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To sod SD as when I return to teaching in Sept it isn’t possible?

(325 Posts)
motherrunner Tue 11-Aug-20 18:12:22

I’m a secondary school teacher. Despite all the ‘guidance’ my desk will be less than 1m from the classes I teach (Yr 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13). I will not be wearing protection as the guidance tells me my workplace in ‘Covid secure’. Come Sept I will have one 20 minute break a day as I am required to do a pre-school duty, a morning break duty, a lunch duty and an after school duty it’s every day. I can wash my hands once a day in those times. 5 times a day a class of 30 will be breathing at me.

Up until now I have followed the ‘rules’ religiously. I haven’t seen my mum (who is in a nursing home) since early March. I have turned down play dates for my children.

AIBU to think sod the SD and enjoy myself for the rest of the summer break? I was hoping for a sliver of hope from the dfe today with the promised revised guidance that hasn’t materialised. Come Sept I’ll be faced with over 200+ over 11s in close, unventilated spaces in 3 week so shall I just sod it?

OP’s posts: |
Daisyhut Tue 11-Aug-20 18:16:14

A 20 minute a day break every day? Are you in a union? The only time I had lunch duty, I had a planning period before or after.

motherrunner Tue 11-Aug-20 18:19:52

Yes I’m in a union and the pans have been been passed as Gov guidance states that you are only entitled to a 20 minute break for 6 hours worked. Our school (academy) is taking this a literal teaching hours, not extra. We have had meetings reduced so it forms part of our 1265 quota.

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motherrunner Tue 11-Aug-20 18:20:12


OP’s posts: |
Witchcraftandhokum Tue 11-Aug-20 18:22:00

I feel exactly the same as you OP. And I don't get a break at all!

lazylinguist Tue 11-Aug-20 18:23:42

That's shit, OP. I don't think the people accusing teachers of unconstructive moaning really have a picture in their heads of what the working day will be like for people in your position. Either that or they just don't give a shit. 20 mins break a day is unacceptable. As is being in close proximity to 5 classes of 30 a day with no masks.

I'll be teaching 5 primary classes a week and doing a load of secondary supply teaching. The secondary school has doubled each lesson to two hours shock to reduce movement, which I'm not looking forward to!

Mistressiggi Tue 11-Aug-20 18:25:13

Academies are shit. Go and see your mum, before all those children have breathed on you.
I've returned with a 2m area for me at the front of the class, anyone who wants to can wear a facemask, have normal breaks and hand sanitiser everywhere. It still feels scary (and only adults there so far!)

SideEyeing Tue 11-Aug-20 18:25:18

I'm in the same position. Feel sad and full of dread.

motherrunner Tue 11-Aug-20 18:27:51

@Mistressiggi Unfortunately my mum’s care home still won’t open fully. I can do a ‘window’ visit but she’s on the second floor and because of her condition it hard to arrange to get her to ground floor. I have to hope they open in the next 3 weeks as how can I visit post Sept?

OP’s posts: |
MigGril Tue 11-Aug-20 18:28:46

What I can't understand is how can they define your workplace as covid secure if you can't be 2 meters from your students. Mind you thinking about it I don't think all our teachers desks can be either hum.

I'm wondering if the undated guidelines haven't materialised as things are changing so much they don't know what is going to happen.

Looneytune253 Tue 11-Aug-20 18:29:43

So you're saying you want to just be the one that potentially takes it into the school then? Infecting the children and your colleagues?
Also why can't you wash your hands? That's basic general requirements even without covid. Have you asked your headteacher if you're able to wear a mask if you want to. I can't imagine that being an actual problem in a secondary school.

motherrunner Tue 11-Aug-20 18:30:32

@MigGril The Gov guidance always states ‘where possible’ after school statement so ‘2m where possible’ for me means nothing possible, teaching life as usual’.

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OverTheRainbow88 Tue 11-Aug-20 18:32:02

God that’s super proper shit.

We have to do one break duty a week and can volunteer for more where we get paid or 3 free lunches a week.

Ummm yes if I were you I would go for it and have fun!!

motherrunner Tue 11-Aug-20 18:32:42


So you're saying you want to just be the one that potentially takes it into the school then? Infecting the children and your colleagues?
Also why can't you wash your hands? That's basic general requirements even without covid. Have you asked your headteacher if you're able to wear a mask if you want to. I can't imagine that being an actual problem in a secondary school.

No I don not want to infect anyone.

