Balancing teaching full time and own family

(26 Posts)
Nonie241419 Mon 02-Jun-14 21:46:11

I currently have a 0.4 contract in primary. I have been looking for a 0.4 or 0.6 role nearer home for 5 years. Only one permanent job has come up in that time, and I lost out on that to an internal candidate. However, there are often full time posts being advertised. I struggle to balance work and my 3 young DCs now, and have always felt that I will burn out if I try to work full time. Work have changed my role from September, without consulting me, to something I really don't want to do. It's making me consider applying for full time, just to get out.
Those of you who balance full time with DC, are you happy with your work/life balance? How much does your OH need to do at home to support you (I do nearly all the housework/child wrangling)? Do you feel your DC get enough of you (especially if you have DC with additional needs - my DC1 does)?

phlebasconsidered Mon 02-Jun-14 22:13:22

Hats off to those that do. I will shortly complete an 8 month ft contract and it has half killed me. My kids and husband are begging me to never go back ft and i agree. I am still working now and i'll be at work at 7. I am an organised person but the workload is daft. I spend far more time with others peoples kids than my own, even mentally at the time i'm actually with my own, i'm thinking about work

My house is not as tidy as i like it. During term, i don't even see my kids in the morning. I see them for the shit bits, the tired and hungry bits. They now compete for the bit of attention time they have between 5 and 7. Husband just has a knackered wife.

I'm leaving in July and going back to supply. I may leave altogether!

saadia Mon 02-Jun-14 22:52:43

I couldn't manage it so left at Easter. I have been wanting to get a part time position but there are none being advertised locally. I have visited schools with full- time vacancies and asked how they would feel about my working part time. Most heads said that they would not rule it out but obviously it's not ideal for them. Not really sure what else to do as full time for me was unsustainable.

But I do know others who manage it and seem to get on fine so it may just be a case of if you're in the right school then it is do-able.

Nonie241419 Mon 02-Jun-14 23:46:57

Thank you both for replying. That kind of confirms what I suspect it would be like for me. I think it's best just to dig in for the next year and do my best to get through it in the hopes of something better the following year.

HamAndPlaques Mon 02-Jun-14 23:53:34

You're right that schools very rarely advertise pt roles, so if you really want part time then you need to be proactive.

Firstly, keep an eye out for ft posts in schools which interest you. Contact the school, with your cv, asking if they would consider a pt application. Most will not respond and many others will say no but you might just happen upon a school who actually only need 0.6 or 0.8 to balance their curriculum and will be glad to save a bit of money on the salary. It is also worth making speculative applications to schools that you like.

Or would you consider a job share?

Nonie241419 Tue 03-Jun-14 10:34:32

HamandPlaques, I've been job sharing for years - it's my preferred way of working. I had considered contacting the local schools advertising, but couldn't see them being open to a part time applicant. Maybe I should give it a go anyway.

Geraldthegiraffe Tue 03-Jun-14 10:37:58

There is no way I'd manage full time teaching with family. People do though... (there's a deputy head on here who works long hours but has an au pair etc to help smooth things)

HamAndPlaques Tue 03-Jun-14 11:07:00

Good luck, Nonie.

You might be more likely to get pt if you can offer PPA cover instead of having or sharing your own class. You'd be particularly attractive to a primary school if you have a subject specialism that they don't currently have within their staff, especially if you are a linguist.

soverylucky Tue 03-Jun-14 14:30:58

Is there any chance that the extra money could be used for a cleaner? What is your childcare situation like?

I am going to nearly full time in September after being on a .5 contract for years. I am hoping that by being super organised I can make life bearable. My children are 7 and 9 so not that young anymore which is going to help a great deal. I am going to watch this thread with interest for ideas and tips.

