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How do you manage your time?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Bonnie23, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter


    I've had some recent issues at work with working stupid hours. I love teaching and I don't want to leave it but if I don't get a hold of it soon I'm going to end up off with stress!

    What hours do you work?
    Do you work at home after school?
    Do you have a full timetable?
    Do you work weekends?
    What subject do you teach (optional)

    Basically how do you manage your time. I understand everyone's different so I'm after a few different ways people manage their stuff.

    Some of my colleagues leave at 5 and take no work home with them and I'm amazed about how they do it?!
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Much depends on age of children/ subjects you teach, of course. Plus how many years and therefore resources which you merely have to adapt you can use.

    Plus if you have any home responsibilities which means you have to fit preparation and marking round those.
    ldnsenco likes this.
  3. ldnsenco

    ldnsenco Occasional commenter

    I feel very stretched and overwhelmed right now. I'm trying to cut down my hours. First few weeks I worked 7.00-6.00 every day. I also do 5 hours every weekend. I'm now trying to work 8.00-4.30 and stay until 5.30 twice a week for SLT and a staff meeting. I feel like I never get anything done! I never take a lunch break and always work through. Need to get this in hand as I'm burining out!
  4. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I never worked Friday night and rarely Saturday but the rest of my time was a hostage to school. Holiday times I never worked weekends but often worked on holiday weekdays. The Friday / Saturday thing kept me going. I didn't mind doing the hours tbh but that was when my children had left home. I worked in front of the tele so at least I in the same room as my husband. It worked out at 60+ hours a week which wasn't uncommon then and I'm sure isn't now. I had colleagues who were more efficient than I was, more decisive, just plainly more clever than I was and worked fewer hours. I tended to waste time mithering.
    I used to get in before 7.30 and stay until 5.30 at least.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    I feel your pain.
    I currently work from 7.30 and started finishing at 6 but now I've more recently started finishing at 8pm or later! Desperately trying to find ways out of doing this.
    Lara mfl 05 and ldnsenco like this.
  6. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    I'm also worried I'm a 'mitherer'. I think I spend a lot of time debating instead of just DOING. I've now made myself a priority to do list which seems to be helping but even when I'm marking I debate too much over the mark I give the child.
    ldnsenco likes this.
  7. eleanorms

    eleanorms Occasional commenter

    To be honest, it is very hard to advise anyone else on this as it varies so much from school to school and person to person. Lots of people say they work till 6 at school and then there is no reason to take work home. But I can't do this as I have to pick up my children. I leave at 5 and take 2 or 3 hours home every night. I try not to mark at weekends, and don't have too much planning to do as we rewrote the curriculum last year so are just tweaking it for this one. I can manage this as I personally feel the long holidays make up for a lot. Some colleagues don't agree with this. The workload has got considerably heavier since the 2014 curriculum popped up. I think you find ways of cutting corners the longer you have been teaching, and many schools are making positive attempts to cut down workload. Not all though:(
    Lara mfl 05 and ldnsenco like this.
  8. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Maybe that mithering is the thing to work on. Try a week when you concentrate and go with quick decisions. See how it goes. Keep smiling :):):)
    Lara mfl 05, SLouise91 and ldnsenco like this.
  9. ldnsenco

    ldnsenco Occasional commenter

    To be honest, I feel like after 12 years, I've finally woken up to smell the coffee. This is my job. My husband has been an absolute anchor of support yet sacrificed so much dealing with how stressed I am since I entered he profession. Too many days spent crying, too many times I've bitten his head off, too many times we've cancelled plans with friends and family. Enough is enough!

    My new motto is: I can only do what I can do. I'm only human and it's just a job. Forcing myself to leave it at the door.
    Lara mfl 05 and SLouise91 like this.
  10. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Afraid I could never see it as 'just a job', but are you in a good school? One which will let you focus on what matters? OR do you spend a lot of time on bits that don't really help the children
    SLouise91 and ldnsenco like this.
  11. ldnsenco

    ldnsenco Occasional commenter

    We're due OFSTED but currently good. Lots of politics I don't buy in to but love my day to day job. I do what's best for the children and they make me smile every day. Not interested in all of the other nonsense which others get so wrapped up in. That's what I mean by just a job.

    Obviously it's my passion and I care very deeply about what I do - but I care about my husband more.
    Lara mfl 05 and SLouise91 like this.
  12. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I don't buy into the idea that working longer under ever more pressure brings results, unless the individual chooses to do it themselves; and even then, the work/life balance needs to be controlled.

    We can understand how sportsmen and athletes need to devote extraordinary amounts of time to become the best they can, but we also know they can't keep it up forever. They all have to retire in their thirties.

