what is like being a teacher

(20 Posts)
jfrankcom Thu 30-Jan-14 07:39:09

I get up at 6.30 and arrive at work at 08.15. I have meetings informing us about essential news regarding particular students until 08:45 and then see my tutor group of 20 students at 08:45 until 09:00. I then teach for two hours until 11. I get a 20 minute break and then I teach for another two hours until 13:20. I then get a half hour break before teaching again for two more hours, finishing at 15:50. I then spend about two hours in the office either planning lessons the next day or being compelled to do some sort of training session or filling in forms and spread sheets regarding student progress. I might also have to supervise detentions. At about 6pm I go home and then do at least an hours marking every evening. I am on a zero hours contract and get paid about £8 an hour. During my working day I actually sit down for less than an hour throughout the whole 8:15 to 15:50 time period, unless I am doing break duty that day, when I do not sit down at all - not even once. As things stand most teachers get no time to plan lessons... we have to copy other people's lessons because we simply do not have the time. We have no job security. I have a 1st Class degree with honours, I'm 38 and I have recently started suffering from migraines. I am not a socialist, I do not believe in striking. I believe in delivering quality and invigorating lessons for our children, but I am certain that the proposal to extend the school day to 18:00 (with children there until that time) and cut the school breaks will drive even the most committed teachers out of the profession. Something has to give and we need time off to mark work and plan lessons.

newbiefrugalgal Thu 30-Jan-14 07:41:37

It sucks doesn't it

If you're on a zero hours contract and paid £8 an hour you need to find another job! Do you get paid planning time?

jfrankcom Thu 30-Jan-14 07:45:02

no. I get paid until 4pm. Everything after that is unpaid over time. We have no choice but to do it though because, obviously, if we do not plan lessons there are no lessons and if we do not mark work there is no progress. I was meant to be a teacher. I am good at it and the kids learn from me... but the job is only just about possible as things are. I was going to vote for the Tories because I am impressed about how they have managed the economy... but I cannot vote for professional suicide. The best teachers WILL quit and the children will suffer. I seriously do not think they can concentrate until 6pm anyway...

What it is like being a teacher:
I work similar hours to the op
I have a good salary and regular holidays
I work with some of the most entertaining people you could describe - teenagers
I am honoured to be able to have an influence on their lives
Yes it's tough and yes it's getting tougher, but I love it.

If you can't say anything positive about it maybe you should explore alternatives?

jfrankcom Thu 30-Jan-14 07:46:04

I have to go work now...

X post. Your second one sounds a bit more positive but why on earth are you not on a proper contract?

MandMand Thu 30-Jan-14 07:52:17

Is 8 pounds an hour the rate in your contract, or what it actually works out at for the extra hours you put in over and above what you're contracted to do? It seems awfully low, I'm on a zero hours contract at a University, but get nearly 12 pounds an hour, plus get paid for admin and training time.

PurpleAlert Thu 30-Jan-14 08:58:40

What it's like for me- specialist teacher
Arrive at 8. Prepare materials for the morning
Pupils arrive at 8.40
9-10.20 specialist teaching with small group
10.20-40 1-1 session with pupil
10.40-11- quick drink and prepare for next lesson
11-12 specialist teaching with small group
12-1 5 mins for lunch, 15 mins to catch up with my team ( there are five of us altogether) then lunchtime music club
1-2 specialist teaching with small group + a few NT pupils from mainstream
2-3.15monitoring or supporting in mainstream
3.30- 5 meeting
5-6.30 preparation( although only four pupils in a group- work is individually planned so can take longer than planning for a class of 30)
Evening - an hour prep for music clubs at home.

The three days I work are this full on. I also prep on one of my days off- usually for my music responsibility ( I run three lunchtime and one after school club)

I work around 35 hours a week ( which is more than directed time for a FT teacher.)

I get very annoyed with people who go on about what an easy life teachers have.

I get peed off with the constant close scrutiny I have to endure from SMT especially as they have absolutely no experience or qualifications to teach the very specialised area I work in. My pupils achieve more highly than any in our county (with same SN)and beyond - leave me alone I know what I'm doing! angry

BUT...
I love the pupils I work with-over the four years they are with us we develop a very strong bond with them and their families.

I love the enthusiasm of my little music players who come in at lunch time to get out of the cold practise their squeaky recorders and glockenspiels!

