Babies and teaching(24 Posts)
Does anybody work full time and have a baby?
I realise (believe me!) that teaching isn't always the oasis it could be for working parents but just the same I've been reading posts and some seem very doom laden. Are we condemning our child to a life of never seeing his or her parents? Or is the future a bit brighter than that?
I have two DDs 13 and 7 and am in my last year of teaching now, I never see them! If you haven't already committed then run away fast, if you have, God knows what to say but good luck. Ps sorry to be doom and gloom.
I worked full time for 2 terms with 2dc (2yrs and baby) I had a small class and was r/y1 mix (couldn't have coped with higher up the school work load at that point). As soon as I had completed my final 2 terms of my NQT year (the first term was before maternity leave) I went part time. It was exhausting working full time and trying to spend quality time with dc was really difficult.
It depends what you mean by committed - I have been teaching for ten years and am on the leadership team, but do not yet have children.
Well then you know the hours you work already, would you be able to spend time with a baby within the hours you work? I am also on the SLT and had my first child three years before I even started teaching. It has gradually got worse and worse but you must have witnessed that too.
What are your thoughts about it?
Hannah - I am an experienced teacher.
Not an experienced mother
In all truth and honesty, it hasn't got worse for me - I fully appreciate this is not the case for everybody - but then I have not experienced the pulling every which way that comes with a family.
When I had my son, now 11, I went back to work part time. I work 3 full days and job share with a great friend. I never intend going back to work full time, even though my children aren't tiny any more, they need me around and I want to be there for them.
Hello, I teach full time with a one year old and it's fine. I have to be very organised and I have found that I prioritise more at school these days and try to only bring work home one evening during the week and I work on Sunday morning. I see lots of my baby and feel like we have lots of quality time - especially during the holidays. I'm not SLT. I have had wobbles at times and been stressed but that's probably true of most teachers! I also sometimes feel like the only person working full time with a baby because everyone I know has gone back part time. It wasn't an option at my school so I decided to return full time and see how it goes
Sounds like you would be ok then, your school must be one of the good ones! My school is amazing but we all give so much there isn't much time left for our kids for those of us who have families, hence I am leaving after ten years at the end of this year, although I will still stay part time in a different role
if I am lucky.
If I am brutally honest I would advise you to have a back up plan, save a shit load of cash before you do it so you have options, maybe see how you feel? If your school is family friendly and you get home before half six every night and leave after 7.15 every morning then you will be ok but my experience currently doesn't allow much time for my dds.
I was full time for 11 and a bit years before having DS. I went back full time when he was 8 months old.
I hated it.
I left the house at 7am and picked up DS from the childminder at 6pm and after a chat about his day, we were in the house at 6:30pm. He had one hour of snack, TV, bath, bedtime story and sleep. In that time, I also got out the books to mark - some nights, like many, 90 plus pieces of work! Work that needed marking and correcting with comments about their successes and areas for improvement and sometimes an extension task! When he went to bed, DH made my tea (often a pot noodle because I didn't have time to sit down and enjoy a meal with my husband) and then continue the shit work load until 10:30pm when DH said enough was enough. I had one day every weekend in which my DS spent quality time with DH whilst I did my planning. The other day was spent doing grocery shopping and housework!
I went sick last year. Returning next month albeit, part time. My children need me and I want to be there for them. I love teaching but it is NOT a family friendly career and requires a lot of time to commit full time; time taken away from family. I often joked that at the beginning of a term my DH and DC's were to be put in a cupboard for 6 weeks. It may be a joke but teaching is like that; you need to switch off and put away your loved ones and get them back out at half term!
I would also like to add that whilst teaching, I lost contact with my friends because I simply didn't have the time.
I have found them again because I have been on maternity leave. I am going back part time because I need my life back. Life isn't about work, work, work. What's the point in that?
I teach full time with DC. Most of my colleagues teach full time and have children. We do the best we can for both aspects - this means only doing school work after DCs are in bed, reducing the commute as far as possible, prioritising tasks, etc.
My DC is in childcare from 7:45-4:30/5pm during term time. We have holidays and weekends. If I worked in an office job the childcare time would be the same during the week, but I'd only have a few weeks off each year.
The question really is about working full time in any job whilst having children. Which is also a feminist/equality issue.
