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Lunch? what lunch?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by twinklelittlestar, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Hi, I work in year one and am getting so tired of not having time to eat/ drink/ wee at lunch time because of the preparation for the afternoon lessons / lunch meetings/ prep of work to send home. I cannot remember the last time I got chance to sit down and relax in the staffroom. It's been like this for three years and I'm losing the will. How does everyone else manage? Do you actually get any kind of reasonable 'break' within your day? This year I feel the demands of APP/ marking/ assessment have increased and I tend to be working 8-6 every day without stopping for 5 minutes for myself, plus half a day at the weekend and some work in the evenings too. This surely is unhealthy and I don't think I can keep this up much longer. Is it like this in every school?
     
  2. Hi, I work in year one and am getting so tired of not having time to eat/ drink/ wee at lunch time because of the preparation for the afternoon lessons / lunch meetings/ prep of work to send home. I cannot remember the last time I got chance to sit down and relax in the staffroom. It's been like this for three years and I'm losing the will. How does everyone else manage? Do you actually get any kind of reasonable 'break' within your day? This year I feel the demands of APP/ marking/ assessment have increased and I tend to be working 8-6 every day without stopping for 5 minutes for myself, plus half a day at the weekend and some work in the evenings too. This surely is unhealthy and I don't think I can keep this up much longer. Is it like this in every school?
     
  3. Hi
    I work in Year 2 and know where you are coming from with the afternoon lesson prep. The daily afternoon reading carousel takes quite a bit of sorting and as the lessons are as practical as possible it often takes a lot of the lunch time to put everything out. We don't have lunch meetings and the only work we send home are the follow up activities for the guided reading which I stick in with the children in the afternoon so it isn't as bad. What work are you sending home in Year 1? Could you change how you do this?
     
  4. Hi, thanks for taking the time to reply.
    I send home numeracy homework and spellings differentiated three different ways. We also test spellings on a Friday, so these need marking and to be given out to the children. I find Fridays particularly hard because there is so so much to be given out - maths homework (marked from previous week and new), spellings (marked and new) plus weekly newsletters.
     
  5. not sure why the things you mention above re sending home are really an issue what is problem re these
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    This sounds like a reasonable workload in the sense of a couple of evenings and 1/2 day at the weekend. but I cannot see why you do much of this during lunchtime. Yes you need to set up for the afternoon, but the rest doesn't need to be done by you at lunchtime does it?

    Can you get a couple of responsible year 6 children to do this for you in their lunchbreak? They would love the responsibility and you would get a break. All you need to do is give them the pile of bits and show them where the book bags are and leave them to it. Our FS and KS1 teachers do this.
     
  7. I've got Year 5, so it's possibly a bit different.
    There is no "setting up for the afternoon", since I just prep my lessons beforehand. All the paperwork for the day is on my table at the front of the room, and I just grab what I need for each lesson. If there's something I didn't get done...oh, well...can't be perfect all the time. They'll usually manage without it.
    I do take my breaks and I will sit down for lunch to have something to eat and a chat with my colleagues. However, I don't generally make it to the staffroom for that. We tend to stay in our area, which means we are still there if anything happens.
    Three days a week, I've got lunchtime clubs going on, so that's a bit of a rush. One of them is in my room, which is easy...but for the other two, I have to make it out to the pitch on time. I do work in the evenings, and quite a bit more than half a day on weekends, though.
     
  8. I would work more in the evenings so that you can take a break at lunch otherwise you'll just be exhausted. Everyone needs to take breaks and it's better to make time for a short break rather than isolating yourself from other teachers in the school. You could ask other people at school for advice?
     
  9. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    What sort of things are you setting out for the pm. Could the children be encouraged to collect their own things at the beginning of the session. In foundation where I work we spend a lot of time encouraging independance and setting up our environment to encourage independance. My nursery children for example are able to collect and set up all they need for art and craft activities and it is frustrating to go into a Y1 class and see everything laid out for them. Thats not a critisism just an observation as I think there is sometimes an underestimation of what young children can do.
     
  10. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    I am also in Y1 (new to it this year) and out of an hour long lunch break, get a good 30 minutes to sit down in the staffroom and have lunch. I have PPA one afternoon, so the PPA teacher sorts that out and on 2 other afternoons I have PE, so there's nothing to set up. I also encourage the children to be independent so they fetch the resources they need themselves when we have Art or DT.
     
  11. comenius

    comenius New commenter

    I teach year 1 too. We get 50 minutes for lunch and I usually try and get 25-30mins sitting down in the staffroom to eat. I usually spend Friday lunchtime in class sorting things out/changing areas of provision etc because I like to get away early on a Friday afternoon!!!
    I tend to come in a little bit earlier and make sure I have everything ready for the afternoon before the school days starts, though I don't find there is too much to do as the class know where to get the things they need.
    With regards to homework and letters to go home then I ask a couple of children from my class to put them in the trays for me - they love doing these little 'jobs' and know if they are unsure of a name or which tray to put something in, to come and ask.
    If you are having to mark and then send home new spellings on the same day, could you not do spellings on a Thursday and then mark in the evening with new ones ready to go home Friday?
     
  12. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    I think you may have move around your timetable too. Test spelling on Wednesdays and get the children to stick in their new spellings after the test. Train children to set up the reading carousel in the first 10 mins of lunch. What does your reading carousel consist of?


    Try to get some sessions in the afternoon that require less marking. Try to mark a few books at the end of the lessons with a quick whiz round if you can.

    Your school may have app guidelines, but I try to update my app folders fortnightly.

