1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Help I married a teacher

Discussion in 'Personal' started by ppbearx, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. ppbearx

    ppbearx New commenter

    Hi all,

    I have never posted here before. Nor am I a teacher. However I married one and I need some advice. You all seem like a nice bunch so here goes. Forgive me but I am going to keep this fairly generic and high level.

    I have known my wife for 3 years now and in that time I have watched her work incredibly hard, marking books and preparing lessons well past midnight and more often than not getting up early in the morning at 5AM to finish off. Like most of you she also works weekends, usually most of Sunday afternoon.

    As far as I can tell she is a good teacher who cares about the kids. She gets good ratings and performance reviews. Seems to have done well with OFSTED ( the stress leading up to, during and after such reviews is quite frankly ridiculous ).

    The school however appears to be less than supportive, piling on extra work and numerous seemingly unnecessary meetings. My wife has put up with all this for a long time. However I can tell she is reaching her limit.

    I am trying to support her best I can but honestly, I would much prefer if she left the school ( if not the profession - I don't know if it is really going to be better elsewhere). Frustratingly as I understand it, you cannot interview for a new role unless you get a reference from your current role and taking time off. This is a huge barrier to moving on and I know she will not take the risk. Is this correct? Are there any alternatives?

    I doubt this is any different to any of your experiences and I do not believe for a moment my wife's circumstances are somehow special. However I am really struggling with how I can support her and I need to understand a bit more about whether this is really normal and what her options really are.

    Thanks for reading all that!
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    If your wife has been in the same post for 3 years (or more), then it would be quite normal for her to look for elsewhere - either promotion (the most common reason) or to work in a different type of school to widen her experience.

    So suggest to her that it may time to move on, and she should speak to her HoD/Line Manager/HT and say that she intends to look elsewhere, so they won't be surprised if they get a request for a reference (if nervous, she could start by asking about opportunities in her current school, and if there aren't any openings, then go to say that she'll look elsewhere*). Time off for interviews isn't a right, but a reasonable number is almost always granted by a HT (after all, they need other schools to do the same when appointing too!)

    * NB Warn her not to be fobbed off by vague promises...HTs are very good at that, in my experience, but sometimes less good at following through with them!
  3. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    If your wife applies for other jobs she will need to speak to her current Head about the potential for a reference request and needing time off for interviews. That is perfectly normal. The Head will be used to it.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  4. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I am very sorry to hear what you say. I allowed my teaching stress to be dumped on my wife and I will forever regret it and feel bad about it. I don't really know if I can advise in any way. My wife used to organise an autumn half term week away somewhere like France or the Alps to give me something to look forward to at the start of the school year. Somewhere where it is usually still summer like at that time of year. She was very supportive when I took 5 years out of teaching at a much lower salary. I was better when I went back, but not that much.

    As the others have said there really shouldn't be any problems with taking time to attend interviews and such. It is done all the time. What about looking for something outside teaching or getting some vocational qualification at evening classes (if she can make herself take the time!)? Your wife's reticence to ask for the intreview time may be down to the way that SMT can intimidate staff under them. I have certainly seen that happen.

    I ended up teaching in FE where, although most colleges are a disorganised mess (politics) with many of the same pressures as secondary and the pay is about 10% lower for the same responsibility, I found working with adults much easier than with children. You can let the adults take responsibility for their learning which you are not allowed to do in secondary and primary.

    It has been my experience that women, in contrast to men, in teaching take on far more work than they should need to. Planning lessons, documenting the progress of pupils can be a never ending job if you let it. Mind you, I think they do a better job because of it, but what ever you do, you can always improve on it. Where do you stop? I think many SMT take advantage..

    When I started teaching in the 80's there was a drama series on the TV about a guy who entered teaching as a vocation being fed up with his previous job. It was written by one of the famous soap writers (can't remember name) who had been a teacher. It showed the stress of teaching and how it impacts on partners very accurately. I should have learnt then but I didn't. There is a scene that stayed with me throughout my teaching. When one of the old streetwise teachers sees the hero struggling to get his work / life balance right, he points out that the hero is taking far too much time marking and commenting on his pupils exercise books.

