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Unreasonable workload expected from teachers who are parents during covid crisis

Discussion in 'Staff, pupil & parent's wellbeing' started by AC08, Apr 1, 2020.


Should schools reduce working responsibilities at home for teachers looking after their dependents?

Poll closed Apr 15, 2020.
  1. Yes

    40 vote(s)
  2. No

    15 vote(s)
  1. Wayne040493

    Wayne040493 New commenter

    Hey everyone. I was meant to be starting my PHD in education this year but this is looking unlikely. However, I have been in talks with tutors at the university and have decided to do my future thesis on COVID-19 and education. If you are a teacher or involved in education . Would you be able to fill out my anonymous survey?

  2. Certainly.
  3. botanybod

    botanybod New commenter

    It sounds like your SLT are a nightmare to work for. I'd also be trying to find another job at the earliest opportunity, if they are being this unreasonable now, they're not going to be any better when schools open. I'd do only what you absolutely have to do now, and look for other jobs. I know what it's like to work for ********* like this, it only ends when they leave, and even when they do, the culture often doesn't change much. They're not all this heartless though, you don't HAVE to work for people like this, so my advice is, don't.
    DaisysLot and agathamorse like this.
  4. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    "Should school leaders carry out a survey within the school to find out who is caring for dependents and have their workload responsibilities adjusted accordingly?"

    Sorry, but why should your workload be less because you have children? You are paid the same as your colleagues. If you are expected to do less, that is actually discrimination against those who do not happen to have reproduced.

    What is being asked of any of us should be reasonable REGARDLESS of whether you have children or not.
  5. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    My biggest accomplishment when I was a HoD was not openly rolling my eyes when the same few colleagues always got out of (or negotiated an early finish) to parents' evenings, trips, after-school commitments, etc, citing "childcare".
    Bungie and ilovesooty like this.
  6. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    In 99% of situations I would 100% agree with you. HOWEVER... these are unprecedented times in a two ways: 1. There is in may situations absolutely no childcare available. 2. Parents cannot ask family members and friends to help. Therefore in some situations it is completely impossible to keep up a full-time teacher's workload while looking after young children - and when I say impossible - it really is! As a mum of a 3 and 5 year old, I can barely have a wee without my kids hanging off my legs, let alone teach online classes, set and mark work etc. Oh and they are expected to be home-schooling their own kids too! Blimey - show a bit of flexibility, compassion and understanding in these unprecedented times why don't you.
    DaisysLot, kegz, KLS749 and 6 others like this.
  7. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    Yes but that was in the days where 'childcare' actually existed...
  8. twitterbix

    twitterbix New commenter

    Thank you for this. I have 3 children and the eldest is in reception. My husband is a key worker. I simply cannot keep up. I cannot do everything. The stress of not being able to pull my weight is awful. My children are awake at 6am and I can finally sneak downstairs at 8pm. My youngest wakes 3 times a night and is breastfed (and increasing feeds as I am around 24/7). How can I possibly work to the same level and standard as my colleagues?
    KLS749, Ohwell, Piscean1 and 2 others like this.
  9. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    The point is, those expectations (of you teaching like that) are unreasonable. It does not matter if you have children or not.
    You might think that someone who has no children to worry about has all the time in the world to be teaching online etc etc. However you do not know what that person is having to manage. Perhaps they are having to come to terms with fertility treatment stopping - and that was their last chance. Perhaps they don't want to call their GP about that lump because they don't want to be a burden. Perhaps they have vulnerable family that they can't see and they are having to make daily phone calls to keep a check on them. Maybe they live alone and haven't had contact with friends - and maybe this is impacting significantly on their mental health and they are finding it difficult to have cause to get up in the morning. Maybe they had just left a post and now have no income, and no way of finding a new job. Maybe they have suffered a close bereavement and had to "watch" the funeral online.
    Maybe someone has all those things to manage.
    I am not suggesting that you don't have a difficult thing to juggle - but all of us have things that are causing difficulty in these unprecedented times. Yes, compassion and empathy is important - but having children doesn't give you the moral high ground!
    If you are being asked to do something that is unreasonable, you need to bring this up and that needs to be addressed - whether you have children or not.
  10. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    I agree that everyone has different circumstances and different problems to deal with in these unprecedented times. However, just to point out that this post was specifically about the difficulties of teaching whilst having children at home. Just by discussing this does not mean we are minimising or belittling anyone else's issues.
    KLS749, agathamorse and Piscean1 like this.
  11. kegz

    kegz New commenter

    You seem to have missed the point of the comment- yes the workload was totally unrealistic for anyone as you state, and yes everyone is struggling at the moment, but trying to teach with young children is also difficult logistically. My husband took over my office to deliver online teams lessons following normal timetable, while I sat homeschooling the children and trying to keep them quiet while he was online. It is not logistically possible to deliver lessons with small children running around in the background unless someone else is there to keep an eye on them. I found myself marking until 3 am most mornings because I couldn't start work until they were asleep and it sounds as though this was also an issue with the other teachers with young children who posted here (who may also have the same issues you outlined for others).
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Being gender specific - but every working woman I know has experienced the same bemusement and stress - It did seem no one asked if those with children were actually 'able' to do the job alongside that generally considered unimportant role of parenting and home schooling their own. It was just assumed we would... quick zoom lessons, check emails, put washing on, feed own children... and let's be honest, we did.

    Husband working from home - demanded absolutely undisturbed silence and could barely flush the loo while doing so...

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