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So - how much work have you got to do over half term?

(88 Posts)
petalpower Sun 16-Feb-14 19:45:58

Are you going to manage to get a break or is there just too much to catch up on?

KinkyDorito Fri 21-Feb-14 09:46:51

<sobs and rocks>

Littlefish Fri 21-Feb-14 08:46:13

Aaaaaargh! I haven't done any of it! I'm starting today. I will, I will, I will.

petalpower Fri 21-Feb-14 08:13:35

Oh yes, I need to tidy through my school bag and files too. It was just getting heavier and heavier so I suspect it need a good sort out!

sassytheFIRST Fri 21-Feb-14 08:09:27

I'm just about to get going on what I hope to be the final session - 2 hours or so before meeting a friend later. Did a good 3 hours planning yesterday meaning that my next two week are pretty much sorted. I'm going to pick up a lot of marking next week so needed to get ahead.

today I want to....

Plan a series of A level lessons

Read and comment on (not mark) several 2,500 word Pieces of A level coursework, ready to return to pupils electronically giving them tweaking time before final deadline on Monday.

Tidy my work bag, files etc. I don't have my own classroom and they always end up in a tip as I hurtle from one room to the next!

petalpower Fri 21-Feb-14 08:02:23

I'm going into school today to get the things done in my classroom that I was too tired to do at the end of last week. I wish it was the sort of job where you could say "Yes, I've finished, there's no more I can do!". It just seems never ending sometimes.

LurkingCinners Thu 20-Feb-14 19:08:20

I'm knackered but not finished yet, sadly.
Hope everyone else is on target wink

CheckpointCharlie Thu 20-Feb-14 14:22:20

I see. Blimey that is a lot of jobs. Hope you get to have a rest too.

TheGruffalo2 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:38:48

KS1 leader, SLT, SENCo, Literacy and Assessment coordinator and temporarily history coordinator (she's on maternity leave).

CheckpointCharlie Thu 20-Feb-14 09:37:24

Go for it Cinners see if you can get the planning started aswell!

LurkingCinners Thu 20-Feb-14 09:13:46

Right, impressed with what some of you have already done I will start on my day of marking.
Some of it has already been marked but no level given, so I hope I get through it all today.

I teach MFL p/t and have to say, my department is very organised, there are sow, there were exams ready to be handed out at the end of units, there are mark schemes attached, etc.
This hasn't always been the case at previous schools.
My hod is at school today so if I get stuck with anything I can go in and see him for advice.
Have to get going, the prospect of only a few hours planning tomorrow and a free week end will hopefully carry me through today.

Dh has taken 2 days off btw, seems a shame to be locking myself away in the study as we have so little time together, but our LO would not let me do any work otherwise.

ravenAK Wed 19-Feb-14 21:57:15

Ah, I teach History as a second (well, third, really) subject & it does lend itself fairly readily to team-planned Schemes of Learning.

It's not so effective in a skills based subject like English - I find that you need to be more responsive on the whole.

I plan more for some classes than others, but I couldn't effectively teach my middle ability y11 in the current run up to their second Mock, for example, unless every lesson was planned in response to the one before.

Philoslothy Wed 19-Feb-14 21:48:15

Kinky why are you doing all that yourself? What are other members of your department doing?

KinkyDorito Wed 19-Feb-14 21:41:02

Bugger! grin

You do sound lucky though sassy.

I'm FT English, teaching and writing every single lesson for Year 13, 12, 11, 10, 9 and 8 as I go, with the accompanying marking, and then SOW for the whole dept too and all the admin extras. I am a very experienced teacher with plenty of expertise, but I still need to plan and write the content of my lessons based on what my new boss wants me to teach. I'm trying to adapt things from what I already have.


I would like to say it will ease off when it's embedded, but we all know that National Curriculum changes are looming once again.

CheckpointCharlie Wed 19-Feb-14 21:40:19

gruffalo are you a year group leader? You have a mega list.
I am in ks1 too and have so far actively turned down Leadership roles because I think it would be too much. I feel for you.

But you are right, I am a subject leader of a massive subject and am taking on a much more senior role next year. I am terrified but it feels right. Teaching is hard.
I am hoping my new role will open up opportunities that will allow me to leave teaching in the next few years. It's too much, and I have only been teaching for ten years!

sassytheFIRST Wed 19-Feb-14 21:05:15

I'm a secondary English reacher and I love my job! I am part time tho, that helps... I'm also v lucky in the dept I work in - my hod fields a great deal of crap from the head teacher and prevents it reaching us, I'm also something of an A level specialist and in our dept that means little or no KS3 and only smaller, low attaining groups at KS4.

