How much holiday do you think teachers really get?

(170 Posts)
Fairenuff Mon 11-Jun-12 14:08:35

I was reading a thread about inset days and inevitably it led onto the amount of holidays teachers get and I was wondering whether Joe Public thinks that the teachers get the same number of days off as the children?

Alright, they are not actually in the classroom, but the teachers I know all work during holidays (and also evenings and weekends). My estimate would be that they plan a fortnight summer holiday with the family and the rest of the time they are planning, assessing, marking, report writing, etc.

Perhaps they should be renamed 'child holidays' rather than 'school holidays' to help clear up the confusion?

I'm married to a teacher (secondary and Head of large faculty though) and I know exactly how much holiday he gets.

He takes 2 clear days in every half term holiday and 2 weeks in the summer (one week away, one week broken up over the six) and one week at Christmas and 3 days in the 2 week Easter break.

so, 24 days a year. On every other day he is working and unavailable.

I should say that this is the way it's been for 10 years but will change in 6 weeks time when he departs for an FE college - and I expect <narrows eyes metaphorically at DH as he isn't here> him to take much more time off as GCSE dd needs him more now.

itdoesnthurttohavemanners Mon 11-Jun-12 14:19:01

Lots of teaching bashing going on at the moment isn't there?!

Holidays. Oh well OBVIOUSLY I have the full 13 weeks off. Every year. Every single day of that 13 weeks. ;) in my dreams

You've got the right idea OP, I reackon I have less now than I used to in my old job for sure. Just worked the entire half term writing reports. Most half terms are spent assessing pupil progress, marking and planning - with 2 days thrown in for classroom tidy/displays/organisation etc that the govt will tell you is an admin job and not done by the teacher (big lie)

£23k a year for all this work - don't start me on my hourly rate, I once worked it out and wanted to cry!!!!!! smile (but I do love the kids!)

Juniper904 Mon 11-Jun-12 14:32:21

Same, itdoesnthurttohavemanners

I love being with the children, but they make me ill continuously (had sinus surgery in Feb and seem to pick up every single germ going!)

I have done a lot of ranting conversing on the AIBU thread, and I am meant to be writing reports today! It is an INSET day, but we're allowed to work from home. Shh! I didn't mention that on the other thread...

The more I hear about teaching the more shock that I am that anybody would want to be one. I know I couldn't do it whatever the pay, holidays etc. It sounds exhausting and thankless and underpaid. sad

Feenie Mon 11-Jun-12 14:37:38

I would like to point out round about now that teachers are not paid for 13 weeks holiday.


Sunscorch Mon 11-Jun-12 14:43:20

It sounds exhausting and thankless and underpaid.

It's also fun smile

I still couldn't do it Sunscorch. sad I definitely think it's a vocation. One of Ds's teachers from years ago didn't seem to like children very much though-that was weird. grin

Juniper904 Mon 11-Jun-12 15:11:06

I've just planned a maths lesson for Wednesday where groups of 8 year old children are going to fill bin bags with 5 litres of water... we are all going to end up drenched, I can see it now.

If I didn't enjoy my job, I wouldn't do stupid hands-on things like this.

Sunscorch Mon 11-Jun-12 17:50:54

For Wednesday?

If you're doing it outside, you're going to get drenched regardless of your pupils' care and attention the their bags =P

Clarabumps Mon 11-Jun-12 18:00:14

is this the mutual appreciation society??

itdoesnthurttohavemanners Mon 11-Jun-12 19:50:06

Juniper oooh like the sound of using bin bags ha. Haven't tried that one before. Definitely going to steal with pride smile after marking SAT papers and seeing half of class think that a kettle holds 20 litres of water

I think being an optimist must be an essential job requirement for teaching if bin bags and water and children are being planned. I wouldn't pass that that test. sad

or that test, even. grin

stargirl1701 Mon 11-Jun-12 19:54:05

In Scotland we officially get 40 days paid holiday every year.

In addition, there are 26 days unpaid leave called school closure days.

Teachers work in school and at home in both the 'holidays' and the school closure days.

Juniper904 Tue 12-Jun-12 18:38:19

itdoesnthurttohavemanners it turns out I'm on PPA tomorrow, so the other teacher is going to have to do it! <insert evil laugh here>

NiceHamione Tue 12-Jun-12 18:40:03

I enjoy every single day of my holidays because that is what they are meant for, so I have all 12/ 13 weeks.

NiceHamione Tue 12-Jun-12 18:41:15

It can be exhausting, it certainly is not thankless and not really underpaid. I live well on my wage and have an excellent quality of life.

Fairenuff Tue 12-Jun-12 18:59:54

Nice do you never go into school during the six weeks over summer, to tidy or re-arrange the classroom, or put new names on pegs or any prep for the new year? When else do you do all that stuff, in the evenings before you break up?

NiceHamione Tue 12-Jun-12 19:13:10

I teach secondary.

I may go in for a few hours one afternoon if I haven't managed to get things done by the end of the summer term.

But to be honest I have quite a lot of gained time from exam classes and I always work late after the two inset days in September , so no need to go in over the summer.

grinat clarabumps

knackeredmother Tue 12-Jun-12 19:28:14

I know anyone who doesn't agree that teachers are hard done too are accused of teacher bashing but..... My SIL is a primary school teacher, qualified 10 years. She freely admits she gets most of the holidays off. She will work 2 days at the end of the 6 weeks and leaves work by 4pm at the latest every day to pick up her dd. She rarely works in the evenings. I also have a few friends who do similar. All have been qualified a good while so maybe that is the difference?

knackeredmother Tue 12-Jun-12 19:28:51

To not too. Bloomin autocorrect

Hulababy Tue 12-Jun-12 19:32:31

I would say most teachers take no more than half of the actual school holidays - rest of time is planning, prep, marking, reports, etc. So 6-7 weeks a year. That is certainly been my experience of when I was teaching, and also of the teachers I know now in both primary and secondary.

Fairenuff Tue 12-Jun-12 20:05:22

knackered a primary school teacher who leaves school at 4pm and rarely works in the evenings? When does she do her planning, assessments, report writing, etc? Surely not during teaching time, that's not good practice.

NiceHamione Tue 12-Jun-12 20:16:11

I don't see it as teacher bashing for people to say that I enjoy my holidays . They are a reward for 9 months of long hours and hard work. Other employment sectors are allowed to enjoy the fruits if their labour without having to pretend they don't exist. I am not saying that they don't people are pretending to work those hours but I do not .

To be honest for a secondary teacher who has benefitted from gain time , I would struggle to find work to half fill my summer holiday. I don't know anyone who would actively look for work when they could be relaxing with their family.

Fairenuff Tue 12-Jun-12 20:26:55

I work in KS1 and teachers there don't get a moment to themselves once the children are in so I expect that makes quite a difference to what you can get done during school hours.

NiceHamione Tue 12-Jun-12 20:28:19

I would not teach primary for all the tea in china for that reason. I suspect primary teachers work far longer hours than many secondary teachers.

kickingking Tue 12-Jun-12 20:37:50

Well the May half term is not a holiday all, as it is spent report writing and marking QCA papers. I would say that when f/t I got 2 days in October, maybe a week at Christmas (forced to as seeing family), 2 days in Feb, maybe 4 days at Easter, and two weeks in the summer.