I'm not saying teaching isn't as hard as PPs are saying, I just don't think it's necessarily any worse, in terms of time commitment, than anything else. We just go all-out during term time but spend lots of time together every 6 weeks or so.
Yes, I agree with you indomitable
I think any full time job plus children is difficult, but I hope that's not a reason not to have them.
It's not. Like I say, most of my colleagues teach FT with children. Also all SLT have children, and (unusually, I think) 50% of SLT are women (who work ft and have children ranging from primary age to adult).
The attitudes of your managers/colleagues will make a difference, as will your commute.
I teach full time and have two DC 6 and 2. It's hard, very hard and I don't feel I see my children as much as I'd like but it is doable. The holidays certainly help.
Generally child minders/ nurseries open at 7.30am and will want you to pick up by 6pm. If you use these full hours your DC will be out of the house 7.15am - 6.15am. If they wake at 6am and sleep at 7pm they will see you for 2.5hrs a day which will mostly be 'practical task' time (travelling, dressing, bathing etc). Are you ok with that?
On the flip side you will get 7.45am - 5.45pm at your desk. Will you be able to fit your job into that?
If you want your children to see you more could you fit your job into less hours? Could you have 8.15am - 5.15pm at your desk and stay afloat?
Can you do your job on
potentially years of broken sleep?
It is do-able but you will have to be hard as nails! I wouldn't decide not to have children because you are a FT teacher though- it's just a job! There are SLT at my school who work PT (including me!). I tried to do FT and ended up off sick with stress, now I work 0.8 'flexi' so I can do my own school runs and I am fine.
Yes- are you surprised that I work flexi time? If you don't ask you don't get!
No, it was the mentions of 6pm and 'at the desk' that made me wonder - sorry
I assumed you were non-class based, maybe you are not though- apologies for causing confusion (and obviously I am well aware that SLT do not sit at desks all day, it was just a figure of speech). My reference to 6pm is more related to the time child care tends to finish as opposed to the time we are expected to be in school. IME the 'acceptable' time to knock off varies a lot from school to school.
If your school is the Marie Celeste at 5pm all good, but if there is a 'last man out' culture it becomes hard to always leave at a time that allows you to have a stress free evening routine with your own DC.
Yes, the acceptable knock off time does really vary.
I've only encountered this once, at the school where I was a head of department. Strangely enough, this was related to the time I got in, not the time I left!
The gym I used was next to the school and opened at 6 so I used to enjoy waking early, brushing my teeth and then going straight to the gym, putting in an hour or so of exercise, showering and doing my hair and getting to school for around 7:45-8, which was perfectly acceptable for a start time of 8:30. The head commented on it a few times though, seemingly ignoring the fact I used to regularly stay until 6 most bizarre.
My start and leaving times have always varied and have mainly been based on traffic rather than any perceived lack of commitment to the job. I just wouldn't work in a school that thought I was poor at my job because I didn't come in with the larks and leave with the nightingales
Brock I agree with your last sentiment. My department are usually all out about 15 mins after the bell (if there's no other meetings). But then, as I said, we've all got children that need collecting, taking to clubs, etc.
There's no clock-watching here, it's a case of getting the job done. It would only be questioned if there were problems (this school is so very logical and reasonable - it's so refreshing!).
I think the difference with teaching is that when you get home, do homework , bath clubs, bedtime routine etc, maybe cooking, dishes, packed lunches etc etc etc you find yourself at 9:30 THEN you sit down to start 2-3hrs work! That's the bit that kills me! And if you have a baby that won't settle it's super stressful!
I teach FT with a 1 yr old baby. Am also HoD. I am happy with the balance, overall.
However! I have an almost zero commute and a DH who does his fair share. This things make a huge difference, ime.
I work when DD is in bed so I pick her up at 4.45 and have until bed time at 7.15/7.30 with her. Then I have dinner with DH (or at my desk if he is working!) and give myself until 10 to finish up. Sometimes this is not as disciplined as I would like!
I then have all day Sat with DD, and if I have had a chance to work late a night during the week I can take Sunday as well. A lovely full weekend with her - and we do all the nice things we can which makes me feel like I have had a total break and that none of us are missing out.
It's early days, but a positive mindset and a good support network work wonders!
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