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How do you juggle everything

(15 Posts)
Sleepysally Mon 20-Nov-17 21:56:39

Hi everyone

After your tips for coping with the demands of teaching as well as a young child. I only work part time but so far struggling to keep up. I teach 2 A level subjects which takes my whole timetable so it is high pressure in terms of results, expectation of intervention etc.

It is making me feel really fed up and wondering if I will ever be able to balance everything.

OP’s posts: |
Changerofname987654321 Tue 21-Nov-17 20:27:29

I don’t is the simple answer.

I only work 0.6 but I can’t be good Mum and a good teacher.

The average secondary school teachers works 55 hours a week. A lot of that is being on ‘stage’.

In a meeting today somebody mentioned that one of his department with young children has been getting up 1.30 in the morning to mark.

I asked for tips a couple of months ago and I got told by people with young children it was impossible and people with older children that is easy.

Simple things to make it easier;
- feedback sheets which can be highlighted for quicker marking
- get office staff to your photocopying where possible
- share resources on Facebook groups
- make sandwiches in advance and freeze them
- Get everyone’s clothes sorted and ready for the week ahead.
- don’t iron any clothes (buy stretchy dresses)

whitepearl17 Tue 21-Nov-17 21:45:08

Watching for tips, I have 3 children and teach full time. Life is a constantly manic stress cycle. I do love teaching though or wouldn't do it!

Sleepysally Thu 23-Nov-17 22:57:20

brew copious amounts of coffee needed for us all by the sounds of it.

I feel constantly like I’m neglecting my DD when I’m at home and still don’t feel prepped enough.

I’d be so reluctant to give teaching up as I do love being in the classroom but not sure how much longer I can keep up.

OP’s posts: |
castasp Fri 24-Nov-17 07:58:22

Don't do any marking - the other day, i was looking at the books of a very experienced teacher who never does any marking and you would not have known that he hadn't marked them himself - the children all have red and/or green pens (he insists that they have them) and they either self-mark or peer mark. Some kind of quick activity that they can self- or peer mark is done every lesson.

Also, don't do interventions that involve you doing extra teaching outside your allocated lessons - I'm not convinced it really works.

Jumpingshipquick Fri 24-Nov-17 16:19:22

Get really good at prioritising. And email parents instead of phoning.

Yes to no marking (I do michaela style marking is fabulous)
Yes to no revision/ intervention
Yes to sharing resources
I leave school fairly quickly at the end of the day because I’m too all a jangle to get anything useful done and just end up gossiping (nice as a debrief is) then I come home to be with my kids. The pay off is working late in the evening after they’re in bed, but I’m managing.

I can now wing (busking one colleague calls it) the occasional lesson to as we have well organised and resourced schemes of work that I have taught before (this is the absolute must for workload)

Sleepysally Fri 24-Nov-17 20:24:25

Some great ideas thankyou. What is Michala marking??

Doing no marking isn’t really an option. I only teach Alevel and essay based subjects so it just isn’t that easy to peer/self assess accurately.

I try to share with colleagues at other schools but am a one man band.

What sort of interventions do people run that are no extra teaching or marking time?

I wish I could wing it more often, just don’t feel that confident doing it.

OP’s posts: |
Jumpingshipquick Sat 25-Nov-17 08:20:49

There are other blog posts out there. It has honestly transformed the way I do feedback with no lessening of effectiveness (as far as I can tell!)

Sleepysally Sat 25-Nov-17 09:29:16

Love that! Thanks so much for sharing. Will make good use of that.

OP’s posts: |
Jumpingshipquick Sat 25-Nov-17 09:50:47

It really made me think! And there's plenty more stuff on marking out there now. Even though you say your subjects are essay based are there other ways you can track progress rather than writing essays all the time?

Guided research for homework followed by presentation lessons are good for not such time consuming prep/ marking but valid study/life skills. Making use of a good text book? Has been out of fashion for a while but again can be better than making ppts from scratch every time (I hope you're not doing that!)

Other things I'd might suggest- keep a time diary. What tasks are really time consuming but for little impact? You might find that you are spending too long on some things that aren't worth the time and effort- then start saying no to them, or look at how you could be more efficient.

What's the rest of your department like? Could you share more? Is there someone who could sit down with you and help balance things out?

