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Teaching and children

(20 Posts)
Newmum102 Sun 22-Oct-17 22:20:22

Wondering how being a teacher and having a child in school works. Do you miss out on things like first days at school, school plays etc? If your child is sick does your partner have to do the staying off or do you do it? Looking for some help on this.


snowglobe67 Sun 22-Oct-17 22:31:04

I teach and also have a five year old in another school. The head is pretty good and will let me juggle ppa time so I've been able to drop him off on his first day, attend his settling in lunch and go to an open day. We're lucky as his dad has a very very flexible job so can do Emergancy sickness pick ups. I'd call in for the odd day off if we knew first thing he couldn't go in though, I think we can take 2 or 3. For the most part though, yes I'm dependent on the head's goodwill and I accept that there'll be things that I miss over the years.

florapearl Sun 22-Oct-17 22:32:09

You do miss school plays and the like


and are dependent on the Head's goodwill.

RaggedBunny Sun 22-Oct-17 22:37:48

Miss all those things, no leeway. DH also a teacher, so we have to take it in turns when a child is ill, but both schools expect the one day to be used finding someone to look after the ill child on any subsequent days (which is hard when both sides of the family live hundreds of miles away and you're both so busy teaching that you've not made any friends in the local area yet).

FlexTimeCheekyFucker Sun 22-Oct-17 22:42:25

As teachers you should now be able to access the new parental leave allowance (or whatever it's called). Our teachers can use that when their children are ill etc.

Cakesprinkles Sun 22-Oct-17 22:46:21

I teach in the school that DS attends and run all the school performances so I always get the best view grin. For sports day I swap lessons to watch ds’s races. I’ve twice in two years had to leave at lunchtime to take him home (once with a stomach upset, once when he had an accident on the playground) and other staff have covered my lessons as an emergency. In four years of working since he was born I’ve only ever had to take one full day off with him when GPs and DH were both unavailable. DH has lots of days off during the week as he works shifts, but he cannot take time off if he’s rostered for a duty, but if he’s on an admin day he can work from home. His colleagues are great and if there was something serious he would be able to have time off without it being a problem.

Phantomoutforthechill Sun 22-Oct-17 22:56:36

My take is my Dc's feel ill in the morning, they go to school. If they are really ill their school will phone my school so it is all recorded. Mostly my school doesn't receive the call as DCs are suddenly so much better. It was similar in Primary except for the obvious chicken pox etc. To attend a primary sports day I had to rely on the goodwill of my colleagues to cover. I attended one for each of my 3 DCs.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Mon 23-Oct-17 15:34:26

I does really depend on your Head. Mine is really good about it. Non the less, I have missed things like 'show your parent your work' afternoon that DS would have liked me to attend but I don't think warrant asking for time out.

We are also not expected to stay late as long as the work is getting done.

If find it does help to use a boarding prep (DS doesn't board) because of the long hours they keep. He starts school at 7.50am and now he is in KS2 is there until at least 5pm and can stay until 6.45pm along with lots of others (boarders etc). Means I can work without it really impacting on DS at all.

katycb Mon 23-Oct-17 15:38:42

It's entirely up to the head so it depends on what they are like. I work part time
and both me and job share partner have young kids so we can usually sort it out amongst ourselves. Current head is really good about family issues but 2 that I have worked for in the past not so much!

tinypop4 Mon 23-Oct-17 16:12:29

I work in an indie where the head and my department are very understanding. For example on my DDs first day in reception my HoD covered my first 2 lessons so I could take her.
In return, I have covered her day when she was sick and had a lot of exam classes. Bit of give and take with close colleagues has helped.

My headteacher has 5 children so is quite understanding - he is allowing cover of my final lesson later in the term so I can make it to DDs parents evening.

See what your head is like - you will miss some things but if you are prepared to be flexible and helpful in other scenarios you may find you can work things out.

parrotonmyshoulder Mon 23-Oct-17 17:15:25

I miss everything, except for evening performances. DH and I decide who has the easiest day to miss if one of them is ill. Usually it’s me as his job is even less flexible. My school is very, very good about it and the day usually goes down as ‘work from home’ as the head knows full well I’ll be catching up on PPA while the sick child sleeps/ watches tv. In return I never ask for assemblies/ Maypole dancing/ apple day/ advent day/ Valentine’s Day/ whatever else my DC school are inviting parents in for.
I also very rarely take any sick days myself.

parrotonmyshoulder Mon 23-Oct-17 17:16:47

I think it’s important for my DC to realise that although I’m not there for the aforementioned stuff, I get all holiday to spend with them, unlike the 5 weeks per year that many working parents will get.

