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Opinions on commuting into school!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Lbsch, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Lbsch

    Lbsch New commenter

    Hi all!

    I posted a while back (wow, 5 months ago), looking for advice on travel times. You were all super helpful so thank you! Since then, I've found a perfect teaching job which isn't too far away! However, my plans have gone a bit awry. I've not managed to pass my driving test yet and at this rate won't be able to get my license until after I start teaching. Bit annoying, but hey ho.

    My issue here is that once I pass (and I will), I'll need to save up for a car and insurance. Young, first-time driver and all. This means at LEAST a couple months of pay before I can even use my license. Until then, I'll have to take the bus into school which is about a 40 minute journey each way. Talking about this with colleagues and others has shown a bit of stigma and almost mockery. I know not many teachers these days bus it into school, especially an NQT with probably a hundred meetings each week. I wouldn't if I had the choice right now, but that's where I'm at.

    I guess I'm here to ask people on here what their opinions are on getting the bus into school and for any advice? I know it's not the most reliable form of transportation, and a nightmare when it comes to marking, preparing resources at home, etc., which is what I'm more worried about.

    Hopefully people can ease my mind a bit! Thanks in advance!
  2. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    Stigma and mockery for getting a bus to school? :rolleyes: What a bunch of twits! I can't see why catching a bus would be a problem at all, as long as you made allowances for the inevitable hold ups and delays etc and 40 minutes isn't really that long. Yes, it will be less convenient than driving but it won't be for ever.
  3. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I didn't pass my test until I was 35 and never found it a problem getting the bus. You need to do what you can afford and what's best for you and not worry about what anyone says. Without a car you will not be able to take lots of work home. This is not a bad thing. My car is more like a mobile shed these days....
    ilovesooty, mathsmutt and Lbsch like this.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I often commute by bicycle and train.

    The only downside is you can't carry that much
    mathsmutt and Lbsch like this.
  5. arianasarah866

    arianasarah866 New commenter

    You get in how you need to get in! Yes you will probably need to be organised in terms of what you can and cannot take home but that's probably a good thing and you can always use the commute as time to unwind with headphones in etc :)
    mathsmutt and Lbsch like this.
  6. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I would aim to get in very early to avoid travelling with pupils on the bus. I'd also use the first few days at school to see if a colleague lives near you and would give you a lift for a share of the petrol costs...You never know!
  7. Calpurnia99

    Calpurnia99 Star commenter

    I was 42 when I passed my test and took the bus every day. No-one had any opinion on the subject whatsoever.
    Agree with Frank that a request on the noticeboard to car-share with anyone who might be passing is the way to go, though probably only for trips in, unless by some miracle your meetings timetables are congruent.
    mathsmutt and Lbsch like this.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I commute by train, though am swapping to car next year for at least some of the days as trains are only hourly, so a bit of a pain.
    However I have a colleague who is about my age (mid 40s) who commutes by bus, think they might get two busses each way.
    I have a couple of other colleagues who walk a reasonable distance to commute.
    Another who comes on a motorbike.
    Several others who drive.
    No-one really cares one way or another.

    Word of advice: Don't bother to work on the commute, use it to catch up on FB and the like and totally relax. That long break is invaluable in a busy working week.
    mathsmutt, Lbsch and Sundaytrekker like this.
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Lots of our staff get the bus but often car shares are offered as soon as people realise you need a lift. If you get in early/stay late it will solve the problem of being on the same bus as pupils and also give you a chance to do all planning and marking at school, making it unnecessary to carry large piles of things on the bus.

    I wouldn't worry about.
    catmother, mathsmutt and Lbsch like this.
  10. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Using public transport depends upon whether you home and place of work are both within easy reach of a service.

    In a lot of towns buses go from the outskirts to the centre and cross over. The journey into the centre can be easy because the the services are set up to do that but the second leg from the centre outwards can next to impossible. So you either need one bus service that goes past both or two that match up in the two directions. Or a train going in and a bus going out. (or vice versa)

    If you have a situation where you can easily get on a bus and then get off the other end then that's great.

    In other words if it so happens the service matches your needs then it can actually be financially and time effective to use the service. But if your needs are not matched it can be an absolute nightmare.

    What is the case is that in using public transport you tend to develop a different mindset to using your own. It can come as a bit of a shock but once you get the hang of it, journeys can become stress-free because someone else is taking the strain. It is a case of making the most of the time to relax.

    Some people who use public transport never get the hang of it. I remember once missing the train home and just starting to adjust myself to the hour wait for the next one, when an announcement came over saying the train leaving in the next five minutes would be making an additional stop at my home station.

    So checking carefully with the porter I boarded the train which magically stopped at the home station. Several of us got off and it included a man that I knew was a regular traveler. He was busy chewing out the porter at the station about why did such and such a train not stop here anymore and the poor porter was trying to tell him that the train had never stopped here.(not actually getting very far)

    Since my father knew him, I asked about the incident and he said "Oh he's always doing that." Apparently he would get on any old train and then complain so much about it not stopping that BR would get another train to make a special stop.

