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positives and negatives of working afternoons only

Discussion in 'Primary' started by handrail, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. handrail

    handrail New commenter

    I'm currently on maternity leave after having my first baby and have
    requested to go back part time as of September - I previously worked
    full time in Early Years. I requested 3 full days - my school have
    offered me 0.5 - afternoons in Y1 OR full time in Reception. Neither
    option is what I wanted and I can't decide what to do. I really don't
    want to be full time so I am trying to talk myself into doing
    afternoons. Apart from it being a year group I've never taught before I
    can't help but wonder if I'll end up clock watching all morning. The
    time with my son would be lovely but I would have preferred to have had
    some full days off with him :(
    Can anybody offer me their experiences of working afternoons only? Thank you.
     
  2. handrail

    handrail New commenter

    I'm currently on maternity leave after having my first baby and have
    requested to go back part time as of September - I previously worked
    full time in Early Years. I requested 3 full days - my school have
    offered me 0.5 - afternoons in Y1 OR full time in Reception. Neither
    option is what I wanted and I can't decide what to do. I really don't
    want to be full time so I am trying to talk myself into doing
    afternoons. Apart from it being a year group I've never taught before I
    can't help but wonder if I'll end up clock watching all morning. The
    time with my son would be lovely but I would have preferred to have had
    some full days off with him :(
    Can anybody offer me their experiences of working afternoons only? Thank you.
     
  3. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Afternoons are a nightmare. You can't plan any day-long activities with your son and you're right about the clockwatching. I found that I was doing last minute preperation and planning in the mornings too. What time would you need to leave home to get to work for say, 12.30pm?
    It's a very poor choice given to you by your head. Is there any negotiation with the person doing the mornings?
    And 5 afternoons is 0.4, not 0.5 so just 2 days and not 2 1/2.
     
  4. handrail

    handrail New commenter

    greta444 - I agree with everything you've said - exactly my thoughts. No room for negotiation with the person doing mornings as it's the deputy head's class - he has his release time on afternoons.
    I did wonder about the 0.5 thing - the letter my head sent me says it would be 0.5? That was one thing I thought might be good - more money for a shorter afternoon.
    My school isn't far from where I live - I would prob have to leave just before 12 to drop my son off at my mother in laws and go straight to school from there.
    Might as well do full time perhaps?? Or take afternoons and look for another job. It's really stressing me out!
    Thanks for your reply anyhow.
     
  5. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

    I worked part time for seven years and have to admit in the end I'd had enough. I found that I was essentially working full time for part time pay. It's amazing how your 'free' time gets eaten into by school. As said before - clock watching and not really ever off the job. Every afternoon is a raw deal. I suppose you could try it, like you said and look for an alternative post - but these are not easy to come by. You have to decide for yourself, but I'd go for full time rather than every afternoon if they are the only two options.
    You did ask for positives as well though - you can make appointments at the dentist, hairdresser etc more easily. You don't have to get up so early and be ready to leave the house to be at school for the start of the day. If your son is poorly, you are not looking for someone to look after him in the mornings. If you've had a disturbed night with him you've only a couple of hours to work.
    I would confirm the 0.5. It certainly hasn't been like that in my experience - it's the hours worked that have counted.
     
  6. I do 0.4, admittedly only 2 full days. But I spend every spare minute planning for those 2 days. Might as well be full time and get the extra money plus more PPA. The less time you're actually in school the more time you spend planning and striving for perfection in my experience.
    I'd go for full time if I were you, at least you still get all the holidays to be with your son. I have 3 young children. Currently working full time, but in 3 diff schools, with SATs coming up, but usually only 0.4. Would be so much easier to be full time in 1 school.
     
  7. I'd take the half day and look for something else. You may get used to it though. There are plenty of holiday weeks in the year to have full days with your child and if it is the same hours every day then you'd all get into a rhythm.
    I'd have taken afternoons if I had to. I could do toddler groups or short trips out in the mornings and then find a nursery or childminder for the other half day. You could try to get your child into school in afternoons when in nursery so you are still spending the rest of their free day with them.
    I agree with the positive points made by Marlin. The worst working parent moments for me are when your children are poorly first thing in the morning or the middle of the night, At that moment, my OH and I look at each other and say "What do we do?" Friends and family are often more willing to take in a little one for a short time rather than a full day, and you'd have the morning to sort it out.
    As far as teaching is concerned, you'd be in daily and not miss too much, still benefit from bank hols and training days and have plenty of time after school to plan etc compared to your teaching. Lots of 'nice' things (Golden time etc) often tend to be left for the afternoons too. Also, you'd be able to have a short hand over with the morning teacher too face to face. Good communication is vital in part time work. Note though, that all afternoons isn't usually 0.5 due to the shorter days. In my authority all afternoons qualifies for 0.45.
     
  8. Could the 0.5 be including PPA? I do 3 days but my contract is more than 0.6 because I get paid extra to have PPA at home IYSWIM!
    I was going to say a negative will be cost of transport, if you were only working three days you would be making 6 trips but everyday is the same as full time.
    You won't miss things that happen in the staffroom and meetings etc but you will probably be expected to do all the parents evenings, although you will get to do these with your jobshare.
    You will get to meet with the jobshare partner (something that I missed last year).
    Just some thoughts.

