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Open Evening stresses!

(171 Posts)
Piggywaspushed Thu 28-Sep-17 17:47:37

I work in a large secondary school. We have two open evenings coming up : one main school and one sixth form on two consecutive Thursdays .

School day finishes 3.10 pm as normal and the evenings start at 5 for three hours. Not all of us need to be at both but many do.

Work life balance!!??? hahahahahahhahhaaahhhaha! I actually dodn't think many of our SLT have children between 0 - 16 and a full time working spouse. Most hods and hofs have grown children, no children or SAHPs as partners... I, on the other hand , am a FT working mother with a FT fellow teacher DH. I thought it would get easier as my DCs got older but it really hasn't.

Anyone want to compare/play Top Trumps/ gloat?

DH (largeish private school) has two Saturday Open Mornings but only needs to attend one and he doesn't need to go to the sixth form evening.

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Farontothemaddingcrowd Thu 28-Sep-17 17:49:33

I get you. I'm a single parent of three who has an open eve Thursday from 5.30 to 8.30. This is after finishing work at 3.50

TheFallenMadonna Thu 28-Sep-17 17:51:09

Open Evenings have always been part of the directed time budget in schools I've worked in.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 28-Sep-17 17:54:34

And your middle and senior leadership team demographic seems unusual.

Piggywaspushed Thu 28-Sep-17 17:57:31

Yes, it's directed time, I get that, although the sixth form one is a bit interesting as not everyone is ;directed' to be at it.

I am envious of schools which finish early on Open Evening days , though. That seems humane.

I visit a lot of schools in my role and our SLT demographic is fairly typical of the local area.

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Piggywaspushed Thu 28-Sep-17 17:58:34

Plus Madonna two in two weeks doesn't have to be the case! I know it's all self pity ... gah!

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TheFallenMadonna Thu 28-Sep-17 18:01:55

Are they all old or young? When I was on SLT only 2/7 didn't have school age children. Similarly HoDs.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 28-Sep-17 18:03:24

Sixth form one was later in the term though. All the dates agreed between all local providers, which adds another restriction.

MsAwesomeDragon Thu 28-Sep-17 18:06:29

In my school the open evenings are done by only 1 or 2 teachers from each department and the SMT. So big departments have 2 teachers in attendance and smaller ones just have 1, generally hod and second in dept. I don't think we have a sixth form one til about Feb, but I won't be at it so don't really need to know.

Piggywaspushed Thu 28-Sep-17 18:19:15

awesome , years ago we had two evenings for main school and scrapped that. But with that came the decree that it was unfair that some people did a rota and other, smaller depts. needed everyone so now the three line whip is that all must attend. It is going that way for sixth form evening, too.
fallen - both! Younger ones (male) with wives at home and small children. Older one s(nearly all male) with children post school age. One female in her late 40s with school age children - she is part time, as it goes. Couple of males with school age children who proudly declare they don't attend their children's parents' evenings!

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Fffion Thu 28-Sep-17 18:45:57

It's a couple of evenings and in the calendar. Organise you childcare accordingly.

Piggywaspushed Thu 28-Sep-17 19:03:07

Thanks for that Fffion !

I can organise childcare. The exhaustion I can't stave off.

Are you SLT .... grin ?

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CarrieBlue Thu 28-Sep-17 19:05:21

The union told us that open evenings couldn’t be directed time, attendance should only be voluntary.

Piggywaspushed Thu 28-Sep-17 19:08:04

Mine are too old for 'childcare' by the way. And I would never now recommend anyone to be a FT teacher , married to a FT teacher with no family network close by...

But it does mean for two consecutive weeks, I have/ want to dash home, actually see my DCs/ make tea/ dash back and reschedule and reorganise music lessons for two consecutive weeks. Whichever way you spin it, that's avoidable for staff by putting at least some space between things but hey ho. I was just having a moan and wanting to see what other schools do if you look at my OP.

When did staffroom become like AIBU where people come on and have a pop? It used to be our 'safe space' !

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Piggywaspushed Thu 28-Sep-17 19:08:25

Didn't know that Carrie !

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Fffion Thu 28-Sep-17 19:08:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

CarrieBlue Thu 28-Sep-17 19:11:05

Yes it does. Not part of my job. Doesn’t mean I didn’t choose to be involved, but not forced to spend my time there.

Piggywaspushed Thu 28-Sep-17 19:13:07

What's your beef Ffffion ?

If I was going to be contentious, I would say my school is massively oversubscribed every year so the OE feels superfluous sometimes when one is teaching a full day the day before and after.

But I don't terribly mind them - they are genuinely exhausting, though, and some concession, like early closure or a Training Day the following say ,a s some schools do, to staff would be nice.

They are exhausting for the lovely students who help out, too.

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Fffion Thu 28-Sep-17 19:13:29

Then you can feel good about going the extra mile.

CarrieBlue Thu 28-Sep-17 19:14:30

Whatever Fffion

Piggywaspushed Thu 28-Sep-17 19:14:43

Right.... teachers do that each and every day of their working lives.

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Foxsox Thu 28-Sep-17 19:45:29

Arguing like this isn't healthy

We had open evening this week. I'm a HOY in charge of transistor and I teach too. I have kids and a DH that works FT
I knew this was coming up and I knew it's part of directed time, always has been st this point in the year.
Thrilled to say It was a resounding success and it's likely we will see a rise in applications
You know what? That makes the reshuffle of 'childcare' worth it because in the long run more kids in school means my job is safe.

I totally get the work life balance issue, the thought of a 13+ hour day makes my eyes want to fall out but it's not every week.

Many local schools have a 'teacher day' on open evening which means you start later, prepare lots and then deliver open evening
Perhaps you could suggest this as an option?

Foxsox Thu 28-Sep-17 19:46:05


chosenone Thu 28-Sep-17 19:53:20

It's knackering. It really is, and yes this is staff room and not AIBU! ... what I do is visualise the holidays and how lucky we are to have them. It's literally and all or nothing job and we are currently in the all bit! 😴

Piggywaspushed Thu 28-Sep-17 20:03:56

FoxSox : I do agree and lots of colleagues have suggested what you suggest and been looked at witheringly.

I suppose my main issue is the two in tow weeks which just strikes me as cruelty!

As I said, we are hugely oversubscribed so we don't really get the thrill you do of having an impact...

I will obviously suck it up : just wanted a vent.

Spent ages working out what 'transistor ' was grin

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