So 2+5+2+4+10= 23. 23 days and some of those are bank holidays!

Juniper904 Tue 12-Jun-12 20:43:51

I think the pastoral side of primary takes up a lot of our time. Also, as we are not specialist teachers, it can take a long time to plan and assess work that is not our preferred subject. I am not a born linguist (although my mother is a pedant so she has beaten grammar into me taught me quite a lot) so I find marking writing assessments hard work. I have to google what a subordinating clause is every time I come across one!

I don't know what secondary is like these days, as the last experience I had was when I was there myself, but I know primary is very resource heavy and this is time consuming. I know someone who made all 30 children in their class a HTU number fan! Laminated and cut out...

I once made my teaching practice class a loom out of bamboo cane. Took a lot of sawing and hot-glue gunning, but they loved it smile

As a primary teacher I spend a lot of my weekends and holidays making resources, marking, writing 'interactive comments' in books for pupil response (not just tick and cross nowadays), planning in detail with differentiation for each group, preparing assemblies, writing policies and action plans for the three subjects I coordinate, casting the class play, making costumes for those whose parents don't, trying out science experiments, googling to research new topics, writing evaluations of each lesson for the HT, writing up discussions with children about their views of 'my' subjects, writing reports, making notes on each child for handover in a couple of weeks ....

PissyDust Tue 12-Jun-12 21:57:24

I don't care.

Teachers do a great job and after 30 children in a class for 5 days straight I'm suprised they don't need a week in and a week out.

I'm not a teacher btw. I just think their job is hard enough without worrying about their time off.

It is also our children's time off and not about the teachers at all.

Rant over and no, I didn't read the thread and yes, I'm in a bad mood.

2kidsintow Tue 12-Jun-12 21:58:09

I have young children of primary age, so I am pretty good at keeping a lot of the holidays free to be able to look after them. The days anyway.

In each half term I spend several evenings chasing up jobs I didn't get done before the hols and making sure I am planned and prepared for the half term ahead.

In a 2 week holiday I spend half a day in school tidying and getting jobs done and several other evenings planning an preparing.

In the big 6 weeks holiday it varies. In the year I changed classrooms, I spent 2 weeks in class every day with my children in tow. When things are ticking over nicely I spend a week rearranging things how I want them for September. I also go in during the last week to get ready and get things done for my class.

I can only spend this little time because I use a lot of my evening times doing work instead. And because a classroom assistant at school is so helpful and experienced and knows how to help get ready for the next term. And because my new head teacher values her staff and makes sure that some of every training day is allocated as classroom time.

Anyway. Back to report writing. I spent 3 hours at school earlier (before a parents evening that went on til 9) and got only 5% of what I need to do done. And we have concerts galore in the evenings in a few weeks too. Oh, and another parents evening.

Pissy I have read the whole thread and I'm not in a bad mood but I agree with you. I couldn't do it, and I am just happy there are still people out there that want to teach and enjoy it.

orangeandlemons Tue 12-Jun-12 22:03:49

I worked out I have 24 days holiday a year plus bank holidays. I have to work to keep up through all the rest of the holidays

Amazed at primary school teacher who leaves at 4 and never works in holidays. How? Why can't I do that angry

I could work all dayevery day and still not get everything done.

lionheart Tue 12-Jun-12 22:30:30

I think they do a zillion things during the term and out of term that most parents have no idea have to be done.

I hope they get as much time off as they are able because they need it!

Don't forget the residential trips. DS is off to Germany next week. Coach load of 12/13 year olds for 14 hours. shock

PissyDust Tue 12-Jun-12 22:33:09

Glad to hear it sparkling.

Teachers are great arn't they. <hands out apples> smile

I'm in abad mood because I have to go back to work tomorrow (PA to equally grumpy no doubt MD)

Nicehamoione I completely agree and it baffles me. No one complains about average workers getting company cars, private healthcare, gym membership, all those perks. Teachers get none of that, yet the one 'perk' they potentially get, holiday, is flung in their face at every opportunity.

TuftyFinch Tue 12-Jun-12 22:46:21

I'm an FE lecturer and on paper I get 47 days a year. But. This half term I spent most of the days and evenings getting portfolios ready for EV. I spend at least 2 hours of my own time each evening marking. Then more time planning lessons. Lunch times and breaks are spent doing admin/planning/pastoral care.

mercibucket Tue 12-Jun-12 22:49:34

I am surprised to hear your dh will be getting more time off at an fe college, laurie! It's 37 days a year (and that's a real 37 days, so you have to go in to work 9-5 at least the rest of the time - no 'working from home'). Dh usually is too busy to take it all though. It's better than a lot of other jobs of course.

knackeredmother Wed 13-Jun-12 05:16:15

Fair and oranges, my SIL gets one afternoon a week where she is not teaching to do her planning/admin work. Perhaps this is not standard for all teachers?

knackeredmother Wed 13-Jun-12 05:17:53

Also in her school the caretaker locks up at 5pm so clearly the school as a culture of early finishes as no teachers work past this time.

knackeredmother Wed 13-Jun-12 05:18:58

Has. Autocorrect is the bain of my life....

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 07:04:39

Every full time primary teacher has one half day planning and preparation time, knackered mother. It does not even begin to scratch the surface of the amount that needs doing!

It is only possible to do no work in the evenings as a primary teacher ever if you have been in the same year group for donkeys, have a slack head and you are a really crappy teacher in a crap school. No offence.

FallenCaryatid Wed 13-Jun-12 07:15:02

With 27 years under my belt, I agree Feenie. My school locks up and I take work home then. Plus you have to do so much that is IT-related, that largely gets done at home.

ithaka Wed 13-Jun-12 07:21:36

Well, my DH is either a crap teacher or a great one as he takes lots of his holiday. Yes, he does stuff at home, but that is par for the course in most jobs - so do I.

My mum was a teacher for 30 years and even back in the day people would stay late etc. My mum reckoned the ones that stayed later weren't coping.

Teaching is a tough job, but you do get lots of holidays. DH becoming a teacher revolutionised our family life - we used to hardly see him. Perhaps because he worked for years in industry, he recognises good hours and holidays when he sees them.

FallenCaryatid Wed 13-Jun-12 07:23:27

Primary or secondary, ithaka and what subject?

Nagoo Wed 13-Jun-12 07:27:46

My DH takes the same as laurie's

I am definitely not going to think about working out his hourly rate shock 27 hours a week hmm

wordfactory Wed 13-Jun-12 07:35:58

I expect they do various things during school holidays, but I would think them very inefficient if they had to spend, for example, ten hours a day, each day during the Summer holidays, marking and planning.

FallenCaryatid Wed 13-Jun-12 07:40:33

No, I definitely don't do that much!
It's around 8-5.30 in term time, plus a couple of hours every evening.
In the holidays, it's around three hours a day through half terms and a week at Christmas and Easter. Then a week of 9-4 at the beginning of the Summer holidays, another week at the end of the summer and around a week or so in total of planning and resource creation and bits.
Still leaves a fair bit of holiday left over.