I can only wash my hands once a day as I can only physically go to the toilet once a day as the rest of the time I’ll be teaching or on duty. Pupils can not be unsupervised.

We can not wear masks as the Gov guidelines state PPE is not necessary.

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Mistressiggi Tue 11-Aug-20 18:37:05

Looney she only gets one 20 min break a day, so presumably she can wash her hands then (and eat, pee, etc)
OP I think the nursing home needs to get the room sorted for you - you're having to move mountains at work why can they not do a room transfer or something after this length of time. flowers

Stripesgalore Tue 11-Aug-20 18:43:07

I work in retail. I have a 20 min break in a six hour shift. The rest of the time I use hand sanitiser.

I am at much higher Covid risk than the average person, due to working in retail.

I still follow social distancing rules outside of work because I understand that we have to go to work with the risks that entails but we don’t have to put other people at extra risk.

I am also in one of the areas that is back in the situation of not visiting other households etc. It’s a bit miserable but we all just have to do the best we can.

QueenofLouisiana Tue 11-Aug-20 18:45:07

I’m also looking at a 20 minute break each day- half of the lunch break allocated to my class. I will do playground duty, eat lunch with the children and teach 32 children the rest of the time.
My desk is as far away as possible, desks all facing forward in rows. They aren’t all spaced out as there is no space. No reading area, no practical learning space. There still is only about a metre distance and we can’t use other protection. As they are in yr6 they aren’t in the “safer” under 10 group.
It’s going to be a long term.

AllTheWhoresOfMalta Tue 11-Aug-20 18:45:40

In your position, I would go and visit your mum as best you can and then say fuck it and have a good time. Husband is a SS teacher and I’m an ex (resting) SS teacher with an autoimmune disease (which is why I’m not teaching at the moment) and every teacher we know is scared, appalled and very nervous about what’s seemingly ahead this academic year. It ain’t going to be pretty or relaxing whatever happens, so you should go and have some fun now.

Waveysnail Tue 11-Aug-20 18:45:43

I'd say stuff it and wear a face shield. Keep hand sanitizer on lanyard around your neck.

NebularNerd Tue 11-Aug-20 18:46:04

Feeling the same. We've been super careful as my husband has been shielding. Even wiping down groceries and until recently avoiding shops etc. Come September I'll be teaching 150+ students a day, no PPE, no SD and moving between different classrooms which will mean using multiple keyboards, touching door handles & navigating busy corridors.
Whatever we've done as a family to mitigate the risks will be blown out of the water when I return to work.
I'm terrified of bringing it home to my husband, children & elderly parents.
It's left me feeling why bother anymore.
For those who will say that teachers should just resign, even if we did so today we could not leave until Christmas.
I'm sorry you're in this situation.

Scarydinosaurs Tue 11-Aug-20 18:48:44

Stripes- do you not get an unpaid lunch break? Very unusual in retail to not have a lunch break.

OP it’s awful. How have your union not objected to the six hour rule? If you’re being directed during lunch break, then that has to count, surely?

AllTheWhoresOfMalta Tue 11-Aug-20 18:48:56

Oh and re the 20min break- that’s absolutely shocking, but sadly, not surprising. Since leaving teaching 2yrs ago I’ve done various odd jobs whilst studying, generally in offices and council buildings. Even all of this time later, I cannot get over how comparatively relaxing those jobs are. You get to sit down! All day! You always get a lunch break! You can have a drink or go to the loo whenever you like! When non teachers hear about teaching jobs, they always think it’s an exaggeration how full-on it is. So many days in teaching are go go go from 8.30am til after half three with no time for self care of even the most basic self care.

supersop60 Tue 11-Aug-20 18:50:01

OP - that sounds completely shit. How anyone can teach all day AND do those duties on 20 mins break is unreasonable.
I would wear a mask - just because they're deemed 'unnecessary' doesn't mean you're banned from wearing one. Keep sanitiser and wipes on your desk, and open any windows and doors.
It won't be like this forever. Good luck!

AllTheWhoresOfMalta Tue 11-Aug-20 18:51:20

Most basic KIND that should say 🤦🏻‍♀️

WhenSheWasBad Tue 11-Aug-20 18:55:01

It’s shit motherunner

Not being able to pee for hours and hours on end is bad enough. But with Covid not being able to wash your hands is indefensible.

I’m hoping your SLT wake up to the ludicrous demands they are placing on you.

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