Can teaching ever be 9-5?

(85 Posts)
nappyrat Thu 06-Feb-14 22:09:39

Is it a good option for fitting work around having a family like a lot of people think...or is that just not the case anymore? I hear of teachers doing such long days and so many extra duties. Just wondering if it can really work as well as people say if you have children?

nappyrat Sat 08-Feb-14 23:10:30

thank you everyone that took the time to post, has given me lots to think over.

PenguinBear Sat 08-Feb-14 15:43:23

I teach Reception and rarely have much to do at home. I get to school by 8am and stay at school till 4.30 - 5.30 each day (sometimes later if we have a meeting).
Try and not work at home during the week as I prefer to work through my lunch hour.
Every half term I do a whole work day and get it all done. Sometimes have more work around parents evenings etc

Term-time working hours in English primary are insane, but the hols are time to recharge.

I'm at school 8-5.30/6ish and try to get most of the marking done in that time (certainly the maths and short-task English). At home I'll always have something more to do in the eve, but try to keep it to an hour, 2 max.

At weekends I mark the longer writing tasks and do next week's planning. Luckily I share this with 2 colleagues and we take it in turns to do maths / English / the Rest each 1/2 term. I'll spend most of Sunday doing this.

Parent consultations are coming up, so that's 2 later evenings plus the marking will have to be done later.

I do love it though! The hours are silly, but when a child 'gets' something new, writes something brilliant or thanks you for an interesting lesson, then it is worthwhile. :-)

teacherwith2kids Sat 08-Feb-14 11:42:37

Oops, should read 'to Sunday when my husband klooks after the children'. Editing error.

teacherwith2kids Sat 08-Feb-14 11:41:48

The thing that makes teaching family friendly for me is that 3-4 of my daily work hours can be 'moved' around the day / week.

So I move a chunk of then to children.

I move the rest (the unavoidable day to day marking and daily prep of resources / Powerpoints [can't be done in advance as plans change daily to respond to what children can do / understand] from 'continuous to the end of the school day' to 'after a 3 hour break of child contact time'.

In my old 'big firm' business job, I would be expected to work a 'continuous' day - say 8.30 - 6.30 or 7. In teaching, I can choose to work 7.45 - 4.15, to accommopdate e.g. music lessons, and then move the remainder of the working day into the late evening.

The real sufferer is not my children - it is my husband, as my contact time with him is minimal.

phlebasconsidered Sat 08-Feb-14 10:54:09

Just finished my first full week full time. I dropped my kids ( 5 and 6 years) off to breakfast club at 7.45, at work at 8, left at 5 ( having done some marking and prep), picked kids up, home, made tea, kids to bed by 7, hours rest then worked till about 10ish, collapsed in bed, up at 6 again. Just spent the morning planning, more or less finished literacy, have maths to do, plus 30 assessment Big Writes to mark. Did the maths before leaving on Friday. Tonight I will have wine. Expecting to work Sunday morning to get the maths done. I am KNACKERED and the kids are miserable about being in afterschool club.

teacherwith2kids Sat 08-Feb-14 10:25:51

I do think it varies hugely between schools, phases and subjects.

A school fighting to get out of / not drop into Special Measures / RI is likely to involve some very exciting hours.

Any school going through a period of change will involve longer working hours - the new National Curriculum will involve completely re-writing many schemes of work in many schools, which puts a burden on subject leaders. In small primarties a teacher may head up 3 or 4 subject areas. Equally a new head or a push towards an upcoming Ofsted will increase hours.

School culture also varies. In some schools, it is expected that schemes of work and resources will be re-used from year to year with little modification. In others, either due to variable cohorts, mixed age classes or simply 'this isn't the way we do things here', such recycling is seen as less acceptable.

From observation, the daily grind of primary is somewhat higher than the daily grind of secondary in many subjects - for one thing, a typical day in a 30 pupils primary school class may produce 90 - 120 pieces of work to mark - BUT secondary has more dramatic peaks and troughs in marking load.