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 08:00:55

I didn't say good teachers don't have holidays. But a primary teacher cannot teach effectively if they leave at 4 every day and take no work home. It's not possible.

knackeredmother Wed 13-Jun-12 08:03:35

Feenie, her school got an outstanding OFSTED recently and she personally got excellent feedback. Perhaps she is just very efficient?

knackeredmother Wed 13-Jun-12 08:05:48

Also, of course she occasionally does work in the evenings, as does any professional. But this is only occasionally and not every night as some on here do.

Fairenuff Wed 13-Jun-12 08:12:32

Our school finishes at 3.25 and afterschool clubs finish mostly at 4.30pm. If the gates were locked at 5pm there would be very little time to do anything in school for a KS1 teacher to prepare for the next day.

And when does she have staff meetings knackered? Ours are after school, once a week for all teaching staff.

GetOrfMoiiLand Wed 13-Jun-12 08:36:10

I can understand that teachers work outside official hours, work at home in the evening, do above and beyond.

But ime every profession requires this. Most jobs require home working, doing extra hours, having to be available outside your designated working hours. In this respect teachers are no better or worse off than a huge amount of other jobs in both the private and public sector.

orangeandlemons Wed 13-Jun-12 09:27:35

I get 3 hours and teach 17 hours. I work part time. The 3 hours go nowhere, I spent an hour trying to print something out because printerwas not working.

Reprts, marking, tracking, preparing etc etc. In 3 hours, I probably manage to mark 1 set of books and do about 20 reports, and bits of preparation (very small bits). It goes nowhere

ariadne1 Wed 13-Jun-12 09:38:32

I know lots of teachers and none of them pretend they spend all thekir hoildays preparing.My next door neighbour (who has been teaching 20+ years) goes away for 5 weeks every summer holidays for a start!

letseatgrandma Wed 13-Jun-12 09:52:42

In this respect teachers are no better or worse off than a huge amount of other jobs in both the private and public sector.

I think the issue is that most other jobs aren't knocked on here/in the news every 3 days for being lazy oiks though.

CakeBump Wed 13-Jun-12 10:10:51

Actually, just to rub it in, I teach in an overseas international school and get the full 15 weeks a year. I probably do a half day's planning at Christmas, Easter and in the summer....

At reports time I do an extra couple of hours each evening, for about a fortnight.

But then, we have no silly governmental red tape, don't do ongoing assessments, no form filling etc etc. I literally plan, teach and mark.

It's bliss.

Oh, and I have 13 in my class grin

Can I ask the teachers on here whether you really believe that the average worker gets a company car, private health care, gym membership and other benefits as stated a few posts back?

Did I say I did? Most professional jobs have benefits and perks. I doubt many jobs get all that but most professional jobs have some perks, yes.

CakeBump Wed 13-Jun-12 11:06:21

I've said this before on here, but tbh I never heard whining and complaining like I hear from (fellow) teachers in any other job.

I used to be a lawyer, and believe me its more stressful, with more hours, more shit to put up with AND contrary to popular belief I wasn't paid a fortune. In fact, I earn more now as a teacher.

I hear a lot from the teaching profession about teachers off with "stress", and I tend to wonder if they really know what stress is. Drafting a million pound document at 4 in the morning having had no sleep for 2 days was stressful. Teaching a class full of 6 year olds is not stressful. Well, not in my school anyway...

letseatgrandma Wed 13-Jun-12 11:08:09

tbh I never heard whining and complaining like I hear from (fellow) teachers in any other job.

The only complaining I ever hear is in response to people criticising us...

GetOrfMoiiLand Wed 13-Jun-12 11:09:26

The average worker gets nothing like that in the private sector - you generally have to be at a pretty senior level (or have a job where you are permanently 'on') to have a company car.

For all the posts there are on MN calling teachers lazy so and sos, there are an equal number of posts from teachers saying that they work more than their contracted hours as if that is something unusual. What I am trying to say that that is normal nowadays, and lots of private sector workers are not as well treated or as well paid as teachers are.

Just casting my mind back to a few years ago, I was earning 25K, qualified engineer working for a blue chip company with a few years experience, no company car, no private healthcare, statutory sickness and maternity policy, worked good 2 hours extra a a day at work, worked on my laptop at home, always expected to have my phone on, had to travel extensively and pay my expenses on my own credit card and claim them back (usually took several months to be approved and cleared). This is just what you do when you are a professional at a low level and are working hard to climb the career ladder. This is normal. I don't think the hours worked by teachers as shown on this thread are anything abnormal, it is a nice, handsomely paid profession which requires dedication and hard work. Like I say, no better and no worse.

Well you made that statement and therefore I take it that you do believe that.

I don't know anyone that gets gym membership or private healthcare now since the recession.
A few have company cars but the tax paid on that is too high for most people.

Quite a few don't have a pension either. I don't think that making assumptions about other 'average workers' is any better than people making assumptions about teachers holidays.

Sorry I meant that genuinely, am on my phone. Ok so let's accept that by getting these potential long holidays teachers are effectively being compensated for x amount of salary - do people in general have a problem with teachers being paid more?

I'm not a teacher btw. Point I'm making is that some professionals get perks and teachers are among them.

CakeBump Wed 13-Jun-12 11:19:22

I find that a lot of teachers can be quite blinkered - I am in no way trying to generalise here, I'm just going from people I have spoken to.

Possibly they have gone through school, Uni and then back into school to teach, and I really think some of them have a rosy view of other professions "out there".

They seem to think everyone else is doing contracted hours only and living it up on all sorts of benefits. Little do they realise (as GetOrf said) that EVERY profession involves working outside contracted hours, catching up at weekends, stress and hassle, poor pay etc etc. And no, barely anyone is rewarded with gym membership and private healthcare to somehow cushion the blow.

On top of this, other professions see teachers getting 15 weeks annual holiday (and STILL complaining) and they wonder what the hell teachers have got to bitch about!!

wordfactory Wed 13-Jun-12 11:19:30

letseat then you need to come on MN more often grin.

Seriously, teachers on here are the worst for declaring how long their hours are. And not only in answer to critisism.

There has developed a culture of whining within the profession, that does it no favours.

Most of us do respect teachers. And we do know they work outside their offical hours. But when they tell us they are up every night til 10pm planning, we just think they must be very bad at their job. Or exagerating.

There seems to be little understanding within the teaching profession of how many extra hours most people, be they public or private sector, have to do. And comments about pensions, gymn membershipd etc just underline how out of touch they are with real life!

GetOrfMoiiLand Wed 13-Jun-12 11:25:26

I have quite a lot of contact with lawyers in my current role - I think there is a great misconception that all lawyers earn a fortune. I think that the high salaries are reserved for a small proportion of lawyers, a lot of them (in the provinces certainly) don't earn a huge amount at all. But they do have a lot of pressure. Like cakebump has said, if you have to prepare documents for signature by x date, you will have to stay there and work round teh clock until it is done. And that is normal.

I have a huge amount of respect for teachers, i couldn't do a job like that in a million years and it must be bloody hard work. But lots of jobs are hard work, I don't think the teaching profession wins any top trumps in job difficulty.

Wordfactory I am not a teacher! Do work in public sector tho so maybe don't have the best view of private sector. My dad certainly got private health, car etc but this is not necessarily current.

