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to resent my husband's employer?

(57 Posts)
lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Fri 28-Jun-13 21:06:00

My husband is a teacher. Generally all is well - he really is fantastic at what he does and enjoys it. The teaching part is not an issue. What I do resent, however, is the extracurricular bits that he has to do.

His contract says that he will assist with a 'reasonable' amount of extracurricular activities. As he has always been a very outdoorsy person he was assigned to the Duke of Edinburgh award and Army cadets. Fair enough, he really does enjoy these activities. Ah, but hang on, all teachers have to have a 'sport' (apparently, it seems the definition of sport is lax where some people are concerned) so, as he used to kayak, he's been made a rowing coach! Boats and water, yes, but that's where the similarity ends.

As a result of this he has to do the following outside of a full teaching timetable and associated planning/marking etc:

2 nights a week rowing coaching until 6pm
Rowing regattas (approximately every other weekend during term time)
DofE weekends - about 4 per year
CCF Weekends - about 2 per year.

In addition to this he is also expected to help out on CCF and Army camp...both of which run in the Easter holidays!

Now yes, I know I'm going to get the 'teachers get loads of holidays' from some people, however if any of you know/are teachers you'll appreciate how much of that is actually 'holiday' (especially with dear Mr Gove changing the rules every 5 minutes). I always knew that we'd be restricted on when we could go on holiday but this encroachment on our personal life seems ridiculous. I think I would be more relaxed if it was half terms, as they're only a week and arguably within term time.

None of this is helped by the fact that I have always had serious wanderlust and a lot of the places my husband and I want to go - Vietnam, Cambodia, India (I'm part Indian) are northern hemisphere which means that summer is a write off, Christmas is, well, Christmas and Easter is non existant. Even worse, next Easter is my 30th and we'd always agreed we'd spend it in India but, oh wait, we can't.

AGH! SO frustrated - AIBU to really resent his work for taking the absolute piss? I'm currently sat at home just feeling miserable about it and I can't even moan to DH as he's on a ruddy school trip to Belgium!!!

P.S. For those of you that saw my previous AIBU, I'm pleased to report that advanced toilet training is going well...

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Fri 28-Jun-13 21:06:17

Oh dear...longer than expected blush

Cailinsalach Fri 28-Jun-13 21:45:55

Yanbu. Your husband's employers sound as if they are all bastards.

I didn't read your other thread but I am delighted to hear your dh is doing well with his toilet training. Especially now that he is so involved with DOE etc.

redexpat Fri 28-Jun-13 21:53:12

YANBU. THat is quite far above and beyond duty. I don't know any other teachers who do that much. Why do they have to do a sport? That's just nuts.

Sounds like a bloody marvellous school to send your kids to though!

mummytime Fri 28-Jun-13 21:57:43

I assume it is a private school? This is the downside of private schools, especially if you don't stand up to them.

Are you SURE it's the school? Most teachers I know get to say what they do a bit more. Is your DH opting in to some of this because he likes it?

DH is exactly the same - teacher in an indie school. School seem to think they own him and that we should be grateful if he's allowed home ever.

Evening meetings particularly piss me off. There used to be a fixed structure of parents evenings being on a set evening a week. Now for a whole load of tedious reasons meetings are set at random. One week it's Friday night, the next Monday then the following week Tuesday. I can't ever commit to an evening activity as there is not a single day of the week that I can be sure DH will definitely be at home.

Does your DH do Saturday school as well?

orangeandemons Fri 28-Jun-13 22:04:05

This must be a private school..I work in a massive comprehensive. 3 teachers run DoE.

No one does clubs until 6.00 pm, and no one does stuff at weekends excepts the very very odd trip

And the inherent sexism of the school pisses me off too. Female teachers are allowed to request special arrangements on the timetable so they can collect DC from school, but male teachers can't (and end up with odd timetables to fit around the women).

LynetteScavo Fri 28-Jun-13 22:10:48

If this is a private school, he's getting off lightly.

I'm friends with wives who's husbands work at boarding schools, and while they try not to complain, and frequently say "I'm not complaining, but.....". I guess it's a life style choice, rather than just a job.