Wihin secondary, workload will vary greatly between subjects.

feelingdizzy Sat 08-Feb-14 09:38:57

So it does look like teaching hours are longer and more stressful in England.You should all start a revolt .When I taught in England,it was very much you had to be seen to be working,ehhh,no I am 39 years old with 15 years experience.We teach the kids to work independently so you can trust me! Teaching is hard work but when I read the pressure that teachers from England are under it seems horrific.Apart from anything all this data monitoring doesn't work,doesn't push up standards.
Working longer at something doesn't make up better,just more tired.
Flowers and wine to you all .

Philoslothy Sat 08-Feb-14 07:45:18

It is not 9-5 but I find it very family friendly. I went into teaching because I wanted more time with my chiidren and that is what I got. I think it does depend on your school and subject.

Once a week I leave for 4pm and have the whole evening free until the children go to bed. Other evenings I am home for just after six but again have a few hours of family time before working. The holidays are also very valuable family time.

Euphemia Sat 08-Feb-14 07:44:48

I teach in Scotland and we're under much less pressure. Still long hours though, and no flexibility to attend nativity, sports day, etc.

Bloody love the holidays though!

I'm lucky in that I work in a three-class school where we are all similar ages and all have school-age children. The HT has two small children and two older step children, so she's very flexible and understanding.

hopefulgum Sat 08-Feb-14 06:35:09

wow. It sounds like teaching in England might be more demanding than here in Australia. I have a faculty meeting once a week but we do it during lunch. we have to do five hours a term (we have four terms a year) of after hours meetings. two hours whole school meetingsand three in faculties. Once a week seems a bit excessive. Although accountability requirements are high here I do not feel we have endless marking and paperwork. I do two parent's nights per year and four reports per year.

My DH and I have been thinking of doing a teacher exchange to the UK but I am concerned about your workload. Sounds like Ireland or Scotland might be an idea.

teacherwith2kids Fri 07-Feb-14 20:10:34

I work rather odd hours - which is one of the beauties of teaching.

I get to school around 7.45ish, and leave sometime between 4.15 and 5.30, depending on family demands in the evening [DS is 13, DD is 11, both are very active in extra-curricular activities]. Once the family taxi is parked, I sit down to work again and do 2-3 hours of work then - so 8-10 on a good night, 9-midnight on a bad one.

At the moment - FT, relatively new to the school, lots of changes of curriculum underway in primary - I also work all day Sunday catching up with marking (I mark 30+ English and Maths books every night during the week, but other subjects tend to get done at the weekend) assessment and planning for the week ahead. Lunchtimes and breaktimes are taken up with resources, displays, immediate paperwork and issues, staff meeting once a week and I run an after school club one night a week.

Holidays are fab, though. In the short holidays it's a week off and a week of half-time working, plus a full day or so in school doing displays, sorting etc, half terms are similarly half and half [or full time report writing in the summer half term], but the summer holiday is LOVELY!

My husband calls teaching 'the ultimate compressed hours contract' - silly hours all term time, longer holidays than most people get.

BabyMummy29 Fri 07-Feb-14 19:55:56

feelingdizzy I think Ireland and Scotland must be quite similar. We don't have the pressure that schools in England seem to be under. Most of my colleagues are in school by 8.30 and leave between 4/4.30.

Also it can depend on the HT. In a local school, teachers are heard to say "She makes us come in at evenings and weekends." Unfortunately this HT has no life outwith school and thinks her staff are the same. My HT on the other hand is very understanding and appreciated the hours her staff put in.

thinking101 Fri 07-Feb-14 19:53:33

hello Kingrollo I reme,ber you from our very honest thread about being a parent

KingRollo Fri 07-Feb-14 19:35:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

feelingdizzy Fri 07-Feb-14 19:31:09

Are these long hours particularly long in England? I have taught in England and now in Ireland no comparison in hours.
I worked in similar schools in both countries,demanding sen teaching jobs,however in Ireland I allowed to get on with it,am not constantly monitored and always gathering data.I go in at 9 school starts at 9.30 and then leave at 4 .I do s bit at home,usually in big chunks throughout holidays,we get 10 weeks summer holidays here.
In England I worked in a number of schools and the unnecessary pressure was huge.
I work hard,get good results without the monitoring I do it because its my job,and I care.

