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To continue going out on weekdays?

(100 Posts)
Alwayswatched Wed 20-May-20 07:44:13

For context:
I am a teacher in a fair size city primary. I don’t live in the city but not far out (around 10 miles). I am in school 1.5 days a week and my DS (3) goes to nursery and wfh the rest of the time.

I am on my own with DS. Whilst wfh, most work is done before DS wakes up, when he is napping and after he goes to bed. Having said that, I do manage to respond to emails and calls whilst he is playing or watching TV. I work during the evenings at the weekend to catch up on anything I need to.

I take DS to the sea front every lunch time whilst at home. It’s within walking distance and that exercise is good for inducing a longer afternoon nap! He takes his bike or scooter and we’re normally out anywhere between 40 mins and 1.5 hours.

Yesterday evening I was told that a parent had been in touch with the school because they regularly see me out on a weekday. They are concerned about the impact of this on their child’s education. It has been advised that I stop our lunch time walk during the working week and stay at my computer. (Might be worth noting that I take any important calls and emails on my phone whilst on the walk.)

It is perfectly accepted amongst colleagues that those homeschooling older children have erratic work patterns and that’s fine. What’s not fine is erratic work patterns as someone on their own working around a toddler’s routine.

I feel self conscious going out now and feel like I’m being watched constantly. Before going into teaching I took a walk during my lunch every day so maybe that’s why I perhaps wrongly feel it’s acceptable!

AIBU to go out for a lunch time walk during a working week day?

Kelsoooo Wed 20-May-20 07:46:09

Absolutely not unreasonable to go for a walk during lunch. The parent is a prick and so is the head teacher for raising it with you. So her kids is important but your kid isn't? She can fuck off.

billybagpuss Wed 20-May-20 07:48:57

If you’re not supposed to be having face time contact with the pupils then frankly it’s none of their business. You are entitled to do what the hell you like with your lunch break.

I once had a mum whose dd was on my music teaching waiting list phone me and tell me she’d seen me in Tesco for the last 3 weeks at 6pm on a Wednesday and that would be a perfect time for her dd to have a lesson and I was clearly ‘free’ then. Suffice it to say she was removed from my waiting list.

Smelborp Wed 20-May-20 07:49:05

Absolutely keep going on that walk. You could say the alternative is you stick strictly to your working hours - no work in the evenings etc.

You are going above and beyond in difficult circumstances and the parent and head teacher are being massively unreasonable.

foamrolling Wed 20-May-20 07:49:07

Yanbu. And shame on the school for even raising this with you rather than putting the parent back in her box. I'd far far rather know that my kids' schools are looking out for the welfare of their staff than trying to insist they work normal hours when they have kids at home.

TossACoinToYourWitcher Wed 20-May-20 07:49:23

For contrast, I see my son's teacher every couple of days when we go out for a walk after lunch. He's usually on his bike with his toddler and I'm glad to see that he's able to enjoy that time during this difficult situation.

fruitpastille Wed 20-May-20 07:49:36

YANBU and I think your school should have supported you by telling that parent that you are entitled to a lunch break and flexibility in your hours in challenging times.

Mumteedum Wed 20-May-20 07:50:33

Agree with pp 100%. We're all having to do what we can just now. What works for some won't work for others. It's v shit being a lone parent and trying to work just now.

Northernsoullover Wed 20-May-20 07:50:35

You take your lunch break as you see fit. Toddlers need to burn off energy.

CrowdedHouseinQuarantine Wed 20-May-20 07:51:52

jeez, of course keep up your walk

CrowdedHouseinQuarantine Wed 20-May-20 07:52:42

they cannot seriously expect you not to go out at lunch time?

billybagpuss Wed 20-May-20 07:52:59

And unless you’re walking past her window, why do they get to go out at lunch and you don’t???

JumpingAtJackdaws Wed 20-May-20 07:53:51

Just ignore them and enjoy your walk. You're not doing anything wrong.

FOJN Wed 20-May-20 07:54:36

No I would continue as you are but I would go back to the person who raised it with and ask if the parent had raised specific concerns and for them to be clear about whether they had issues with your work. I would make it clear you could work to their timetable for the sake of appearances but it would limit your flexibility and impact on your productivity. Essentially do they want the best job you can do under the current circumstances or not. If you are a member of a union I might also take advice from the rep so you have a formal record of the situation should it escalate and you need their support.
Some people are just arseholes.

JPduck Wed 20-May-20 07:54:38

Utter madness, keep walking!

happystory Wed 20-May-20 07:55:05

What a nasty piece of work that parent is. You are juggling a lot and that scooter ride for your ds will make him (and therefore you) a much happier bunny. Depending on your relationship with the head, I'd be challenging this.

clarepetal Wed 20-May-20 07:55:18

This almost made me laugh out loud! Who the hell is this parent to question what you do in your spare time which is completely within the guidelines anyway?x
And why aren't your work backing you up? How dare they tell you when you should do your exercise in your free time?!

Weebitawks Wed 20-May-20 07:55:45

It's very disappointing that the school don't seem to have your back in this

Pleasenodont Wed 20-May-20 07:56:12

That parent sounds like a total arsehole. Just ignore and enjoy your walks with your son.

Difficultcustomer Wed 20-May-20 07:57:18

If you are getting your work done carry on with your walks. The school should have been robustly telling the parent it’s none of their business. Then said nothing to you or just have told you to carry on though maybe given you a heads up in case a parent did approach you at any point.

Hooleywhipper Wed 20-May-20 07:57:34

It’s your lunch break OP go for your walk. Dear god some people!

BarbaraofSeville Wed 20-May-20 07:57:41

Unless you are out and about when you are supposed to be in front of your pupils and giving them 100% attention, which it doesn't sound like you are, YANBU. Enjoy your lunchtime walk.

Sounds like you've just come across a busybody getting uppity because Other People are doing exactly the same as what they are - if this parent is so concerned about their DC education, why are they not at home supervising their learning?

amy85 Wed 20-May-20 07:59:23

Yes but if you are being paid your employer can expect you to actually be attempting to work during your normal working hours.

Sure take a walk during your lunch break....but I doubt your lunch break is an hour and a half long

IncrediblySadToo Wed 20-May-20 07:59:40


Carry on as you have been.

The parent should have been firmly out back in her box -with her mouth taped shut

Your HT is being ridiculous!!

Alwayswatched Wed 20-May-20 08:00:15

Thanks for the advice. I’ll swallow any hesitant feelings and take DS out at lunch.

At first I did think school was joking when they suggested staying in but then I realised they’re deadly serious!

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