GetOrfMoiiLand Wed 13-Jun-12 11:33:05

I have never heard of gym memberships as a perk in a job (but in fairness it could be industry specific).

I had a company car for a few years, but bloody hell you get really stung in tax so to be honest it is not really worth it. And also you are given a company car for a reason - you are expected to go here, there any everywhere. So several days a week you have to work on a different site (for instance) or have to be at the other side of the country by 8am. At short notice usually. They don't give cars out just because they think people really, really like shiny Audis. They get their pound of flesh.

But I think like most people I do my job because I absolutely love it - and because I love it I put up with the crap bits and the hours culture because I wouldn't be happy doing anything else. Isn't that how teachers feel? They put up with the shitty bits of their job because they love to teach?

I used to get gym membership, not in this job though!

GetOrfMoiiLand Wed 13-Jun-12 11:39:49

That would make me feel even more guilty that I never went to the gym.

I did get private healthcare for a while, but never got ill. But it is swings and roundabouts. Where I got BUPA there was a statutory sick policy, so if you had a chronic illness you would be screwed (and of course you don't get BUPA strictly for the benefit of your health, they do it so you are back at work asap). Where I work now I get no BUPA but they have a policy of 6 months full pay whilst signed off ill. I know which one I would rather have.

Yes I agree, most perks come with downsides. Id imagine one of the downsides of getting all the 'holiday' is constantly having to justify yourself and explain that you do work in this time.

Interesting that so many people believe I can't defend teachers without being a teacher though.

wordfactory Wed 13-Jun-12 11:50:05

As a lawyer in the public sector (CPS, LA) you would get a salary, a pension and reasonable holidays.

As a lawyer in the private sector, it would depend on the type of work. A criminal defence lawyer doing mainly legal aid might get a salary and that's all.
A lawyer in the city would get a salary (high), a pension and health insurance (but boy will they work for it).

orangeandlemons Wed 13-Jun-12 12:56:41

Cakebump. How lucky you are that you don't find the job stressful.angry

I came from industry,very high powered stressful job with lots of air travel. Not as stressful as teaching.

Perhaps as a Year 6 teacher you haven't been hit by the relentless change of new GCSE's and A levels?

Perhaps one day you will be in my shoes. Teacher for 15 years, never found it stressful. Until one day I was hit with carrying 2 long term sickness absences, new A levels and GCSE's and a colleague who did sweet FA.

Result: 6 months off sick with stress angry

AdventuresWithVoles Wed 13-Jun-12 13:09:43

The teachers I know seem to get about 4-6 weeks in reality. Along with mostly 10 hour days in school time.

orangeandlemons Wed 13-Jun-12 13:09:51

I too used to be up all night, bank holidays etc.

Still not as stressful as teaching. Or perhaps junior is less stressful than secondary? (apologies to all otherjunior/infant school teachers)

missmiss Wed 13-Jun-12 15:20:56

I'm a teacher. I work 8-5.30 in term time, though I'll stay later once or twice a week - usually till around half six, though if there's a parents' evening I'll be in school until 8.30.

This half term I did about six hours in school and an hour at home. I'll probably work three-four days at the tail end of the summer holidays too. I might do some marking this weekend as years 6 and 7 have had internal exams this week.

I am very efficient, though, and make a point of not working during the holidays if I can help it. I don't teach primary, either - I think primary teaching is a much heavier workload, to be honest, and I have no desire to do it.

nymets Wed 13-Jun-12 15:22:11

can't be that bad as there seems to be no shortage of people wanting to be teachers

HappyCamel Wed 13-Jun-12 15:25:30

Ex bf was a teacher and used to spend 4 weeks of the summer holidays in Africa with Tearfund, he never worked more than one day a week in the holidays.

I know better teachers do spend more time but the other thread where teachers were complaining about a colleague coming back from ML only to off for 6 weeks shows that they obviously weren't thinking "she'll be spending all that time preparing for the new year".

magoosmom Wed 13-Jun-12 15:43:02

Any teachers in Ireland reading this?! I can't believe the hours you all work. We have 8/9 weeks off in summer alone, I spend one of those weeks on a professional development course and about 2 days before schools starts in September sorting out my classroom. I have often gone away for 6/7 weeks over the summer (DH is a teacher too).

Fairenuff Wed 13-Jun-12 16:49:08

But ime every profession requires this. Most jobs require home working, doing extra hours, having to be available outside your designated working hours. In this respect teachers are no better or worse off than a huge amount of other jobs in both the private and public sector

I would agree with this too. But many people still think that when the school is closed, the teachers are on hoiday. Their overtime is not recognised in the same way. On a residential school trip, teachers will be on duty 24/7 for the duration (up to a week) for no extra pay. Not many other professions would expect that kind of commitment.

can't be that bad as there seems to be no shortage of people wanting to be teachers - that's what I mean about the job being different to how it is perceived. I think the reality comes as bit of a shock to some NQTs nymets.

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 17:34:44

can't be that bad as there seems to be no shortage of people wanting to be teachers

Yet 50% leave within 5 years.

wordfactory Wed 13-Jun-12 17:36:49

feenie I think a lot of people who start off on the raod to becoming a teacher are seriously not cut out for it.

Of my friends who wnet into teaching quite a few had no interest in children!!

I work in a school but I'm not a teacher (I'm the one with the cheque book, so verrrrry popular wink ). Before I started this job, I used to think that teachers had all sorts of time off and didn't really work that hard. Now I know differently. They work bloody hard and it's bloody exhausting.

None of them work as hard / long hours as I did in my previous "City" job but that was an insane 90-100 hour weeks type of job.

I agree with the posters who say it really is a calling. I couldn't do it!

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 17:45:43

That may account for a handful, although it is surprising since teaching practices are very intensive. But there's no way that 50% after qualifying are not cut out for it, having passed. Workload is a huge factor cited in reasons for leaving the profession, and holidays are not enough to keep them, it would seem....

Yes, I have come across teachers who don't seem to like children very much, or parents for that matter. grin

wordfactory Wed 13-Jun-12 17:53:46

Do many teachers not pass then? I htought most did.

And like any job, you can only see who is and isn't cut out for it a little while in.
Many a fresh graduate will pass training with flying colours, but do they really want to teach day in day out? Or have some of them fallen into it?

CakeBump Wed 13-Jun-12 17:55:21

"there's no way that 50% after qualifying are not cut out for it, having passed"

Actually there were plenty that passed my PGCE course a few years ago who were clearly hopeless. No general knowledge, crap academics, no real affinity with children. They were dreadful.

In fact, the standard of teaching of the lecturers on the PGCE was appalling, so I'm not surprised if quite a large percentage of the students end up dropping out of the profession after 5 years. My dog could have passed the PGCE, seriously...

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 17:56:02

No, wordfactory, 50% leave the profession within 5 years of qualifying.

spammertime Wed 13-Jun-12 18:10:43

My DH is an assistant headteacher of a secondary school, I am a manager at a "professional services" firm. Our full time salaries are almost exactly the same.

My DH doesn't do much in the holidays (apart from around results weeks when he has quite a bit on). But in term time he works very long days (not back home till about 7, then does couple of hours after children in bed). All in all I'd say he works in the 39 weeks he's at school the same amount of hours I'd work full time over 47.

