Secondary Maths teachers - what hours do you actually work?

(7 Posts)
Spidergirl2015 Sun 03-May-15 19:54:24

Hi, I'm thinking of becoming a maths teacher by doing the PGCE in a few years time. I was wondering what the work life balance is like for those of you who have children and how many hours do you work? What time do you have to leave for work and when do you leave the school. When do you do your lesson plans and marking?

Also what do you so about child care if your children are in school.

Thank you if you can answer any of the questions!

newbieman1978 Sun 03-May-15 20:50:00

Work life balance is heavily in favour of work, my wife is a head so I know! My consultancy job (with schools) is the opposite which is good since we have a family. But it gives me good insight and understanding.

You'll be expected (think its a rule) to be in school minimum 1/2 hour before start of day (for children) and 1/2 hour after. In reality you'll probably want to/ have to get in earlier pretty regularly. You'll also finish much later much of the time due to various meetings/events.

You will get half a day a week out of class for ppa (planning, preparation and assessment) but in reality you'll do much more in your free time either in school or at home. As an NQT (newly qualified teacher) I think you will get some extra time out and should get lots of help.

If your children are at school then you can look into before and after school club. Some teachers use local childminders who pick children up from school.
Be prepare to fit your family life and childcare issues around your teaching job.... That's just the way it is.

My wife informs me teaching is the best job in the world and being in class with the children is the thing she misses the most now she's a head.
I love my work with schools but I couldn't be a teacher, I just don't have that talent.

wispywoo1 Mon 04-May-15 08:16:05

It will vary massively depending on the school. I've been in the same school for 3 years and every year has been totally different. (I'm maths)
In the first year the school was classed as outstanding. Little pressure, free reign in a way. I arrived at work at 8.30. Left at 4.30. Did about 3-4 hrs on a Sunday. It was a very difficult year. I lost a lot of weight, under a lot of stress but coped because the workload pressure was less.
In the second year all was great until OFSTED arrived. I swear I still have flashbacks! School went into special measures and workload increased. Didn't hear from OFSTED again for the remainder of the year.
This year (3rd year) the workload has been unbearable. Constantly tracking children, constantly trying to get used to new initiatives, changing classes. I could easily (and often do) arrive at 8 and leave at 6. I have to drag myself away most days. I still work of a weekend and I'm constantly thinking about my massive to do list. I'm pregnant at the min and I don't know how people cope with kids.
I've got a new job for Sept and hopefully things are better there. A lot of people from my PGCE have either quit or want to. If I had my time again I wouldn't do it to be honest.

noblegiraffe Mon 04-May-15 13:47:02

I work about 40 hours a week term time, including a couple of hours at least every evening except Friday and Saturday. I can't stay late at school though because of childcare so have to do more at home.

This might not sound too bad, but I'm on a 0.6 part time contract which is the equivalent of 3 days a week (I have to teach all five days).

I've been teaching for ten years and I only do the minimum of planning. The years where I've been e.g. teaching a new A-Level module have been more work intensive.

I do very little work in the holidays, hence my terms are quite intense. I couldn't go back to full time teaching, not with children.

One child is at primary and goes to breakfast club so I can drop him off before school (this means I can't get into school early to do stuff which is a pain). I can usually pick him up from school because of my part time hours, but MIL picks him up the days I can't. The other is with a childminder, who is luckily very cheap and very flexible because the hours that I work are different from week to week. She also doesn't charge for holidays, which is unusual.

EmberRose Mon 04-May-15 18:44:47

I work at least 9 hours a day. I arrive at 7.30am, but try to leave early. I always bring my marking home as the traffic gets bad around 5pm. In my department, we have to 'deep' mark homework once per fortnight. That means detailed feedback, takes me about an hour a class, maybe more or less depending on year group and set. This weekend I've marked 60 exam papers for year 10 mocks. Over easter I marked 60 year 11 papers, this time of year is pretty hectic. I do minimum planning as after 4 years I select my resources and go. I sometimes walk into a lesson having not 'planned' it. Sounds awful, but sometimes these are the best lessons as the students direct where the learning goes. I am comfortable with this and spend my planning time selecting materials to reinforce learning or promote enquiry learning or independence. I do lots of mini whiteboard work and again don't plan this. I know what questions to put up as I've taught it before, I know what will trick them. The delivery becomes much easier with experience.