Can't help with the Lear and Chaucer stuff btw, sorry.

TheGruffalo2 Wed 19-Feb-14 21:01:11

I suppose that is where KS1 is different. When you teach English and Maths every day there are both books to mark nightly. We are expected to write AfL comments and then at the start of the following lesson give time for the children to respond to those comments. Each lesson must be planned in response to the one before, so even ST plans need adapting each day. As they are young peer and self assessment is only an occasional activity and has limited value (plus is hugely time consuming in lessons). Every member of staff is a subject leader for at least one subject, and as such has to monitor quality of teaching and learning, assessment data, lesson plans, etc. of their subject across the whole school, with little or no time to do so.

Philoslothy Wed 19-Feb-14 20:49:51

I have not always been a teacher, I am not a teacher out of a sense of vocation - I want to earn a wage and see my family. Most teachers do have an admirable sense of vocation and we need to keep those teachers but we need to prevent them from burning themselves out. Those sort of teachers try to produce the ideal scenario but idealism is just not practical.

Philoslothy Wed 19-Feb-14 20:47:08

I teach History and a few other linked subjects. All of our departments work this way.

I like planning lessons, however I like my family and free time more. There will be times when I want to plan an individual lesson and that will then be added to the shared resources. But that happens when I have time .

Philoslothy Wed 19-Feb-14 20:44:57

Our books are marked once a fortnight by most staff, in certain subjects where the students are seen more often the books are marked more and where they are seen less often they are marked less.

However not everything needs to be marked by a teacher. if feedback has been given from students , with guidance from staff - there is no need for feedback to be given from the teacher. If I give verbal feedback in a piece of work, there is no need for a written comment to be given ( it might be but it need not be)

We have detailed differentiated schemes of work, teachers are under no pressure to add to that. Sometimes we need to but it not the norm or expected. Sometimes my marking will inform me that I need to go back over something and then I would plan but most of the time I use the lessons on the scheme of work which were planned by relaxed talented teams of staff sharing their ideas, not overworked individuals who are seething with resentment at their work loads

Our teaching staff have iPads, they download the schemes of work onto their iPads and then import the relevant scheme of work sections in their planning app.

If the most pressing thing to be done at the time of a meeting is marking exams - that is what we do.

EvilTwins Wed 19-Feb-14 20:37:39

I'm secondary. I'm a department of one. I actually quite enjoy the planning. Good job really because over the last 2 yrs I've started a new GCSE course and the BTEC spec has changed drastically. Philo - what's your subject? Some are easier to use generic SOW for than others.

I'm marking this week because I've ignored it all whilst doing the school play. That's my choice though - I choose to do the show and I bloody love doing it.

ravenAK Wed 19-Feb-14 20:31:22

I'm secondary.

we do the common SOLs. However, you are expected to produce detailed, differentiated individual planning to go alongside it...

& we are explicitly prohibited from using meeting time for marking.

KinkyDorito Wed 19-Feb-14 20:26:09

I'm secondary and I have encountered none of the measures you have written about in the last decade.

We do use peer assessment, but are still expected to mark every book once a fortnight with a target.

You are very, very lucky and you can PM me with the name of your school!!

petalpower Wed 19-Feb-14 20:23:57

I think if I said "No, I can't do that" it would go down very badly.
I am in a very small (3 class) primary and the workload is huge.
It sounds as though your school is really helping to monitor and reduce workload Philoslothy.

Philoslothy Wed 19-Feb-14 20:17:23

I think you are all primary,so I am not going to pretend to know what you need to do.

In a secondary scenario things we have done to reduce teacher workload have included:
Using inset and department time to produce schemes of work which are used by all staff
Planning with other schools, rather than schools individually creating schemes of work and lesson plans
Regular logging of hours
Anonymous feedback on working hours
Each department has a member of staff who is not a senior member of staff to monitor working hours and feedback about problems
Less assessment
Peer marking
Using meeting time for marking sessions

This process started with staff just saying " no, I can't do that"

KinkyDorito Wed 19-Feb-14 20:07:38

You are completely correct Philoslothy and I agree with you. In my situation I am too new to my job to change this yet. I think the whole climate in teaching at the moment expects far too much of us and people are leaving. Do we all down tools though? The school I've moved to is hovering above special measures and if we don't do it, we might not have a job to go to. The school I was in for nearly a decade before was outstanding and I was made to feel if I slipped remotely, I would lose my job. The expectations are vast, pressured and relentless wherever you are.

But yes, in these circumstances it is very hard to keep my love of the job. I've not met a secondary English teacher who loves their job in ages.

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