It's quite nice both of us doing different things - he appreciates the private sector isn't all about lavish lunches and big bonuses, I see that teaching isn't a 9-3 job that you only do for 39 weeks a year.

Also agree teachers get terribly defensive, but then they do seem to get a lot of unfair stick, too (not least the implication they are only doing the job because they weren't clever enough to do something else!)

FallenCaryatid Wed 13-Jun-12 18:22:29

'Actually, just to rub it in, I teach in an overseas international school and get the full 15 weeks a year. I probably do a half day's planning at Christmas, Easter and in the summer....

At reports time I do an extra couple of hours each evening, for about a fortnight.

But then, we have no silly governmental red tape, don't do ongoing assessments, no form filling etc etc. I literally plan, teach and mark.

It's bliss.

Oh, and I have 13 in my class'

I can see why you are not finding your job stressful Cakebump. I don't think I'd find it stressful either.

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 18:23:49

Quite grin

Hulababy Wed 13-Jun-12 18:37:52

I tend to compare teaching to other professions where they have spent similar lengths of time in university and training, with similar levels of qualification expectations.

For example, my DH is the same age as me, went to the same school and we did A levels together, etc. We went to university for similar lengths of times and both have a 2:1 degree and both have post degree qualifications. We both did training beyond this in order to be fully qualified.

I trained as a teacher. DH trained as a solicitor. We live in the north, so not big city type.

In my first year of teaching I earned more than DH. In my second year, we earned the same. From the third year on DH has earned significantly more than I have and the gap has increased more and more with each year. I actually no longer teach, but if I did the gap would be immense, more than 3-4 times more than me.

The gap between what I would earn full time as a teacher and what friends of similar levels of qualifications and training who have gone into other professional routes is generally rather large. Not all granted, but for most it is.

Which is why I think that the benefits of the longer holidays is just that - a benefit. Just like a higher salary is the main benefit for DH. Or the car is the main benefit for our close friend. Or the pension is for my other friend. etc...

And the only time I ever hear teachers whinging about such things is here on MN and it is always as a response to criticism - normally of our holidays, the pension or INSET. I never hear it out and about tbh. And I know a lot of teachers.

NiceHamione Wed 13-Jun-12 18:37:52

I really object to the idea that teachers are all moaners who have no idea about the real world. I also do not think that we work harder than anyone else in the world, I actually do not want to be the person who is valued so little by their employer than they are forced to work ridiculous hours .

I have repeatedly said in this thread that I am lucky to be a teacher, I earn a decent wage, great pension, immense satisfaction and 13 weeks a year off , there is not much to be unhappy about. Yes there are moments of stress but I think that is the same for most professional jobs. There are certain schools that you can work in, and I have in the past, which are immensely stressful. This is mainly to do with deprivation and poor behaviour, I have deliberately chosen not to work in that environment any longer as I could feel myself burning out. I have the utmost respect for teachers who continue to work in that environment and I accept that they have a much harder lot in life than someone like me in a leafy comp. in the same vein I think primary teachers work far harder than me.

I do think that during term time I do work longer than most other professionals. An average working day for me goes from 7am until 6pm and then from 9pm until 11 or even midnight. At busy times I get up at 5am to get in an hour or so before work and will then work until the early hours. On a Friday I do knock of early and finish at 6pm and then don't do anything at home. I then have work at the weekend which varies. I am not moaning about that because in return for those hours I get 13 weeks of holidays. So over a year I probably work the same if not a bit less than other professionals .

I also do not think that teachers are ignorant of the hours and conditions of other workers, we do not live in a bubble, well some do but not many. We are often married to non teachers and our relatives and friends do other jobs.

Most of us are highly skilled and could have chosen what career we wanted to follow. I chose teaching because as well as feeling it was my calling I felt like it offered me a quality of life that other careers could not, I would therefore be daft to say that I am hard done by.

NiceHamione Wed 13-Jun-12 18:40:28

Yes hula I earn a fraction of what most of my peers from university earn , although I have a very good quality of life it does not compare in material terms to their lifestyles. don't really care because I made my choices and I would not trade my holidays for that extra money. I also have a great pension which I think balances things out.

NiceHamione Wed 13-Jun-12 18:42:06

I agree that it is too easy to pass a PGCE, perhaps it is becaue teachers often want to see the best in people and that leads us to overlook their flaws. I suspect that many of the 50% drop out should never have passed their PGCE in the first place.

Hulababy Wed 13-Jun-12 18:44:04

Levels of stress really depend on the school you are intoo and especially what the senior management is like.

My second school had me at the end of my tether, my stress levels were through the roof and I was verging on depression. The school was challenging to say the least, pupil behaviour was dreadful and worst of all SMT were weak and did nothing to support. I was not alone in the way I felt at that school. You can search my name on here back to that time and it was actually with the support of some lovely MNetters that I actually left teaching. I went to work in an adult high security prison instead - it was a nicer environment to the one I left in a secondary school. And I was a good teacher too - have all the paperwork to support that, I;m not just saying it. But having a 13y child slam a chair into my 7 month old pregnant tummy, being sworn at, having children laugh when told the lea advisor had a heart attack (after teaching them infact), and the lack of support - no, did it for me. I actually vowed never to go in another school ever again at the time and didn't for a long time.

Hulababy Wed 13-Jun-12 18:45:33

NiceHamione - agree; and those are the benefits for teachers. Really bugs me that people feel that teachers should not be entitled to any benefits at all.

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 18:46:29

[Hula], that's terrible!

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 18:47:05

oops, that should have read shock, Hula, that's terrible blush

bigTillyMint Wed 13-Jun-12 18:47:50

NiceHam, I agree.

I have been teaching part-time and in a primary specialist setting for the past 8 years. I am able to arrive at 8.30 and leave at 4.30ish with virtually no work to do at home. I will have to do some work at home when I go back full-time in September <gulp> but still NOTHING like when I was in mainstream where I was getting in at 7.30am and leaving at 6pm and doing lots of stuff at home. It was gruelling although also very rewarding.

DH is a secondary teacher (well very senior now) and it is extremely rare to see him doing any work at home, although when he was a HoY he had about a million reports to check every June!

NiceHamione Wed 13-Jun-12 18:50:38

I have also worked in similar conditions, which I suspect encouraged me to get pregnant and take time out to be a SAHM. I was attacked when pregnant, regularly sworn at, threatened with anal rape, pushed etc. working under those conditions knowing that the management would not or could not do anything about it was very stressful. Often stress is a reaction to not being in control, you have very little control in that kind of environment .

bigTillyMint Wed 13-Jun-12 18:50:57

Definitely agree about the pass-rate related to drop-outs - there are a number of students passing who clearly aren't cut out for it, but maybe it's in the university's interest to pass as many as possible?

Hula that's horrid. Glad you found a better place.

ithaka Wed 13-Jun-12 18:56:00

I realise I didn't answer a question pages back, when I said my DH gets lots of holidays as a teacher and we see him far more than when he worked in industry.

He is a secondary teacher, he has two jobs. He lectures in an FE College and also teaches at a school for children who are psychologically fragile, with a range of additional support needs.

It is not an easy job and I take my hat off to him, but you can't argue with the fantastic holidays.