If this is a state school, you should book your trip to India, and let the school pupils know you have a prior engagement.

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Fri 28-Jun-13 22:31:18

Thank you all so much, I did wonder if I had unrealistic expectations.

therein Owning is definitely the expectation of the school, and there is no consistency across staff. The outdoorsy/sporty ones end up doing so much more. Fortunately no Saturday school anymore, he did in his previous job though. Mind, the rowing might as well be saturday school.

Lynette There is a distinct difference between boarding and day - DH actually worked at a boarding school before his current job and his duties weren't that much more than they are now. Plus his increased duties meant he had accommodation on site rent free, so he was effectively paid a darned sight more than he is now. Whilst he did do more weekends at the boarding school, they had longer holidays, about three exeats a year and any extra curricular stuff was done to a defined timetable. Yes, it was more hours per week but there was a distinct divide between school time and holiday time - they would never have trips outside term time.

Think we're going to have to put India on hold for a while - it probably will be a while too as we're thinking about kids in the next few years. Whilst I have friends who took 6 month olds to India, I'd rather wait until they're a bit older and can appreciate it properly.

orangeandemons Fri 28-Jun-13 22:32:07

And that is downright blatant sexism and should be bloody reported to the equal opportunities people. Everyone has the right to request that not just women.

Is this some kind of 1970's place he works in. All the men doing macho sports stuff, and all the little women scuttling off to pick up dcs

Cannot believe this is allowed to happen in this day and age....but I guess that's what you get when you work in private school

Chottie Fri 28-Jun-13 22:37:20

It does seem a lot of extra work to me too.

SisterMonicaJoan Fri 28-Jun-13 22:52:20

Cailinsalach I didn't read your other thread but I am delighted to hear your dh is doing well with his toilet training. Especially now that he is so involved with DOE etc.


HormonalHousewife Fri 28-Jun-13 23:00:31

I would expect this from my childrens teachers.

Sorry but I would <shrug>

So we are talking about 2 nights till 6pm wow and about 24 out of 52 weekends ?

The state system is your alternative if you / he are not that committed. No, that sounds awful, as I would have thought state school teachers are fully comitted to their schools too, its just that mayvbe they dont have the same opportunity.

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Fri 28-Jun-13 23:08:37

HormonalHousewife Yes we are talking about 2 nights a week of scheduled activities from 8am-6pm. That does not include the 3-4hrs per night DH spends marking that days work and planning for the next day's activities. It's certainly not a question of 'commitment', if anything that's part of the problem as he's incredibly dedicated. What gets me is the school's abuse of that commitment and the unfair way in which some staff have absolutely no time to themselves and others get away with bugger all.

He's worked in the state sector too but was fed up of spending a large chunk of his time on crowd control and rather than teaching. I wish it weren't the case but sadly the smaller class sizes in the IND sector mean that this isn't as much of an issue from the girl who very proudly went to state school and wishes there wasn't such a divide

Hormonal - without wanting to turn this into a competition, my DH works 8-5.30 mon - Fri, 8-4 on Saturdays in term time, has 1 or 2 evening meetings 7-9 or 7.30-10 most weeks and most non meeting nights does school work for 1-2 hrs after the DC are in bed.

Yes it's great that teachers are committed - but it's shit being the DP and and having your life dictated by the demands of your partner's demanding job.

Mimishimi Sat 29-Jun-13 10:27:53

Does he get the summer holidays off? Can you go then?

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 29-Jun-13 10:42:50

Agrees with hormonal housewife. My DH works 8am - 9ish every day and is working right now. Regularly expects to give up at least half his weekends to work. And takes only about five weeks holiday a year. If classes are smaller than in the state sector why is your dh spending 3-4 hours a night every night marking and planning. We know a couple of secondary teachers - one maths; one geography. Both say they have to plan and mark. Both say that once you have prepped a lesson on Trig or rock formation you have prepared it and can teach it year after year with the odd tweak.

cricketballs Sat 29-Jun-13 12:23:55

married - its not the same with all subjects you know - my subject changes on nearly a yearly basis in terms of the areas I have to teach.

