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NQT year "outstanding primary" should I expect to work 13hr days?

(64 Posts)
SarfEast1cated Thu 13-Jul-17 15:41:21

Hi everyone, please advise! I went to meet the teacher I'm replacing in September today, and she said that in the Autumn term she was working from 7am to 8pm each day and 4hrs on Saturday. Does that seem right to you? If I worked those hours I would never see my DD who's 9 and goes to bed at 8.30. I'm panicking a bit now, do you think current teacher is exaggerating? In my PGCE placement school I was working 7am - 5.45 and I thought that was OK...

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Synecdoche Thu 13-Jul-17 15:44:59

Teaching is one of those jobs where if you never stop you can just keep working forever. This teacher is obviously dedicated but not working smart. You need to be disciplined with your workload for the sake of you and your DC.

For example, I work from 8am-5pm every weekday and prioritise my workload within those hours. On the stroke of 5 I stop working and go home. It will get done!

Good luck with your NQT year flowers

BloodWorries Thu 13-Jul-17 15:47:02

Possibly. But then I feel like some teacher make the workload harder for themselves. I wouldn't expect quite those hours in a primary school. Maybe 7am to 8pm but full weekend to yourself, or 7am to 6pm with some work on weekends. Maybe I am being hopeful.

Are the hours you need to work going to affect whether or not you do your placement there?

Spottytop1 Thu 13-Jul-17 15:49:43

That is the reality of teaching and many teachers work longer hours than that.

It's not about 'making work', it's about completing what is needed and expected in order to plan, teach and give feedback to children and then record progress.

SarfEast1cated Thu 13-Jul-17 15:51:43

It's actually a permanent job which I start in September as an NQT. I'm beginning to worry now that I won't be able to do it. Maybe I should look for a job in a school with a lighter marking policy!

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Spottytop1 Thu 13-Jul-17 16:04:38

Did you not get an idea of the teacher working week and workload in your training?

It's not just marking ( my school has a light marking scheme). It's planning, resourcing, assessments etc.

I work 7:45am- 5/5:30pm at school and then about 3- 4 hours when home Mon-Thur and most of the day on one weekend day.

I come home spend time with my family and start work again when the children are in bed.

Bubblysqueak Thu 13-Jul-17 16:10:49

This is why I left teaching. I worked 8-5 at school as these were the hours my childcare covered. As soon as my dc were in bed at 7 I would then be working until 10 or 11. Saturday unwound work from 6am til 10am then nothing until dc went to bed.
It's not just marking, that's the easy bit. I was able to do all marking during lessons and give verbal feedback due to the age group and policy.
It's all of the extras- resource prep, lesson prep, display boards, assessment tracking, learning journey (age dependent) and all of the little 10min jobs add up to hours of work.

Paperdove87 Thu 13-Jul-17 16:40:31

I work in a secondary school. I find that there are some weeks where I'm in school 7-5 and then working till 11/12 when I get home, and some weeks where I'm working 8:30-3:30 and done for the day. It all depends on what is on that week. I've been teaching for 5 years now and I'm definitely working less than I was at the beginning because I'm working smarter. Like a pp said, you could just never be 'done' in teaching, you can keep going and going and going, you have to reach a point where you say, it's not perfect but it's fine and I am going to put it aside.

hollytom Thu 13-Jul-17 16:55:41

I agree with the above comment. It will be long hours but you need to prioritise. Displays- the TA should he doing them and don't change every 5 minutes.
Don't spend hours making resources search on twinkl or tes.
The colleagues who are perfectionists are those that get burnt out. Some things are much more important such as lessons and books other things have to take a back seat or you will go mad.

Bubblysqueak Thu 13-Jul-17 17:20:59

TA's really shouldn't be doing displays, they have such limited time which should be used supporting children, running interventions etc. It definitely wasn't allowed in my previous school.

SarfEast1cated Thu 13-Jul-17 17:53:18

Both of my placement schools (both 'good') only required English and Maths books to be marked, so marking would take me an hour or so depending on the work set and then the rest of the time would be spent writing lesson plans, creating flipcharts for the following day, printing resources, staff meetings, assessments etc. I was with a teacher too, so didn't do the full workload.
My parallel teacher would start at 7.30 and finish at 4.30 taking one lot of books home with her if required.
I think what freaks me out most is that the teacher who said she worked the hours in my OP is an experienced teacher, as an NQT everything's going to take me longer.

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SarfEast1cated Thu 13-Jul-17 17:54:02

There's no TA either.

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CarrieBlue Thu 13-Jul-17 18:03:05

Teachers shouldn't do displays either, it's not part of our (burgundy book) contract.

bluesky45 Thu 13-Jul-17 18:03:08

I have found this level of workload to be expected in some schools. Others expect less. In my previous school, I worked 50-60 hours a week and it felt manageable. In my current school I work 70 hours a week and it does not feel manageable. I'm pregnant and burnt out. After taking a year out to be with my baby, I will not be returning to the classroom full time. My plan is to do supply 2/3 days a week and look for a part time job. To me, my mental health, family and social life is now more important. Work to live, not live to work has become my motto.

BackforGood Thu 13-Jul-17 18:10:25

Sadly, although I think the word "should" is wrong, as people shouldn't need to work those hours, but, in reality, that is not unusual.
I mean, it's up to you when you work the hours to some extent, but 50-60 hours across the week is pretty common / normal / usual for experienced teachers yes, so, as an NQT it is going to take you longer to do some stuff.
That is much more a driver for teachers leaving the profession than anything to do with the amount of money earned.