    Then there are those who reach their peak one day then unaccountably, lose it completely. Try as they may to focus on what they did well, work harder at it, it's rare they get it back unless they take a break and start over again without the pressure.

    Teachers aren't athletes who accept that being burnt out before you reach forty is par for the course. The system with its league table nonsense seems to be hoping to turn them into athletes though and in my view, the system is wasting its time, because unless it can make working the long hours an appealing thing to do, we don't get winners. We just end up with burnt out thirty year old teachers who've lost the will to live.

    I can't think of a worse management strategy than to pile on more and more pressure in the hope it will bring results when it's all stick and no carrot.

    I don't believe it's healthy for anyone to work more than 8 hours a day. Taking a lateral view on the matter, it seems to me that the long holidays are largely to blame. Historically, they came about because kids were needed in the fields to help bring the harvest in, but now they aren't, it would make more sense for the teaching year to be similar to any other job. What can't be done in normal working hours doesn't get done.

    Factory managers know their workers will tell them to sod off if they are asked to work at home as well as in the factory for no extra reward, so why should the exam factory managers be treated any differently?

    I'll tell you another thing...

    Normal factory workers couldn't care less if the targets aren't reached unless they enjoy a bonus when they are. It seems to me that teachers are too set in their middle class ways to realise they are now just factory workers and are being treated as such. The only response to this is to behave in the same manner factory workers do. Clock out when the factory hooter goes and don't clock in again until you hear it again the following morning.

    What would they do about that? Sack the bleedin' lot of you if you all did the same?
    ldnsenco likes this.
  13. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I always fitted my work in the time slots not directed by Maleficent.
  14. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I found the worse thing about a heavy workload is not being able to control it, and do things at a time to suit me, as long as I met reasonable deadlines. Continually, planned work would be interrupted by extra demands falling on me.
    SLouise91 likes this.
  15. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    I normally get in an hour before the official start of the day. Leave as after the bell as possible. Don't work at home, evenings or weekends. I honestly don't know what I'd actually do if I stayed longer or decided to work at home.
  16. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i do it when i can... it differs. best laid plans often go to pot
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    We've just been OFSTEDDed so things are calming down a little now after a frantic couple of weeks.

    Normally I limit myself to 2 hours extra work when I get home and now the wrath of doom has passed I'm going to try very hard to stick to it.
  18. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Then stop debating. It's okay to be a mark or two out as long as you're in the right ball park and can justify your choice. As an exercise, set yourself the task of marking pieces very quickly - one read through and and just putting a mark on. Then go back and cross mark in detail with an experienced colleague. Were your "gut reaction" marks correct? Consistently under? Over? Adjust your internal standard accordingly and then trust yourself.
    Lara mfl 05, racroesus and lindenlea like this.
  19. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I was mentor to many student teachers over the years as PCGE students and NQT's, mostly the fear was of being unprepared for that class that come in, mostly the biggest disappointments were of lovingly prepared lessons that the class didn't care about because of reasons entirely beyond the control of the teacher.

    I tell them of a lesson I taught in my second year of teaching where due to the t/t being changed or some class rotations the details of which I forget I had a class come in due to receive a lesson I had done NO preparation for, though I had taught that lesson in the past. I was forced to wing it, there was no alternative, and.... of course it was fine, the class thought it was a normal lesson, it was a normal lesson. I used to tell this to the young teachers I mentored and they would listen as if I was telling them of a solo skydive I did once with no planning. Then I would see them in a similar position one day and they too would survive.

    Teachers need to be realistic. There is your lovingly crafted and gilded straw to clutch to in the event of little Billy nearly having a fight at break or little Sarah being melodramatic and moody but not telling anyone, but it won't help if you don't have the ability to paddle to the sound but somewhat rickety raft that will actually keep your lesson afloat. that you make up on the fly.

    Likewise marking - nearly perfect is fine, do you do any comparisons within the department to standardize marking? If you do, you'll see a variability amongst even the fastidious of teachers.

    Too much time and effort is put into what happens outside of the classroom, as long as during lessons you are constantly available, going round the class, seeing the kids, helping out, explaining etc. etc. through the lesson, the outside stuff is less important.

    The key though is that your 90% good enough rate matches the required good enough rate.
    Lara mfl 05 and Flere-Imsaho like this.
  20. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    A school I was a student at had a bit of a staffing disaster one day and I ended up being yoinked out of the classes I had planned for and shoved into others with some distant "supervision" from the teacher in the class next door. A day of teaching texts I hadn't even read, never mind planned for, quickly taught me that I could always manage a lesson of some sort and that sometimes they ended up more productive than all those painstakingly planned sets of 10 minute activities, starters and plenaries. I think all students and NQTs would benefit from a similar experience!
    Mangleworzle and Lara mfl 05 like this.

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