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to resent my husband's employer?

(57 Posts)
lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Fri 28-Jun-13 21:06:00

My husband is a teacher. Generally all is well - he really is fantastic at what he does and enjoys it. The teaching part is not an issue. What I do resent, however, is the extracurricular bits that he has to do.

His contract says that he will assist with a 'reasonable' amount of extracurricular activities. As he has always been a very outdoorsy person he was assigned to the Duke of Edinburgh award and Army cadets. Fair enough, he really does enjoy these activities. Ah, but hang on, all teachers have to have a 'sport' (apparently, it seems the definition of sport is lax where some people are concerned) so, as he used to kayak, he's been made a rowing coach! Boats and water, yes, but that's where the similarity ends.

As a result of this he has to do the following outside of a full teaching timetable and associated planning/marking etc:

2 nights a week rowing coaching until 6pm
Rowing regattas (approximately every other weekend during term time)
DofE weekends - about 4 per year
CCF Weekends - about 2 per year.

In addition to this he is also expected to help out on CCF and Army camp...both of which run in the Easter holidays!

Now yes, I know I'm going to get the 'teachers get loads of holidays' from some people, however if any of you know/are teachers you'll appreciate how much of that is actually 'holiday' (especially with dear Mr Gove changing the rules every 5 minutes). I always knew that we'd be restricted on when we could go on holiday but this encroachment on our personal life seems ridiculous. I think I would be more relaxed if it was half terms, as they're only a week and arguably within term time.

None of this is helped by the fact that I have always had serious wanderlust and a lot of the places my husband and I want to go - Vietnam, Cambodia, India (I'm part Indian) are northern hemisphere which means that summer is a write off, Christmas is, well, Christmas and Easter is non existant. Even worse, next Easter is my 30th and we'd always agreed we'd spend it in India but, oh wait, we can't.

AGH! SO frustrated - AIBU to really resent his work for taking the absolute piss? I'm currently sat at home just feeling miserable about it and I can't even moan to DH as he's on a ruddy school trip to Belgium!!!

P.S. For those of you that saw my previous AIBU, I'm pleased to report that advanced toilet training is going well...

PurplePotato Sun 30-Jun-13 17:25:45

Xiaoxiong, I suspect OH hasn't pursued it terribly hard, to be honest. He's also only had two appraisals in ten years, which I find shocking! And teacher123, yes that's my point. I hate it because I feel as though school expect OH to put us (me, the children), second. OH likes his job, but it impinges on our family life in a way that it shouldn't.

teacher123 Sun 30-Jun-13 17:04:10

These schools rely on a quite extraordinary amount of goodwill from staff and their families. My job was not particularly well paid, and although yes the perks were good but the school OWNED you. There is also a massive culture of presenteeism. You are made to feel terrible if there are things that you cannot attend due to other commitments even if they are on weekends or evenings and are not things like parents evenings etc which are of course compulsory. Contracts are often unclear or not forthcoming and skate over the issue of extra curricular commitments. I LOVED my old job, but once I had DS I realised I couldn't work there anymore. It is incompatible with family life unless you are prepared to put that second for 8/9 months per year.

Xiaoxiong Sun 30-Jun-13 16:19:16

Purple the fact that they won't give him a contract is terrible - how do they justify that??

PurplePotato Sun 30-Jun-13 16:14:16

OP I should add that your OH is very lucky to HAVE a contract specifying his "reasonable" extra curricular activities. My OH has been waiting for a contract ever since he started working at his current school ten year ago!

PurplePotato Sun 30-Jun-13 16:01:34

YANBU. We are in the same position, OH works at a boarding school is head of dept, does games, works Saturdays, and is in fact there right now running a bl**dy rounders match. Last weekend we were invited to drinks at school. It was DS2's birthday, and so I politely declined as we already had plans. OH was told about two hours beforehand that it wasn't optional for him, and so off he went sad There are times when I really really hate it. This week is the last week of term and he will be at school until 9 or later every evening for "fun" activities.

