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The over and above at Indy's

Discussion in 'Independent' started by br0wnsugar, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    I've always wondered what Indy's expect from their teacher's as 'above and beyond' contribution to the school. I know it seems a daft question but how does this look if to work at an all boys independent school...what is looked for at interview for a teacher's job at an independent school interview.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I work in a boys' independent prep...and it is sooooooo much easier with not emotional girls. However it can be very loud and very physically demanding.

    Over and above doesn't really exist in the sense the expectations are very high...but the expectations over and above those in state schools tend to be evening and weekend working and the number of duties.
    I spend five and a half hours a week on duties, unless I cover other people's on top of my own.
    I usually do an hour a week of lesson cover, most weeks.
    One duty a week finishes at 6pm, if all parents pick up on time!
    Three parents evenings a year, usually until 6.30 pm.
    Three open mornings a year, on Saturdays.
    At least one club a week is expected...so an evening until 5pm
    There is no such thing as directed time limits.
    No TPS and naff sickness and maternity benefits

    However, I'd not swap back to the state sector for all the world!
    23% PPA time
    Around 12 pupils per class
    LOVELY working conditions
    Freedom to teach however one sees best
  3. Boardingmaster

    Boardingmaster New commenter

    I work at a boarding school so different to day school, but I have just got back from house duty having spent the last 5 hours in the boarding house chatting with pupils, having dinner with them, putting them to bed etc. I also spend about 10 hours a week on my major sport (hockey this term) and 3 hours a week on my minor sport. The major sport is part of the expectation, the minor sport extra because I enjoy it. I also run a 10 day trip in the Christmas holidays related to the minor sport, and run a subject based club a couple of times a term.

    that’s the main part of my role beyond teaching, but the nice thing is there is a lot of choice, and I only do activities I personally enjoy. If I were a passionate thespian I would swap all the sport for play directing. As with the poster above, there is no chance I would swap back to the state sector, but I think you have to be the kind of person who genuinely enjoys getting involved in the life of a school, if you did it just to hit your contract you might find the whole thing pretty miserable
  4. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    I know I am going to sound pedantic but, from experience, independent schools regard accurate spelling as an essential skill for teachers, including consistent use of apostrophes. Spell checking one's application form is the first step.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  5. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    Well luckily in this case, no application will be made , so no concerns. Thanks for pointing out anyway and just to add; if one is to highlight a mistake in gramer, is it not 'elpful to state,, specifikally,, what that is or am I being pendantic?
  6. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    The perks certainly outweigh the long list.
    Wow this is comprehensive and an eye opener. Thank you for the details; it's much appreciated. I agree, that to work in an independent school is to be immersed in the life of the school and its success. I'll bear this in mind if I ever decide to work at one. I am also curious to know whether working as support staff at an Indy also require the same level of commitment as outlined above?
  7. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    the plural of teacher is 'teachers', not 'teacher's'. But maybe predictive text was responsible for the error?
    sabrinakat likes this.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Not at mine no. But more than in a state school, though less than a teacher in any.

    The level of commitment isn't what you should question really...you get to do what you love doing and it doesn't feel like a chore.

    I'm at work tomorrow (Saturday) for an event, but it will be soooo much fun, I don't mind the 5 hours of my Saturday it will take.
  9. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Things I've done......
    Shared the mowing of the school playing fields when the groundsman was hospitalised: those of us with tractor driving experience volunteered.
    Helping backstage.
    Performing in staff plays.
    Supporting teams on the touchline.
    Helping in reprographics when technician was ill
    Directing traffic
    Safety boat driving
    Duke of Edinburgh award training
    Sport coaching
    Supervising breakfast
    Suppressing forest fires
    Research into school history and archives
    Marketing, including abroad
    Community service organising
    Overseas trips
    Bus driving
    Library supervision
    NQT mentor
    Adventure training
    And it's mostly been fun!
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    You do it because you love it.

