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Help- first day in new job & my child's first day at school !

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by daisy18, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. daisy18

    daisy18 New commenter

    I've just secured a fantastic new role for September (through an agency). I'm feeling a bit worried as the first teaching day of my new role is also my first child's first day at school !

    I really don't want to miss out on this big occasion and important day in her life. But also feel horrible asking for the day or morning off in a brand new job.

    Has anyone had any experience of this ? What would you do/ suggest ?

  2. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    Sorry, but you get someone else to take your child to school ( unless you can drop your child off and still get to your new job in time!)
    There are advantages and disadvantages to being a teacher. This is one of the disadvantages.
    lindenlea and needabreak like this.
  3. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Can't you drop her off a little earlier which may allow you time to get to your school? I used to do this and after she was dropped off I had 5 miles to drive through heavy traffic, but I was usually in my classroom about 5 to 10 minutes before lesson. Do you need to be in earlier than this?
    needabreak and freckle06 like this.
  4. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    I got someone else to take my child to school - the person that was going to regularly take them to school and pick them up.
    lindenlea and needabreak like this.
  5. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    In fact everyone who has to start work at 9 am will have the same problem whatever their work is. For many who do not finish their work until after school hours, a friend of mine has someone from the local nursery school (which she used to go to before starting school) to pick her up. They will also supply them with tea if there is a need. I would suggest this rather than depending on friends. Friends have their own children to see to and you need someone who can concentrate 100% of the time and who is reliable to help you.
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You just have to face the fact that you won't be there, I'm afraid. You'll be lucky to get time off for anything at her school, but you'll stand a better chance of getting to the nativity play if you haven't already used up the goodwill.

    You can get excited together about starting at your new schools - maybe it will help her feel less nervous if she knows Mummy is starting at her new school too. (I'm making the usual assumption here that you are Mummy - because whoever heard of Daddy needing a day off for their child's first day at school - which says something, although I'm not sure what!)
  7. daisy18

    daisy18 New commenter

    Thanks for all your replies.
    I asked and they said yes, that’s fine !
    So always worth asking :)
    SBW2009, hales161 and needabreak like this.
  8. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Crikey, just don't do it too often. They said yes but I bet they're grinding their teeth. I am and I've been retired 9 years!!
  9. PaulShipmanSmith

    PaulShipmanSmith New commenter

    Fortunately, everything regarding your child's first day at school worked out really well for you. It must have been very difficult asking and it is understandable that you may have felt 'horrible' for having to ask.
    Juggling your teaching career (or any career for that matter) and having the responsibility of raising a young child is certainly difficult for anyone. You don't say whether or not you have a partner to share this responsibility. Even when someone has a partner/family in this situation, there is all too often the issue regarding their work responsibilities as well.
    Your dilemma is one that the majority of working parents face in our contemporary society in which employers are very demanding and employees struggle to meet the demands of finding a comfortable 'work and life' balance.
    All working parents will understand your difficulty, even though they may not immediately and obviously express their feelings too sympathetically. The problem here is, that everyone has their views on the subject. It is also very easy to tell others what they should or should not do!
    You are also going to have to accept that this situation will be 'ongoing'. Your new employers have allowed you to go to your daughter's first school day, which is brilliant for both of you.
    There will be times when you will need to ask about further 'time off' work for other events concerning your child. These events may unfortunately not be the pleasant ones such as emergencies/illness - OK....Sounds rather depressing but life does happen! However!...There will be the more happier/exciting events such as awards ceremonies and school sports days/stage performances and so on......
    Again, there is no easy way around the problem but maybe there are situations where you could 'compromise' by being 'flexible'.
    You can't obviously just abandon your class and it certainly is difficult to get cover. It's not like simply getting someone to 'cover a shift' for you or 'swap shifts' such as you could if driving or working in a warehouse.
    However, you could consider starting work earlier in the morning for doing such tasks as administration/class preparation. That may allow you to leave earlier in order to deal with any child care issues. Another time you may wish to make your preparations/administrations after class has finished and stay later in order to deal with any morning child care issues, when they arise . These offerings can appease management to some degree.
    When you feel that a 'family situation' is imminent, it would be a good time to discuss with management/supervisors about what you can do and what arrangements can be made. Giving notice can be helpful for the management to organize timetables and so on.
    A clear, visible calendar/timetable of your planned events/holidays (if outside the 'school holidays') can also be helpful for notifying other colleagues in the department. Although people value their 'private lives' and 'free time', transparency can be achieved by doing this.
    Today's modern management - in all companies/organizations - are more understanding about the needs of today's workforce.....OK.....They're supposed to be!.....Or....They say they are!....
    It is expected of course, that people such as your work colleagues will have varying degrees of opinion on the subject of juggling work and childcare. Yes.....Some will definitely understand and will try to help. On the other hand, there will be those colleagues at the other end 'of the scale' who will not sympathize at all.
    Colleagues that don't have children will often happily oblige in order to accommodate your needs and 'cover' for you on occasions when needed. However, there will be colleagues that believe in not doing so because they feel that their own 'free time' is very valuable to them.
    Due to your profession as a teacher, it is - in certain ways - difficult to just 'get cover' and even more difficult at short notice. The problem facing teachers with young families/school-age children is the issue of the working day 'clashing' with your child's schooling/school events. This is a difficult issue.
    Almost all other professions can 'shift swap' or 'get cover' for illness/holidays and deal with this issue 'in-house'. The teaching profession's hours are 'fixed' to the school day, unlike many professions which have a flexible 'multi-shift/roster' pattern.
    Your profession also has the issue of 'getting the right cover' for your class because of the specialist nature of the job. When the English teacher is away, you need an English teacher to replace you and so on.....Then there are the individual needs of the class.....
    For example.....If two bus drivers want to 'shift swap', that can be arranged without disrupting the service to customers. If there is a staff shortage at a hospital due to illness, the other doctors and nurses will be able to 'pull other duties in' and manage till more 'cover' can be arranged. If a warehouse operative is on holiday at a large organization, the company will 'get an agency worker' and so on.......
    In all fairness, the advice above is more appropriate for most other professions and in the business world. Unfortunately for you teachers/school/college/university professionals, things are rather more difficult.
    Again....This is due to your 'fixed' hours and the fact that - especially in a smaller school/college - no two teachers 'are the same' when it comes to their specialization.
    It is understandably difficult in your situation. The easiest way to 'work around' the obstacles - such as family care/child care - is to find some form of 'compromise' with your management and colleagues when a situation arises.
    Alice K likes this.

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