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Missing your child's events when you're teaching

(44 Posts)
Verycold Thu 13-Jun-13 07:50:22

Christmas plays, sports day... The list is endless, how do you cope emotionally and/or practically? I am going back to teaching after ages away and the thought of this is really getting to me after never missing anything before.

Verycold Thu 13-Jun-13 11:23:30


orangeandemons Thu 13-Jun-13 11:26:45

We are allowed to go the Xmas play if we arrange internal cover. Or take unpaid leave.

Verycold Thu 13-Jun-13 11:41:03

Are you primary or secondary?

orangeandemons Thu 13-Jun-13 12:32:56


Hulababy Thu 13-Jun-13 12:35:08

I work in an Infant school and our staff can go to some events. They have to use their ppa time though and then make up their planning time in their own time.

Theas18 Thu 13-Jun-13 12:45:18

Depends on you management team I think. When DH worked in the state sector he managed to make the "really important" stuff eg year 6 leavers assembly. Prizegiving when they had a proper prize to collect etc

This was party because the primary head he worked with thought " we want parents to come and support the kids at our school for special events because it's important for the children, so I will try and hep you to do the same".

I'm sure that the fact that DH has always had a role that needs loads of "none core" hours anyway- so eats into family time- and the head realises this and thinks sensibly " if he's spending all of Saturday taking the choir to another school for a performance them letting him leave an hour early and allowing he TA to do story time is a good way of balancing the good will we all need".

However there was a lot at primary that we both missed. All the bl**dy parent participation days etc that were part of the " community outreach" type stuff. THat really really annoyed me. Days that were really hyped as "really important that you bring a parent we'll have such a super time and learn so much" with kids who are 6 or 7 really sets them up for disappointment when actually mum and dad work, and they don't have a local gran or auntie . Oh and the days were 1 per year group per term. So that would be 3 days every term I'm supposed to be in school? you are having a laugh!

Eyesunderarock Thu 13-Jun-13 12:49:05

I always missed everything during school hours, I lined up OH and grandparents and treated children who had done something special to buns a la Railway Children.
There was no compromise at any of the many schools I worked at. Primary.
It's part of the shit of being a working parent. You need a co-operative SLT and decent colleagues.

GW297 Thu 13-Jun-13 15:29:01

Always ask. It's at the discretion of the Head as others have said. Offer to swap PPA time, take unpaid leave - whatever helps!

HedgeHogGroup Thu 13-Jun-13 18:22:48

I always try to accommodate my staff if they want to go to their childrens' events. Mainly because I want to go to own children's.
A happy staff are far more likely to give time back in return and a little bit of goodwill goes a long way smile

colander Thu 13-Jun-13 18:23:08

I ask for the "big" stuff - sports' day, Christmas play, but don't ask for all the other cr*p that we get invited to. Totally agree with the disappointment for younger ones when teachers talk about having parents there. I'm secondary, private, and with a lovely head who is a parent herself (although hers are older) and who totally 'gets' that by giving me a couple of hours off twice a year in return she gets my appreciation and dedication to the school. I usually only ask if cover isn't needed, or if it is this term when I would have been teaching y11 or 13.

Arisbottle Thu 13-Jun-13 18:37:20

Since going into teaching I have never attended a school event , I think the holidays make up for that .

Pozzled Thu 13-Jun-13 18:40:40

Up till now I had a really understanding HT and have usually been able to take the time instead of PPA or make up time elsewhere (I work pt). The one thing that I couldn't make was DD1's first day at school, which was quite gutting. She was fine with her Dad, though.

I now have a brand new HT, so not sure how easy it will be to get to things now.

Verycold Thu 13-Jun-13 20:37:18

Interesting, so you think it's okay to ask? A friend said to me she wouldn't even consider asking.

colander Thu 13-Jun-13 21:01:25

Looks like some of us think it is ok to ask, and some of us don't!

I work on the assumption that if you don't ask, you don't get. Having said that, when I first started at my new school for at least the first two terms I didn't ask ... just worked very hard and tried to make a good impression. I also wouldn't ask for times when I know it would be really inconvenient. There are two days coming up that I would love to be able to be there (one for DD1 and one for DD2) but I haven't asked for either because we have something on at my school.

So - if you want my advice - don't ask straight away, wait until you have a solution e.g. moving ppa if primary, exam groups out if secondary, and wait for the really special days. Good luck!

SprinkleLiberally Thu 13-Jun-13 21:13:59

DH goes instead. It's hard but they have a parent there at least. He is no less of a parent than me after all. Dc grumble a bit but they are fine.

2kidsintow Thu 13-Jun-13 21:56:30

DH has to take most of his holidays to cover times when their school is closed and mine is open, or for medical appts, or for times the childminder or the children are poorly.
He's not particularly bothered by school events, but I am and up til now I've been lucky enough to have an SMT that has allowed me to attend important events. They are older now and all I have to try and fit in is one assembly and one sports day a year for the next 3 years. My new head allowed me a paid afternoon off (covered internally) yesterday for sports day.

ninah Thu 13-Jun-13 23:39:12

I love not having to sit through sportsday unpaid

Verycold Fri 14-Jun-13 08:09:52

I'll just have to get my head round it, I haven't missed a thing before so it will be weird, and feel a bit sorry for ds who is the youngest, as I was always there for his sisters' things but won't be for his hmm

LindyHemming Fri 14-Jun-13 17:57:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

snotfunny Fri 14-Jun-13 18:48:21

My Head is unsympathetic and I've stopped asking. The only thing I kick up a fuss about us my DS's statement reviews - and even then I don't only go on alternate years and send DS's dad with my written comments on the other years. I also don't go to his hospital appointments. I bend over backwards, yet the Head still gave me a stern talking to when baby DD got chicken pox and DP was working away as I had to stay off for the whole week. It sucks hmm

LindyHemming Fri 14-Jun-13 20:12:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Noggie Fri 14-Jun-13 21:50:25

It is so hard- I asked and got to go to Christmas show but can't do school trips and other parent helper type things. My dd knows I work but would love for me to be more involved with her school and doesn't understand why other mummies who work can attend and I can't hmm x

BoysRule Fri 14-Jun-13 21:55:31

Do you not think it is a bit hypocritical as a teacher to not be allowed to go to your own child's school events? We put on a nativity play, assemblies, open afternoons etc that we expect parents to attend, yet we can't attend our own child's.

I remember a Head I once worked for saying that we should be aware of children who were going to breakfast club and after school club every day as it was too much for them at that young age - and someone pointing out that her staff's children would have to do the same!

I haven't taught yet with my own children at school age and I would feel terrible if I couldn't go to assemblies etc.

schooldidi Fri 14-Jun-13 22:00:51

The only school events I have ever managed to go to were when I was on maternity leave. My friend asks to go to quite a few things at her kids school and as long as she has managed to organise cover through favours within the department the head hasn't had a problem with it (and yet he had a huge problem with another colleague attending a funeral this week confused), but her dcs are at a school 5 mins walk from ours whereas mine are at a school near home which is 30 mins dirve away so would take more covering.

I have generally tried to get my parents to go along to the important things, and since my mum retired they've both been to everything the school has invited anyone to. When we lived closer to them my dad was the 'parent helper' they asked first for every school trip because they knew he was always available and keen to help out.

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