Em1503 Fri 07-Feb-14 16:43:30

In my experience it's far from 9-5 and that won't change. The workload is immense that I struggle to keep on top of it working evenings and at weekends. Sometimes I'm too tired after being in school all day to get everything done that evening, but then it quickly builds up so you have more to catch up on the next day or at the weekend. The holidays are lovely, but I'd rather have my evenings and weekends free when my DH, family and friends are around. Its a fast paced job, the days never drag and no two days are the same, but it's not something I want to do forever.

GoodnessKnows Fri 07-Feb-14 16:18:25

I've PMed you

thinking101 Fri 07-Feb-14 10:06:28

Goodness its good to know I am not alone. I left teaching before the baby came along. I didnt do well in my last school and it really knocked my confidence. I really dont think I could go back into a secondary school classroom. I dont know about tutoring - I dont think I have any time when I could do it except weekends and then I wouldnt see DH. I think I have to wait.

I am enjoying studying so much but my last module was so very hard with the late nights as you describe getting DS to school on 4 hours sleep and trying to look after DD without relying on cbeebies and biscuits! I was so grumpy, tired and unavailable to my family last summer I always felt guilty. Least I will have a new career to embark upon (she hopes) when little one is at school. I would love to get a research position/MSc place starting 2016/17 and ultimately my Phd. If I could lecture part time in HE or some exciting research programme...I just hope my age doesnt go against me.

I am waiting for an easy 'top up' module to start in March. Im cocooned in domestic drudge at the moment.

GoodnessKnows Fri 07-Feb-14 08:47:16

I did the baby while retraining (adding additional skills to my teaching ones)
Three weeks before giving birth to my DD, I began an incredibly challenging course to become a dyslexia assessor. Was hardest thing of ever done. Up until 2.30am some nights studying and writing up- then baby waking at 5.30 and 3 y old being 'interesting'.
But so glad I've done it.
Highly recommend tutoring. I put my all into it.

GoodnessKnows Fri 07-Feb-14 08:42:38

I understand. Thought about supply teaching? You could apply speculatively for this too and see your luck. I did so and was offered part time job! Didn't take it as don't think possible for ME to fit it in around being mummy and chose to b a tutor and train to b a dyslexia assessor
But supply teaching is closer to those hours. Maybe 8ish to 5ish or earlier
Better pay
Actually enjoyed it. But not in dodgy schools

thinking101 Fri 07-Feb-14 00:09:02

thanks goodness - but sometimes I feel I'll never get back to work.

Im struggling to get relevant work experience, need to wait unti llittie at school.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Thu 06-Feb-14 23:54:49

OOoh exciting! I did an OU degree overlapping with my first baby. Nuts but brilliant. I'd thought of retraining but the route I wanted needed a phd which sadly I can't make work.

Hope it goes well for you - well done!

thinking101 Thu 06-Feb-14 23:52:41

well goodness i'm still kinda getting there but at first I flirted with working form home - this wasnt viable. At the same time I also started studying for and OU degree to retrain.

In the last 2 years I've completed my second year (all level 2's) and had a baby. I have just delayed my final year as have toddler at home and I'm really gunning for the 2nd career i want to get the right job this time.

I am pushing 40. But I hope to be doing my Msc/Phd route byt then and stay in academia. Oh and i can talk, love to socialise but the thought of being stuck in a musty office with reading and papers...oh the peace and stimulation in equal measure.

I am currently inbetween modules grin

flipchart Thu 06-Feb-14 23:25:26

From what you are saying you want I think you might be better as a private tutor rather than being tied to a school.

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