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2 teacher families

(26 Posts)
beatricequimby Mon 05-Jan-15 20:26:17

Anyone else a teacher with a partner who also teaches?

Obviously holiday time is fab but I wonder how other people manage when the kids are sick and neither of you can be off? I would like to increase my hours at school but this is what puts me off. Anyone got any creative solutions?

ELA88 Mon 05-Jan-15 20:49:52

DH and I are both teachers, I'm currently pregnant with our first child, due in march and child care is a massive concern. We've decided for me to return in September after 6 months mat leave but part time. If our son is sick I assume we will just have to decide between us who will stay off work with him! Lots of my colleagues have young children and have missed a few days here and there with poorly children.
Not a very helpful response though I'm afraid!

rollonthesummer Mon 05-Jan-15 20:57:38

I can imagine it's a bloody nightmare!

In my school, any time off with an ill child is unpaid, so I have only ever taken time off once (and I have lots of children!) with one child when they were quite seriously ill in hospital. My mum or DH have to cover it between them and inevitably when one gets ill, three days later the next one catches it and so on so it seems never ending.

Other things to watch are their Inset days being different to yours and snow days. My children's school always shut at the first flake whereas mine hasn't shut in living memory!

roisin Mon 05-Jan-15 21:10:38

Cultivate some very good friendships with people who work full year (not in schools), but part-time. Actively volunteer to have their kids for days out during the hols and offer to have them when they're ill. Then they can reciprocate and help you out during term time.

beatricequimby Mon 05-Jan-15 21:14:55

Thanks Roll and ELA.
ELA if you haven't sorted out childcare yet you might want to consider a nanny or childminder. Babies in nursery often pick up loads of bugs and it can be really difficult if you don't have anyone else to look after them if they are ill. Nurseries are also usually really strict about not taking children who a mildly ill. A childminder might be a bit more flexible and obviously with a nanny it's not a problem at all if the baby is ill. Good luck!

beatricequimby Mon 05-Jan-15 21:19:40

Roisin I do have those sort of arrangements with friends but I always think an ill child is a bit difficult to give to a friend. Nobody really wants someone else's child with diarrhoea. Think I really need a big extended family living locally or else a career change.

BrianButterfield Mon 05-Jan-15 21:20:17

We just alternate days off. If the DC are ill, they're ill and someone has to stay off. Luckily our nursery are not the sort to go ringing you at the smallest sniffle but to be honest I feel like it's tough shit if I have to take a day off work when the DC need me. Work's just work.

Brandysnapper Mon 05-Jan-15 21:24:19

It hasn't been too awkward so far, we argue at home about whose turn it is but I think work appreciate that it isn't only the female staff member who takes time off. Have no family who can help out so don't know what we'd do with a longer absence, eg chicken pox.

Horopu Mon 05-Jan-15 21:24:52

We alternate. I'm given the time off as sick leave, not sure about DH, but probably the same as we have never lost money over it.

rollonthesummer Mon 05-Jan-15 22:09:51

I'm given the time off as sick leave, not sure about DH, but probably the same as we have never lost money over it.

That's really unfair that schools are so different. My school is so strict about it being unpaid. Sadly, it encourages people to lie and say it was them being ill, so now SMT have implemented the 'back to work' meetings after every period of abscence just to check up on you. I'm too scared to have a meeting like this so DH has to do the ill-child caring and if I'm ill, I just drag myself in. I can't remember the last day I had off for any reason other than a strike; it must have been 5+ years ago.

padkin Mon 05-Jan-15 22:15:52

My DH doesn't teach, I do, but he works away a lot (weeks here and there, often abroad). It ultimately means that if one of the DC is really ill then I have to take time off. If DH is here, he always does it, but he's often not. I have no family near by, and all my friends work full time (and even if they didn't I wouldn't ask them to take an ill child).

My school does pay you, but I think only for 4 days in the year. Luckily I've only missed one day this year so far, and a couple last year. I work part time (0.8) so if one of them is dodgy on my day at home, I take advantage and keep them with me, but on a teaching day my poor children have to be realllly ill to miss school. I hate it, often sending them when they probably should be at home because I have so few options. It's hugely hypercritical as I know many teachers get cross when ill children go to school, but that's life. Vomiting, severe diarrhoea or very high temperatures get them a day or two at home, that's it (we luckily got chicken pox over and done with in the toddler years when I didn't work).