In defence of geography and maths; the constant changing of specifications means that yes, whilst you have the basis done, you not only have to change it depending on the children you are teaching at that time but also the different expectations from the exam boards, Ofsted etc etc

lurkerspeaks Sat 29-Jun-13 12:39:57

This is part of the job. Private sector = huge amount of extra-curricular stuff expected.

If you don't like it you need to talk to your DH about moving somewhere it isn't so expected (state sector) but presumably that will also have downsides.

I hate to break it to you but most demanding jobs (teaching/ law/ medicine etc) have a tendency to break into what would be classified as "social" time. Only people who work clock on clock off jobs don't have such intrusions. The downside - they tend not to be paid very much or get much job satisfaction.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 29-Jun-13 12:55:31

Yes I expect this from DD's teachers, but then I work 8.30 to 7pm three days a week 48 weeks of the year and 26 weekends per year. I work overnight 1 night a week too and only get 28 days holidays. It's worse than some jobs better than others.

ComtessedeFrouFrou Sat 29-Jun-13 13:00:26

I think it's unreasonable that ALL teachers at the school are expected to put this much extra in - surely that's their choice. It would be interesting to know how much of this was discussed/made known at the interview stage. Surely, as in other sectors, it should be up to those who are keen in an area/particularly ambitious or whatever to put the extra in and be rewarded accordingly and those who aren't, don't get the additional pay or promotion?

While a certain amount of "extra-curricular" stuff is expected in my job (also a demanding professional job), it's up to you whether you want to progress by putting in the hours. My DH does (he's in the same field) me, not so much. And proportionately, my DH is more rewarded than me.

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Jun-13 21:02:15

So how much holiday does your DH actually get, OP? How many days of the year doe he not work at all?

Pitmountainpony Sat 29-Jun-13 22:32:25

You poor thing. Unreasonable of the school. I know how hard teachers work.

HollyBerryBush Sun 30-Jun-13 05:43:04

I think it depends on the school. One up the road from us demands every teacher is involved in at least one hour of extra curricular activity every night after school. That is why it is rated outstanding. I have no idea when they have all their departmental and SLT meeting though, obviously after that.

Again, another school regularly has a full(ish) car park at 7am and 7pm - these are staff cars, not visitors. But that is the way of that particular academy chain - work shall not be taken home, it will be done on premises.

DofE - ours is run by a TA with some teaching support. They get handsomely paid for it the TLR (TRL?) is £200 a month.

Trips, majority are run by the PE department who seem to view them as a cheap holiday. In fairness, the PE department gets away lightly in comparison to other department who have an insufferable amount of marking and planning to do BUT they do end up losing their evenings ferrying to an from inter-school events.

The Maths and English departments lose most of their holidays running intervention lessons - but they are paid an hourly rate for doing so. Both departments are run by workaholics.

There is a bit of a fight every year as to who gets the 2 weeks summer club jolly, again hourly rates paid.

Teachers get paid for 52 weeks a year. Of that 13 weeks is holiday - I would imagine our staff get a full 6-8 weeks of that - but they are handsomely paid for the 5-7 weeks they are conducting school activities.

ravenAK Sun 30-Jun-13 05:58:04

Nice wiggle to give a TLR for running DofE - there's pretty strict rules & it usually wouldn't be allowed.

I'm on our pay committee & we've just tried quite hard to sort out a TLR for two staff members for completely re-vamping the House system. They're both putting in a silly number of extra hours. TLR not permitted, as no direct, measurable effect on teaching & learning.

Teachers get paid for 1265 hours, worked over 39 weeks, but paid over 52, in 12 monthly payments, to make everyone's budgetting easier. We honestly don't get 13 weeks of paid holidays!

2children2cats Sun 30-Jun-13 06:09:53

I'll join you... My dh is a teacher at a boarding school and I never see him in term time. He is a fantastic teacher and the boys are very lucky to have him. He never says no to anything he is asked to do as far as I can tell!
CCF camps encroach on the Easter and summer holidays plus at least 2 weekends per term. His sport is twice a week plus 3 other Saturdays per term (supposedly on a rota but it always seems to be his turn! The task times and mock interviews are incessant, the subject specific clubs are twice a week after prep (called something even posher at this posh school!), then there is boarding duty til 11.30 once a week. The requests to supervise quizzes and discos blah blah blah. Yes he gets lovely holidays where he only needs to do a bit of work each week to keep things ticking over but we NEVER see him- he is off on a school trip today, worked til 9 last night. The man didn't even take paternity leave. He really doesn't get paid enough!!