    And because you love the pupils.

    And because you love being able to teach instead of having to play the police(wo)man in your classes.

    And because you're not ground down by state school teaching, little PPA (most indies give at least twice), large classes, undisciplined pupils, lack of support from SLT for the latter.

    So it's fun, not a chore on top of an unreasonable and unsustainable workload.

    Best wishes

  11. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    There's lots of variation between Independent schools it seems from reading these forums.

    I feel very lucky at my mixed Independent high school.

    My working hours are half 8-4. I get in for half 7 in the morning but that's my choice. Every day I leave at 4 unless it's a parents evening which is 4 or 5 times a year.

    We are required to give up one Saturday a year for open day.

    Unless you run a sport (which I don't) then your weekends are your own.

    We hardly ever have meetings.

    When I worked in the state sector I had a meeting in the morning every day bar one and we had to stay for an hour after school at least once a week sometimes with no agenda - just a waste of time.

    I honestly can't complain - but like I said not every Independent school would be like this.
    jarndyce and TheoGriff like this.
  12. hoops_jon2000

    hoops_jon2000 New commenter

    In my school I opted to be a part of the CCF as my extra curricular contribution. It requires 2 hours after school once a week.
    On top of that I attend one field weekend each term, a week long Easter adventure training camp and a week long summer camp.

    Yes this may sound like a lot but I work with pupils and cadets that are super keen to take advantage of every opportunity given to them and rarely if ever cause any issues. The MOD pay me on top of my teacher salary for any camp or weekend away which is a lovely extra perk. In addition the school have paid for me to gain instructor qualifications in Paddle sports to help with the cadets. The camps away whilst demanding are fun filled activity weeks which have taken me to some of the most beautiful places in the UK.

    As has been suggested above all of this extra is actually a breath of fresh air given the freedom you have in the classroom, hugely reduced meeting times and infrequent parent consultation evenings. Whilst there are still some major pinch points and pressures they are nothing compared to the issues that I had to deal with when I was a HoD in the State sector.
  13. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    Checking dorms at the end of term for litter and lost socks. For stronger colleagues: removing mattresses from bunks...
  14. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    This is my third independent senior day school.

    Boarding was another matter entirely - but here, just as elsewhere, if you're not involved in sport, you can turn up most days at 8:20 and leave at 4:00. Most people do a club or clinic once a week or so, and have some sort of supervision duty, which in many cases translates to "be the adult in the room and wander round whilst the kids are generally quite nice to each other".

    There's the odd parents' evening/open morning/sports days, but it really is a minimal commitment. If you're a decent teacher who can work reasonably efficiently, then I don't think your total directed hours (ie, 'you must be in this place doing this') would amount to any more than in the state sector. Shorter terms, slightly lower teaching allocations, and all that. But as @TheoGriff says - it's not really a chore, and so you just wouldn't think of counting up your hours.
  15. Boardingmaster

    Boardingmaster New commenter

    To add to this, I have spent most of my career in boarding schools (hence the name!), and whilst on the whole I do enjoy the extracurricular, I wonder if there are a few rose tinted glasses on this thread with the claims that it is never a chore. Sure, I like taking a rugby team and the extra dimension that brings, but are there times when its cold and pouring with rain and I have a million other things to do when I resent having to spend two hours out on the playing fields? Absolutely. When it’s my turn on chapel duty do I really want to put my suit and gown on on a Sunday and leave my family to go sit through a service? Of course not. I guess my point is that whilst the extra parts of the job are on the whole positive (I certainly would hate the idea of switching sports afternoons for more lessons), it can be a huge commitment and there are times when it does grate a bit. As long as you go in with your eyes open to that fact you’ll be fine.
  16. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Agreed. Boarding as housemaster or housemistress is utterly committing. It's not for the faint hearted but you don't need rose tinted spectacles either because it's so rewarding, even in the bad times.

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