Nonie241419 Tue 03-Jun-14 14:57:31

Not a linguist, or PE/music specialist. Curse my specialism in English, lol!

soverylucky - good luck with the new role! We would be able to afford a cleaner if I was ft. The elder DCs are in before and after club, and the youngest uses a mix of childminder, playgroup and my Mum. Just typing that out made me picture what it would be like only seeing my baby girl for an hour or so in the evening four days a week sad . Also, the boys would have to give up swimming and music ensemble, although they could still do Beavers/Cubs.

I have 2 children in primary and work full time. I am currently 33 weeks pregnant. It's very hard work. One of my dc does 12 hours of gymnastics a week, and I really struggle to do the drop offs and pick ups around staff meetings and after school commitments. Sundays are often taken up with worrying about getting things sorted for work, so even though I am spending time with my dc, they don't get my full attention which upsets me. I've missed all if their celebration assemblies, music concerts, and even the nativity play (because I was on a trip with my own class). My eldest is having an op in 2 weeks and I felt guilty asking for time off to be with her- if I was part time, I could have swapped my days. All dentist and doctor appointments have to wait until half term if possible as after school time is so busy!
My dh left me a few weeks ago, so I'm now doing it all on my own and I must admit, I am very tired.
That said, the actual job is so much easier full time. I've done a job share, and with FT, you don't need to worry about doing a hand over, you know the children and their parents much better, you write all IEPs so know the SEN children inside and out, you can take books home without worrying that your job share partner will need them, you attend all staff meetings so never miss anything that's not minuted... Overall, it's much easier.
That said, I've already applied to return PT after maternity leave as FT childcare for 3, as a single parent, will just be unworkable.

nostress Tue 03-Jun-14 22:10:25

Have you tried looking in the private sector? They seem to offer more PT posts - especially the smaller ones!

stillenacht1 Tue 03-Jun-14 22:42:33

I am currently around 0.8fte. It's killing me- I have 2 boys and DS2 has severe autism. My marking time is literally from 9.30 pm onwards once DS2 has gone to bed, impossible to do it while he is awake. I'm going down to 0.5 next year and doing some little bits and bobs instrumental teaching (well that's the plan)smile

Nonie241419 Tue 03-Jun-14 22:52:23

Thanks for sharing that, cupofteaplease. I quite like the handover stuff as it makes me really analyse what's been happening. It also makes me tidy up the classroom. I dread to think what a state my classroom would be in if I was full time!
There is only one private school within a reasonable commute and nothing's come up for them for a long time. I did apply for a job there several years ago and didn't even get an interview.
stillenacht1 - DC1 has Aspergers traits and is hard work. I'm not sure he or I would cope with me working ft.
Because so many teaching posts, and therefore teachers, are full time, I had started to think that I must be being a bit pathetic for not feeling up to it. This thread has confirmed for me that it's just as hard as I had thought and that it really wouldn't work for me/my family.

lecherrs Wed 04-Jun-14 01:23:50

You're definitely not being a wimp.

This academic year, I increased my hours having always worked part time since my children were little. I'm still part time, but. 0.9 so there practically full time, but I leave early to do the school runs etc.

Like a previous poster, this year I've been juggling practically full time work with taking my DDs to their hobby. Both do a sport that they compete at. Dd1 trains 18+ hours a week, and DD2 does 6. As they are different disciplines within the same sport, the girls train different days of the week (and are actually there 7 days a week). They train somewhere between 2 and 4 hours per session, and I usually stay because it's a 25 mile round trip to my house. This means that I leave the house before 8am and rarely return until after 8pm.

When I get home, I then have to ensure I get the girls sorted and to bed etc before starting my work. Never have I felt so bone achingly tired as I have this year. Even when my DDs were newborns, I didn't feel this tired. Needless to say, I'm making changes to my timetable in Sept!

I think working full time is doable if you haven't got any other pressures. But for me, having the extra pressure of juggling the coaching sessions my DDs have got (and the subsequent comps that come with it etc) has just been too much. I cannot remember the last time I had an evening to myself. (In midst of exam marking at the mo). I'd rather have another newborn than repeat this last year! It hasn't quite killed me, but if you have any extra pressures then I wouldn't recommend it.

mrsnewfie Wed 04-Jun-14 09:12:01

I left at Easter, having worked full time in a very hard core secondary academy.