HollyBerryBush Sun 30-Jun-13 06:16:22

My salary is advertised at an annual rate, but in reality I only get 41/52ths of that - paid over 12 months - hang on, I'm not getting any holiday pay am I? hmm

Whereas a teachers salary is not chopped by 3 months hmm

Having said that - I go in voluntarily to check my post etc over the holidays, at least once a week and I can see me working a large proportion of the summer holidays this year too, that's the down side of academies - you have to be seen to be a team player and proactive. The Head loves me

teacher123 Sun 30-Jun-13 06:26:49

And this is why I left my previous school. My life was not my own. I teach music and have a huge extra curricular burden on my timetable, with all the concerts, performances, chapel services, assemblies, open days, school productions etc. THAT'S fine, I knew that was what I signed up for. What I couldn't bear was the pressure to do 'other' things, that I had no choice over. I taught 6 days a week for 5 years, did at least two evenings until 10pm a week, plus church services on Sundays. I had no life. I realised post-DS I had to move. My new job is MANIC for the three days a week I'm there; but so much better.

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Sun 30-Jun-13 06:45:30

Wow, I thought this thread had gone quiet!

HollyBerryBush that doesn't sound particularly fair!

DH's subject is one that has very few 'core' aspects and, as they invariably end up changing the modules that aren't, his lessons arguably vary more than, say, a maths teacher's might. Plus, as it's essay based, marking is rather involved.

I think what gets to me is the lack of consistency and organisation. I work in a very demanding, technical.role in thr city. In theory I work 8-6 every weekday with 5 weeks holiday a year. The reality is that I regularly exceed those hours, am always working during my commute and checking emails constantly. However, that it my choice and my employer wouldn't think any less of me for not doing it, but they do appreciate thr extra effort I put in.

For DH, however, the beauty of that vague statement 'reasonable' combined with each of the extracurricular activities bring run by a different person, means that there is no one person who takes an overview and says 'hang on, this person's doing loads and someone else is doing bugger all'. The result being an unfair system where teachers have very little backing to refuse or point out that this is unfair for risk of being seen as difficult.

Yes, if you add up.DH's pure 'holiday' then I guarantee it would be more than mine, though we're only talking a couple of weeks. The trade off us that it's the same weeks every year and that's fine, but I do really resent the school feeling they can dictate/encroach on it even more. Evenings and weekends: fair game as with any other career, but please steer clear of school holidays (i'd even be more relaxed about them pinching half term) or at least make it fair across the board.

Tailtwister Sun 30-Jun-13 07:02:48

I'm guessing that this is a private school? They do seem to expect a lot of extra curricular work from their teachers it seems. Are there advantages to him being there too? Higher salary, fees paid for your children?

I suppose he could always look at the moving into the state sector?

There's always a trade off with these things and it's no different in other professions. I guess you have a choice to change things if you want?

HollyBerryBush Sun 30-Jun-13 07:24:22

I'm not going to make my self popular here within the teaching fraternity - especially those who have had longevity in the profession (say 20+ years).

The revolution in teaching is what the city, well all businesses, the civil service and local government, went through 20-25 years ago. The whole accountability factor, streamlining, adherence to budget, value for money, performance pay, target setting.

It's all come as a bit of a shock to the more mature members of the profession unless they have come to the profession later in life and are used to working for corporate entities. The NQTs can deal with it because they have youth on their side and they know no different ethos!

Personally I am not a lover of box ticking for box ticking sake. last week they expected me to start managing my budget - I tend to look at it, see if there is any money and spend some grin. I have been presented with a spread sheet. I do not like spread sheets. We have a finance department to look at spread sheets. >sigh<

But in the 7 years I have spent in education, I can see how lacsidaisical (sp) schools were run with regards to money. There were no schools in this borough that were not in deficit, varying from 800K to 1.5mio - dreadfully slapdash management with the borough bailing out time and time again. With accountability comes paperwork which teacher have no time to do - so you have the rise of the admin staff, who now outnumber teachers where I work.

