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How many hours a week do you work on average?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by SCAW12, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    What are you doing for 10 hours on a Sunday? I work Sundays but between 2 and 3 hours only. That's lesson planning and setting my weekly homeworks.

    I get marking done in my frees, occasionally at home.

    I reckon I work from half 7-4 on week days and the 3 hours or so at a weekend. Roughly 45 hours a week. Most of the things I work on are to tick boxes for management. All the data tracking and most marking is done so management will be satisfied. Very little time actually goes into planning lessons as the marking and data tasks take up too much time amongst behaviour stuff like ringing and emailing home.
    agathamorse likes this.
  2. bobtes

    bobtes Occasional commenter

    Get in around 745, always leave by 5. Some days work through lunch, try not to.
    Never take work home in evenings. Last year was averaging about 1 in 4 weekends taking marking home, although seem to have hit 4/4 so far this year. Don't mind doing a bit of online research type planning at the weekend.
    So around 45hrs in school, and maybe between 1 and 5 at weekends. So up to 50 max.
    (secondary, 20+ years in)
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. ambi

    ambi New commenter

    Have been monitoring it since the first week of this term so for 4 weeks . Have gone down to 3 days a week and given up my responsibility allowance but still averaging 40 plus hours a week on average . Going to try to reduce this term goes on and I get into the swing of it as that is ridiculous.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I'm working hard at the moment but unlike the previous two years I am enjoying it a lot more.

    I'm also a lot less tired as a result
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    you never do though, do you, the swing never gets got into, and the reductions never happen. never never. There is always some very important reason why every single week is a special case
    ambi and Billie73 like this.
  6. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Around 60 - 70 at the moment. I work one day of the weekend. And long days at school. This time last year it was 90 and a near breakdown so that's at least a minor improvement. I won't be keeping it up though.

    This week has been heavier as I am going away next weekend and want to leave on Friday with nothing to think about over the weekend.

    I'm planning on getting my evenings back first.. So no work home on an evening. Then I'll try to reduce my weekend day of working to half a day.

    I have downloaded a brilliant app called Brain Focus which lets me track how long I spend on different tasks. It also tells me to take breaks and keeps me focused. It's great being able to see exactly where I need to find ways to save time.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    That is a lot of hours Piscean1. Where do you find the energy? I just eventually run out of energy.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    To be honest, I didn't realise it was that many until I sat down and worked it out. I do struggle. I fall asleep basically instantly when I get home on a Friday. I think I've got about another 2 weeks in me before I burn out so I really need to reduce my hours. I know it won't happen overnight but small steps are better than no steps.

    My best friend works in the same school and we have made a bit of a workload pact that we will go for dinner (either at one of our houses or out) once a week and not take work home that day.

    I'm lucky that my partner is a teacher so (although he doesn't work as many hours) he is very understanding. I also don't have children yet. I guess that makes my hours possible... But still not reasonable.
    agathamorse and SCAW12 like this.
  9. SiriusB

    SiriusB New commenter

    I get in at about 7.15 (my 'commute' is a few minutes though, which helps!). I like to get in early as I enjoy that half an hour of peace at my desk with my coffee, planning my to do for the day, before my colleagues start arriving. I normally stay until 6-6.30pm but sometimes even later. I don't mind. I like my job and I enjoy the time before and after school when I can take things a bit more slowly. It will probably change in a few years once I've had a family (hopefully haha)
  10. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    More teachers should do the same in recording their hours and then analyse exactly what took their time and how valuable it was.

    Australia has a different industrial relations system from England’s. Basic working conditions are set by a tribunal, the Fair Work Commission, which makes an award after hearing from employers and unions. Thus, the maximum secondary teaching load in Victoria is 20 hours (including extras, what you call “cover”) and the maximum primary teaching load is 22.5 hours. The unions then bargain with employers to make Enterprise Bargaining Agreements, which cannot be worse than the award. Thus, the maximum secondary teaching load is effectively 19.2 hours, but the primary one is still 22.5 hours.

    I always thought it fair that there would be occasions when a teacher would have to do more than the standard 38-hour week because teachers do get more holidays than most other workers and it is in the nature of the job that the workload is not spread evenly over year; e.g., exam correction, report-writing, preparing a new novel. Doing 50 hours a week consistently is being exploited and doing 60 hours is outrageous. People may point to other occupations that work those hours, but they tend to be ones that pay overtime or have high salaries to start with or charge by the hour.
    SCAW12 and agathamorse like this.
  11. Bobbbs

    Bobbbs Occasional commenter

    Stop working so much. Seriously. You're propping up a broken system, and, unlike the NHS, you do it no good.

