity in the PTA without enduring petty politics when I went to work the following Monday. So I quit. They still haven't filled my position though.

wowfudge Tue 29-Apr-14 19:46:19

I went to the school my DM taught at. Me and my DSis weren't the only ones with a parent teaching at the school as it was a large comprehensive. DM never taught me or my friends so I didn't get much hassle. There were a couple of things I did that got back to her and I got bollocked for them. TBH I think that did me the world of good as I knew I had to toe the line!

I don't think I'd have worked as hard had she not been there. She was a firm but fair teacher so was respected by pupils and staff.

PrincessBabyCat Tue 29-Apr-14 19:53:17

Princess, out of sheer noisy did you call her Ms babycat or mum.

Both. While I was formally her student, she told me to call her Mrs. Babycat. But if it was a informal question like after school, during recess, in a class break, it was mom. It was hard to do the mental switch as a kid, so I got around it by just going "hey/excuse me" or tapping her on the shoulder instead of addressing her name.

Roseformeplease Tue 29-Apr-14 19:58:16

I teach both my children - always knew I would and no problems but most of our staff have taught their own and each other's children at some point - no choice.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Tue 29-Apr-14 20:03:10

I was a reading assistant in DD's class, and then I became a lunchtime supervisor. As an LS we were kept away from our children so as to maintain distance.

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