Not that I've got my life completely sorted. I still work long hours but it feels just about manageable. The biggest way my life is easiest now my DC are a little bit older is I get a little bit more sleep, an occasional lie in and they are just less demanding. But that must be true whether you work or not! I remember when DC was still a baby and I went back full time in a new school it feeling like walking on a tightrope. I was just about ok but always with the sense that just the smallest thing would tip me off!

Sleepysally Sat 25-Nov-17 10:56:41

I love the idea of a time diary, I think it may well be a case of not being very effective.

I have a toddler so that alone is tiering. My DH works away most weeks Monday -Thursday so I think all of that just adds to the feeling that I can never catch up. Thinking about about it, something that is adding time pressure is an hours commute each end of the day and the school day is 9-3.35 with meetings at 8.30 and duty until 4. So I have to leave home at 6.45 to drop DD off and get back 5.15-5.45 (6.30 on meeting day) and that is just to get there, drop stuff in classroom and into the day. I recon if I could get something closer to home it might just ease things up a little.

I don’t have a department, just me so no sharing of resources or SOL writing etc.

SLT just always seem to want more. My results have always been really good and I think I put pressure on my self to not drop the ball, but I think I have to just let go a little bit and accept that sometimes ‘good enough’ is ok.

OP’s posts: |
castasp Sat 25-Nov-17 11:29:15

I know it's really hard, but just ignore SLT (within reason!). You know what you need to do to do a good job, so just do that and ignore everything else.

Experiment with it, so next time SLT ask for something that you think is a complete waste of time, agree to do it "Of course, yes, I'll timetable individual 1:1 intervention with every pupil in my 6th form classes" (or whatever), but then just don't do it, and see what happens - I can almost guarantee that they won't check and will have forgotten all about ever asking within a few weeks.

Definitely look for another school closer to home as well. Although tread carefully and make sure the management are nice - try to get some insider information if possible.

Jumpingshipquick Sat 25-Nov-17 13:06:31

No wonder you're feeling a bit snowed under with doing all of the childcare as well, and a long drive. Do you get any time to yourself at the weekend? I found that going to gym just once a week (and I don't even find the time for that every week) made so much difference to how I felt. Think it was the 'me' time as much as the exercise!

Sleepysally Thu 30-Nov-17 19:37:26

You are all right. It’s a case of just making sure I don’t get snowed under with the constant demands from SLT by prioritising and making sure I have time at the weekend for me.

Over the past few days I’ve decided I want to be out of the school by summer, that gives me 2 full terms to work out if I want another teaching job or I want out. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.

OP’s posts: |
MidniteScribbler Sat 09-Dec-17 02:46:14

I might be unusual, but I find I get a pretty good work/life balance.

I rarely mark anything. Pretty much only the CARS and PAT tests and pre and post assessment for maths. I have made up tracking sheets in Google Docs for each subject that lists all areas of the curriculum that the children need to demonstrate in that topic. I carry around an iPad all of the time, and when I'm moving around the students I look at their work and see if they can show whatever it is I'm looking for. I put the date in the spreadsheet when they have shown that aspect of the curriculum. I also type in quick notes "off task", "absent", "needed teacher support", etc, just whatever makes sense to me.

For writing, I work through my students by conferencing with them whilst they are working. I'll call one over at a time with their book and we'll go through their writing together. I'll make some notes about what they have achieved, what they need support with, and then we set their writing goal together and they write it down in their book. I usually get through each student once per week.

Come report time, I just look through the spreadsheets and see what they have mastered.

I get to work at 7am, and leave not long after the bell if I don't have a meeting. I do tend to work through recess and lunch (by choice), but I make sure that I'm not working between then and when my son goes to bed (and even then it will only be some organising or making notes), and I'll make sure that I have at least one day on the weekends where I do no work altogether. On the holidays, I make sure that I get everything organised as much as possible for the upcoming term. I basically plan out the whole term, so just have to tweak it as I go along. Don't reinvent the wheel - someone, somewhere has done every lesson you want to do and posted it online.

If leadership ask you to do something, then be realistic. "I won't be able to complete that until next Thursday. Is that ok, or would you like to assign the task to someone else?" or "Well if you need that by tomorrow, then I will need someone to take my afternoon duty to get it finished."

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