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Questions about working part time!

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by blueone, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. blueone

    blueone New commenter

    Im slowly coming to the realisation that I may NEED to work part time. Im full time after coming back after mat leave in sept and I dont feel like im coping well. I cant cope with the workload, im working 730-10 or 11 every week night, im getting an increasing amount of work which im struggling to cope with, coupled with a continuosly sick baby (hes in nursery) which is difficult physically and emotionally. I feel like im not doing my job properly as im so tired, im irritable with the kids and i basically cant be ar**ed with them! So, Im thinking to save my sanity part time is for me...or is it? Im confused!
    Firstly, will it actually reduce stress? Ive heard that part time can be just as stressfull as you're 'out of the loop' and trying to catch up? Im also worried about money. Im on upper payscale, and also have a point for SEN so i bring home a good salary, more than my OH, so reducing to 3 days per week wouldnt be too bad but i always like to have a saftey net of money and reducing my hours would mean we just about cover everything. It would also mean we couldnt move house for a while, which i was planning on doing in the next 2 years!
    But on the other hand, I cant keep this up, im too stressed and anxious and miserable!
    Im so confused, I dont know whether i should do it or not, OH says its upto me but i never thought id go part time, i always thought i could cope. Id love to hear some of your experiences.
    Oh and another thing, for those of you who are pt did you give what days to work or did the school dictate this? The only day i need to work is a friday as my mum can have him then and we dont pay nursery fees. So it would make sense for her to continue to have him on that day and for me to work!
    Thanks
     
  2. blueone

    blueone New commenter

    Im slowly coming to the realisation that I may NEED to work part time. Im full time after coming back after mat leave in sept and I dont feel like im coping well. I cant cope with the workload, im working 730-10 or 11 every week night, im getting an increasing amount of work which im struggling to cope with, coupled with a continuosly sick baby (hes in nursery) which is difficult physically and emotionally. I feel like im not doing my job properly as im so tired, im irritable with the kids and i basically cant be ar**ed with them! So, Im thinking to save my sanity part time is for me...or is it? Im confused!
    Firstly, will it actually reduce stress? Ive heard that part time can be just as stressfull as you're 'out of the loop' and trying to catch up? Im also worried about money. Im on upper payscale, and also have a point for SEN so i bring home a good salary, more than my OH, so reducing to 3 days per week wouldnt be too bad but i always like to have a saftey net of money and reducing my hours would mean we just about cover everything. It would also mean we couldnt move house for a while, which i was planning on doing in the next 2 years!
    But on the other hand, I cant keep this up, im too stressed and anxious and miserable!
    Im so confused, I dont know whether i should do it or not, OH says its upto me but i never thought id go part time, i always thought i could cope. Id love to hear some of your experiences.
    Oh and another thing, for those of you who are pt did you give what days to work or did the school dictate this? The only day i need to work is a friday as my mum can have him then and we dont pay nursery fees. So it would make sense for her to continue to have him on that day and for me to work!
    Thanks
     
  3. I worked 3 days per week on a temp mat cover contract from when LO was 6-18 months. It was good to be part time - I wouldn't have coped well full time, I think, at that point.
    It is more hours for the money though - it is inevitable that a 0.5 paycheque goes with more like 0.7 workload and you are out of the loop. I'd say that part time could work really well for you..... but only if accompanied by a shift change in your perception and attitude to work. If you are working 7.30-11 every day it sounds like you may not be managing the work-life balance and feel that everything should be done 100% or as close to it as you can manage (this is a judgement made on how you say you are feeling and working and that you felt you should cope full time... i may be wrong and don't mean to cause any offence...). The danger of part time can be that you do a full time workload in order to do a brilliant, 'perfect' job when you are there.
     
  4. It depends how your school feels about part time staff. I would give anything to work part time but have been refused. By all means make the decision about if it's right for you (fwiw, I think less money is worth it for quality of life-I learnt on maternity leave to spend much less to cover the fall in income) but it is really down to your school. It's the same with asking to work certain days-you can ask but they might say no.

    Good luck!
     