    There is not a shred of evidence to suggest these marking policies, feedback formats, and nonsense interventions do anything for students. It is a business, and poor one mind you, mentality applied to a sector that does not benefit from it.

    Working 7 to 18:00, who does that benefit? If I worked for a successful company, I'd be working 08:00 to 16:00. If I worked overtime, I'd get it back. If I was doing something counter-productive, i.e. marking, my boss would tell me to stop wasting my time on meaningless activities.

    Until teachers stop bending over backwards for these people, the downward trend will continue. I work 08:00 to 16:30, plus one day a weekend for test marking (mocks etc). If I can't meet the "standard", I ask to see someone who is doing it that I can observe. Nobody is ever found.
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    Start at 6:45am, finish at 4:30pm.

    10 minute lunch break.

    Don't work at home, unless there's a 'book look', in which case It'll be an additional 10 hours or so over the week. That probably happens once every 4 weeks.

    So, that averages out at just above 50 per week.
  13. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    In the last few years of my teaching career, my working week was similar to that described by @extra. Eleven hours a day in school, two or three hours every evening, and weekends just disappeared in a welter of paperwork. It was like being in boat with a hole of ever-increasing size in the bottom, causing me bail out ever more frantically.

    As @Bobbbs said, at least 75% of what I was doing had no impact on my actual job, which was to teach science, other than to waste time I could have devoted to it.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. flyuplife

    flyuplife New commenter

    Sounds terrible. So, are you still teaching and better now?

  15. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    8.30 to 3pm . Long term supply so I stick to these hours, time is one of my few benefits.
  16. matevans

    matevans New commenter

    I pledged last year that if I couldn't keep under 50 hrs a week (on a 0.8 contract, after 14 years teaching) I would quit. Was going quite well, but then I got a new job instead... so now back up to 70+hr weeks, ironically for less pay!

    Am hoping / trusting it will 'settle down' once new school / new A levels are more embedded. Also spend the holidays writing new SOW / lessons - so not much of a break there.

    I seriously think I earn less than the national hourly minimum wage. Don't like to think of the 'opportunity costs' of those hours over 14 years especially on my family.

    I like teaching, I hate my work life balance. My work isn't really spent on any pointless admin etc, just on keeping on top of 2 A Levels.

    Ho hum...
  17. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Senior commenter

    When I was a senior leader / HOD, I worked 60-70 hours a week.

    I'm back in the classroom these days, and because of the plate-spinning skills I developed as SLT (if nothing else, it teaches you that), I get everything done inside working hours for the most part. Start about 7:45. Walk out of the door on average at about 4pm. Never work weekends. Never take books or work home. They get me for as long as they pay me, and I'm good at what I do (evidenced about 3 different ways) so they've no cause for complaint.

    Having said that, I regularly expect to be criticised for not conforming to the ridiculous hours / presenteeism culture with which teaching has become thoroughly infected. But to be fair, so far no such criticism has been forthcoming.
    agathamorse and SCAW12 like this.
  18. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I developed global eczema, and left with a CA in 2012. I tried to go on supply but there is not much doing in London. The eczema has gone, except for two small patches on my elbows.
  19. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I have not taught for over 2 years as i have retired(or rather they retired me at 70) I was primary supply for my last years and usually in by 8.15 and out by no later that 6.I used to complete all my marking by working dinners and after school.
    Luckily my experience enabled me to walk in and create lessons in the absence of teacher instructions.Often these would follow the theme noted in the childrens books.
    I undertook all the teacher duties and organisation. Usually I did not do any work at thome or planning,unless i was on long tern supply when I undertook planning and resoucing and any other duties concerned with such a position. I have found in some schools that i was the last member of teaching staff out of the building.I rememeber I was involved in marking after school one day that when i left the site manager asked who i was as everyone else inthe school had left!
  20. fantasticant

    fantasticant New commenter

    I totally agree with many of the opinions shared here, I have worked in jobs where I am having to work every hour that I am awake .. I refuse to do that any more. It means that I am no longer a candidate for 'climbing the ladder', and although I do this positively, in some jobs I have been sniffed at for doing so.

    My point of view is that while I am being a father figure to hundreds of school children, by daughter is missing out - and I won't do that.

    The biggest reason for the increases in teacher workload recently, and the superhero performance expected of teachers nowadays is the way schools are now managed. Data analysis, justifications, accountability meetings and a whole lot of additional administration are now expected on top of our formerly creatively focused jobs. I have written about this on my blog if anyone is interested - because there are some things you can do to protect the students you teach, and achieve a work life balance too.
    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]

    This really matters - to teachers, who are trading their lives for their jobs - and to the students, who don't benefit from overworked teachers who are more likely to leave the profession.
    FriarLawrence likes this.

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