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Need a happy medium

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by TinksB, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. TinksB

    TinksB New commenter

    I feel like I’m failing. I returned to work after maternity leave in September & I job share with another teacher but I can’t seem to find a happy medium between work & home. I feel like I can never seem to get ahead of my work load & feel like I’m constantly working when I should be spending time with my child, which in turn makes me feel guilty. The teacher I job share with claims they never do work at home as they don’t have time but they always seem on top of their work load. It’s so frustrating! Does anyone have any advice they can offer?
  2. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    Ask your job share for tips? Can you afford a change of career to improve your happiness?
    mothergoose2013 and agathamorse like this.
  3. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    I think returning after taking mat leave is hard. And I know that very young children take up a huge amount of time. I don’t know how people with young children do teaching jobs.

    I assume you’re part time, if job sharing? Communicating handover can also take a lot of time.

    There will always be people who *appear* ahead, but that may not be the case ;)

    Keep a diary of what you spend time doing. For example, Are you spending too long marking? Design assessments which either need less marking or that the pupils could partly self assess in class at least. Use TES resources instead of creating your own resources, etc etc. Use priority lists to check you’ve got everything sorted for the week ahead. Invest more time one week “catching up” on things which are longer term, and then you will feel better. Block out time, for when you will spend time with your child, regardless of what needs doing. Then block out time in hour blocks for 1) planning, 2) marking, and 3) “miscellaneous” tasks (*only* the essentials)!!

    I used to time myself exactly 1 hour to mark a set of books; in that time my partner took my iPad etc away from me and therefore distractions were at a minimum.

    Just a few ideas. I think this is probably the hardest time.
  4. vectis1

    vectis1 New commenter

    Agree with the above post. How is your job share managing?

    Do you have perfectionist tendencies? If so try to be more pragmatic.

    Get kids to green pen. Multicolored books seem to be the thing these days.

    Don’t be a mug and do a full time job for a part time salary. Loads of teachers seem to do that.

    Good luck!
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Just don't do any at home. Just don't do it.
    Yes, all teachers do to some extent, but not to the exclusion of all else.

    Assuming you maybe do three days a week in school.
    Arrive as early as you can and leave as late as you can on those days and work in breaks and lunch.
    Set aside the time your child has a daytime nap on two of the other days to work.
    Anything not done in these times doesn't get done. The world won't end.

    What age do you teach? Then we can help with ideas for what the children can do themselves and where you can safely cut corners to no detriment of the quality of your job.
    agathamorse and Shedman like this.
  6. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Teaching is a prime example of where Parkinson's law applies perfectly:

    'Work expands to fill the time available for its completion'

    No matter how few teaching hours you do per week, all the associated gubbins - marking, planning etc expands to fill up the rest of the working week if you let it. Just because you have extra time out of the classroom doesn't mean you have to fill it with school work. Ruthlessly prioritise the things that benefit your students and make you look good to other staff, as your colleague does, and the rest of the stuff do as well as you are able in the time that YOU allocate to it.

    MissGeorgi post #3 sets out some excellent strategies.

    ( I was going to crack the gag that if you need a happy medium there's a man down the road who claims to communicate with the departed and he's always smiling but that would have been rather flippant)
  7. cleobud

    cleobud New commenter

    I have been in a similar situation when my children were small and found it was better after I looked for a part-time job which was more standalone e.g. PPA cover or learning support teacher. I found it an extra pressure to do all the liaising and handing over of information to a job-share partner. Might be an option.
    agathamorse likes this.

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