I suspect you need to have the right personality to be a good teacher. If you are stressed to the max working loads of extra hours, maybe it isn't the profession for you.

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 19:00:29

It's ridiculous to compare FE to primary teaching though, ithaka. And working in a specialist setting is still very different to teaching/planning/marking/assessing 30 children.

Hulababy Wed 13-Jun-12 19:02:16

Feenie/Tilly - yes, it was. But it's a long time ago now fortunately. I would still never return to secondary school teaching, but I am loving primary (HLTA there) - and in a year or so when DD is at secondary herself I may return to teaching in the primary sector.

SMT meakes all the difference ime.

Hulababy Wed 13-Jun-12 19:03:14

NiceHamione - pleased you also found a way out of the environment

ithaka Wed 13-Jun-12 19:07:15

'It's ridiculous to compare FE to primary teaching though, ithaka. And working in a specialist setting is still very different to teaching/planning/marking/assessing 30 children'.

Say what and hold the phone? Who says my DH doesn't have to teach/plan/mark and assess? The you people he teaches have additional support needs but it is a secondary school and he teaches at all levels of the secondary curriculum up to and including advanced higher.

At the FE Colleges, surprise, suprise he is also expected to get young people through exams and I am guessing he indulges in a bit of teaching/planning/marking/assessing there from time to time as well.

ColinFirthsGirth Wed 13-Jun-12 19:12:15

Not a teacher but I would just like to comment on Cakebumps point about the academic requirements and PGCE's.

A number of people that did A Levels at the same time as me got into teaching degrees with the most appalling A Level results. These were much lower than mine - I went into nursing.

One of my friends is now head of her subject despite getting a "U" at A level in this subject and an "N" when she retook it a second time. Another is head of her subject having gained an "E" in her subject and a "U" in her other A Level.

These people may be great at their jobs and there is more to life than academics but I wouldn't particularly want a teacher teaching my children GCSE History etc is they couldn't pass it at A Level - even if they had a degree and/or a PGCE.

Sorry - nothing to do with the holiday issue

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 19:12:45

My dh is also an FE teacher, ithaka - yes, they plan/mark and assess, but it's totally different to primary school teaching. For example, in a couple of weeks the exam season will be over, and many secondary/FE teachers will have an annual quieter period, whereas for primary school teachers it's hands down our busiest time of year.

My dh and I both teach - but the type of planning, assessing, marking, etc, is completely and utterly different. He doesn't have to teach 11 subjects for a start.

ithaka Wed 13-Jun-12 19:23:56

ColinFirthsGirth - in Scotland you have to have a degree in a subject in order to qualify to teach it in the state sector.

Feenie - thanks for confirming my husband has an easy job - I always susected it. Although the FE lecturering is his second job, he teaches in a secondary school, but I agree, it is easy peasy.

ColinFirthsGirth Wed 13-Jun-12 19:42:27

ithaka - Out of the two people that I mentioned the one that took her A Level twice and still didn't pass it, then got into a degree in that subject and then did a PGCE. The other did a Bachelor of Education specialising in the subject she got an "E" in at A Level.

Even though they did get a degree in those subjects I would still wonder why they were allowed into teaching degrees with such bad A Level results. I am maybe being unfair but it also makes me skeptical of the actual standard of the degree in those cases.

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 20:10:56

Maybe not easy peasy. But very different smile

That's what I was saying before - if teachers swapped their extra holiday for more pay, would people still moan?

Also, agree about expectations. I've hearda fair few people say they wanted to be teachers to fit in with childcare. The fact they still need FT childcare for the holidays must be a pain

snowball3 Wed 13-Jun-12 21:12:02

Today I started work at 7.30, half an hour preparing for the day and spent half an hour in the Library installing new computer system, then was on playground duty from half eight to 8.50, took register, attended collective worship and began teaching at 9.20, then on playground duty so no break,continued teaching then had 15 minutes break at lunch then had a meeting with a educational research fellow who needed information for a research project, then taught all afternoon, 15 minutes playground duty at the end of the day, straight into staff meeting until quarter to 6, drove home and had tea, wrote 2 risk assesments, one more report ( still eight to go!) and filled out 2 passport application countersignatory sections ( you can tell it's holiday season!) and have JUST finished work. I NEED a holiday!

orangeandlemons Wed 13-Jun-12 21:14:27

Because sometimes people cock up A Levels that's why. Doesn't having a degree negate that?

FWIW I failed my A level in my teaching specialism shock I had an atrocious headache on the day, so bad that I could hardly get out of bed. This was in the days before we were really clued up about medical notes from docs. Basically you just struggled in and did your best.

I went on to get a 2:1 which included a higher commendation, and I was accepted onto a masters which I decided not to take up. I then worked in a related industry for 10 years where I achieved outstanding sales and revenue based on what I knew. I was featured in the trade magazines several times

I then went on to do a PGCE. I currently deliver a course which is incredibly difficult. I get outstanding results and my subject knowledge is bottomless tbh through a combination of degree and work. But I haven't got A Level...What a bloody cheek!

I make a point of accepting students without GCSE/failed GCSE onto my A Level course if they want to do it, because of what happend to me. Someone recognised my strengths despite A Level cock up.

CakeBump Wed 13-Jun-12 21:19:55

snowball what is your point?

No-one is saying teachers don't work hard. They are saying that other professions work JUST as hard....

CakeBump Wed 13-Jun-12 21:20:09

(if not harder)

snowball3 Wed 13-Jun-12 21:25:42

And teachers are saying we work JUST as hard as other professions ( if not harder.....)

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 21:28:35

No-one is saying teachers don't work hard

Really? So you didn't say this then, Cakebump:

"Teaching a class full of 6 year olds is not stressful."

Or then proceed to swank about your easy life with 13 kids, no governmental red tape, no ongoing assessments, no form filling and 15 weeks off in an overseas school. Was that another Cakebump then? confused

My DH also teaches in FE. In one week he will have finished most of his courses for the year and will have several weeks where he will (mostly) be preparing courses for next September. I am a primary teacher. I have another six weeks full on, then will plan my teaching for next September during the summer break. He will work in college, using their computers, heating, printers, coffee, photocopier, etc. I will work in my own home, using my own electricity, printer, ink, paper, etc. I will be downloading video clips, sound files, making powerpoints, smartboard presentations, copying out the alphabet 38 times into their spelling books, writing name labels ...

... and I have a First in my degree and the PGCE was bloody hard work!

Hulababy Wed 13-Jun-12 21:47:45

"Teaching a class full of 6 year olds is not stressful."

Have you done this regularly?

Hulababy Wed 13-Jun-12 21:51:45

FWIW I love working with 6 year olds. Really love it. It is great fun and greatly rewarding. But there are times when it can be extremely stressful. Some 6 year olds can have very challenging behaviour, and can present with many difficult situations, and their parents can do also.

I do find the 6 year olds easier to deal with than when I worked in secondary I admit. But it is very different things I now deal with - the 1--% need of attention, the behaviours are different but there all the time, temper tantrums, etc.

Adorable children but sometimes very stressful situations.

