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Anyone else feel like their workload has increased a lot this year?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by rosaespanola, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    Is anyone else finding that they and other staff seem to have a lot more work this year than in the past? I'm just a regular classroom teacher in a secondary school (in my 5th year) and my workload in the past has been manageable to the point that I've felt able to take on the odd extra thing like lunchtime clubs, but this year I seem to be working through all my frees and for 2-3 hours every evening and still struggling to get everything done. A lot of my colleagues are also feeling that they're being given extra work on top of what their job involved last year, and a lot of these extra tasks don't even seem to be things they should be being asked to do, for example my HoD has been told he's now responsible for something that will involve him making a lot of phone calls & writing letters. When he asked if he could have some admin support for things like this he was told the Head's PA would assist him, but no assistance has been forthcoming as the Head's PA is constantly busy as well.
    I'm just wondering if people in other schools are finding the same thing this year, or if it's just my school. What do you think?
  2. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    And I thought it was just me!!
    The last 18 months have been HELL!! - and this time I'm not talking about the kids.
    If you try to add a TLR onto your general teaching workload it is just getting ridiculous!
    I thought the workload agreement was supposed to make more time for teaching - what a load of tosh. Senior Managers have become very adept at 'changing the focus'
    I don't mind telling you, I'm all strategied out !!! (gasp for air). Not only am I putting massive hours in, but it is now effecting my family life and my relationships. I am not a happy bunny!![​IMG]
    No end in sight either! [​IMG]
  3. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    Well, to be honest, there is - me going off sick and my wife leaving me,
    I 'm off to the 'Personal' section soon!!
  4. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    I think the thing that gets me is that the extra stuff that everyone's doing is not actually directly related to teaching. Without wanting to sound like a big cliche, it's all paperwork & bureaucracy, and the vast majority of it feels completely pointless. Our SMT is constantly checking up on us to make sure we've done things - I've been 'learning walked' by SMT 6 times so far since we came back and not one of them has been interested in what the pupils are doing or in the way I'm teaching them. They've come in for about 2 minutes max each time to check whether my learning objectives are on the board, whether pupils have targets written in their planners, whether I've done my register...it's ridiculous!
    I've always enjoyed working at my school until now, there've always been a few things that have annoyed me or whatever, but what workplace doesn't have that? But there are more and more things that are getting to me this year, from the amount of extra work we seem to be getting piled on us, to the constant checking up from SMT. It's nothing specific that we could talk to unions about or anything, it's just lots and lots of smallish things adding up to create a very negative atmosphere. We all love the kids and the classroom parts of it (well most of us do, anyway!), it's just the other stuff that we don't like...
  5. salsera

    salsera New commenter

    I tohught it was just me too. I'm in my 16th year and I have never worked as hard as I am doing at the moment. I know that I have had a chnage in personal situation which has impacted on my work but I used to have lunch-times free but now I'm workign through those, all my NCs and workign in the evening.
    Rosaespanola - I could have written your post - it all rings so true

  6. Glad it's not just me too.

    I hate my school and would leave tomorrow if I could. But it sounds like it might be a general problem not just school based :(
  7. I just out a similar post under behaviour because I am overworked and getting no support in anything! It isn't just you!
  8. Definitely not just you. There has been a huge workload increase at my current school this year - everyone is complaining - and my department is apparently coping better than most!
    I hold a tlr post and it's true, it is becoming completely unmanageable. We are currently 2 teachers down (filled with supply on short trial contracts because many cannot manage the student behaviour) and no sign of permanent replacements or even adverts! I am the only tlr holder in the department as the 2people short are both tlr positions. The goalposts are changing by the day - decisions are made above my head with no consultation - that's their interpretation of taking off the pressure - and then the decisions are changed, then changed again, then changed again. The plan for our current year 9 classes has been changed four times since the beginning of term, and each time i'm set tasks to do, get started and someone then changes their mind. Today was the final straw!
    I have no personal life. My partner and son barely know what i look like and i've done nothing for my own enjoyment other than go to the supermarket since the beginning of sept. At work I'm apparently a very valued member of staff. I'm not sure that anyone is anymore and I can certainly vouch for the fact that my 10 years of teaching and professional judgement is worth nothing more than the piece of paper my CV is written on at my school!

  9. crashcentre

    crashcentre New commenter

    Many staff at the school where I work, are wondering how they can survive, when we haven't even finished the first half term. Workload has increased and pressure has increased. Learning walks, bureaucracy, mentoring students in 2 or 3 lunchhours every week. Also, there have been lots of changes to do with how, when and why we enter information. Most of us feel as though we are grinding to a halt under the sea of stats we have to provide, with SMT breathing down our neck more than ever before. What the hell is happening? If we are all experiencing the same, and I am guessing we are from all over the country, then has there been some edict from the Big Giant Head that we are unaware of? How can we maintain standards, let alone improve them?

