How can a non-teacher support teacher partner best?(11 Posts)
I'm not a teacher. My DP is, and has been for about 13'years - secondary, core subject. Recently the stress and workload have increased drastically, and it's starting to take its toll on our home life. We have three children under three, and we both feel like we're cracking under the strain. He resents me for my "easy" life looking after children. I resent him for never being me with those children. The stress of his job is causing all of this. I try to do as much as I can to make life easier for him, but there's only so much I can do when I feel like I'm going insane looking after two babies and a toddler. When I return to work he'll resent my "easy" job there too. My job isn't easy, but it's significantly more manageable than his and has less negative impact on our lives.
Teachers, what do you need from your non-teaching partners? What do you expect them to do to help make your life easier? I want to help him, but the strain is such that, at the moment, sometimes I think that he became a teacher by choice, it's up to him to deal with it. But I know it's not his fault. I have a huge amount of respect for teachers, I certainly couldn't do it. At the moment a change of career is impossible, but I know that that'll have to happen eventually because he's said himself that the job will kill him.
I'm actually glad I'm single. I don't know how anyone can have a family and teach.
You can't do anything- it's the job
I find this so frustrating. Lots of jobs are stressful but teachers seem to have their own special category. Surely it's like any job, either you suck it up or change jobs/careers. DH is a teacher btw, I'm allowed to think this.
Try to conserve your relationship with him as well as you can. I know so many teacher friends who have split up sadly. This may mean you need to do some encouraging along the lines of a career change. Is there anything he can side step into? X
Insist on 1 day (either Saturday or Sunday) when no work is done. Not even checking emails. I am a teacher and dh has a very hectic work schedule . We both work evenings once dc are in bed. 1 day at the weekend is strictly family time. No checking emails or planning and marking.
It has saved my sanity and I gave really noticed the difference on my whole outlook. Both family life and work life have improved.
It was my new head teachers idea , when she took over she said she expected everyone to have a life outside school.
Could he work part-time, that might give him some breathing space. Two teachers here, couldn't manage if we were both full-time.
I would support him and encourage him to think of alternative careers that aren't going to affect his family life so much. Part time might help, but you have to be careful that he doesn't use the non-work days to try and get more work done. Could he consider supply? Less work to do in the evening and weekends.
When you return to work, could he take some time to retrain towards a different career?
It is not worth all the stress and missing out on your children, it really isn't. That's why I stopped teaching after 12-odd years.
(*thereinmadnesslies*, how does what you've said actually help the OP? She knows he needs to change careers, but it's not as easy as that, is it?!)
Long-term a career change is the only option. The first decade of his teaching career was less stressful and time consuming, and much more manageable. It's only the last three or so years that things have become a nightmare for him. Quitting right now isn't possible. He's well-paid. In terms of actual figures anyway, I think he's underpaid considering the hours he works. But we have a mortgage, and children to pay for. The ideal scenario would be part-time teaching combined with some private tuition. If I get a promotion, we could maybe do that, but that's unlikely in the short-term. Re-training would be difficult and costly. He's only ever been a teacher, it's what he wanted to do, it's all he's ever done. I think disappointment that he feels this way about the career he loved is part of how bad he's feeling.
Jclm - a friend of mine is a teacher and split up with their partner. They thought about giving it another go after living apart, but realised that they were better off with the teacher not having the children during the week and working 14 hour days, and then taking the children at weekends, giving the non-teacher a break. So they didn't get back together.
And speaking as a parent, and not the partner of a teacher, I don't want my children being taught by teachers such as him. He's demotivated and doesn't care. He doesn't care because he doesn't have time to. If he thinks about it he feels guilty that his students aren't getting the best of him. So he doesn't think about it, just gets on with all the admin that takes up his time. Three registers in the morning and afternoon? A weekly diary for each class that never gets read, but if it's checked and it's not done you get an absolute bollocking? Is that all necessary?
In the shortish term (i.e. from September), he could look for a job in another school - as evidenced on here, not all schools require teachers to work 14 hour days or whatever. Every school is very different. He could try to get a job in an independent school, if he isn't in one already? TBH though, I think he's got burnout, if he's got to the point of past caring, in which case, try a change of school, but if he doesn't get his enthusiasm back, then he's going to have to change jobs - he can start looking for non-teaching jobs now, just to see what's out there. Jobs that teachers can move into without retraining are things like: university admin, educational consultancy, NHS management (if he has management experience), LA jobs e.g.. "Head of raising achievement" for a county, civil service.
He needs to look on Indeed, NHS and civil service websites. He'll need to think carefully about how he writes his CV, perhaps doing a skills-based CV, and maybe get some CV writing advice (there's free advice on the web). Perhaps you could start the job search for him, so that he can at least see that there are other options, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel?
He's considered independent schools, and he's said that he'd like to try that before quitting, as a last resort before giving it up completely. He's also considered further education colleges, which I think might suit him.
Maybe I will start a job search for him, look into possible next career moves.
Be aware of tricky times in the year. GCSE exams/A Levels/coursework or moderation deadlines/school production week (in my case!)
I teach but DH doesn't. His job is just as time consuming but is more flexible. If one if the DC is ill, he can work from home. I can't.
We have pretty strict routines (our DTs are yr 5 and their school us on the way to mine so I drop off for breakfast club and pick them up on my way home) but DH is very supportive if I need to change the routine for parents evening or whatever.
Communicate. And listen. Same as any other full time job.
FWIW, when I was on Mat leave (and actually I took 4 years out) we had similar rows about me having the easy life because I wasn't working, and him having an easy life because he wasn't with two babies all day. I'm not sure it was anything to do with the profession of the working parent.
Join the discussion
Please login first.