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Part time teachers - do you mind telling me about your hours and any additional responsibilities?

(16 Posts)
PuffTheMagicDragon Fri 25-Feb-05 09:56:49

I'm thinking about going back to teaching (primary - hopefully early years) part time either later this year or very early 2006.

I'm trying to get a handle on what my work commitments will be in reality. I know it depends on many factors but I'd really appreciate info on what a part time teaching job entails for you.

If I work 2/3 days a week, I'm wondering how much time I'll need to spend working at home. I know what it was when I worked full time !

Also, I'm wondering what additional responsibilities might be expected of a part timer. My previous co-ordinator role involved running loads of lunchtime/after schools clubs and generally an enormous extra workload, which I know I would struggle to sustain now, with a young family, even if I was asked to do it as a part timer.

I have to be honest and say I'm not remotely interested in climbing a career ladder in teaching anymore. Prior to teaching I'd already climbed one career ladder to director level - I didn't go in to teaching to do the same, so being a deputy head or head at some point doesn't interest me.

Can you tell me as much as poss, and what you feel are the good and bad parts of teaching part time.

TIA

sassy Fri 25-Feb-05 10:19:09

I used to be head of year in a large city comp - loved the work but not the time it took IYKWIM.
Since having kids I have worked p/t at 2 days p/week. Have no responsibilites other than preparing and delivering my lessons (and marking of course!) - and its great. I probably spend 3-4 hours a week on average on work away from school (and I teach a marking-heay subject - English). I have consciously avoided taking on extra stuff - there are opportunities to do so but I just don't want them while my dds are small. Main disadv for me is that you don't always know what is going on - it helps that I'm in on a MOnday so I get to go to weekly briefing.
I'm fortuanate to be in a school where p/timers are appreciated; this is n't always the case and I'd advise you to research carefully into attitudes to p/time staff before you take the pulnge anywhere. BUt it can work out v. well.

kate100 Fri 25-Feb-05 10:21:39

Hi PTMD, I went back to work part time after DS was born. In the first year I did 2.5 days as a job share with another teacher. I was really strict about my responsibilties and made sure that I only did half of anything, e.g. half the planning, half of staff meetings etc. The only thing that doesn't fit into that is subject co-ordinator, as you can't do half the amount for that. My workload at home was dramatically reduced as I was only doing half the work.
Since September I've been working as a cover teacher, to fit in with new government directives and although it means that I don't have any planning, I don't particularly like not having a class. However, as I'm pregnant it does mean that the reduced workload has worked to my advantage. Now I work 2 days 1 week and 3 days the next week, as I found that I was going in early when I should only have been there for an afernoon, which defeated the purpose of spending more time with DS. After I have my next I only want to work 2 days a week. I also have no interest in climbing the career ladder, so working part-time is ine with me, but I knw of colleagues who are frustrated with the time restrictions.
I've found that to make it work for me and my family, I have to be really strict with myself and only do half the work, after all I only get paid to do half the work. You have to be prepared to walk away and ignore the looks some people will give you. Also there is the opportunity to work some overtime, which is handy if you need the extra money, that's how I paid for my new sofa!!
Hope that that helped.

kate100 Fri 25-Feb-05 10:22:53

Forgot to say, that I work in primary

PuffTheMagicDragon Fri 25-Feb-05 18:22:57

Just bumping this.

Thanks for feedback so far .

Yorkiegirl Fri 25-Feb-05 18:31:51

Message withdrawn

Christie Fri 25-Feb-05 19:46:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bee3 Fri 25-Feb-05 19:49:38

I'm not currently working as we've moved recently, but after having ds I went back to work 0.5 teaching as a job share in a Reception class (Sept 2004)so I have some experience of this.
I did 2 days, my job share did 3 days and I did 1/2 a day extra of 'management stuff', which basically meant covering classes to release people, but which also meant me and jobshare were actually in school together for a morning (a big bonus). It was also easier for me as I had previously been the fulltimer, so we used my planning (already in place), I knew where everything was in the classroom as it had been mine, I was the established 'senior' member of staff etc etc (all points to bear in mind as the new-comer). I also had a very understanding and fair head who moved staff meetings so that we both attended some on our days in. We both generally went to INSET training days, with whoever's day it wasn't getting paid supply.

Workload was interesting.....In some respect working 0.5 did mean 50% of the work, BUT if you're in early years I think that things can be different. In KS2 (and please do comment KS2 teachers) it seems easier to jobshare as you can split the planning/marking easily ("I'll plan Lit, Hist & Art, you do Num, Science and PE...."), but the Foundation Stage curriculum isn't like that. Each day is integrated, and daily plans change due to the reaction of the children so much more communication is needed between the jobshares. Also, I was shocked to discover how much information about individual children I normally carried around in my head, but because of the jobshare element it all had to be written down, or told verbally. You can't rely on marked books or annotated work so much to pass on info as you can with older classes. There's also so much day to day stuff that really needs to be shared (Elsie finding separation with mum hard as dad's away, we discovered Bert is scared of the flush so remind and support with the toilet etc etc). We had a daily diary, but also talked on the phone most nights. That's the aspect of EY's jobshare teaching that makes it harder. I had a fantastic fulltime TA, which made life easier as she acted as our go-between, and was stability for the children.

