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Are the staff in your school really stressed?

(188 Posts)
christinarossetti Fri 15-Feb-13 22:49:48

A question for both teachers and parents/carers.

I've had a number of conversations today with parents and teachers from different schools and realised that there's been a reoccurring theme of teachers saying how stressed they are and parents saying how stressed the teachers seem to be.

Ofsted will be in our school next half-term, so obviously people very stressed.

Is this normal in education at the moment, or is it just the people I know?

Phoebe47 Thu 13-Jun-13 00:04:49

MerryCouthy - unfortunately it is not possible for another teacher to do PPA time for your child's class teacher. PPA time involves Planning (which only the class teacher can do effectively as she/he knows where the children are and where they should move on to; Preparation - providing appropriate and stimulating resources suitable for each level of ability in the class (again difficult for someone who does not teach the class to do effectively) and Assessment (accurately assessing where children are and when they are ready to move to the next level). My PPA teacher does a whole day for me. I teach in a special school for ASD pupils and they quickly become used to the fact that on MON/TUES/WEDS/THURS P is their teacher (that's me) and on FRI S is their teacher. It works very well for us.

juniper9 Sat 08-Jun-13 03:24:57

It seems like a lot of time and hassle for the 'chance' to win a £20 voucher.

I have reports to write. And it's past 3am and I'm still awake!

businessbunny Fri 07-Jun-13 23:18:15

Hi Ferguson, thank you, I have a message about the research in the Media section however I thought I may try to find MNetter's who are teaching as I suspect the through fare in the other section is very very small sad (judging by the number of replies others received- 1-10). I need to reach as many people as possible as I need 60 plus participants

Ferguson Fri 07-Jun-13 22:46:48

Hi - retired TA (male) here :

businessbunny Not trying to be difficult, but I would suggest you contact MN HQ admin staff regarding this item (unless you already have, of course) as there is sometimes a charge for using MN in this way, rather than just for discussions between interested parties.

A similar item some months ago was DELETED by HQ as it should have incurred a fee (£30 I believe, but check it) and I would hate you worthy cause to suffer that fate.

I was a primary helper, then TA, for twenty years, but have been out of the classroom two years now. But, Yes teachers are under a lot of stress, but I think the best, most organised ones can still find it enjoyable. Mr Gove doesn't exactly do anything to make life any better for teachers, children, or parents, and in due course I think his term in office will be seen like Beeching was on the railways in the '60s.

spanieleyes Fri 07-Jun-13 21:39:25

Sometimes I don't get any! I'm SLT but also teach full time so anything that needs doing during the day has to be fitted in at lunchtime . I quite often have to pop out of the classroom to sign cheques so the bills can be paid! I teach in a small school and, whilst the numbers might be smaller ( although I have 31 in my class just like larger schools) the number of jobs to do is just the same. I'm also maths leader, RE and PE, Eco schools, assessment and EVC, plus probably a few other things I've forgotten!
It's also report writing season, residential next week and SATs results due back soon ( I teach yr 6)
Stressed, who's stressed grin

Jimmybob Fri 07-Jun-13 21:21:32

Yes, they are because of the number of targets and probably quite a lot to do with lack of appreciation, disagreement with Gove's egotisitcal plans philosophy. (I am a govenor at a school, with both a sister and niece who is a teacher).
Also, to get some perspective, probably no more than anyone else in any other public sector job or mostly any other job where there are pressures re funding or because of recession & I'm not sure teachers always get what is going in other fields - for instance I have to work quite hard with our teachers to get them to realise that governor's have a life outisde of being a govenor and have a lot going on and are subject to their own work stress. However, we have some really good teachers who do a great job and I generally couldn't appreciate our more and I think some of the stress in our school is caused by wanting to do the best job possible and being hampered from being able to do that.

businessbunny Fri 07-Jun-13 21:07:11

Hello Spanieleyes,

Wow, you do sound incredibly busy! Apologises if my post was insensitive, I did not mean it to come across that way and I appreciate teacher's have a very full workload. Is 5 minutes for lunch normal for you?

spanieleyes Fri 07-Jun-13 20:39:00

When would I find 15 minutes at work when I will not be interrupted!!

I started today at 7.30 and finished at 4.30 and had 5 minutes in between to eat my lunch ( with the children!) the rest of the time I was preparing for the day, teaching, on playground duty, having a lunchtime social services meeting, teaching and then running a club! I didn't have 15 uninterrupted SECONDS let alone minutes!

businessbunny Fri 07-Jun-13 20:07:51

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MareeyaDolores Mon 18-Feb-13 20:37:48

Thanks very much to all the teachers thanks. And sorry your half-terms are ruined with stupid paperwork. Remember, the vast majority of dc and their parents couldn't give a monkey's about any of the rubbish you're made to do, so long as they're learning, happy-ish, and you know their names wink. And I say that as parent of 1 with significant SN, one whose teacher says she's the perfect student (verbatim, i didn't make it up wink) and one who I'll probably HE unless he calms down by reception age cos it's not fair on anyone cos he's not a whiteboard type

LaBelleDameSansPatience Mon 18-Feb-13 20:03:23

We do still have TA's in my school (quite lucky, I know) but they are all fully occupied running intervention groups, such as AccerlereadAccelerite, Springboard Maths, Wordshark, etc, with individual children or small groups, to make sure that every child makes the OfSTED-imposed progress target.