EDMNWiganSalfordandBlackpool Sun 30-Jun-13 07:36:11

Will he be expected to do all these rowing hours over winter too? Ours local one only row Easter to August.

It does sound high burn out. In my old job I worked 11am to 11pm six days a week with only Sunday off and you were not allowed to take holidays until end of run. It was bloody hard.

Startail Sun 30-Jun-13 07:52:58

I did support work at an indi school and my HOD was looking for a new job because they wanted him to do some sort of sport every SAT afternoon as well as teach SAT mornings. They totally took the piss.

orangeandemons Sun 30-Jun-13 08:58:10

I work in ousted outstanding secondary. No one is expected to run after school clubs for an hour

chesterberry Sun 30-Jun-13 10:03:38

Is there no way he can explain to his employers that it is a milestone birthday for you and you want to travel to India, and Easter is the only reasonable time to go, and ask for the school to find somebody else who can lead the camps? Easter is nine months away so it would be plenty of time for the school to find somebody to stand in and for him to train them or whatever. Alternatively they might be able to move the camps to a half-term. It's not like it would be every year and as he would be giving so much notice the school might be able to sort something else? Surely it would at least be worth him asking, as the camps are extra-curricular and so not part of his contracted hours?

Picturepuncture Sun 30-Jun-13 10:17:22

This is the trade off of independent schools.

They want his life. (And yours if you're willing to give it)

In return they will educate your children for a reduced rate, pay him handsomely, feed him for free for the vast majority of the week and if you're lucky pay your accommodation costs.

It is very much a vocation. And you either love it as a family, or it will destroy you, that's very much a choice you have to make.

<writes this, sitting in my school owned house, having waved DH off for a 3 week school trip to India on Friday, currently taking a break from the work emails- new timetables for sept have been distributed this morning- yep it's Sunday, might go and watch the firsts plays the seconds in a friendly cricket match later>

Musicaltheatremum Sun 30-Jun-13 10:22:18

EDMN as the mum of a rower it is an all year round sport. His school train every day except Friday and Sunday. It is the biology teacher who runs it with the help of an external coach. Unless the water is frozen (quite common on a small canal in Edinburgh) they are out in it. Or doing land training. There have been several regattas this term and even one coming up in July which is holidays for us. This teacher is single with no children. They are very committed but as an independent school I would expect this. It would be hard on a person with children though.

HiggsBoson Sun 30-Jun-13 10:35:59

Do you wok OP?

Most of us never get to go to India or anywhere else for that matter, so I'm finding it hard to sympathise with you there.

HiggsBoson Sun 30-Jun-13 10:36:27

*work ffs, although I'm sure you cook a mean stir-fry grin

LEMisdisappointed Sun 30-Jun-13 10:41:31

Sorry but YABU i am assuming he is well paid for you to even be considering these worldwide adventures. I guess you have to work for what you have and make sacrifices.

antimatter Sun 30-Jun-13 11:02:54

yes, OP said she works full-time in the city
I myself would expect a childless professional couple in their late 20's to be able to afford a holiday in India

DumSpiroSpero Sun 30-Jun-13 11:05:49

When my DH was at his previous school, he did 7am-7.30pm/4 days on/off, 3 evenings a week as a houseparent and 3 sessions of sports coaching a week, plus half of the summer hols - and he was support staff, not even a teacher!

There are more expectations in the private sector, especially with boarding - I agree with someone upthread who said it's a lifestyle choice to a degree. Tbh I miss it as they were very good at involving the families of the staff (we even held our wedding reception there!), but obviously your circs are very different.

For the most part, I think it's a case of having to suck it up, but I do think you've a case to sort something out so you can do your trip next Easter. Even state schools can permit staff to take term time hols in exceptional circumstances, so unless your DH's contract specifically states that he will give up x days of the Easter holiday for a specific purpose I can't see that with this amount of notice he would be UR to ask them to make alternative arrangements for that trip.

LEMisdisappointed Sun 30-Jun-13 11:10:44

You don't say if your DH resents his employers, maybe he quite likes doing the extra curricular stuff.