  10. salsera

    salsera New commenter

    Ditto what you have said about the data trawl, bureaucaray, mentoring and extra lessons at lunchtime....
  11. A way to get teachers back for the rarely cover agreement? A sort of 'look how easy life was when we just asked you to do cover'....'now we are having to spend loads on supply so we are going to wring you dry with work to get our moneys worth'!!!!!
  12. I'm so glad it's not just me! Each year the workload seems to increase. There is huge pressure put on us to mentor individual students, run coursework catch up sessions (for those who couldn't be bothered to do it in the first place), run clubs, phone parents back within a few hours - not usually possible without using up break or lunch, and as a HoD, do book monitoring, formal/informal observations, and fill in endless bits of paper explaining what we're teaching, why we're teaching what we're teaching, what is the impact of what we're teaching and analyse results, test results and fill in endless columns of data, belong to an action group to lead a whole school initatives, and I don't think this list is exhaustive. I feel like I'm juggling and that if I'm not careful the whole lot is going to come tumbling down on me. However I'm now being honest with SLT when I'm asked how are you? the answer has been for the past few weeks - tired and stressed!
  13. There is just so much change at the moment. New schemes of work at KS3, KS5 and just about got used to the new gcse ones, but next year there will new ones of them too! The new ideas coming from our management don't help. Just help us teach better, no curriculum change needed.
  14. blue117

    blue117 New commenter

    Get home after 10 hrs straight - only a passing opportunity for a drink or food - and am too tired to make a meal.
  15. uoo

    uoo New commenter

    Same at my school, we have so many new ideas thrown at us everyday. A new tracking sheet for this a new tracking sheet for that, so many that it's difficult to keep on top of them. We are expecting Ofsted this term - if they ask the staff what the tracking sheets are for I doubt that most will match the correct tracking sheet to the thing they are tracking!
    We have too many SLT sitting in their little rooms thinking up silly little ideas, they soon forget what it's really like in the classroom. Shame they don't support the teaching staff when we need it.
    Oh, it's good to moan!
  16. not wishing to sound cynical but could any of it be to do with the new inspection style?

    if my hod does not ask/ tell/ discuss something with me then i just don't do it
  17. amarantha_valentine

    amarantha_valentine New commenter

    I took on a tlr post in June and am regretting it, I seem to have acquired all the **** my hod doesn't want to do. I spend usually an hour each morning arranging cover for absent staff. Run after school clubs and revision sessions. Deputise for the hod and run a brand new gcse course with a view for starting another in September. I need to memorize which students are national challenge and know what grade each one of the students in this course are predicted and currently achieving. Attend meetings for the hod and then feed back. Then there are smt popping in for no real reason, reports needing writing when you have no accurate data to base it on, schemes of work changing (as of now!) And kids being moved from set to set (now mixed ability).
    More and more is being asked each day and expected my 50hour week isn't enough any more. I just know I can't give much more. Sorry to whinge.
  18. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    Has anyone spoken to Union reps about any of this? Or it'd be interesting to hear if any union reps reading this have any comments on it. It's difficult because I know at my school there isn't really anything specific you can put your finger on and say "this is what's causing the problems and the extra work", it just seems to be a lot of things all combining to create a much bigger workload than in the past.
    As people have said - completely new GCSE & A level syllabi this year & last, changing schemes of work at KS3, schools putting on extra vocational courses at short notice that teachers are expected to be able to teach straight away without any time allowed for preparing for it, demands for more frequent assessment & data, PLTS, enterprise skills, SEALS, SLT randomly appearing to do 'learning walks' (aka coming round with a clipboard and putting ticks on a bit of paper to say if all your pupils have planners out & if you have the LO on the board)...the list goes on!
  19. don't be so naive! when it is all about getting the next 5% and your pay is performance related and the emotional blackmail isn't coming from your management, but from above them, when the exam specifications are changed every five years and you teach 7 years worth of students therefore always have two changes on the go... on top of new ideas such as project based learning, personalised learning, PLTS, functional skills diplomas, new BTECs, stage not age, adding information to a VLE because every school must have one, AfL, building learning power, SEAL, and being asked to teach an extra half an hour or whatever because money is tight and there is no cover. We WANT to do a good job, but when you can't teach the same thing last year as you did the year before, you re-invent the wheel over and over.
  20. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    Phew, Sideshow - your list is comprehensive and sums it up nicely.
    I have worked out that with KS3 changes, GCSE's, A levels that I am rewriting and delivering new curriculum for 6 years!!!! - and with future change to GCSE it seems things won't stay the same for long.
    THE great issue with teaching is the issue of re-inventing the wheel. Think about how many thousands of teachers are doing the same things again and again.
    Good Grief !! I despair - RIP Teachers ! because we will all be burnt out and chucked aside.
    Can you see yourselves working to 66 in a classroom in 20-30 years time - I know I can't if it continues like this for much longer!!
    Vent over!

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