Hulababy Wed 13-Jun-12 21:52:19

Ignore first comment - was thinking it was from elsewhere

Fairenuff Wed 13-Jun-12 22:01:13

I work with 6 year olds and agree they can be extemely challenging. The poor teacher spends her time checking her assessments of levels, planning the lesson appropriately, preparing the resources, delivering the lesson and then the children go to their tables to do their work which takes anywhere between 3 and 13 minutes. You barely get time to draw breath before the first one shouts 'finished!', waving a few marks on paper in the air triumphantly grin. Keeping them focussed for longer is just one of the challenges.

CakeBump Wed 13-Jun-12 22:02:28

<swanks back>

No, I don't find it stressful, usually. There are better days and worse days, yes, but comparatively stressful to my previous job? No.

Do teachers work hard? Yes. Do other professions work hard? Yes. Do I work hard? I think so, yes. Do I suffer from stress? No.

<swanks off again>


CakeBump Wed 13-Jun-12 22:04:32

Of course not every school is like ours. I get that.

Hulababy Wed 13-Jun-12 22:06:49

I have to say that I found secondary very stressful on a daily basis in my second school. I find my primary job (albeit not teaching) less stressful - stressful some days, not other days.

But then my DH is a solicitor - high salary, good benefits - but he doesn't find it very stressful - nothing like when I taught secondary, he enjoys his job, and even as a partner doesn't do as many hours as I did when teaching.

As I said before - I think SMT are often the key in schools as to how hard a job is. But also - some schools are easier than others. And also - some people work in different ways and have different expectations. Amd so much more.

How many do you have in your class? Did you say 15?

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 22:07:53

<RE-swanks>, surely?

Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 22:08:19


Feenie Wed 13-Jun-12 22:09:18

As FallenCaryatid says, I can see why she isn't stressed!

Hulababy Wed 13-Jun-12 22:23:18

13 would definitely be less stressful than 30 - infact we will have 31 in our Y1 class as of next week.

ithaka Thu 14-Jun-12 06:22:04

Well, I think Feenie said teachers don't work hard - or at least FE teachers and teachers of young people with complex additional support needs don't.

Which would explain why my DH doesn't whinge about his job and thoroughly appreciates the holidays.

FallenCaryatid Thu 14-Jun-12 06:25:37

13 and hardly any paperwork. Oh yes!
But I suppose I could have gone into the private sector and had that.

Feenie Thu 14-Jun-12 06:47:04

Yeah, would you like to go back and quote me on that, ithaka? confused I said - and I have direct experience to draw upon, since I am a primary teacher and dh is an FE teacher, that it was very different, and you couldn't compare the two. You misread it and went off on one about how of course your dh plans, assesses, etc - but I didn't say he didn't.

I stand by my comment that you cannot compare the two - that was my only point. The pressures are immensely different.

And your point was that your dh doesn't work in his holidays. Great! Well done him. Still not relevant to primary teaching - as I know first hand.

Feenie Thu 14-Jun-12 06:48:26

You will notice, ithaka, that even when you tried to draw on me to say it was easy, I said it wasn't. Just different. I suggest you reread.

FallenCaryatid Thu 14-Jun-12 06:50:32

MY OH used to teach at Oxford. Now that really did seem a doddle!

LoopyLoopsCorgiPoops Thu 14-Jun-12 07:18:31

I think we teachers need to take some responsibility for creating this culture whereby everyone feels they have to work non-stop.

I do quite a lot of work. But, special circumstances and parents evenings excepted, I never work past 9pm. I do more on a weekend so that I have most of my holidays.

I see so many teachers around me close to absolute burn-out. We put so much pressure on each other to be perfect, to do everything, to give all of ourselves. It really isn't necessary, but anyone who doesn't is branded lazy (and in line for redundancy it would seem). I'm not sure about this 'work to rule' thing, but if union members (myself included, I admit I've ignored it) were to actually only do their contractual obligations just for a short while, I'm sure this culture would change a little.

What I'm saying is, we put on the pressure. SMT can only get away with applying more and more because we let them. Everyone jumps through all the bloody hoops, through fear. If we were all to take a happy medium stance, it would be so much better for everyone. The children too. A stressed out teacher on the verge of a nervous breakdown is no good for anyone.

mummysmellsofsick Thu 14-Jun-12 07:29:46

It depends a lot on the school but my dh is a secondary teacher and in the past year took off about 3 weeks over summer, about 1 week of the Christmas break, and not even a day or an evening or a weekend since Jan, until this June 1/2 term. Things seem to be calming down a bit at last. He sits at home most evenings & weekends answering emails, planning, tracking, phoning students' parents, marking, developing resources, doing other teachers' work

ColinFirthsGirth Thu 14-Jun-12 09:10:45

orangeandlemons - Everyone is different and I did say these people could be very good at their jobs. However I do believe it is abit different going into a teaching degree straight after A Levels and and going into teaching after working for a while.

The one person re-took the same A Level twice in a row and the other person didn't work very hard throughout and was given a place on a teaching degree when the rest of their results were poor too - and only got in because her mother rang and begged lots of universities to let her have a place. Maybe a degree does negate but that doesn't change the fact I believe that these people were let into a degree with very poor results.

mercibucket Thu 14-Jun-12 22:21:30

I want my dh to work in your colleges! This is one of the busiest times of the year setting up and running summer school. He gets his main hols off though end july/aug then back on around 20th for registration
Those at FE - do you / your dh also teach evenings, weekends and summer school cos that's the norm round here. We have classes 48 weeks of the year, for instance

Feenie Fri 15-Jun-12 07:02:41

No summer school or evenings, back on 20th Aug for enrolment though. My dh works hard, but the job doesn't really compare to primary teaching. I have more job security though - but in some areas of primary education that's not the case either these days.

Feenie Fri 15-Jun-12 07:04:09

No weekends either....

FallenCaryatid Fri 15-Jun-12 07:36:27

Let's just cancel inset days altogether and get our 5 days extra holiday back. grin

LoopyLoopsCorgiPoops Fri 15-Jun-12 07:44:55

^ yes please

GrimmaTheNome Fri 15-Jun-12 08:22:35

My parents were teachers; they really didn't seem to get that I only had 25 days vacation which had to cover all holidays, visiting family, getting household projects done etc. Sorry no, I can't come and see you in the summer if I want a fortnight break with DH and DD.

I remember them doing some preparation work in the last week or so of the summer hols but dad had plenty of time to do things like paint the house - the sort of things we just don't have time to do ourselves.

Yes, teaching was stressful...mum used to come home from her class of well over 30 infants and be totally wiped out for an hour or so... but most other jobs you wouldn't even be on your way home by the time she'd rested.

Feenie Fri 15-Jun-12 14:29:37

It is very, very different to when your mum was a teacher! It's changed immeasurably over the last 20 years.

A 2000 Health and Safety Executive report found that teaching was the most stressful occupation in Britain. It may or may not have got more stressful since then.

In 2005, the Journal for Managerial Psychology carried out its own study of 26 occupations and found teaching to be second only to paramedics and ambulance drivers in terms of stress levels. I guess in would depend on the other 24 occupations though.

The Office of National Statistics reports an 80% increase in the number of teachers committing suicide between 2008 and 2009. That means that instances of suicide are now 30-40% higher than the national average. shock

The Teacher Support Network in 2008 found that nearly 50% of teachers left within 5 years - and workload was cited as the many reason for their decision.

ivykaty44 Fri 15-Jun-12 14:50:21

I have never heard of gym memberships as a perk in a job (but in fairness it could be industry specific).