     
  9. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Established commenter

    You will probably miss out on Maths and English - which is both an advantage (planning, marking, assessment etc) and a disadvantage (a bit harder to tune in to the kids and,if it goes on too long, deskilled).
    Swings and roundabouts really!
     
  10. ditwee

    ditwee New commenter

    Positives: you are in school every day, which will help retain your contact with the class, and therefore your authority. You will have a (vanishingly) small amount of time in the morning to do other things. You will miss the early morning rush. You will only have to prepare half a day's planning. Continuity will be easy.

    Negatives: you will (if you are like most job-shares) end up marking, planning and preparing most of the morning. The expectation will be that if you only have to plan for half a day, your lessons will be approaching excellent (no excuse now for the occasional 'winging it' lesson). You get the kids in their least teachable half of the day, every day. You will be regarded as 'only part-time' by any spouse (??) and pretty much everybody else and therefore expected to do the lions share of housework/childcare/organising and running of house on top of what will soon turn out to be a full-time job anyway. You will miss the key skills lessons of Maths and English; you wouldl need to find some way of keeping up with where the children are with these (possibly by coming in to observe them during the morning). Unless you are firm from the outset, you'll be expected to come in for every Inset, CPD, School trip (with your class) and parent's evenings/open days etc. I recently got pulled in for a SIP visit. You'll also be asked to cover when your job-share is sick. There may be the expectation of you running an after-school club (after all, you've got all that time free, haven't you?).


    .In essence, it is just like a full-time job but with extra amounts of (unpaid) PPA, and some time available in the morning for Dentists/Supermarket shop etc.
     
  11. ditwee

    ditwee New commenter

    Sorry about the awful layout - it is Google chrome's fault. I forgot to mention that yes, you do end up clockwatching all morning. You do the breakfast thing, then clear up, then start packing bags, loading the car and sorting things out for the afternoon. You can't leave shopping etc until too late in case you are caught in traffic. You are ready to go by 11.30. Just time for some marking and preparation...Also, who is going to set up all those areas of provision?
     
  12. smallschool

    smallschool New commenter

    I really enjoyed a 2 year stint of afternoons in a yr2 class. I found it far less stressful as there was no panic in the mornings, I got up with my baby, planned mothers & toddler mornings/meeting with friends/swimming/parkvisits etc for 9am to 11 two or three mornings per week, which left another for the shopping and another for the cleaning. I still did my prep each evening (so no different from full time, other than it taking less time) I taught numeracy on one afternoon and literacy through geography/history/RE, so I didnt feel de-skilled or out of the loop about a child's progress. However I did need to be firm about after school commitments as there was a staff meeting once per week and a planning meeting another-which I had to attend as you are expected to stay if you are in work that afternoon. So I negotiated that I would do the KS1 Christmas production and Easter service rather than an after school club. If you can work closely with your job-share you shuld be fine. I had reservations but it was great! Dont dismiss it out of hand.
     
  13. Take it. If there's no room for negotiation. And look for something else part time more suitable.
    Don't do full time as the other option. Your baby is small now - all of a sudden that time is gone. My 'babies' are now 17 and 14 and it's gone in a flash. I am SOOO happy that, when my youngest started Reception, I asked to go part time and got it. 2 days wiht a job share.
    So I can't comment on afternoons only but can comment on the joy of working part time and spending time with your child. You won't get that back.
    Good luck!
    (By the way, in my authority and my school the mrnings and afternoons ARE the same because of the way the head approached it. So working either mornings or afternoons is the same - 0.5. But check it out)
     
  14. I also did a stint of afternoons only when my children were smaller and it isn't as bad as you think. Job share is definitely the best of both worlds - you get the contact and joy of your own class, with less planning and less stress (especially if you are not teaching literacy and maths!) and you don't miss out on your own child.Actually the afternoon subjects are often also a lot of fun!
    Is it your first baby? If so then nothing can prepare you for the guilt that goes with going back to work - you can never again put as much into your job as you did before, besides which you will always rather be with your baby and feel bad for letting work get in the way. As other posters said - having a sick baby is the worst thing about working - at least you'll have some time to take him to the doctors/find childcare etc
    Don't believe it's true about using all your mornings for planning - you should get some ppa time, I used to enjoy one morning planning so I didn't have to do a thing at the weekend or in the evenings.
    For me the best thing about working afteronons was a Monday morning - it didn't matter how busy your week end was you always have Monday morning to get the house straight/do the last minute planning/say"Phew!"
    Babies grow up soooo quickly - grab the part time option if you are financially able to and enjoy both a year 1 class and your baby!
    Let us know what you decide.
     
  15. Don't know what happens to paragraphs when you post!
     
  16. handrail

    handrail New commenter

    Thank you all very much for your replies - gave me lots to think about. I have finally decided that I will go for the part time option and have accepted my school's offer of afternoons only. I actually feel quite positive about it now I have been in to school and discussed it. Am going to see how it goes and if I don't like it I will look for something else.
    Thanks again, handrail x
     
  17. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

    Thanks for letting us know your decision. I hope it all goes well for you.
     

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