What's the educational argument for so many holidays?

(1000 Posts)
TinTinsSexySister Tue 19-Feb-13 14:59:53

Just that really.

Are there any educational benefits to frequent school holidays or are they just an historical hangover? Educationally speaking, would we be worse or better off adopting the US system?

exoticfruits Sun 24-Feb-13 17:32:08

I'm sure that some teachers take on extra work in the holidays, eg exam marking or teaching English to foreigners

I don't know any. They tend to leave teaching and do it, or retire and do it.

My DH has a high powered job in private industry and my working hours have caused arguments.
e.g. I was doing a morning's only job and my pattern was to get into school by 7.30am-teach through to lunchtime. Work through at school until the afternoon started and then go home, have a quick lunch and continue until about 4pm. He was home one day and said 'what are you doing with your afternoon'? I looked at him as if he was bonkers and said 'school work'. (it did at least keep evenings and weekends free).
He gave up arguing-just used to roll his eyes!
I was getting paid on supply rate for the actual hours in the classroom on that job. The rate goes right down if you double the hours.
He never understood that I couldn't teach properly without good planning and organisation and since that particular class were what you would call 'challenging', you had to be on top of it all the time.
When I did a full time job he found me very snappy and bad tempered! (without evenings and a whole weekend)

Arisbottle Sun 24-Feb-13 17:32:50

Morebeta I do not want to look badly paid, I think I am worth a good salary. I also do not want potential excellent teachers to think that they should do something else because the pay is too low.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 24-Feb-13 17:32:57

Actually morebeta teachers are saying that they work more than 195 days a year. If you want it formalise are you willing to see an increase in pay?

Arisbottle Sun 24-Feb-13 17:37:12

Dromedary that was me, just me and I suspect I may not be your typical teacher:
1) I have a vast wealth of experience in another sector
2) I don't plan to teach forever anyway
3) My husband earns more than enough to support both of us very well and therefore I do not even need to work anyway and certainly do not need to work full time .
4) I do not want to be a head teacher, I am quite high up the scale already and therefore in ten years do I want to be doing roughly what I am doing now anyway?

exoticfruits Sun 24-Feb-13 17:37:25

Teachers really are not helping their own cause here.

I think that the unions are on top of it and you don't need to worry about it!

Degrees are two a penny these days, and it is very difficult to get any kind of job without previous direct experience

You gain a lot of marketable skills from teaching-I have never know any find it difficult to move. They will when young-which is why many go into it in the first place.

Excellent post Arisbottle.

wherearemysocka Sun 24-Feb-13 17:38:31

Totally agree, arisbottle. Summer clubs would be an excellent way for potential trainees to see if teaching is really what they want to do. Are you suggesting that there are people who have a specific issue with teachers and just want to make them work harder?

Arisbottle Sun 24-Feb-13 17:38:53

I suspect the days when people have one career for life are now over, I know lots of teachers who have post teaching plans .

exoticfruits Sun 24-Feb-13 17:39:28

Moving on quickly I meant the post before last Arisbottle although I would say there are lots of teachers like you.

Arisbottle Sun 24-Feb-13 17:41:32

Yes, maybe I should have said not typical of teachers on this thread . I work with a growing number of teachers who have had other careers, we have all been to university so the chance is that our husbands / wives / partners/ will have degrees. So the chance is that they will also earna good and maybe even higher wage.

exoticfruits Sun 24-Feb-13 17:44:08

I suspect the days when people have one career for life are now over, I know lots of teachers who have post teaching plans

That is absolutely true. I went to a meeting for older teachers and we were told FACT -that the teaching profession had changed and it was no longer start from university and go onto retirement -people have career changes. There are no jobs for life these days so why should teaching be different? Since we are having to work longer do 65 yrs olds want to be crawling around the floor with 5 year olds?

To say that teachers are stuck there and can't get a job anywhere else is ridiculous and would you want your DC taught be a teacher who was stuck there? confused

wherearemysocka Sun 24-Feb-13 17:45:12

I am massively outearned by my partner. Luckily he used to work in life insurance and saw first hand the effects of stress on teachers, so he has a great deal of respect for what I do. He feels the number of teachers having time off with stress related illness would skyrocket if they didn't have a proper chance to recuperate.

MoreBeta Sun 24-Feb-13 17:47:11

BoneyBackJefferson - if I knew what hours you actually are working (ie paid and unpaid) we could talk about pay. It seems like every teacher on the thread is working different hours more or less as it suits them but getting paid the same. Its weird.

exoticfruits Sun 24-Feb-13 17:48:21

TAs have a wealth of skills too. I work with ones who have been solicitors, bankers ,all sorts-they do it because they want child friendly hours and they are not in it for the money. They do not want to work in the holidays-they took the job because of the holidays! Many TAs go on to do the graduate training scheme and teach, many are teachers who want to work in the classroom without the work load.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 24-Feb-13 17:54:18

Morebeta

We can discuss pay because we all work 1265 hours of directed time. Any hours above that are in the contract as "as required".