I do my own admin, displays, etc; sometimes I do her photocopying. My TA leaves at 3.15; I stay until I have finished, usually just after 6, so I actually have more time available for admin jobs.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Feb-13 19:15:19

The best teachers my DC's have had have either been the NQT's or those in their last year or two before retirement.

The NQTs are all excited about having their own class and assume that they won't have to work so hard once they get used to it. Those in the last year or two know that they are almost free!
It is hardly surprising that after 5 years they realise that the workload hasn't diminished and after 15 years they still have a long way to go!

MerryCouthyMows Mon 18-Feb-13 05:12:25

I remember at school helping the Classroom assistant pull the staples out of the wall so that she could put up a new display. We used to clamour to be given that job!

MerryCouthyMows Mon 18-Feb-13 05:10:45

The best teachers my DC's have had have either been the NQT's or those in their last year or two before retirement.

The ones that have been doing it for 5-15 years are the ones who look permanently stressed, tired, and worn out.

I don't know what the answer is, I just know what I want from a teacher, as a parent.

I don't care about Ofsted - out of the 4 Primaries my DC have attended, the best one for my DC's was the one that was never rated higher than 'satisfactory', as it was a school on an army estate with an exceedingly high turnover of pupils - by the end of Y6, you were lucky if one of your original 15-20 pupils from YR were left in the class!

The 'Outstanding' school my DC's currently attend is anything BUT.

They struggle to differentiate effectively for my DS1, who is working on lvl 7/8 in Maths, and lvl 6 in English, and they found it impossible to differentiate at ALL for my DD that was still on p-scales in Y6.

What matters to me, as a parent, when looking for a school is : How do they differentiate for 'high flyers', and how do they differentiate for DC's with SN's? Can they manage my DC's medical issues effectively? What do they do in the event of bullying?

Anything else is irrelevant, really. If my DC's all left Y6 able to read, write, and have FUNCTIONAL maths skills, I don't care about the displays, I don't want teachers doing paperwork instead of teaching my DC's, I don't want job shares because it is too stressful for my DC's.

That's all I want from a teacher, but Ofsted rules and sodding paperwork make that impossible.

donnasummer Sun 17-Feb-13 22:40:08

ofsted didn't look at my plans or workbooks
am constantly micro-managed about trivial issues but left bewildered about the bigger issues eg HT gave old TT to inspector and so was expecting a completely different lesson which I had to pull out of the hat

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 22:37:27

I quite like doing displays. I do mine over the holidays or I pay my own children to help me do them one evening after school. I do not have to do them though.

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 22:36:34

We have schemes of work which are produced as a department, each lesson will be a few bullet points.

I then write a few lines in my planner.

That is the extent of my planning documentation and we have made clear to staff that no more is expected when OFSTED come in.

ipadquietly Sun 17-Feb-13 22:33:56

Hmmm.... one of the comments from our recent Ofsted inspection was that we should be continuously differentiating within our differentiated lessons, constantly responding and adapting to each child's learning. So 5 sides of A4 sounds about right......

exoticfruits Sun 17-Feb-13 22:27:22

Of not if.

Actually I love displaying the children's work- it isn't something I would want to delegate.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 17-Feb-13 22:25:03

We used to have to try and match INCERTS which we assessed to with the Skills Ladder that we planned to. They did not correspond. No one on SMT seemed to care hmm

We also certainly had a great deal of planning evidence to produce, although not quite as bad as 5 side of A4 per lesson shock

exoticfruits Sun 17-Feb-13 22:24:40

A draw back if the 'old' days of teaching was that it was possible to be very lazy and possible to miss out lots of things and repeat things they had done before. But most teachers were hard working, conscientious, very professional and good teachers. Unfortunately in trying to get good practice from all 'the baby got thrown out with the bath water' and everyone is made to conform- sometimes a brilliant teacher can be very different- but they are not allowed to be.

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 22:24:22

I don't have a TA and I still put up displays myself

exoticfruits Sun 17-Feb-13 22:18:52

The silly thing is that when I started teaching you didn't have a TA and you had to put up displays yourself, but it wasn't stressful - you just got on with it.
I hate to do without a TA these days and my first question on supply was always - have I got help in the classroom?

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 22:17:34

I do think there is a definite primary /secondary divide.

It is becoming increasingly normal for primary heads to dictate how teachers plan (one school I know of asks for 5 sides of A4 per lesson with 5 way differentiation hmm ) then there is APP for every pupil for every subject plus observations/evidence /files/folders etc etc

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 22:06:22

I do wonder if this is a primary/ secondary thing.

I am a member of the leadership team so I have additional duties, but in terms of being a teacher I do the following. I plan, I teach and I assess. I do not do paperwork ( unless you are including reports ), I don't tidy my room, my displays are changed in the school holidays unless the class are putting up something they have done.

I would not work in an environment that expected me to spend an hour every day photocopying, filling in forms and changing displays.

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