    Something to try on Southern?
    mathsmutt likes this.
  11. friedgreentomatoes

    friedgreentomatoes Lead commenter

    I got the bus for my first term in teaching. No one mocked me! I agree with getting an earlier bus to avoid travelling with students, and using the time to read/Facebook/whatever. Eventually a colleague who lived near me saw me at the bus stop and offered to give me a lift (and asked me why I hadn't asked earlier if anyone lived near me!). I gave her a few quid petrol money each week, and it worked very well. I bet if you ask around someone will live near you (or their route takes them past your house).
  12. zizzyballoon

    zizzyballoon Star commenter

    Southern makes special stops all the time and on days when I want to use it it usually stops altogether.:(
    lizziescat and irs1054 like this.
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I blame Mrs Thatcher.
    You need to be pragmatic. Buses can offer a handy way of getting to work. I use the Cambridge busway fairly regularly now to get to my place of work. If it was a miserable job, the bus ride would probably be the tipping point between OK and not OK job.
    Bus commuting gives space between work and home, and time for reading and listening to music. I don't have to worry about concentrating on driving.
    On the other hand, I am forced into a timetable set by others, subject to delays from a variety of sources and often uncomfortable as the bus gets very crowded. I also get quite upset if the bus makes me late for work if it is held up for more than half an hour.
    The bus home is usually late (except when staff meetings overrun by a couple of minutes).
    Fortunately I have the use of a car and other options, I have started to cycle in to work from a park and ride a few miles out of Cambridge and the exercise is great.
    You will need to make your own decisions.
    Do the buses run as late as the end of parents' evenings or will you need to find a lift?
    Are they reliable enough to get you to work on time. My non-mainstream school can cope if I'm late, my old mainstream school would have got grumpy very rapidly, although bus commuting was not an option. No buses arrive from elsewhere in my town until 10am, they only depart.
  14. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Of all the advice above, the one I'd prefer would be the car share one, since it helps everyone out with the cost of travelling, but the downside is that it cramps everyone's style if the driver can't make it for whatever reason.

    Illness, the car's broken or failed the MOT. Discovery that the credit card's maxed out when fuel is needed. Maybe the child minder was hospitalised and the journey into work has to take a 50 mile detour to leave the kids with their grandparents? You name it, it will go wrong one day and you won't have a clue where the bus stops or their timetables. Heaven forbid your lift is going through a difficult relationship and she let his tyres down out of spite.
    mathsmutt likes this.
  15. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    I don't drive so have always used public transport. Just have to be very organised. My kindle is my train best friend so I can unwind (if I get a seat haha). Like others travel early or leave late so you get quite journeys in at least one direction. I used to arrive by 7 but leave by 4 or so, others arrived at 8.30 but stayed til 6pm, just what suits you.
    if anyone turns up their nose, think you need another school!
  16. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    I can recommend it - I often use the bus to get to work, and not just when the weather is icy. It goes from almost outside my door all the way to about a minute's walk from work, roughly every hour, so as long as I time my exit from work right, I'm usually okay. I buy a weekly ticket so can also use the bus for popping out to the shops at the weekend. The bus company that runs the route is very reliable, and the drivers are great - they'll drop you as close as they can once they know your routine.

    Okay, it's not so good on a wet day - you really need a good waterproof coat - but I do feel I have a better work-life balance in the weeks I use the bus. On bus days I get to work much earlier than most other people, so can get on with stuff without being interrupted all the time. The journey itself is stress-free - I just switch off and chill out. Also, as I do a lot of driving to social stuff in the evenings, going on the bus helps to keep my car mileage down a bit - and with the roads in the state they're in round here, keeping my car out of a few more pot-holes each day is a good thing.

    What's more, I've found that you can get out of meetings on time without causing offence by saying "Sorry I can't stay any longer - I've got a bus to catch" - people positively push you out the door, whereas saying "I've had enough of this c*** - can I leave now?" doesn't quite have the same response...

    I keep a collapsible wheely-box at work in case I need to take more than one set of books home, but most days I find it better to do my marking the next morning when I get to school instead, so I sometimes get to walk out early and leave it all behind. That feels great!

    Yes, there is a bit of a stigma - when I first started using the bus, I'm pretty certain the word on the playground was that I'd lost my licence (whether due to either drink-driving or ill-health I'm not sure, but people kept asking me if I was okay...) and I'm sure some of my colleagues feel smug when they drive past me waiting in the rain at the bus stop. But I still think I'm getting the better end of the deal, and this September I'm aiming for at least three weeks out of four to be on the bus.
  17. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    The people being described in the posts above, who mock, judge or are smug toward others, must be extremely pathetic individuals. I've never heard anything so ridiculous as this. Who cares what modes of transport others use to get into work and get home again. What on earth is wrong with people!

    lizziescat likes this.
  18. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Tip for when you take the bus for a day's work at school-put your sandwiches in a box not a bag, because at least twice in any given week you are going to sit on those sandwiches whether you plan to or not.
  19. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I am unsure of the rules these days for mopeds and small motorbikes, but if you can still get one and just stick a 'virgin' plate on the back then it has to be worth consideration.

    Will gain you total respect from the students, too.
  20. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    If it wasn't for the fact that we sometimes have to stay late and bring marking home I'd happily give up the car and commute by train.

    I did it for a year in a previous job

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