All the staff at my local gym get full peak membership - this includes the creche staff and the cleaner.

Conoco head quarters used to be in town and there was a gym in the basement and fine dinning along with a luxury canteen that was subsidized. They moved out elsewhere a while back, but oil is still a business with money to spend on staff

I don't know anyone with a company car but know a lot of people who get mileage for travel and they do not get anywhere near the amount to cost them to run a car and pay for petrol for the trips they make

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 15-Jun-12 14:57:32

I would say that most teachers probably take no more holidays than other jobs. Which is as it should be. Because if teachers really only did the hours in the classroom and not a lot more they would be part timers compared to other jobs. They should not expect to have 13 weeks holiday a year or finish at 3pm for the day, no other full time job offers this.

orangeandlemons Fri 15-Jun-12 16:11:01

As I said earlier I think I get about 24-28 days holiday a year.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 15-Jun-12 16:19:30

Feenie - so why is it that much more stressful now than it used to be? The class sizes used to be larger and TAs were unheard of (there was one 'helper' for the whole school) ; there always was lesson prep, marking, report writing. What is it they're doing to teachers now that didn't apply then (I'm not being sarcastic... I genuinely don't understand what's changed so much - please educate me smile)

LoopyLoopsCorgiPoops Fri 15-Jun-12 16:45:42

Well Grimma, one big thing is data. We have to provide a full set of data - working at level, new target level, predicted level, behaviour, effort etc. every six weeks for every pupil. I teach over 300 pupils. Each pupil has to know their target level, current level and how to reach target all of the time, which means a lot more assessment than ever before, a lot more marking and a stupid amount of administration.
There is constant change to curriculum, which is a fairly recent thing. You have to teach to a completely new set of rules virtually every year, so exam board requirements etc. have to be learned, and you can no longer always re-use resources.
Ofsted has put a lot of pressure onto SMT and teachers. You can no longer get away with having the odd lesson sitting down doing worksheets. You have to prove that you are jumping through all the hoops every lesson.
A big part of our job these days is the SEN side of things. Most SEN pupils are now in mainstream education unlike before, and each will have individual, documented needs. In years gone by these were much less of a priority for schools. Lessons have to be tailored to fit need, and a lot of administration takes place around this.

A lot has changed in teaching over the past 20 years. Much more than I've outlined above. I know many teachers who have worked through that progression, and I have never heard one disagree with the notion that work loads have increased dramatically.

FallenCaryatid Fri 15-Jun-12 17:03:43

Grimma, I've been teaching full time with two one term breaks for maternity leave for almost 30 years. The job I started in has changed beyond recognition and the stress is quadrupled, the paperwork has more than octupled!
So yes. I may be a contemporary of your parents smile and if they were still doing it they would be screaming at you that it is no longer anything like the job it was.

FallenCaryatid Fri 15-Jun-12 17:06:27

I started with me, 34 children, a blackboard and a set of mathsbooks from the early 70s. The idea of sophisticated resources was to use different coloured chalks on the blackboard.
My weekly plan was a sheet of A4 paper with activities on it, and the evidence that I was a good teacher and that the children had progressed was demonstrated by the fact that they knew how to do stuff and could demonstrate it.

orangeandlemons Fri 15-Jun-12 17:20:31

But does all thsi stuff we do actually make any difference? After all exams are meant to be easier now aren't they?

Does it make a difference that every child knows exactly where they are every lesson. I think if things need to be improve it would actually be better to slow things down a bit. IME there is little opportunity to reflect or embed things properly. Sometimes learning is abut sitting and reflecting as well as actively doing, and that is what has gone. Lip servic is paid to it, but it is not really there

orangeandlemons Fri 15-Jun-12 17:21:43

Sorry about missing letters, keyboard knackered.

Feenie Fri 15-Jun-12 18:11:10

They should not expect to have 13 weeks holiday a year

I am not paid for those 13 weeks - therefore I damn well expect to have them! Well, most of them. It isn't an unreasonable expectation to have time that you aren't paid for, amothersplaceisinthewrong. grin

My esteemed colleagues here have done a good job of explaining why it is so different, Grimma, and I am too tired to elaborate! Luckily, the one thing that hasn't changed is the children, and the pleasure that comes from seeing those little lightbulb moments we see every day.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 15-Jun-12 18:25:25

Thanks. OK, sounds like the bods responsible for some of the beaurocracy need shooting. Its not necessarily 'data' that's the problem per se. I think most professions - mine for sure - have had a huge increase in 'data' in the last few decades - more performance metrics, more rigourous 'QC', more detailed planning etc etc. But while introduction of such systems engender some grumbles initially, they should facilitate doing a better job and this should actually lead to a less stressful environment. Otherwise why have them?

NiceHamione Fri 15-Jun-12 18:36:25

Amotherlace I feel quite justified in taking my 13 weeks holiday. They are a condition of my employment and I have worked incredibly hard for them .

NiceHamione Fri 15-Jun-12 18:38:59

I do not jump through lessons every lesson and I am not expected to. I woud say that on a five lesson day I may be outstanding for three of the five and good for the other two.

You need to pace yourself, some teachers do create stress for themselves.

NiceHamione Fri 15-Jun-12 18:39:12

Jump through hoops

Juniper904 Fri 15-Jun-12 18:40:36

Orangeandlemons what if exams are not easier, but teaching it just better?

I have free gym membership with my teaching job. It's called 84 stairs, often carrying 60 books.

I love my job, and I think working with children is fantastic. Days are never dull, and you can make things as fun as you want. The 9-3:30 bit is the easy part. I don't find it stressful being in the classroom; it's the rest of it that gets to me. Like spending my Friday nights writing reports, for example.

NiceHamione Fri 15-Jun-12 18:44:43

The GCSEs and A Levels I teach are harder than the ones I sat 30 years ago.

I teach better than the teaching I received and I find that my teaching improves each year as I get to know the spec.

As a student I never looked at past exam papers, I never peer or self assessed, I never had a revision guide, I never had revision classes never mind differentiated ones. Hence my students do better than they would have done 20 or 3O years ago.

orangeandlemons Fri 15-Jun-12 19:33:31

It was meant to be sarcastic grin

Teaching is much better than when I was younger. One teacher just to flick ash at us!

But I do feel that what is happening now, is ever decreasing circles. More and more happening faster and faster, and more and more ridiculous and for what? Is it all required? EG. I agree withwhat I am supposed to write, but do feel at a loss of how to ahieve it sometimes: A lesson should cater for AEN, GT, FSM, different learning styles, looked after children etc etc. But I only see them once a week for less than an hour. I also have to include a variety of activities, starter, middle bit, end bit, peer assessment etc etd.In less than an hour? I feel exhausted looking at it. I AGREE with it, but I wish someone would explain how to implement it in the time allowed. This is x 20 or so different lessons in a week.

NiceHamione - It is not just the teachers who create the stress. My HT is now dropping in for unannounced observations at any time. Every lesson is supposed to be outstanding. (I only wish that I really thought that my lessons ever were that. I do try. sad)

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