I imagine that lots of professions have the same issues. Nobody likes missing work with ill children, but sometimes that is simply the reality of having a workforce made up in a large part with working parents, and employers need to understand that to a certain extent.

bigTillyMint Tue 06-Jan-15 13:58:54

We are a 2 teacher family! Happily our DC have virtually never been sick, but when they were, it was turn and turn-about. As we both were/are senior management, it has all been fairly flexible, but obviously if one of us had an important meeting or something, the other would cover.

Ours both were at day-care nursery, but only 3 days a week as I was part-time at that point. DS did catch measles before his MMR, but luckily in the holidays. And they both did chicken-pox in the holidays too! We had them well trainedgrin

rollonthesummer Tue 06-Jan-15 14:37:55

Are you full time now, bigTillyMint?

beatricequimby Tue 06-Jan-15 22:04:48

Interesting to hear that people do manage. Dd was off for ten days earlier this year and I just don't know what I would do if I had all 3 off consecutively like that and we wwere both full time.

Horopu Thu 08-Jan-15 03:52:33

Sorry, rollonthesummer I should have pointed out that I work in NZ, so not possibly not comparable.

KinkyDorito Thu 08-Jan-15 06:58:52

We still get 5 days, which has been the same in all 4 schools I've worked in. It's unusual to get nothing rollon and, frankly, quite shitty of them.

bigTillyMint Thu 08-Jan-15 07:00:44

Yes, rollon - went full time when DS started at secondary. Being part-time (3 days) did allow for flexibility.

I am lucky to work in a setting where we work as a team and management (and all colleagues) understand that real life gets in the way of work at times.

Matildahaspowers Sat 10-Jan-15 07:42:49


I am NHS but my childminder is pretty good if one of mine has a cold or something like that. Obviously, sickness bugs are a no-no and I would have to take time off. My eldest went to nursery from 9 months old and he seemed to get loads of bugs (he is almost 11 now and is never ill these days). I am lucky with my youngest as she is made of strong stuff!

You would be entitled to parental leave surely?

CharlesRyder Sat 10-Jan-15 17:35:17

DH and I are both teachers. He is a Deputy Head (13-18) and I run a Primary autism base. DS is 4 and in Reception.

We alternate sick days and there have been quite a few. It's not popular to be off but it's just life. We have no family close by so we just have to do it.

Since DS started school I would say the school run and INSET days are a bigger problem. You can't skip INSET if you are leading it!! We are now using a babysitting service for this. I have swung pt (9-2.30 x5) so I can do the school run. I stay later once a week for staff meeting and DS goes to after school club that day.

rollonthesummer Sat 10-Jan-15 18:18:39

You would be entitled to parental leave surely?

That is unpaid though, isn't it?

merlottime Sat 10-Jan-15 19:17:16

Not sure I like the assumption that this problem is unique to two teacher families - it is just as hard if not harder in my line of work to take a day off if the kids are sick - no supply teachers here. It is tough all round. If you don't have family or a childminder, the only way is to alternate.

BackforGood Sat 10-Jan-15 19:25:24

Well, dh isn't a teacher, but had a FT job all the same. You just manage, tbh. Make sure you are being as fair as you can, and that your managers see you are both sharing the time off, and doing as much as you can when you can, to make up for it.
I used CMs when mine were small though - fab people, who are far less likely to ban dc for being a bit poorly, so that probably helps with them having fewer days off.

CharlesRyder Sat 10-Jan-15 20:06:14

Many people can choose when their annual leave is though, hence my assertion that actually INSET days etc. are more difficult. DH and I cannot be off on INSET days but DS is. We have time to plan for them though, so it is do-able.

Agree impromptu sick kids is just a universal bog of eternal stench other than for families who have a SAHP or a nanny.

nannynick Sat 10-Jan-15 20:28:00

Nannies won't care for very sick children, though will care for minor illnesses.

Nannies though get sick themselves sometimes, same with any form of childcare provided by one person, if that person is unable to do so for whatever reason then you are stuck.

I nannied for a family where both parents were teachers. The one problem I recall was when parents evenings clashed. Anything beyond the usual school day can cause a problem as your childcare may have a cut off time. Advance planning helps but it is last minute changes to the plan which can mess things up and there may not always be a solution other than one of you staying/coming home.

CharlesRyder Sun 11-Jan-15 09:09:39

Really? So if you have a live in nanny and a child has d&v (say) the nanny will not look after them? I didn't know that- I thought that was why people had nannies!

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