    I don't mark homework, I just put it into the bin each week. Obviously you might have to keep marking it this year, as you have set the pattern. I've rarely have a parent question why they don't get it back marked. If they do I explain that homework is sent out as a means of parents seeing what their child has been doing in school this week. It's a good means of consolidation. I also explain that to me I cannot record the marks or use it as evidence as it has been done away from school.
     
  13. thepinkrachael

    thepinkrachael New commenter

    I am in year 1 too, and lunchtimes are really busy, I use a lot of my lunchtimes working, but that is so I can do less in the evening. Some of how I do things is a bit like what other people have mentioned, but it does make things easier...
    We send homework on a Friday and I ask for it back on Thursday. I mark it Thursday eve or Friday morning, and if it comes back on Friday it isn't marked (parents grumbled a bit at first, but they get used to it and most comes back on time. I do mark it with the following weeks if that comes back on time). We do spellings on a Monday and they take new ones home that day. I get them ready Monday morning and I am lucky to have a TA who puts them into books, but you could maybe ask children to give them out/put into books, children mark their own in colour after we do the spellings and just show me what they got, which saves a lot of time! I have some older children who come and help at break times with things like pencil sharpening, sticking work into books, changing reading books etc.
    I know what you mean about setting up for the afternoon, and I know that it depends on the activity whether children can get it all themselves, but I sort of have a balance where I put out what I need to and they do the rest at the start of the lesson and it doesn't take me very long.
    When it comes to assessment and marking I use all my PPA time for this and plan at home usually half a day at weekend or one evening, and (at the moment at least!) I seem to be on top of it!
     
  14. I send a half-term's worth of spellings out at the beginning of each half-term, mark spellings, and jot the children's mark next to that particular week's set spellings - parents know exactly what's coming up, how their children got on (if they get one wrong, I mark down exactly what they wrote, and if they received extra support afterwards). As I mark spellings while the children have 10 mins free-time (naughty, I know! ha ha), I also write in the date and numbers 1-?? for the next test (the following Friday). Works really well, and parents haven't complained once (a minor miracle in my school!)
     
  15. Do spelling test then for the rest of the session the children either write their new spellings or stick them in then carry out handwriting/patterning activities. Mark books while they are doing so and then give them back to the children.
    All done in one session.
     
  16. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Lead commenter

    Under H&S legislation employers and employees are equally responsible for looking after staff wellbeing. If you ever need to pursue a grievance re illness due to workload the first thing to be asked is whether you took the luchbreak to which you are legally entitled, and if you haven't that will be regarded as irresponsibility on your part.

    And teachers went on strike years ago to establish the profession's right to a midday break.
     
  17. I work in year 1 too. I spend half an hour clearing up from the morning and setting up for the afternoon. I have table monitors who put all the work to be marked in a basket and put resources away around the classroom. Every evening I make sure all my worksheets and resources are ready for the morning. This means I get half an hour for a sit down in the staff room.
    I have meetings most days after school, so always bring my marking home and spend about an hour and a half doing that.
    Maths homework - out on Friday, in on Monday - have all week to mark it.
    Spellings - test on Friday. TA or parent helper marks them and fills in sheet for me so I know how many each child got right, then they stick in the new ones while I am doing the input for literacy session.
    Newsletters - I would get the children ready for home 10 minutes early, then make them put their letters in their bookbags (and watch them so I know everyone has got one and not left it in their tray!)
    Giving children jobs is the best way to keep organised - it takes a bit of training but they love it!
    Hope you get something sorted soon. You need to take a break. [​IMG]

     
  18. A lot of the suggestions people have made are good ones (especially getting Year 6s or other pupils to help out with 'administrative' jobs). How many teachers out there are able to call on the help of the TAs at lunchtime to prepare equipment and help sort stuff out for the afternoon? At our school the teaching staff tend to eat while working in their rooms or inhale their lunch in 5 mins flat.....TAs have a relaxed 50 minutes in the staffroom. The reason (which I only recently learned) is that they aren't paid for lunch times and so, technically, can't be expected to work during that time. Is that the same elsewhere?
     
  19. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Nobody should be attending 'lunch meetings'. You are not required to do anything during your lunch break, you can go down the pub every day if you want to. Anyone, especially SENCOS, who ask you to 'meet' during your lunch break can shove it. I am NOT available for meetings at lunchtime, no how no way.
     
  20. Earl Davids wife

    Earl Davids wife New commenter

    Year two, very large primary school
    Hate the time spent trying to find equipment from the 'central' store cupboard where all maths and science equipment (balances, weights, scales, metre sticks, bulbs, batteries, torches, mirrors etc etc) for all year groups (1 to 6) is stored on shelves and usually missing. Which of course means searching around the school or giving up. what a waste of time!
    Dream one would be never to have to spend my time searching because everything I need is in my classroom!
    Dream two would be to have enough open cupboards or tops to stash everything neatly around the room so children could easily help themselves - never managed that as the 'rooms' are too small to swing a cat around never mind anything else.
    Best 'room' I ever had was a deralict mobile (no water, only a bucket) that eventually gave up the ghost and was demolished..............
    " At our school the teaching staff tend to eat while working in their rooms or inhale their lunch in 5 mins flat.....TAs have a relaxed 50 minutes in the staffroom. The reason (which I only recently learned) is that they aren't paid for lunch times and so, technically, can't be expected to work during that time. Is that the same elsewhere?"
    Only ever had a part time TA (after several years without any TA) and anyway, our TAs don't work through lunch or break - they aren't paid to do so and we don't expect them to.
     

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