    The streetwise teacher tells him not to read the homework in detail. Just scan it quickly and simply to give it a tick. The pupils never take much notice of teachers comments anyway. They just want validation. A big tick for a good pupil and a small tick for a lesser good one!

    Now I'm not saying that's what I did but -----

    All the best and I hope you figure out how to deal with your situation. It is most certainly not easy and you get scant sympathy from people outside the profession. They really don't understand.
    FolkFan likes this.
  5. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    LOL! You haven't looked very far then!
  6. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    In my, admittedly rather outdated, experience, teachers are fairly open about applying for new jobs. Heads need to know as references are asked for when interviews are arranged and time off is given without a problem as a rule. In other areas of employment people often have to be secretive about moving job and taking time off for interviews presumably because they may be seeking work with a rival firm but it was never like that in school as far as I know, nor in the public sector generally going by my husbands experience in local government, health authority or university sectors.
  7. ppbearx

    ppbearx New commenter

    Hi all. Thanks so far.

    This job application thing is a bit tricky. Coming from the IT industry I would really struggle if I had to declare I was looking for employment, in my view that is hugely limiting. This isn't my wife's first teaching job but I know she feels similar. If she stated she was looking then she would immediately become first on the block if/when there are redundancies (which there have been before). Finding a new job could take easily take a while and as such she could find herself out of a job before she can find a new one.

    She also believes ( rightly or wrongly I don't know ) that having been recently married and of a certain age she will find it very difficult to find a new job as most will assume she will be around for 5 minutes before going to start a family.
  8. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    She doesn't need to announce she's looking. But when she does apply for something she needs to tell management. The family thing is just silly. So many teachers might be going to have a child. These are unnecessary blocks. Neither of you are being straight about this.
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    She won't know if it's difficult or not until she tries. I don't think there's a need to announce she's looking, I wouldn't say anything until she's sent off an application, only then in case the reference request comes through before the interview.

    It's not a huge barrier to moving on at all, neither is being young and fecund. The worst that could happen is she will be docked a day's pay for the interview, I have heard of that happening, though never myself or anyone I know personally.

    The new school may not actually be any better in terms of workload than the current one. Women often seem to find it more difficult to say no to unreasonable requests than men and as mentioned earlier can end up being put upon by managers for their own ends. It's a problem in teaching as the job is never fully finished, there's always something else you can do.
    FolkFan likes this.
  10. onmyknees

    onmyknees Established commenter

    Have lovely that your wife has someone to care about her so much. I think most schools are piling on the pressure and as such a culture has developed whereby teachers are judged as to how long they are at work and who can shout the loudest about how many hours they worked at the weekend. If your wife did manage to find a new job, are you sure that she wouldn't get sucked in to all this again? You have to be quite a strong person to switch off and leave work, physically and mentally at a reasonable time every day.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  11. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I would agree with the applying for jobs within the IT profession where loyalty seems to matter little.They seem to take up references after you have left and make their choices upon what you can do and if you have been head hunted....even as my son regularly gets folks ringing him up asking if he want this or that job.
    My wife used to play merry hell with the time I gave to teaching and although supportive of myself was very scathing of education and teachers treatment, Thank you for supporting her. I am sure she appreciates your love and care.and I can only reiterate what others have suggested.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo @ppbearx

    I am sorry that your wife's situation is so difficult. And that this is now affecting the rest of the family.


    No, this is not true. The Unions have quite clear recommendations for redundancy, and whilst Union views are by no means laws laid down in stone, for redundancy they nearly always are. This should not be a concern.

    She does need to talk to her Headteacher, and then her HoD, before applying for other jobs.


    However, as there are set dates for resignation and leaving - it's not like the Big Wide World where you can give your notice to start and end at any time - and the next resignation date is looming on 31 October if she's in most schools, she has little or no chance of getting a job by then. So she has until the end of February to give in her notice, having found a job before then. there will be jobs advertised for a summer term start immediately after Christmas.

    She should check her contract, however, for some schools have different deadlines for resignation.


    Best wishes

    monicabilongame likes this.

Share This Page