To formalise the contract you would have to take that section out.

exoticfruits Sun 24-Feb-13 17:54:58

You can get me to run childcare clubs but in order for that to happen you are either going to need to pay me more or reduce my teaching contact time. If you reduce my teaching contact time you will need to still pay another teacher

I am off to cook the dinner-since this will be full by the time I return-this is my last sentence, that just about sums it up. If the teachers don't get the holiday, they need the pay. Most need the holiday more. If they don't get it they will leave in greater numbers than they are now. Sure you can recruit -BUT you do need to retain.

EvilTwins Sun 24-Feb-13 17:59:23

DH is a management consultant and earns an awful lot more than I do. He also gets an annual bonus and share options and other financial perks. He also does "unpaid overtime" in a similar way to me. Very often, we both spend weekday evenings working. This is why I think the "let's formalise your hours" argument falls down. If DH had to clock in and clock out whenever he was doing a bit of extra work in the evenings, he would resent it. I would too. I've done some work this afternoon so that I can go to the gym this evening. I would resent being told when to do the extra hours.

Arisbottle Sun 24-Feb-13 18:18:54

*Add message | Report | Message poster MoreBeta Sun 24-Feb-13 17:47:11
BoneyBackJefferson - if I knew what hours you actually are working (ie paid and unpaid) we could talk about pay. It seems like every teacher on the thread is working different hours more or less as it suits them but getting paid the same. Its weird.*

In terms of secondary it does hugely vary according to subject and the classes you have. I teach history and mainly key stage four and five, therefore I have a lot of essays to mark but perhaps not as many as my colleagues in the RE department who at key stage four see their classes once a week. I do spend ore time marking than maths teacher though. This half term for me is going to be hugely busy because of the run up to exams, lots of revision classes, practice papers to mark. A colleague in the same school teaching the same subject but to different classes could have a different workload. It also depends on the nature of your class, I have a top set who produce an awful lot of marking but their lessons are quite straightforward to plan. I also have a lower set who produce much less writing but their planning is more difficult and they take up more time in terms of detentions for missing homework etc.

In the final half term , my workload dramatically reduces although I spend much more time doing planning for next year both within my department and across the school. Colleagues with mainly key stage three classes will continue to sustain their workload .

I have a responsibility for behaviour in my school, again it can be difficult to say exactly how many hours I will work on that, as it varies according to intake. Although I do know that at a certain point in the term I will have more to deal with.

It is also not the case that we all get paid the same , you do get paid for extra responsibility and for making a contribution across the school in terms of threshold payments.

But yes it is difficult in teaching to talk of standardized hours.

Arisbottle Sun 24-Feb-13 18:19:43

My husband also works from home for stretches, he does not clock in and out.

tiggytape Sun 24-Feb-13 18:52:34

You need to formalise your hours so they are comparable with normal full time jobs and then people would understand how much work you really do.

I think most people can fully understand the concept that books don't mark themselves, school reports cannot be written whilst simultaneously teaching a class and materials and lesson plans need to be prepared in advance. Parents don't need to 'see' teachers doing these things to understand that they are doing them outside teaching hours.

That is why many more and more TAs are fully qualified teachers. And again, this is something parents understand. The class TA is really a teacher but has chosen not to take a teaching post because they have a new baby / elderly parents / other commitments that mean they do not want to be working outside school hours in the way that a teaching post requires you to do.

exoticfruits Sun 24-Feb-13 19:07:58

I think that more and more parents must realise that job shares are getting more and more common-you earn less but you can have more time.

MoreBeta Sun 24-Feb-13 19:28:22

I can predict with absolute certainty that if the Govt forced a change in contrarts to formalise teachers hours and impose a 40 week yr with mandatory holiday work in school there would be a strike and teachers would have very little support from parents.

That was shown by the last teachers strike and the deep resentment that happens every time schools close for snow.

mrz Sun 24-Feb-13 19:33:40

because parents have come to see schools as free childcare rather than education perhaps

Elibean Sun 24-Feb-13 19:38:56

Seeing schools as free childcare....yes, some definitely do mrz. And it makes me hopping mad.

I'm sure it varies, but at my dds' school many of the teachers are there at 7 am, leave at 6pm or later, and do masses of work at home preparing. Some come to the school the odd weekend to do enrichment stuff (allotment, PTA events), all run clubs either in lunch time or after school. If hours were set at 40 per week we'd lose a massive amount of work hours, in reality.

tiggytape Sun 24-Feb-13 19:40:14

The pensions issue is different. A lot of public sector / private sector hostility exists there - mainly because the private sector pension deals are so awful. That isn't unique to teaching though - civil servants and others paid by the state attract very little public support any time they mention pensions / retirement age, let alone strike over them.

Hours are different. Most parents realise the long hours teachers put in - they see their class teachers at after schol clubs and plays and producing school reports and all the other things that logically cannot have been done 9am-3pm. They see qualified teachers working as TAs just to avoid so many extra hours.

Arisbottle Sun 24-Feb-13 19:44:54

I would strike because it would be a stupid idea . Would my classes wait until the summer holiday for their books to get marked?

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