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Is it bad form to resign after one term in a new school?

(63 Posts)
SandyBeachandtheDeckchairs Fri 06-Oct-17 06:37:21

As an NqT who is working over 55 hours a week I am beginning to question how much longer I can do this for. If it was just this year I could do it, but all staff seem to do the same at my school. The message seems to be that if we want the best school and the best for the kids, it's the least we can do. Staff are lovely but I have my own child who I would like to see sometimes! Can you change nqt jobs or will it reflect badly on me?
How do ask at interview what the working hours are? My plan is to get a job in a school much closer to home and look closely at staff retention figures first!

PebblesFlintstone Fri 06-Oct-17 06:41:37

I hate to break it to you, but most teachers work those hours. A shorter commute would definitely help, but I would try to stick out and pass your nqt year first.

PurpleDaisies Fri 06-Oct-17 06:43:09

Are you sure you have a realistic idea of what it's like to be an NQT? That sounds pretty standard to me to be honest.

It gets easier as you get more experienced but I'm surprised you haven't heard loads of teachers at schools all over the country complaining about workload.

HoneyWheeler Fri 06-Oct-17 06:45:04

You definitely can change you NQT school.

However, my experience as a RQT is that it is just a hellish year and you will be working 55 hours a week anywhere, I’m sorry to say! You might find adjusting to a new school/class even more stressful?

I found listening to teaching podcasts really helpful - on occasion the only thing that literally got me through the door in the morning was Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers podcasts on Monday morning. Full of great ideas and really motivating. It really is the hardest year of your career and it does get easier after Christmas!

Having said that, you’re the only one that will know if you really need to go - if you feel like you have to, then you’re absolutely doing the right thing.

newdaylight Fri 06-Oct-17 06:45:05

Unfortunately my understanding is that most teachers work vastly longer hours than they are paid for, like most other frontline public sector professionals (social workers, doctors etc).

Which would mean you're sadly unlikely to find a job where you don't have to work 55+ hours. Hopefully someone will correct me.

Cherylvole Fri 06-Oct-17 06:45:49

I disagree. You need to start cutting corners a bit. Never work past 5.30
What’s taking your time?

Waspyhell Fri 06-Oct-17 06:47:16

55 hours a week is probably my normal. This week has been over 60 and next week will be too. Welcome to teaching! This is why we're all shattered and why we get a bit defensive when people say we leave at 3pm!
Seriously though, there are good bits too! Stick out your NQT year at least so that you are qualified fully. Definitely don't move to a different school expecting anything different- it won't be. And don't ask about the working hours at interview either!

Bobbiepin Fri 06-Oct-17 06:50:12

I've been teaching for 6 years and although it gets easier you are right at the start when things will take longer. Prioritise your time, work on the things that are urgent and important first and try to have one day a week when you do no work and look after yourself.

I wouldn't recommend changing schools after one term. Stick out the year and qualify, then if you want to change schools for September or quit teaching you won't look flaky or incompetent. Even if you do quit, once you have completed your NQT you can always go back to it.

FluffyMcCloud Fri 06-Oct-17 06:50:29

In my experience that is the hours most teachers work. The school I'm at at the moment even some of the TAs are there til gone 5. I'm now in a very lowly paid role in a school - I don't start getting paid until 8.30 but I'm always in by 8, usually earlier, because it's the only way I can do my job to the best of my ability as there is no time during the day to do planning, resources organising etc. I'm in SEN.
Stick it out at least until you pass your NQT year and get your QTS, then take it from there. 10 more months! Not that I'm counting lol

FinallyDecidedOnUserName Fri 06-Oct-17 06:52:50

Not a teacher but I regularly work 30% more hours than I'm contracted for. Way of the world I'm afraid if you want a career.

Shadowboy Fri 06-Oct-17 06:55:49

I don't know... in your first year it is pretty bad but I would say I now do about 50 hours a week. I make sure I do no more than 10 hours per day. I have 2 kids and a household to run. If I do more I'll burn out. So far my cap on working is just about holding out this term.......

noblegiraffe Fri 06-Oct-17 07:01:29

The only real way to cut down on working hours in teaching to something approaching reasonable is to go part time.

If your commute is bad then a closer school would be good but I wouldn't switch now, you should finish your NQT years first.

SandyBeachandtheDeckchairs Fri 06-Oct-17 07:05:46

It's the usual stuff Cheryl - setting up, printing resources, marking, staff meetings, planning, displays!

cakeandcustard Fri 06-Oct-17 07:07:09

Your nqt year is hard, 55-60 hours in term time sounds pretty standard. Changing schools isn't going to mean a drop in hours necessarily.

However you should definitely find it gets easier as time goes on. You'll have a stock of lesson plans and resources to draw on and be used to the routines in school.

The deputy head in my first school said if you're still working a sixty hour week a few years into the job then you're doing it wrong grin

SandyBeachandtheDeckchairs Fri 06-Oct-17 07:07:51

Part-time was going be my next strategy Nobel.

Thanks for your replies everyone! brew

Piggywaspushed Fri 06-Oct-17 07:18:58

How necessary are the displays? Something really old hat these days is the Teacher's Workload Agreement (this will make older teachers guffaw nostalgically into their tea) but it always said actual teachers should not do their own copying or displays. This has been massively eroded at my current school , and I do think most staff who are young are unaware of the agreement. That said, surely a display once half termly is all that is needed? We have NQTs who faff about endlessly with beautiful displays : this does not make their teaching better.

People will always jump on these threads and get all competitive about how long they work. I work bloody hard at school ,and work far harder that my DH (also a teacher) and I doubt I exceed 50 hours in a bad week. That does come with experience and learning to prioritise - as well as learning how to mark smarter and faster.

I do know exactly how you feel about your DC etc and that's why I decided long ago not to stay at school beyond 4pm, apart from meeting days. How many meetings do you really have? There shouldn't be more than one a week!

NearlyEaster Fri 06-Oct-17 07:24:42


Changerofname987654321 Fri 06-Oct-17 07:28:01

According to one of the unions (nut?), 55 hours is average number of hours worked by a secondary teacher and it increases to 60 for a primary school teacher. So it sounds like for your NQT year you are doing well. But yes I agree it is ridiculous and I personally feel that if I work those hours I can’t be the teacher in the classroom that students deserve.

noblegiraffe Fri 06-Oct-17 07:33:01

Bear in mind that if you do quit and look for another school, schools which have vacancies for January are not usually going to be the best schools which are great to work in.

Piggywaspushed Fri 06-Oct-17 08:04:29

noble makes an excellent point. as ever

SquidgeyMidgey Fri 06-Oct-17 12:46:25

First year is fairly horrific, it does get better flowers

SandyBeachandtheDeckchairs Fri 06-Oct-17 13:01:16

I'm feeling a bit less defeatest now, but was tempted by a job going at my dd's school. No commute and no mummy guilt either!

Piggywaspushed Fri 06-Oct-17 13:03:37

But all the issues of working in the same school as your child!

It is common to feel defeatist in teaching. MN is always a good place to talk things through smile

Bobbiepin Fri 06-Oct-17 19:14:04

Ooh endless issues working in your children's school. Avoid avoid avoid!

Popfan Fri 06-Oct-17 20:05:54

Working in the same school as your child is fine! I do it and loads of members of staff have children at the school.

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