He's been doing this for 25 years now and is permanently knackered. Our plan is to wait until our youngest has left school and then bugger off to another country where the pay is better (and possibly tax free), and use that as a base to travel.

I'm amazed that some private schools get away with what they do. The pay isn't great compared to state (certainly not if you convert it to an hourly rate), and we don't get any other benefits (like free or subsidised housing for example). There is also a LOT less non-contact time for teachers.

The plus side is the small classes, which my OH really loves teaching, and I think the willingness of most of the staff to get involved, and the resulting team spirit is very rewarding. But I couldn't do it.

Xiaoxiong Sun 30-Jun-13 15:09:52

OP my DH is in the same position, with Saturday school during termtime as well as being away on trips for weeks in the school holidays - but after 7 years has the option to apply for a sabbatical for a term, or alternatively do a swap with a teacher from another school. Most people here take either plan to take the summer or the autumn term off and combine with the summer holidays to have a clear 6 months to go travelling or do whatever they want. Is that an option at DH's school at all?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 30-Jun-13 14:57:41

Yanbu. It sound like a shit job all things being considered. He shoud look around to move school.

kungfupannda Sun 30-Jun-13 11:47:50

Musicaltheatremum - I am very familiar with said small canal in Edinburgh....

kungfupannda Sun 30-Jun-13 11:46:29

Have they given him any coaching training?

Rowing is an extremely complicated technical sport and developing children need to be particularly careful that they are getting things right.

I have a rowing instructor's award and I have coached children before. It's not just a question of chucking them in a boat and letting them get on with it.

If they haven't invested the time and money in having your husband properly qualified then they are being very unfair to both him and the pupils, and placing themselves at risk of criticism if a child is injured.

pommedechocolat Sun 30-Jun-13 11:45:33

6 o clock finish. OMG horrendous! Seriously?!

JRY44 Sun 30-Jun-13 11:42:27

I work in the state sector teaching English. Two nights I do intervention until 5 and one night Drama Club. I also have to fit in detentions. Easter School, May Half Term GCSE intervention for 3 days, Summer School for two weeks, intervention weekends x 3, School play weekends x 2 .... The list is endless.

Whether private or state the expectations go far beyond the teaching hours - no mention yet of the amount of time marking or doing PPA. AYBU? Maybe - but he will have had to agree to the Easter trip .... So maybe he wants to go?

LEMisdisappointed Sun 30-Jun-13 11:10:44

You don't say if your DH resents his employers, maybe he quite likes doing the extra curricular stuff.

DumSpiroSpero Sun 30-Jun-13 11:05:49

When my DH was at his previous school, he did 7am-7.30pm/4 days on/off, 3 evenings a week as a houseparent and 3 sessions of sports coaching a week, plus half of the summer hols - and he was support staff, not even a teacher!

There are more expectations in the private sector, especially with boarding - I agree with someone upthread who said it's a lifestyle choice to a degree. Tbh I miss it as they were very good at involving the families of the staff (we even held our wedding reception there!), but obviously your circs are very different.

For the most part, I think it's a case of having to suck it up, but I do think you've a case to sort something out so you can do your trip next Easter. Even state schools can permit staff to take term time hols in exceptional circumstances, so unless your DH's contract specifically states that he will give up x days of the Easter holiday for a specific purpose I can't see that with this amount of notice he would be UR to ask them to make alternative arrangements for that trip.

antimatter Sun 30-Jun-13 11:02:54

yes, OP said she works full-time in the city
I myself would expect a childless professional couple in their late 20's to be able to afford a holiday in India

LEMisdisappointed Sun 30-Jun-13 10:41:31

Sorry but YABU i am assuming he is well paid for you to even be considering these worldwide adventures. I guess you have to work for what you have and make sacrifices.

