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Going down to 4 days...

(25 Posts)
CiderLolly Sat 15-Nov-14 22:59:55

Has anybody gone down to 4 days from full time and felt it has reduced their workload or improved their work/ home life balance??? Or is this just wishful thinking!?! Considering requesting 4 days as I'm struggling at the mo!

tilliebob Sun 16-Nov-14 09:06:24

I now work 3 days but worked 4 days for years with Friday off. It meant for me that I could do the "mum" thing - taking the kids to school, having them home for lunch etc sometimes. My DH works shifts so sometimes it was the only day of the week we actually saw each other. I also could get my housework/shopping/appointments done (for me or the dcs) and still have the weekend to go.

At work, I left the easiest day for someone to take over my class. I still was in control of all aspects of my class, display, time tabling etc, and did all the staff mtgs etc. However being 0.8 meant that I didn't have to do all the parents evenings/inset days if I didn't want to (although I often did through choice). I still did all the planning etc too.

It worked for me as a control freak wink as I was still "the" class teacher, I knew that come Thursday I could go out the door and have a 3 day weekend, and those Fridays really saved my sanity. I didn't feel I was fitting 5 days into 4, whereas in my current post I do feel I'm trying to cram 5 days into 3 (new school/new post).

Hope that ramble helps in some way - kinda early on a Sunday dot coherent thought wink

rollonthesummer Sun 16-Nov-14 09:11:28

My colleague has always done this. She takes her daughter to school, works all day- planning, marking and assessing and then collects her daughter, does the housework and then has the weekends free.

She missed the money the first month though!

makeitabetterplace Sun 16-Nov-14 09:21:32

I worked four days for several years and loved it. I never felt completely drained at work and never felt that I was 'part time' in the same way three days a week might feel. I taught English and maths entirely on my four days as I didn't want to leave one day of each for someone else to do as that would have bugged me. This meant having double English and double maths on one of my days. Don't fall into the trap of using your day off as an extra long PPA day though!

toomuchicecream Sun 16-Nov-14 17:39:20

For a year or so I had 2 afternoons a week off (to coincide with my son starting secondary school). It was great. I followed the advice of a wise colleague to never take my lunch to school so I always got out reasonably promptly. Yes, I often spent my afternoons off working, but that was my choice - if the weather was good I could go for a bike ride or do some gardening. I'd often sit in Starbucks for the afternoon marking writing.

The biggest impact was on my weekends ie I got one. At the end of the year I said something to my year 6 class about my 2 afternoons off and one girl looked very confused. She said she'd thought that on the afternoons when I wasn't teaching I was in the staffroom!! So the children clearly thought I was their full time class teacher, and so did I.

As I stare at the pile of work I've done this weekend and the pile I've still got left to do, I'm getting quite nostalgic for the thought of a 4 day week...

CiderLolly Sun 16-Nov-14 19:54:55

Thanks, positive experiences here then, might be worth a shot before completely losing my marbles. I do like the idea of still being the main teacher and realistically I don't know if I could afford to go down to 3 days. Monday would work best as my day off in terms of childcare but I'm not sure if that would go down well or not. Hmmmm... Just out of interest, how was your day off covered?

rollonthesummer Sun 16-Nov-14 20:40:57

The 4-day teachers I have known have all had Fridays as their day off.

Littlefish Sun 16-Nov-14 22:08:50

I have Wednesdays off. I love it. 2 days at work, a day to catch my breath, and then 2 days at work. It works brilliantly for me.

CiderLolly Mon 17-Nov-14 06:29:28

Wednesday would be another option. I can see that working. Thanks.

roughtyping Mon 17-Nov-14 06:51:30

I moved to 4 days in January (off Friday). I love it and wouldn't go back unless we were desperate for the money. I have health issues and this has made a big difference - I get tired very easily, so my Friday is spent getting DS to school then either going to physio or sleeping. Lovely to be home for DS at the end of the day.

I remember someone once saying that a Tuesday is the best day to have off as you get more holidays than if you're off a Monday or a Friday! But for me Friday is definitely the right choice - feels like a long weekend every weekend smile

roughtyping Mon 17-Nov-14 06:52:49

Oh and it's a member of management who covers my Friday, last year they hired supply to do it. They cover completely separate areas - maths for life skills, novel study, lots of art as she's really good at it!

tilliebob Mon 17-Nov-14 08:11:53

A variety of folks have covered my Fridays over the years. Management, the NCCT teacher, a part time teacher who covered 3 classes with teachers on flexi working.