As an experienced teacher with additional masters level qualification in my area of expertise I get paid well ( my salary is around the same as the average full time wage)

I usually do spend some of my holidays working but still get more time off than the average Joe.

I LOOOOOVE my job. grin

sassytheFIRST Thu 30-Jan-14 09:06:40

£8 an hour is TA rates - unless you are spreading it out across your planning/prep time which isn't how our salary works. To compare, I earn about £30 per teaching hour (top of main scale, UPS3, no TLR). You need a new post if your employers are abusing you in this way.

My experience of teaching is what ATruth says, with the addition of a good pension at the end of it (t&c have been eroded, but it is still a decent pension compared to many in private sector).

Cerisier Thu 30-Jan-14 13:42:04

Another teacher here. You need to find another school, one where you are appreciated and not financially taken advantage of.

My job is busy, but I enjoy the subject and my students and colleagues are fab. I am well rewarded and have great holidays.

I also love my job grin.

LoopyDoopyDoo Thu 30-Jan-14 13:55:26

I get up at 6.15 and get to work at 8.
I have a cup of coffee, get stuff ready, sometimes read the news online. Chat with colleagues.
Tutor group and teach, with teaching 15/25 lessons with HoD time allocation.
I don't take work home. Sometimes I do research online, but not work.
I have very little data or bureaucracy to do.
Once a week I have a meeting. 3 x duties. 1 x after school club.
The kids are lovely and classes are small. Staff lovely too. Great resources.
Often get time to sit and chat to colleagues.
I leave at 4 most days.
I get paid well, have great holidays and perks like housing paid for, free private education for my kids, family international flights.

I work in an international school. In the UK state system, I did easily 2-3 times as much work. This is perfect. 2-3 times is insanity inducing. I had to get out.

Good luck sad

Ubik1 Thu 30-Jan-14 14:07:21

Blimey that sounds rubbish. shock Do something else if you are on zero hours. blimey, retrain, anything's better than what you are describing shock

newgirl Thu 30-Jan-14 14:08:14

My dd started secondary last year and adores her teachers - I have been hugely impressed by the teachers I have met. Hopefully they like their jobs - I certainly get that impression

I've just read the article in the sun that may have prompted the op and can see why she's frustrated, but I refuse to get stressed by something that hasn't happened yet.

sassytheFIRST Thu 30-Jan-14 16:13:47

Oh, the extended hours nonsense? Won't happen. The govt won't be able to find the cash to pay all those teachers an extra half their salary again...and if it does happen, without an accompanying payrise, I and lots like me will be offski.

Schmedz Thu 30-Jan-14 22:24:43

I want to work at loopy's school!

EvilTwins Thu 30-Jan-14 22:50:21

OP, stop whining. I get up at 6.30, get my kids ready and to school, get to work for 8.15, teach til break, sometimes do duty, teach til lunch, run a play rehearsal, teach til the end of the day, run another play rehearsal, get my kids, then do work in the evening. My working day is of a similar length to DH, who is not a teacher. It's what a professional job involves. Sometimes I get to 4pm and realise I haven't sat down, eaten, drunk or been to the loo all day.

But you know what, I LOVE my job. It excites and energises me. If you need to moan about it, then maybe find another job. Were you hoping your OP would make people gasp in surprise at how hard you have it? That's why teachers are such easy game.

Philoslothy Thu 30-Jan-14 22:51:43

I get up at 5am to do my housework!
Luckily I can cycle/jog/ walk to work- my day starts at 7am. I work through with no break until 6pm.
I get home by 6:15-6:30 at the very latest.
Family time until about 9pm.
I work until midnight, sometimes I am kind myself and work until 11pm.
One night a week I leave school at 4pm to have family time between 4pm and 9pm.

I try not to do anything at weekends, but at peak times I have to. I don't work in the holidays.

However I adore my job, I have a good old belly laugh every day. Young people are heart warming and immense fun to be around. My colleagues are inspirational and I love my subject. I get twelve weeks a year to throw myself into family life. If I did not enjoy my job I would do something else.

If the extended hours comes in, I will leave , however it won't so no point worrying,

Philoslothy Thu 30-Jan-14 22:53:19

I agree evil, I have much more time with my children than I did in my previous career and I am much happier. I have job security and every day I want to go to work.

I suspect that if you averaged my hours out they would be very similar to other professional jobs.

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