  5. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    I returned part-time from mat leave- 0.4 over 2 days. My HT and I decided the days together based on needs of the school, and my preference, although it didn;t really matter to me as LO would be in nursery and I had booked a fulltime place for her in case PT was refused.
    Part time is great for me, yes there are diadvantages eg out of the loop, communication (I do a lot by email), not feeling like one of the other teachers as I don't have a class, nursery bugs, feeling I'm not doing enough sometimes despite working 20 hours a week, organisation of bringing things home so I can plan at home, less money although we can do without it, my wage is more for treats and savings. I had to get used to a different role which was hard at times returning from 10 months away.
    Advantages: extra time with LO, can do baby groups, swimming lessons etc, less stress, can stay on top of the housework, can go to the supermarket during the week when it's quiet and get errands done, no work in the evenings (get home at 6pm) as I plan at the weekend for 2 hours while OH has LO, if I'm ill it's only 2 days to get through, less planning and prep, less marking, my responsibilities at school have changed which I prefer.
    I feel I have a good work life balance. I set a limit on working hours and prioritise, do the essentials first then extras afterwards but whilst doing a good job, know when to stop. If I had to work fulltime I would struggle personally, for various reasons. Good luck x

     
  6. blueone

    blueone New commenter

    sounds good to me Kittenmittens! Ive calmed a little although im still feeling pretty down. Decided to have a word with head today about how i was feeling, didnt mention pt thing yet, but told her i was struggling a little with having a sick baby at the mo and all the work. She was sympatheic, told me basically that i should do less work !! which obviously i would do if i could! but i did get some more time out of class tomo to do some other stuff. I do work in a particulalry difficult and demanding school, i work with very challenging chn too which only adds to my negative state of mind! i know that i have to do something, whether it be go pt, or not, or even find another job.
     
  7. I initially thought that I would return to work full time when pregnant however, when I was on maternity I decided that it wasn't for me. I returned to work full time in July (head requested full time in July) and that confirmed my decision. I was absolutely shattered - working similar hours to what you stated and felt that I was doing an awful job wherever i was. My head actually asked me how I had found the return to work at the end of July and I told him that if I had to carry on full time and he hadn't accepted my part time request I would be handing in my notice. He was so shocked.
    I am not judging anyone who does work full time as I am full of admiration of how you do it.
    Financially we would definitley be better off if I worked full time but we decided that we didn't care. I can still cover all of our bills etc and anything OH earns is a bonus.
    I work Monday-Wednesday - I requested Monday to Wednesday and got it. I still work long days on those 3 days - I don't bring any marking home anymore, and then on a Sunday afternoon (OH takes LO out for a bit so I can plan) Staff meetings are interchangable between Mondays and Thursdays and my job share passes on anything I miss (and vice versa) now on a Thursday morning, I clean and do the food shop and then we go to a group in the afternoon. Friday - we go to a music group or go swimming and tehn have the weekend as a family (as long as OH isn't working - he is self employed so this is necessary at times)
    Good luck with whatever you decide
     
  8. reddevil

    reddevil New commenter

    I work 0.6 and did get the days that I requested. I would agree that you do more than a 0.6 job though. Maybe I should be tougher but I seem to do as much assessment and paperwork as if I was full time. Part time is great though and those first few weeks when you finish the working week on a Wednesday are fab [​IMG]
     
  9. I work 4 days a week and probabl as many hours as I did full time, as we have had a change of leadership now and there are different expectations.
    I love my day off a week and do not think I could cope with working five days. I am still ver much part of the team: in fact our new deputy did not realise for two terms that I was part time.
    Financially, I could not reduce my hours further but I would like to as I feel I am expected to do a full-timers work. For example, I plan for my day off and am responsible for all assessments etc. My class is covered by a fantastic HLTA, but it is not fair to ask her to take on a full teacher's role for the day. I am given a full timer's amount of PPA which makes up for the extra work... apparently.
     
  10. goonergirl2009

    goonergirl2009 New commenter

    I work 0.8 and do much, much less work than I used to. I start at 7:45 am, always leave by four if it is not meeting night, do no work at all on my day off, only work on a Sunday evening on a weekend, never start work before 7:30 on an evening and do not work past 9 pm, and I do not attend Parents Evenings or school functions that fall on my day off. I still work hard and do my job really well but I just work so differently. I teach English in a huge Secondary and I have a TLR for T+L within a Faculty of 22. I really think a lot depends on your school and their expectations of staff- I am very lucky to work in such an accepting and supportive school. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
     