Changerofname987654321 Mon 23-Oct-17 17:26:18

I have a toddler so parenting and being a teacher is new to me. I am allowed 3 days parental leave in case of illness which was no were near enough to cover chicken pox. We have no family who can help out.

I am secondary and there is no time or lesson swaps allowed to things like sports day. It maybe different in other schools but only one of our SLT has children and they don’t seem to understand the need of parents ie I need to know which days I am working next year before the last day of term.

I imagine not having school holidays childcare is a huge bonus.

Newmum102 Mon 23-Oct-17 20:39:51

Thanks guys, it certainly gives me food for thought. It is the one massive draw back for me, and is the one thing stopping me from being fully committed to going ahead with my PGDE. Yes, I would have the holidays off but in my current job it would be fairly easy for me to get mornings/afternoons off for the various events when they come around.

Newmum102 Mon 23-Oct-17 20:43:05

Also how do those who have children at the same school as they teach find it? Do you find it easier not to miss out on? Do you like being at the same school as them, was it easy to get them into the same school you teach at?

Changerofname987654321 Mon 23-Oct-17 21:08:33

Another thing that you have probably considered is the amount of work that you have to do in a week makes family life difficult. 60 hours a week is standard for a primary school teacher. I know of one parent who would fall asleep putting her toddler to bed and then get up at 12 to work for a new hours until the toddler stirred and she had to get back into bed.

Cakesprinkles Mon 23-Oct-17 22:30:17

It works for me being in the same school. It’s a prep school so DS was able to start in the nursery with me and will move up through the school. It’s quite precarious though in as much as the there’s no guarantee you’d be able to find a job at your childrens’ school. I’m lucky in that I have quite a specialised role which came up at the right time to move DS before he started school, so wouldn’t disrupt him. Disadvantages will come if I decide to move before he’s due to leave as it would be disruptive. Also he can be quite clingy with me, especially when I’m very busy and not around much. Teaching is not family friendly in many ways-primary teaching especially is hardcore. Secondary can have enormous amounts of marking and exam responsibility which is daunting. To be honest the only reason that I am able to manage my workload is because I’ve been doing this for 15 years and can to an extent wing certain things. However report writing season is just brutal and the pressure is intense.

FlameOutTeacher Mon 23-Oct-17 22:49:09

Teaching is not especially suitable for parents of young children. One problem we have in school is that our SLT all have children in late teens or don't have kids. They forget that some of us have to look after our own children before we start into the workpile for other people's children. My children hate me being a teacher. They are fed up having a grumpy, exhausted mother who has to work late so many nights.

Phantomoutforthechill Mon 23-Oct-17 22:56:39

All 3 of my Dcs have very quickly discounted being a teacher as a viable career. grin

Uokbing Tue 24-Oct-17 09:01:14

Also how do those who have children at the same school as they teach find it? Do you find it easier not to miss out on? Do you like being at the same school as them, was it easy to get them into the same school you teach at?

Whilst there are obvious advantages to teaching in the same school as your child there are also come drawbacks:
As a teacher and a parent in the school you are often put into awkward positions by other parents, obviously you know stuff that you can't discuss, they will ask you things, slag off other teachers who are your colleagues etc.
If for whatever reason you don't get on with your child's teachers, it's awkward as they are also your colleague. Conversely if things don't work out for you at the school workwise it is more difficult if your child attends it.
Obviously you are going to be there past the end of the school day whereas your kids are done at 3:15 or whatever, so you still have to find childcare.

On balance I think it's better for most to keep work and your own child's school separate. I have missed sports days and the like because I think whilst it's fine for the odd really.important thing, you can't take the piss. Also my husband has a slightly more flexible job so he can usually go if I can't.

With regard to getting your child in: if the school is an academy or a VA religious school they usually set their own admissions criteria and sometimes children of staff come near the top of the list. However, if they just use the LA admissions criteria then you are subject to the same as everyone else so unless you live near the school your child won't get in. Obviously private schools are different again.

Good luck with your decision, it is a tricky one. There is the huge (and it is huge) bonus of getting the same holidays as.your kids and not having to find holiday childcare. However, even this perk has run its course for me now, and I will probably be leaving teaching at the end of this year, largely because I feel like I havent been spending enough time with my kids. Term time (and I only work 3 days but spend my days off working when I can) it's just ridiculous and then in the holidays I find I am either still working or am just too knackered to do exciting stuff with my own children. No more!

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