I've never done lunchtime/afterschool clubs so that wasn't an issue (you don't have to). Can't think of anything else particularly, but do ask, or CAT if you want. I'm currently looking for a part-time post in my new area, so we're in the same boat

hercules Fri 25-Feb-05 19:58:19

I work 60% over 3 days in school and work at home for a good 5-6 hours every week, sometimes more.
I do around 30 hours all, in all.

janeybops Fri 25-Feb-05 20:14:39

Hi Puff,
I do 2 days and share the class with another girl who does the other 3. we also share the head of year role - not through choice, we would both like to give it up, but as this was the only way we could go part time at the time iyswim. tbh I do about an extra couple of hours at home, sometimes more.

piror to going part time we were literacy and science co-ordinators (primary) but we no job share DT co-ordinator role!!! However, I do pretty much all of it as I work the beginnning of the week when the release time is given. Hence it gets done during that time and a small amount at home.

the beauty of e mail is that i can send her loads of stuff she needs for the end of the week and so we hardly see each other at all. plus we tend to e amil our news updates to each other too.

one problem is parent's evening. we do one each. although this term they are both on days i don't normally work so have had to book extra time with the childminder

pixiefish Fri 25-Feb-05 20:46:16

I teach secondary two days a week. Have loads of marking and prep as they've given me a heavy GCSE workload and because of staffing issues I've ended up having to sort coursework files etc.

I also do one club- two mornings a week during assembly but that was voluntary. Am changing next year to do cover two days a week. I feel that this will be better for me and school. HOD hates splitting classes so I'll be a cover teacher in the same school, same two days, for a year- am keeping my permanent full time contract- this is just a variation on it for a year

PuffTheMagicDragon Fri 25-Feb-05 20:49:39

This is soooo helpful everyone, thankyou!

Something I forgot to ask in my original post - are you on a permanent part time contract with your school, or is it renewed annually?

I'd like to go back 2 days a week, but from a financial point of view 3 days would obviously be better.

I've been keeping a beady eye on the TES, looking at jobs and even in London, jobshares and part time teaching generally seems to be v thin on the ground . There's plenty of supply teaching going and although I really don't fancy supply, it might be my route back into part-time with a particular school eventually.

bee3 - if you were in West London I'd be very interested in a possible KS1 job share with you in a few months time - bet you're miles away though!

Yorkiegirl - your 5 mornings a week as a 0.5 post sounds pretty tough going as you have the bulk of the planning and marking I presume (sorry haven't been on msn for ages, it was causing big probs on my laptop).

pixiefish Fri 25-Feb-05 20:53:53

i have a permanent f/t contract. have taken the flex working requests on annual basis. this wouldn't be the same for you though because i was already f.t iyswim hth

bee3 Fri 25-Feb-05 21:17:21

Puff, sadly I'm in Cornwall, so not much help there (but very jealous of you in London - did my first 9 years of teaching there and loved it!).

I've found that jobshares in Primary are probably easier to find in more rural areas, as a lot of the schools are smaller and have 'part-time teaching Heads' who need jobshares, or vertically grouped classes that need some smaller group teaching by part-timers.

Most LEAs don't advertise jobshares in the TES - you're better off looking at the individual LEA website vacancy boards, as that's where you'll find them. The new legislation on flexible working means that, from my experience, more and more women are requesting part-time hours so the jobs are about, but you have to look carefully.

It's also worth finding someone who wants to jobshare, and applying for fulltime posts together. Some schools do recognise the advantages of jobshares, and there's quite a bit of OFSTED evidence that backs this up (I dug out various quotes and findings to win over thr Governors when I was applying for mine after maternity).

I had hoped that with the introduction of the official 10% PPA time from this Sept that schools would be looking for part-time bods to cover non-contact time, but I'm very dismayed to find that most seem to be opting to use TAs for the cover (don't get me started on that issue....), but that may open up more positions nearer the time. We'll have to wait and see.

Good luck! and keep looking


(oh, and I was on a permanent contract, but that was a continuation of my original fulltime one)

Yorkiegirl Fri 25-Feb-05 21:21:41

Message withdrawn

PuffTheMagicDragon Fri 25-Feb-05 21:41:00

Glad you're paid a bit more Yorkiegirl - rightly so as it's obviously a substantial workload!

bee3 - I retrained to teach a few years ago, so that I had a job which was more portable - I wanted to move to............Cornwall!

I'm going to get there one day, but it looks like it will be when I retire!

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