The biggest challenges facing me right now is the recruitment of maths teachers, ones that are experienced and I am able to delegate to. In September I will have a full department, but they will be fairly inexperienced and I am anxious about this. I am currently writing the new curriculum for September and the assessments to go with it. This is a huge amount of work that SLT do not appreciate and not one of them is a teacher of a core subject.

I do no school work in the holidays were possible. I've never done in the summer holidays and if I manage to write this new scheme of work by July 20th, that won't change.

I love the 'oh my god' moments like when I introduced trig for the first time last week. I spend a lot of my day laughing. I love doing quick mental maths and guessing the answer almost exactly while they are busy typing into the calculators and stare at me like I'm crazy. The kids are hilarious. But, the culture in my school is changing, the lower year groups are getting more challenging. I think part of it is finding the right school.

ginny84 Mon 04-May-15 20:54:17

Hi, I'm a secondary maths teacher, a DSS who is 7, who I pick up/ drop off at before/ after school club a couple of days each week and a DS aged 2 who is in nursery. I work full time.

I probably do on average about 50 hours a week. Sometimes more - at the min with the lead up to exams I am working more, but I know next half term when I have gained time from year 11 and year 13 leaving that I will be able to do a few less hours at home, due to more free time in school. I work through every break and lunch to get as much done at school as possible. I have been teaching 6 years and do find that I am much quicker at planning, and as EmberRose said I do sometimes just turn up and teach if I'm dead happy on the topic/ class. It is the marking which is very time consuming.

The main thing is getting good childcare, the earlier the childcare opens the easier things will be. I can drop off at nursery at 7.15 and breakfast club at 7.30. I do then have a 45 commute which is hard. I'm starting a new job closer to home in Sept and look forward to being able to be in work at 7.45 instead of rushing in at 8.20. I also leave work earlier than most (around 3.45/4) to miss the traffic and spend some time with my DS before he goes to bed. I then tend to work 7 til 9 most evenings, I like to try and get my work done on a Friday night (rock and roll!) if I have stuff to do at the weekend. Though there are times when I work a few hours on sat or sun afternoon.

When I did my pgce and nqt year I was single and childless. I could work all weekend if I needed to and often did. To be honest I would have found it very tough to start my career with children.

The main thing that I find very difficult when it comes to work life balance is switching off from school. I find it very difficult to not be planning lessons in my head, or thinking about what I'm going to do about the child who failed there mock, or when I'm going to fit in phoning that parent.

I do really enjoying the teaching, working with the pupils and the holidays are a massive bonus - but it's tough.

BellaBearisWideAwake Sat 09-May-15 07:20:35

I work 0.6 and I've been a maths teacher for 13 years.
Before DC I worked for 6 years full time. Typical day was 7.15 - 6pm, and frequently taking marking home for later. I would work for 3-5 days each longer holiday and usually 1-2 days each half term. I kept Saturdays free but often marked on a Sunday (although I would leave earlier on a Friday).
Now I work 0.6 (over 4 days this year) and in a MUCH easier school (better behaviour, higher attainment) my working life is hugely easier. When I did 0.6 over 3 days, I worked 7.45 - 5pm and would mark in the evening. I have a term time only childminder which is brilliant, saves a lot.I still work in the holidays and weekends, but not as much. I spend a lot less time planning than I did in the first five years because I am experienced and don't need as much preparation as I did.
I love being a maths teacher, but being honest I am extremely glad I did the first period of it when I didn't have children. I've know 4 teachers entering the profession (via schools direct or GTP) in the last five years. One without children who is doing everything full time and three with who all trained and worked on pt contracts.

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