BrieOnAnOatcake Thu 13-Jul-17 18:10:59

You should get a little extra non contact time, but I think any nqt year is crazy hours (as is teaching in general at the moment.)

rollonthesummer Thu 13-Jul-17 18:18:18

I work 7.30-6 at school and then 7.30-10 when I've out the kids to bed, plus Sundays when full time. It's a bloody miserable job and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone at the moment. Most NQTs I've met in recent years have quit by Xmas in a total state.

Don't get distracted by the schools being a Good/Outstanding, that's a red herring. It's totally dependent on the expectation of your SLT.

Roll on next week when I can leave teaching forever! I wish I could have told my 21 year old self not to do it.

gardendrama Thu 13-Jul-17 18:21:16

I've held various posts in both primary and secondary schools, including: primary teacher, primary SENCO, primary assistant head. Then, secondary teacher, secondary head of year, secondary assistant head and now secondary deputy.

I've never worked 13 hour days as routine. Yes, I've done 13 hours when we have parents' evenings, open evenings, school plays etc but have literally NEVER in 22 years worked 13 hours more than two days in a row.

I have had to learn to be superbly organised though. I just don't believe that the people on here saying they work for hours every evening are using their time effectively. There is no chance at all that you'd need to plan and resources every lesson you teach, every year - that's just silly. You build up resources and quick ways to differentiate after your first year and then adapt accordingly.

This year, I've had to deal with a brand new spec as I teach English and I've been graded as 'Outstanding' or the equivalent since I trained so I'm certainly not cutting corners.

Ignore the people who clearly can't multitask/ organise themselves and believe me when I say that teaching is a profession of peaks and troughs. I left school at 3:20pm today and have been in my garden all afternoon. I've managed to do the same at this time of year for ever. If anything, I find it easier now than when I was head of year, which is the busiest role in school.

You'll be fine! smile

ScarletSienna Thu 13-Jul-17 18:24:27

I was in an outstanding primary and worked 7:15am-10pm (less travelling time) every day in the week and all day Sunday. This was not due to poor time management on my part and I do not work those hours now.
I did think that perhaps it was what staff in outstanding schools had to do to keep it so but having working in other outstanding schools I know it is not. It was entirely the expectation and pressures driven by the head.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Thu 13-Jul-17 18:32:32

I am certainly not going to let my NQT work those kind of hours in September. I want her to have energy to give to the kids and enjoy being a Teacher, not just survive.

My school closes at 6pm! The Head starts chasing people home if they are regularly there at close up. We have a running focus on keeping the workload under control- all decision are made with this in mind. Unsurprisingly, it is a very happy school with very low staff turnover. We are on 'good'. I genuinely think it is an outstanding school, but we will never get that grade because our attainment is on the National average (which is great given our very deprived catchment area).

Doomhutch Thu 13-Jul-17 19:15:18

I fell into this trap of very long days in the Autumn term, but on the plus side it taught me to learn when to stop! I'm just finishing my NQT year, and get to school at 7am (my preference - beats traffic and queue at the printer!), and leave most days before 4:30pm. I do a couple of hours planning at the weekend.

But like the post above, my school works on reducing workload. We don't have to detail-mark every piece of work eg. I was on one PGCE placement where they wouldn't let me leave at 4, despite all my work being done and me being in since 7! They said SLT needed to see that I'd 'done my hours' which is a fucking mad idea in teaching!

Bobbybobbins Thu 13-Jul-17 19:27:18

I found myself working a lot of hours in my NQT year but once I had got through it and was teaching similar things the next year, it got a lot easier and you definitely learn tricks to work more quickly.

Some weekends my husband takes the kids out for the day on Sunday so he can spend some time with them and I can mark. As a poster said above, some weeks I work every night and other weeks
I don't at all. I prefer to work hard in term time and try to have the holidays free (ish) but some of my colleagues prefer the opposite - each to their own.

TheSting Thu 13-Jul-17 19:48:16

I worked at an outstanding school for my NQT year and NQT+1. I spent 2 hours a day commuting, was on site 8am-6.30pm and then worked at home 8.30-10pm. Saturday was my only day off. We were also expected to communicate with parents primarily by email so that added to the usual teacher admin.

It was only when I switched schools after a hellish second year that I realised how weak and unsupportive my previous SLT were.

My current school has a clear behaviour policy supported by the SLT, the teachers are treated like professionals, the marking policy is manageable and email contact is fairly minimal. I practically skip to work, am on site from 8-5.30 and only spend an hour or two on a Sunday prepping. There are flash points during the year, e.g. I spend all of the summer half-term break writing reports and every half term spend a weekend deep marking and assessing the children's writing.

It does become so much easier with experience and you also learn to question the value of new SLT initiatives and their impact on the children. My first 2 years of teaching were incredibly tough and I almost left the profession but I also learnt so much.

Is it a single-form entry school? If it's not, you should share planning and resources with other members of your year group team.

SarfEast1cated Thu 13-Jul-17 20:32:05

Lowdoorinthewal1 Gizza job!

Thanks everyone, it is a two form entry and my partner teacher is lovely, experienced and kind, so I think I'll be fine really, was just feeling bereft at the prospect of not seeing my daughter for days on end.
But, I will try to work smart, and take work home as required.

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SarfEast1cated Fri 14-Jul-17 07:49:40

I'm going to help out in a different class this morning, so will see what that teacher says. According to teacher yesterday the SLT have very high standards, and display work often has to be redone. My PGCE year has been pretty tiring, so hopefully after a few weeks off I'll feel a bit more bullish! Thanks everyone.

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