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(12 Posts)
bananacustard01 Thu 03-Sep-20 22:47:20

Just wondering what other schools are doing re WhatsApp groups. I am on several work related group chats for my various roles in school (I am head of a department and a class teacher). Currently my first WhatsApp's start coming in around 6.30/7am and I am generally being sent messages - all work related- until 10 or 11 pm most evenings and at various times over the weekends. I know WhatsApp is a great way to communicate and it's difficult to get sharing all the information you need to during the school day especially if colleagues work part time but I'm starting to feel this is taking over my life. It is creating bad feeling with my husband as he feels I am always working and distracted in evenings especially before DC go to bed.
I don't feel I can leave the group as it would be highly frowned upon as all staff do it. Has anyone any tips?

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Thu 03-Sep-20 23:01:15

You need to turn it off in the evenings. You are not at work and shouldn't be expected to respond.

Coffeeandteach Thu 03-Sep-20 23:10:10

Our school has a policy where we are only allowed to contact each other (about work stuff) between 7:30am-5:30pm and never at the weekend. It was introduced a few years ago to promote a work-life balance and positive mental health. Everyone, including SLT, really adhere to this. Do you have a designated member of staff who is responsible for staff wellbeing who could perhaps introduce something similar? There are probably many more who feel like you.

Or lead by example and let those in your department know you'll only be responding during working hours and mute the chats when you're not working so your personal time is not interrupted.

BackforGood Thu 03-Sep-20 23:31:50

You need to turn your notifications off.

To me, it is like e-mails - I can send someone an e-mail when it is convenient for me to be dealing with that, but there is no expectation that the person receiving it will read it, let alone deal with it, until it is a time for it to be convenient for them .

Make that clear to people in the groups you are in. Obviously easy for you to lead by example where you are HofD.

flumposie Thu 03-Sep-20 23:56:34

I left a department WhatsApp during lockdown as it became too much. I explained it wasn't anything personal but I needed to place more of a boundary between work and home . If people want to pass info to me then it should be via work email only in my opinion.

monkeytennis97 Fri 04-Sep-20 02:51:13

Sod that for a game of soldiers. Couldn't imagine why I would ever want to be in a school WhatsApp group!

Elsa8 Fri 04-Sep-20 09:10:48

We don’t tend to send work things on ours out of hours (occasional exception for “is anyone else unable to login to x” type message). It’s mostly memes, news articles and stupid stuff if anything is sent evenings and weekends. In work hours it’s useful for locating printing that someone has picked up by mistake / urgent support with a student!

MrsHamlet Fri 04-Sep-20 20:45:39

monkeytennis97

Sod that for a game of soldiers. Couldn't imagine why I would ever want to be in a school WhatsApp group!

This!

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 04-Sep-20 21:28:22

It’s not a professional way to communicate. Email is appropriate because you can choose not to open your lap top and check (don’t have it on your phone). WhatsApp should be merely social and there should be no requirement to check it.
In my opinion anyway!
Then notifications off or just leave all the groups.

ladygracie Sun 06-Sep-20 17:48:25

We were told in inset this week that our local authority have said that there shouldn’t be any school what’s app groups that are used for work talk & especially when related to children. We are meant to use teams only. And teams is only for school stuff, not social chat.

Clammyclam Sun 06-Sep-20 22:07:16

Surely none of these groups are official
Channels of communication.

Email or teams should be the priority, then you choose when you access these. Outside of working hours you can choose to ignore.

Take the lead and leave the groups or be the change in how they are operated.

We have a department Whataspp and a general staff (for the ones who sometimes go out together or chat in the staffroom) and these, like other have said, are mostly jokes and general catch up stuff, great for keeping in touch during lockdown and generally pretty quiet.

I know my emails will be busy after the weekend, some weekends I read, some I don't. It all depends on what I'm up to and how I want to balance my week.

You shouldn't be expected to be active on whatapp work groups, and certainly not after 5.30pm.

Hangingbasketofdoom Sun 06-Sep-20 23:29:31

I delete mine sometimes to avoid work chat and then have missed ones from my dd's friends' mums. It's hard to keep it silent for some but not others.

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