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Single-parent teachers.......it is workable, right?

(5 Posts)
BettyBlueEyes Tue 16-Aug-11 20:50:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

threetimesabridesmaid Tue 16-Aug-11 21:33:54

Hi Betty,
It is possible, I promise you.

I have been on my own since early pregnancy, returned to work when DD was 4mths and she's now 14mths. This last year has been incredibly hard, but a lot of that was to do with guilt and sleeplessness early on, and by May, I felt much better in terms of coping.
I work 4 days a week in a secondary school and have been teaching 6 years (so have a reasonable amount of resources to use). Will you have to be full-time? 4 days is fantastic - still a reasonably good salary, have kept my TLRs, and still feel like a 'proper' member of staff, but it's one day less of packing lunches, setting out clothes and, obviously, fewer classes/less planning.
In terms of managing, I chose my nursery carefully (opens early/on way to school/term-time only contracts available) and have actually moved house recently so I am 2 minutes from nursery and only 4 miles from work - something I would certainly recommend to you.
I drop DD off at 7.30am, get to school early so I can get loads done during the quiet hr - mostly marking/photocopying. Use free periods wisely - I try to save my gossiping for lunchtime now! After school, I spent much of this year racing home to pick DD up by 3.30pm due to the guilt, but realise now, that she loves her nursery and I should also be using this time! One of my new resolutions for the new school year is to use this time to do grocery shopping/clean the house before picking her up -my daughter is better off playing with her friends that trailing after me with the vacuuum - plus, it takes so much longer! I then do planning after she's in bed and ensure I give myself at least an hr of TV to relax! I actually did GCSE exam marking in June and that was crazy - but just about manageable.
The hardest aspect I have found has been parents' evenings - I had to divide them up between friends - again, feeling guilty, but they all loved having a couple of hours with a baby and were happy to help. I just felt like I shouldn't have to rely on friends but DD's father is not involved at all and my family don't live close. This year, I'm going to be really upfront from Sep. when we get the school calendar and ask my friends what date they could possibly to for me... cheeky, but the parents' eves are the only issue I've had stress-induced tears over this year.

Apologies for the essay! Hope it helps.

BettyBlueEyes Tue 16-Aug-11 21:39:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

twinkle1010 Wed 17-Aug-11 11:00:49

My DD is 4 (split with H a year ago) I work full time as a primary school teacher. Been teaching 8 years so lots of experiences/resources etc. I am fortunate that I have help from from my family and her father is still heavily involved. It is manageable but teaching is a job that can suck the life from you with all the extra work/prep etc. I find I have to be manage my time very wisely and I do lots when my DD is in bed. I would love to do it PT but cannot afford it.

piellabakewell Wed 17-Aug-11 12:16:39

I work full time and have been on my own for two years. My youngest starts high school in a few weeks so it's a bit different - but I miss that quiet time you get about 8pm when you can start work because dinner, bath and bed are dealt with. Mine are still awake at 10pm! My parents aren't nearby and my ex's parents are both deceased so I rely on friends to help out when things clash. As they have got older I will bring them into school or leave them at home on training days if there's no alternative. I would, in fact, rather ask a friend to help than their dad, as I keep communication to a minimum.

The workload is huge, it always is, and I've been teaching for ten years (now Y1 and SENCo) but it is manageable if you're organised and careful how you spend your time at school. I relish the holidays with my girls though, even if I spend much of it working apart from a few weeks in August!

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