Working hours (primary)(28 Posts)
I just typed a post and it vanished so hope this doesn't duplicate!
So, I started a new job a year ago after a year out on maternity following a temp contract.
Last job was full time at a 2.5 form entry infant school. I would start a bit before 8 and 5 would be a late finish .
Current job is 0.4 at a small village primary (mixed year group classes) and I get in at half 7 and leaving before 6 is rare. I also seem to be doing as much in the evenings and on a weekend as I did when I was full time. This is normal for my colleagues too.
What hours do other people do at school and outside in primary teaching jobs? I feel on the verge of leaving as this is not what I thought it would be and things are not getting easier as time goes by.
I do love being in the classroom actually working with the children but everything else seems ridiculous!
Headteacher. In at 7.30am and leave at 4pm or in at 8.30am and leave at 5pm.
Also, I chase my staff off the premises too. Teachers can always find something else to do - you need to find your 'good enough' cut-off point.
You are entitled to a work-life balance!
You set a good example Hedge!
I never managed to get this cracked when I was teaching. I was generally in sometime between 7.30 and 8.00, then left about 6.00. But I would always work in the evening and at weekends.
I think that workloads are better in larger schools, as there are more people to share the load.
I have a friend who is a teacher (secondary maths) who told me recently she is in school from 7.30am to 6pm. I was a bit amazed as she is recently married and hoping to have children, I think her plan would be to be a sahm when her babies we're small but I fear these long days are not helping. I used to teach (sec pe) so less marking but fixtures and practises filled after school. I tried to be in for 7.30/8 and if no fixture leave by 5.
Village primary, FS, full time.
At school: It varies through the year but currently 7am/7.30am to 5, then 2-3 hours at home on Mon-Thurs (Friday is my night off).
I've just (6.30am) had an exchange of emails with my head at home as I'm drinking my breakfast tea.
I did about 5hrs last Sat and 9hrs on Sun.
I've never done so much but OFSTED is imminent so there is a lot of 'not wanting to let the school down' as a frightening amount of local school have gone straight from outstanding to 'requires improvement'.
I normally have a much more sensible work/life balance; I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up & am starting to fantasise about jacking it all in.
I get in at 6:15 when the site supervisor opens up and leave at 4:15 ish, provided there's no meeting. I rarely take work home but do mark through my lunch hour and breaks. It works for me as my brain is much more alive in the morning.
I get in at 8am (childcare constraints) and stay until what ever time needed (usually 6pm but could stay later) 2 nights a week, 5.30 latest one night a week and 3pm 2 nights a week (contract variation). I rarely work at home- although I do answer emails at all hours.
My childminder starts work at 8, so I get to work for quarter past. I'm neither the first or the last to leave.
We have to be in by 8.40, except on Mondays when we have a short meeting to start the week.
I work 4.5 days a week.
On days I am picking up my DD, I leave at half 4.
On other days I leave at 5.
I rarely taking marking or planning home, but don't mind looking for resources and ideas on an evening at home.
My last job in primary, FT, 8am til 5.45pm as the school shuts at 6pm.
I agree that smaller schools are harder work when I worked in a village school I co-ordinated three subjects one of them a core.
That was in addition to working two or three hours out of school Mon-Fri and around 5 on Sunday.
FT in 2 form entry primary- In at half 7, leave at 5. Work a couple of hours week nights at home and an afternoon every weekend.
I mark at lunchtime / breaks but still have stuff to mark at home .
I have been teaching for nearly 20 years and my workload has increased massively in the last few years.
Blimey Euphemia, that does sound hard.
My place has over 1000 kids (primary) and lots of people talk about 'moving to a small school' with misty eyes. I think the people who have only ever had year group partners to plan with, a full time TA of their own, 8 admin staff, 2 site staff and a massive team of dinner ladies to support them would get a rude shock!!!
I'm full time, Year 3 and also SENCO and Maths coordinator. I generally get in between 7.30 and 7.45am and rarely leave before 5.30. Caretaker locks up at 6pm and I'm usually leaving then. I actually feel quite panicked if I have a meeting or a course etc to go to after school as then i have to leave early and it knocks me out of my usual routine so I'm chasing my tail catching up.
I then work for around an hour to an hour and a half each night at home, except Fridays, and then around 2-4 hours across the weekend (sometimes spread out, sometimes in one clump depending what else I'm doing).
Living not too far from the school really helps- I used to work in a school that took at least 45 mins and sometimes up to an hour each way, that was a NIGHTMARE of dead time added onto your day. Now my school is just ten mins drive- much better. Having a smaller class size has been brilliant so far this year with marking- I only have 19 children , whereas some colleagues have 29. When I get to the end of my pile of books I think to myself "Mrs X would have another ten books left now".
I'm actually quite worried for the future as I'm 9 weeks pregnant- obviously it's a little while off yet but when I return to work with a baby I just don't know how I'd be able to sanely maintain those hours! Something's got to give...
I think that a new job in a new school with, possibly, a new year group, will always be harder work than when you've been somewhere for a while and know the ropes. So don't despair, it will get easier.
I also think you have to accept that it's impossible to keep all your plates spinning at the same time and that some WILL fall (and smash!). Learn to multi-task and cut corners (I'm a past master at that!). Too many of us teachers are perfectionists, and that leads to unbearable stress if you're not careful.
I get in at 7.30 and leave between 5 and 5.30. I almost never work at home, though.
Thanks for your replies everyone. I think, and it was what I suspected was the case, that being in a smaller school is the crux of the problem.
Clam- I don't think it will get easier. It's been a year and I know about spinning plates and creating a work/home balance and I was great at that before- at larger school. I didn't have to plan at home. Now all my planning is done at home as there just isn't time to do it at work.
I just don't think I can carry on like this and fully enjoy the time I have at home with my son and husband as work is in my mind too often.
I'm just not suited to working at a small village school. I think I want to do supply (which I have done before) and then think about getting a full time job when my son, and any future children, are in full time education.
Thanks again for your replies- they have really helped!
I've often wondered whether a small school must not mean an excessive workload. I've only ever worked in 2-form entry primaries and the workload is therefore shared out.
Personally I would hate to do supply (and I would check out how many schools are actually using them these days-I've heard anecdotally that they're getting by with HLTAs and unqualified teachers instead).
Why not look around for a larger school instead?
I am also looking around for a larger school! I think supply would give me the chance to move about a bit though, get to know a few local schools and get my head sorted a bit re where I want to work! I know a couple of teachers round here who get a steady stream of work too so there is worn about.
I really enjoyed it when I did it before. I went back to the same schools a few times which helps with not feeling lost all the time! I also, always, got to leave at 4ish- often before as most teachers don't want you messing with the marking!
I would also agree that my most manageable years of teaching were when I was working in a two form entry or parallel year group set up.
I'm in a primary school and I get to work at 6:45am and leave at 5pm. Exhausting and I never feel like I'm reducing my to do list!
A lot of schools wouldn't be open at 6.45am though, unless you are a head with keys.
Worst situation I ever had was working in a small rural school, portakabin classroom and my own keys. Without any restraints on going in and out, the hours I put in were stupid.
We have fob entry. The teacher's fobs work 7am - 7pm on week days only. SLT's fobs work 24/7. Thanks for that, whoever though that was a good idea!!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.