  11. I work full time. I found the first term (September to Christmas) very hard, almost to the point of losing my sanity! I had not bargained for how poorly LO would be (and that we would catch it all) and how little time I would have for myself. At a particularly low point I cried for hours at school and had to be seen by the school nurse! I have been seeing her weekly since and just being able to talk to her has helped me so much. I began this term very positively and so far it is going well, we have a nice little routine going. I have stopped feeling guilty when I have to go home/ stay at home with LO, and I have better expectations of myself.
    The only concern I have from your first post, Blueone (and I am just judging from what you say) you seem to be doing a lot of work?? I work 7.45 to 4.15 in school and don't stop for lunch or breaks. I then work from about 7-8.30 on weekday evenings and a couple of hours on Sunday. I refuse to do any more than this and no one is expecting me to. I also teach SEN pupils (in a mainstream school) and something that has eased the pressure this term is making myself do the marking as I go along, so it doesn't pile up.
    As for everything else, my LO loves nursery, so no pressure there. If we are not in the house, we don't make a mess, so less housework and I do a little each evening anyway. Sometimes it's hard to keep on top of the washing and ironing, but on the whole, it seems to be coming together. Good luck in your decision, it is such a hard time, all of us are doing amazing jobs!
     
  12. blueone

    blueone New commenter

    I feel like i have 3 choices:
    1. Ask for PT in my current job
    2. Look else where for PT
    3. Change my attitude towards work (that will be the hardest!!)
    TBH Im really struggling with my work place, I work with SEBD kids who are constantly hard, have extremely high demands placed on us by SMT, I only have 1 hour lunch a week due to staff having to do lunch duties due to nature of kids, added to this are weekly staff meetings, twiligts..need I go on! I feel like I could do work every spare hour I have and i still wouldnt get it all done! So my place of work is particularly stressful, I dont know whether just to look elsewhere, but if something doesnt come up?? I mean I dont want to request pt im y own work and then realise that its the school rather than the working hours that stress me out! If you ask for PT is there a cut off date to start it in Sept? Im very doubtful i will get PT even if I request it, no one works pt in our school! Im just a bit all over the place at the mo! Also, ive just gone onto upper pay scale, so im now worried that i will be less 'employable' else where?
     
  13. blueone

    blueone New commenter

    Yes, me too, Im unhappy with my school. But I think Id rather work there pt than full time anyway and maybe look for a job too! We can just about afford pt, I could work 3 days, me having the LO 2 days would save us over £300 alone in nursery fees! Im just fed up, ive had a sh*ty few weeks back and i know its too much. I want a life, I dont want to feel stressed and anxious and worried about school, I want to enjoy my life and my baby.
     
  14. clairecramer

    clairecramer New commenter

    Isn't it funny how people think teaching is the ideal job when you're a parent because 'you get all the holidays off', which is obviously totally irrelevant before your little ones start school. I went back FT after DS1 and PT after DS2, to .6. My HoF asked what hours I would like, which seemed great, except he then 'forgot' so I got the opposite of what I'd requested [​IMG]

    I just want to agree with what everyone else has put - you do have to lose more money compared to the time you gain, but if you feel that gained time with your child is worth it (I certainly do even though it means we're so skint) then its the right thing to do. If your job is making you unhappy and stressed - that will pass on to your home life, which is never a good thing. You do adapt to being part time, but it does feel different.
    Good luck x
     
  15. blueone

    blueone New commenter

    Thanks everyone for replies. Im still struggling over what is the best thing to do, ie ask for pt or look for a different job! Im feeling very stressed at the mo, but i dont want to take the time off with stress route! Im having a partlicularly difficult few wks, with extra work being expected. I just keep saying to myself i cant let this ruin my career or put me off the job, its just a hitch, right? I just feel under so much pressure its unbelievable. I dont know if i can handle another 6 months ft like this :(
     
  16. Could you do both? I think you have a right to request part-time working formally once a year, but you could have an informal chat with your head/line manager and test out their opinion. If it's likely to be a definite no, you can put your efforts into finding a new job or if it's a we might be able to do something then you can have a think about how you feel about staying. I'm not enjoying my job at the moment, too much going on with the politics etc. so I've made a decision to look for a new one and in the mean time do the best job I can reasonably and I do the important things well, but I'm prioritising and cutting corners with everything else (especially with the paperwork that SLT want but never seem to read - we're due an Ofsted.....) Would you want to stay at your current school if you didn't have your LO? That was the killer question for me - I still would have been unhappy so I've got all the job alerts going.
     
  17. blueone

    blueone New commenter

    I suppose I could have an informal chat to see what they say and judge their reaction. We're due ofsted too so we are under a lot of pressure at the moment. I did used to enjoy my job, and things didnt seem as hard as they are now before xmas. I think i will keep a look out anyway.
     

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