JRY44 Sun 30-Jun-13 11:42:27

I work in the state sector teaching English. Two nights I do intervention until 5 and one night Drama Club. I also have to fit in detentions. Easter School, May Half Term GCSE intervention for 3 days, Summer School for two weeks, intervention weekends x 3, School play weekends x 2 .... The list is endless.

Whether private or state the expectations go far beyond the teaching hours - no mention yet of the amount of time marking or doing PPA. AYBU? Maybe - but he will have had to agree to the Easter trip .... So maybe he wants to go?

6 o clock finish. OMG horrendous! Seriously?!

kungfupannda Sun 30-Jun-13 11:46:29

Have they given him any coaching training?

Rowing is an extremely complicated technical sport and developing children need to be particularly careful that they are getting things right.

I have a rowing instructor's award and I have coached children before. It's not just a question of chucking them in a boat and letting them get on with it.

If they haven't invested the time and money in having your husband properly qualified then they are being very unfair to both him and the pupils, and placing themselves at risk of criticism if a child is injured.

kungfupannda Sun 30-Jun-13 11:47:50

Musicaltheatremum - I am very familiar with said small canal in Edinburgh....

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 30-Jun-13 14:57:41

Yanbu. It sound like a shit job all things being considered. He shoud look around to move school.

Xiaoxiong Sun 30-Jun-13 15:09:52

OP my DH is in the same position, with Saturday school during termtime as well as being away on trips for weeks in the school holidays - but after 7 years has the option to apply for a sabbatical for a term, or alternatively do a swap with a teacher from another school. Most people here take either plan to take the summer or the autumn term off and combine with the summer holidays to have a clear 6 months to go travelling or do whatever they want. Is that an option at DH's school at all?

PurplePotato Sun 30-Jun-13 16:01:34

YANBU. We are in the same position, OH works at a boarding school is head of dept, does games, works Saturdays, and is in fact there right now running a bl**dy rounders match. Last weekend we were invited to drinks at school. It was DS2's birthday, and so I politely declined as we already had plans. OH was told about two hours beforehand that it wasn't optional for him, and so off he went sad There are times when I really really hate it. This week is the last week of term and he will be at school until 9 or later every evening for "fun" activities.

He's been doing this for 25 years now and is permanently knackered. Our plan is to wait until our youngest has left school and then bugger off to another country where the pay is better (and possibly tax free), and use that as a base to travel.

I'm amazed that some private schools get away with what they do. The pay isn't great compared to state (certainly not if you convert it to an hourly rate), and we don't get any other benefits (like free or subsidised housing for example). There is also a LOT less non-contact time for teachers.

The plus side is the small classes, which my OH really loves teaching, and I think the willingness of most of the staff to get involved, and the resulting team spirit is very rewarding. But I couldn't do it.

PurplePotato Sun 30-Jun-13 16:14:16

OP I should add that your OH is very lucky to HAVE a contract specifying his "reasonable" extra curricular activities. My OH has been waiting for a contract ever since he started working at his current school ten year ago!

Xiaoxiong Sun 30-Jun-13 16:19:16

Purple the fact that they won't give him a contract is terrible - how do they justify that??

teacher123 Sun 30-Jun-13 17:04:10

These schools rely on a quite extraordinary amount of goodwill from staff and their families. My job was not particularly well paid, and although yes the perks were good but the school OWNED you. There is also a massive culture of presenteeism. You are made to feel terrible if there are things that you cannot attend due to other commitments even if they are on weekends or evenings and are not things like parents evenings etc which are of course compulsory. Contracts are often unclear or not forthcoming and skate over the issue of extra curricular commitments. I LOVED my old job, but once I had DS I realised I couldn't work there anymore. It is incompatible with family life unless you are prepared to put that second for 8/9 months per year.

PurplePotato Sun 30-Jun-13 17:25:45

Xiaoxiong, I suspect OH hasn't pursued it terribly hard, to be honest. He's also only had two appraisals in ten years, which I find shocking! And teacher123, yes that's my point. I hate it because I feel as though school expect OH to put us (me, the children), second. OH likes his job, but it impinges on our family life in a way that it shouldn't.

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