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How organised is your school(12 Posts)
I'm teaching in my second school now (4th year of teaching) and have been reflecting on how I can achieve a better work/life balance.
Thing is, in both of the schools that I've worked in, no matter how well organised I am, things have constantly been changed at the last minute leading to additional work at home.
For example, have planned my lessons and timetable for next week during the last few days. I've just had an email with this week's bulletin information from SLT and turns out that the one and a quarter hours that I've planned to teach on Monday morning have now been shrunk by an extended visitor assembly and pupil progress meetings to only 45 minutes. I now need to redo my plan and timetable to take this into account.
I've also lost an hour to height and weight checks later in the week.
Last term, there were usually at least 2 meetings, events or activities each week which would lead to changes in timetable or preparation of additional resources at the last minute.
I try to work at times to suit me at home (for example when my girls are at dancing and son is at football on a Saturday) but the continual last minute changes make this difficult as I still have to work on a Sunday when this week's surprise is sent in an email.
Is this the same everywhere? Or have I just been unlucky twice?
Why do you have to replan? Just take a marker pen and cross through 30 mins of activities and bump that to next lesson, which you have now partly planned, so you’re now ahead of yourself?
Sounds the same as mine.
We do get a briefing sheet on a Friday which usually covers the next week. Secondary so the odd hour lost just means lessons rollover.
Communication about students is shocking though.
That’s just teaching. Just adjust your lessons a bit. You have to be flexible with planning for all sorts of reasons. I deal with this by not planning much!
If I just lose a lesson it's not so bad, it's the losing part of the lesson and then the work is crappy because they've not had enough time to do a decent job or someone else has covered a portion of the lesson.
And the late notice of having to do a display or update data or produce a newsletter or learn a song.
I suppose the 'that's just teaching' thing is what drives me mad. Because it's an excuse for poor organisation and poor communication. I've come from into teaching late from a call centre background and management didn't just drop things on people at the last minute. Because they would have had to pay overtime if they did probably
That’s just teaching
And therein lies the root of almost every parental complaint about lack of notice from schools. It’s a totally and utte ly unacceptable way o run an organisation. Yes there will be the odd thing that crops up at short notice, but for the most part, things like height/weight checks I presume are done annually and should be diaried at the beginning of the year.
saying that I work for a 24/7/365 organisation which is taken by surprise when there’s a 25th December every year....
I can see both sides. On one hand, I identify with the idea of planning and organising when it suits me rather than at the last minute.
However , I do think that part of our job is to roll with this crap and not let it get to us. If somebody was telling you that you had to teach a totally different topic to a totally different class, that would be stressful. As it is, you have the lessons planned and will simply have to deliver them at a later time. Last term was my first at a new school: in the first few weeks I turned up on a couple of days to find that my timetable had been altered for that day in the usual September rejiggling! Not ideal but what can you do?
I've worked in 6 schools and they've all been varying degrees of chaos. What you describe is very typical.
It really shouldn't be like this and doesn't need to be like this. It's all caused by every member of staff in every school I've worked in, not having enough time to do their job properly.
My school is completely disorganised. Parents complain a lot and mostly reasonably about it, and for staff and students it creates extra work and hassle. Most of the things could be easily organised, well in advance, and make life a lot smoother and more efficient.
Are you Primary ?
The beauty of having your class all day / week, is that - if you have something planned that ought to take 90mins and the time gets reduced to 60mins, you can carry on after play or after assembly or after lunch or whatever. The dc don't disappear off to another teacher r another room or subject.
You have more flexibility that you think.
If anyone ever wanted to know why you aren't sticking to your planning, then you can tell them.
It wouldn't hurt to point out to SMT that not everyone does their planning on Sunday nights, so it would be helpful to have any known changes a LOT earlier BUT 'planning' is just that. What you plan to do when you are writing it. You have to adjust what you are doing on a daily basis anyway - due to the way the pupils respond - if they don't 'get it' or 'get it' quicker than expected or you've had a run of 4 day of wet play, or if it snows or if 1/2 the class are off with norovirus, etc etc etc.
Sounds pretty normal to me but some schools are better than others.
It shouldn’t have to be as bad as it is because most of these interruptions to the school day have been planned well in advance by someone but it’s the communication that is the problem.
I’ve taught in 5 schools and I think you just have to accept that there will always be lots of last minute tweaks and it’ll mess up your planning.
Also - don’t check your email on Sunday! Just rock up Monday morning and do the best you can with what you have planned and the time you’ve got.
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