I felt my children suffered massively as I was always working and their day at school/club was too long.

This is only my experience and I do know many mums that do teach full time. I think they have good childcare in place and a very supportive husband who picks up most of the slack.

It might be worth starting full time and then asking for part time after a while.

Good luck.

cuggles Wed 04-Jun-14 09:54:47

I have accepted a fulltime position for September having been out for five yrs..have two DC (3 and 4). Going back to my old school so havent got to prove myself etc but since everyone on here thinks it isnt doable really and you are tired and it isnt fair on family, can anyone tell me it is ok? I am panicking now! I have a nanny in place (who I know and is great, totally confident in her) and a great DH but I need a confidence boost if anyone can. OP...sorry to hijack thread but at least you might get another side to consider too!.. I hope so anyway!..Not that I disagree with anything above..I am the naive newbie to this after all!

Geraldthegiraffe Wed 04-Jun-14 10:12:21

There are no mothers working full time at my daughters large infant school. There is one jobshare couple but the others don't have children. The head has grown up ones!

I think it may well be different if you have a nanny in place. I don't think many people could afford that on a teacher's salary but I am sure it smooths a lot of cracks and ensures children can still go to clubs etc.

cuggles Wed 04-Jun-14 11:13:33

Thanks for response gerald (love the name by the way!)..Nanny is part time and only 18 hence we can afford her...just! We shall see I guess! It seems to get harder as they get older and do clubs etc so maybe the early years are easiest!

Geraldthegiraffe Wed 04-Jun-14 13:10:11

Ooh excellent find! Hope the transition goes well .

marssparklesdownonme Wed 04-Jun-14 13:12:21

I'm part time 0.4 which has its ups and downs. I get moved around school regularly which I'm not always keen on.This year has been the worst as I have been put in with the class with the most difficult children in the school. To be honest if I had been full time I would have been handing in my notice.
I do the odd bit of supply for the school but if I were not part time I would have problems as DS has regular hospital appointments.It doesn't help that in the last 5years DH has also changed career and gone into secondary teaching. When DD started school I regularly had her moaning " why can't you stay at home like x's mum..." the children now accept that I work but like the fact that I am home for them 3 days a week. Even part timers get knackered

CornishCrumpet Wed 04-Jun-14 16:49:32

I work full time in a secondary school and whilst it can take a lot of juggling I have found it doable. It helps that I have a very supportive OH who does as much as me in terms of nursery drop offs, housework, cooking, etc. I also love my job, the school I work in and the kids I teach and can't imagine not working. Willing to accept that this might become more tricky when DD starts school though......

petalpower Wed 04-Jun-14 19:44:56

I teach primary FT and have 2 children aged 14 and nearly 12. I went back just over 4 years ago after taking a career break. My DH works away Mon-Fri so I don't have anyone to take up the slack during the week, it all comes down to me. It is really hard and tiring but I prefer it to when I was job sharing in terms of job satisfaction. I work until very late in the evenings marking and preparing, and quite a lot at the weekends too. Work life balance is pretty rubbish to be honest.

VioletStar Wed 04-Jun-14 20:41:08

Full timer secondary here. It's bloody hard work. DH works abroad some of the time but all childcare, and school stuff is left to me to sort as I'm always around. This evening I have had meeting after doing duty, then rushed off to pick up dd from swimming lesson which lovely friend took her to; dashed home to sort dinner and then took to another friend's who babysat her whilst I went to a meeting at her school about sex ed. (She's in year 5). DS thankfully is at year 6 residential this week so don't have to deal with that. Atypical evening but just an example of what I did in addition to teaching today but minus marking etc. Doable but I'm frazzled.

cuggles Wed 04-Jun-14 22:31:20

Thanks for the feedback!..Seems I will be frazzled but with a job satisfaction factor thrown in!

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