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Unmanageable workload!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Ivoemma511, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Ivoemma511

    Ivoemma511 New commenter

    Hi, I am new here, so forgive me for any rookie mistakes! I would just like some advice on how to prioritise the workload, with PGCE work to do, a full timetable, planning, marking (years 7-11), reports, parent communication ( I am a form tutor), lunchtime clubs and meetings...the list goes on. Where does it end! I feel overwhelmed, tired, and wondering what I have signed up for!! Any advice??
    agathamorse likes this.
  2. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Alas, what you describe is the day to day reality for many teachers. There is some very good advice about reducing workload contained on the threads on these forums but you'll need to search for them. There are also resources and ideas online but yet despite trying to work smarter, the actual teaching you do may only be a half or less of the time you devote to the job.

    I found that as I gained experience I could save time by reusing resources from year to year so you're not starting from scratch all the time. Also, planning becomes more straightforward as you get you head around the schemes of work and so on. Copy and paste can ease the burden of reports but much of what you do is beyond your control. New initiatives are at the whim of SLT or other greasy pole climbers and can generate huge amounts of work only to be abandoned after a year or two and then there is the endless data collection and the tedious, time wasting meetings. You also find yourself and the school in the continual state of preparation for an Ofsted visit and that simply wears you down.

    There are many teachers who love the job despite the workload but for yourself, thinking longer term, what do you want from your working life? How will your health cope with the demands the job places on it and what effects will your commitment to teaching have on your partner and family?
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. tamazin_hayler

    tamazin_hayler New commenter

    Hi :) I am also new here and embarking upon my PGCE and struggling a little with my workload and stress too. The way I am coping though is by trying to separate my full-time job and teaching position from the PGCE training/studying. I focus all my hours in school on school work and prioritize my evenings to complete the work from school (marking and planning and preparation). Then my weekends are left free to find time to focus on my PGCE and I find that I am fresher and focused that way when I separate the two. Because being a Teacher and Student for me are different positions and I can cope in this way. I don't know if that helps you at all, but I hope it does in some way.
    Kartoshka likes this.
  4. Tinyreader

    Tinyreader New commenter

    You really shouldn’t have a ‘full’ timetable or a form group on your pgce. What percentage timetable are you on? Can you talk to your mentor or university tutor about this?

    At this stage of your training, everything will be taking you more time. Planning is harder, marking takes longer and you have university assignments to fit in. Your school should be supporting your with less contact time.

    The pgce is tough and so is teaching, but you need to make sure that you are getting the support that you are entitled to.
    steely1 and agathamorse like this.
  5. Ivoemma511

    Ivoemma511 New commenter

    Dear all. Thank you for your replies, I really do appreciate you taking the time. Shedman- I do worry about my family life suffering long term, despite having worked hard to get where I have. My family will always come first for me, no competition. I think I will have a period of reflection once I have finished the PGCE. That said, I love the teaching side, and I am optimistic that next year, with the PGCE done, my workload will improve.
    Tamazin, your advice is great, that you are in the same boat and are managing well gives me hope. Perhaps I need to change my approach. I am maybe in the throws of being paranoid about being judged, and therefore I worry too much. This may mean some self-reflection now might help.
    And Tinyreader, the school, and I daren't say too much online, are not offering the most support, in honesty. But, the Uni was dubious about this when I was at the stage of applying, and now I feel rather foolish that they are right. Teaching time for me is 29 periods a week, and I feel the rest of the time when I could be doing some of the things you suggested at school Tamazin, I am answering parents emails, catching up on absences, etc, marking (marking, marking! - the GCSE practice papers take forever..) and planning. This often goes on late into my evening. The weekends I spend flat out doing the reading for PGCE etc.
    Thank you again for the advice, and sorry to whinge. I think that it helps just knowing that there are others out there!;)
  6. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    At first, don’t try to do too much. You *need* to plan and mark, and speak to parents. Don’t do clubs. They can wait. It’s too much. Don’t spread yourself too thin. I have never run a single club in seven years of teaching. Focus on quality of teaching :)
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. Ivoemma511

    Ivoemma511 New commenter

    I couldn't agree more, but unfortunately, we are told what clubs we are running, it's not really optional. I have another colleague doing her PGCE in exactly the same boat, and she's having to organise Christmas choirs, go on school trips...it's just crazy! Today I had a good day though, following an observational and a lot of reading I reflected, and went in with a fresh approach to some of the challenging behaviour today, and it was very positive. Happy days!

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