HiggsBoson Sun 30-Jun-13 10:36:27

*work ffs, although I'm sure you cook a mean stir-fry grin

HiggsBoson Sun 30-Jun-13 10:35:59

Do you wok OP?

Most of us never get to go to India or anywhere else for that matter, so I'm finding it hard to sympathise with you there.

Musicaltheatremum Sun 30-Jun-13 10:22:18

EDMN as the mum of a rower it is an all year round sport. His school train every day except Friday and Sunday. It is the biology teacher who runs it with the help of an external coach. Unless the water is frozen (quite common on a small canal in Edinburgh) they are out in it. Or doing land training. There have been several regattas this term and even one coming up in July which is holidays for us. This teacher is single with no children. They are very committed but as an independent school I would expect this. It would be hard on a person with children though.

Picturepuncture Sun 30-Jun-13 10:17:22

This is the trade off of independent schools.

They want his life. (And yours if you're willing to give it)

In return they will educate your children for a reduced rate, pay him handsomely, feed him for free for the vast majority of the week and if you're lucky pay your accommodation costs.

It is very much a vocation. And you either love it as a family, or it will destroy you, that's very much a choice you have to make.

<writes this, sitting in my school owned house, having waved DH off for a 3 week school trip to India on Friday, currently taking a break from the work emails- new timetables for sept have been distributed this morning- yep it's Sunday, might go and watch the firsts plays the seconds in a friendly cricket match later>

chesterberry Sun 30-Jun-13 10:03:38

Is there no way he can explain to his employers that it is a milestone birthday for you and you want to travel to India, and Easter is the only reasonable time to go, and ask for the school to find somebody else who can lead the camps? Easter is nine months away so it would be plenty of time for the school to find somebody to stand in and for him to train them or whatever. Alternatively they might be able to move the camps to a half-term. It's not like it would be every year and as he would be giving so much notice the school might be able to sort something else? Surely it would at least be worth him asking, as the camps are extra-curricular and so not part of his contracted hours?

orangeandemons Sun 30-Jun-13 08:58:10

I work in ousted outstanding secondary. No one is expected to run after school clubs for an hour

Startail Sun 30-Jun-13 07:52:58

I did support work at an indi school and my HOD was looking for a new job because they wanted him to do some sort of sport every SAT afternoon as well as teach SAT mornings. They totally took the piss.

EDMNWiganSalfordandBlackpool Sun 30-Jun-13 07:36:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HollyBerryBush Sun 30-Jun-13 07:24:22

I'm not going to make my self popular here within the teaching fraternity - especially those who have had longevity in the profession (say 20+ years).

The revolution in teaching is what the city, well all businesses, the civil service and local government, went through 20-25 years ago. The whole accountability factor, streamlining, adherence to budget, value for money, performance pay, target setting.

It's all come as a bit of a shock to the more mature members of the profession unless they have come to the profession later in life and are used to working for corporate entities. The NQTs can deal with it because they have youth on their side and they know no different ethos!

Personally I am not a lover of box ticking for box ticking sake. last week they expected me to start managing my budget - I tend to look at it, see if there is any money and spend some grin. I have been presented with a spread sheet. I do not like spread sheets. We have a finance department to look at spread sheets. >sigh<

But in the 7 years I have spent in education, I can see how lacsidaisical (sp) schools were run with regards to money. There were no schools in this borough that were not in deficit, varying from 800K to 1.5mio - dreadfully slapdash management with the borough bailing out time and time again. With accountability comes paperwork which teacher have no time to do - so you have the rise of the admin staff, who now outnumber teachers where I work.

Tailtwister Sun 30-Jun-13 07:02:48

I'm guessing that this is a private school? They do seem to expect a lot of extra curricular work from their teachers it seems. Are there advantages to him being there too? Higher salary, fees paid for your children?

I suppose he could always look at the moving into the state sector?

There's always a trade off with these things and it's no different in other professions. I guess you have a choice to change things if you want?

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