Euphemia Mon 17-Nov-14 09:07:57

I've just gone down to 0.8 and it's not working for me, seriously thinking of moving school and going FT again.

In my case it's circumstances more than anything, as I'm covering non-contact time this year and I miss having my own class. My HT has also asked me to cover illness on my day off, despite me telling her I'd never want to do that, then I feel bad for saying no.

I'm also concerned that I miss out on bank holidays as I have Mondays off. I need to sit down and work out how many days a year I work compared to my colleague who has Fridays off.

tilliebob Mon 17-Nov-14 09:20:30

We have a long weekend Thurs/Fri and also a double inset on those days each year. Part time work is pro rata so you can get a proportion of holidays etc missed back. Ring HR to see.

Not that I ever take them, I think it balances out pretty well for me. I only do 2 out of 3 parents evenings each time, and this year I'm doing 4 out of the 6 inset days. I need to do 3 out of every 5 staff mtgs so that's what I do...go to 3 and skip 2.

CiderLolly Mon 17-Nov-14 20:40:15

Thanks all. That was my worry about a Monday off, Bank Hols etc. How much PPA are you entitled to at 0.8?

Euphemia Mon 17-Nov-14 21:08:37

I'm in Scotland so it might be different, but we are entitled to 30 minutes per day worked.

roughtyping Tue 18-Nov-14 06:43:10

Scotland too, I get 2 hours NCCT a week.

happyoverhere Tue 18-Nov-14 06:48:55

I work 4 days, I think its ok once you realise you are essentially working full time for less pay and you will probably end up working most of the 5th day at home BUT you dont have to actually get out of your PJs and go in, other than to do your own kids.

Euphemia Tue 18-Nov-14 07:09:11

If I could get a job nearer home I'd go back to FT - it's more straightforward!

CiderLolly Tue 18-Nov-14 17:38:32

I think I'm expecting to have to do school work of some description on my day off but I guess it's one less chaotic morning getting my own kids up and out and I may also be able to manage to get some things done around the house. Usually weekends are washing, ironing, tidying and sorting out the last bits of work for Monday and I guess I'm hoping I can get some of that done on my day off instead! Still not 100% sure it's going to work! I seemed to manage better with one child but with two it seems very difficult ha! Thanks for the replies everyone.

junkfoodaddict Wed 19-Nov-14 15:29:14

I have found this thread very interesting. I am off work with stress and thinking that when I return after mat leave, going 3 or 4 days. I too like to be in control and 4 days would probably work best for me. It allows me to do mum stuff with my toddler and my would be then baby and also give me the option to work at home on Fridays (MIL lives with us) and have weekends off.

padkin Wed 19-Nov-14 18:24:45

I found that working full time completely took over my weekend. There was no way I could visit relatives for the weekend, or go anywhere as I had work that took up at least one day, if not more. It impacted hugely on our family time, caused untold stress and guilt and made me miserable, tired and resentful. I requested 4 days with the express intention of getting a weekend back. I fully expected to work ALL day on my day "off", which I do, but I make sure I have a work-free weekend, every weekend, both days, no debate. It that has transformed how I feel about the job.

I appreciate that I'm lucky in that I have primary-aged children, so once I've done the drop off (which is sooo good, being back in social contact a little bit with other mums, touching base with the kids teachers occasionally) I can come home and work without interruption. I also accepted the fact that as a primary class teacher doing 4 days, I do the bulk of the work for my year group. My 0.2 job share does discrete stuff on her day, and I try to cram everything else into my 0.8. I do all SEND stuff, organise class room management and displays, interventions, assessment, data, parents evenings etc etc, but it keeps me in control, so it's my choice. I don't think I could go back to full time now. Seriously.

CiderLolly Wed 19-Nov-14 18:44:33

Thanks, padkin! Think you may have just made me make my mind up! Love the job but something has to give. Now I just have to pluck up the courage to ask grin

MsFiremanSam Wed 19-Nov-14 20:02:07

I've recently dropped to 4 days. It's great! Still feel part of the department and have all my own classes. I can't work on my day off as I have two DC's who are 4 and 1, so I still have to work at weekends, but once they're both at school I plan to keep to 4 days and have free weekends. Teaching full time just isn't sustainable for me anymore.

MaryShelley Thu 20-Nov-14 19:40:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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