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What does your work week look like?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Bonnie23, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter


    I'm conscious that I am spending too much time on tasks but really, I've never seen how other teachers manage their workload, it's not something that comes with the whole teacher training package.

    I'm wondering what other peoples work week looks like. We have 30 hours for our timetable with 10% of PPA and with about 13 different classes I find it really difficult to get through everything.

    What does your work week look like? What time do you start? How long do you allocate for planning? Marking? The usual admin jobs? Do you have technicians and what do they do? Do you work on the weekend? Do you have a night off during the week? Do you have a marking timetable (does it work?!)?

    Sometimes I feel like I'm doing jobs that the technician should be doing but equally I'm not sure about that either, we do have a practical subject but lately I find myself in school until 7pm, I admit it is deadline season but even when it's not deadline season I find myself there until around the same time.

    Thanks for any advice!
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Leave school by 5.30pm everyday. But I plan all my lessons a week ahead of time. Bring some work home 2-3 nights a week and at weekends ( but only work half a day usually at weekend) usually marking, exam marking and analysis, updating student data analysis to inform next lessons and making/sorting any paper/PC resources I intend to use.

    All other day to day stuff that needs school system or other staff input I do in my 3 weekly ppa slots and the hour or so after kids have gone, if no meetings. Anything not done within those times gets left.

    Never got on with marking timetables. I just know via advance lesson planning what sets needs doing next. I have a daily 'to do' list also- I use it but am not ruled by it. I have 10 classes this year.
    SLouise91 likes this.
  3. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your reply! Do you set yourself a deadline in terms of how long you spend marking pieces of work? I think that's where I trip myself up the most, I spend far too long marking.
  4. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    That's just learning to work clever, utilise as many shortcuts as you can and, I hate to say it, experience. I've got more efficient and streamlined over the years and I use stickers, grids etc. for feedback comments wherever possible, especially for www ebi stuff.

    You will find your own little ways as you go along. Honestly. :)
    SLouise91 and needabreak like this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It does get quicker as time goes on. You get faster at essential tasks and also realise that some tasks just don't need to be done. This isn't settling for less, nor caring less, just realising that some things aren't making a difference.

    I arrive about 7.15 most days and work uninterrupted until 7.45 when I start to get a few interruptions while still working from staff and pupils until 8.30.
    Then I teach 34 out of the 45 periods a week, so 17 hours of lessons.
    I run 4 clubs. 2 are 30 mins at lunchtime and 2 are 60 mins after school.
    I finish teaching/clubs at 5.00 on Mon-Tues and try to leave school by about 5.20.
    I finish at 4.00 on Weds and try to leave by 4.30/4.45.
    I finish at 6.00 on Thurs and Fri and leave as soon as possible after that.

    I usually work at home one week (so 5 days, 10 - 4) for each of the long holidays.
    I do the occasional hour at home in term time, but very rare.
  6. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Exactly. And only experience really allows you to quickly recognise essential stuff from pointless fluff.

    That's one reason why a staff should be a good mix of experience and NQTs/RQT's to help pass on that experience and support staff at the often bewildering and overwhelming start of a teaching career.

    An unofficial mentoring system that's worked well for years and has been dismantled by cost cutting and the lack of value placed on many older teachers.
  7. mike89x

    mike89x New commenter

    26/30 lessons teaching English to 5 classes as an NQT+1.

    During PPA time I usually catch up on admin, planning trips or smaller sets of marking. Occasionally I will use this PPA time to make lesson material, but I usually do this after school or at home.

    Leave around 5pm, plan any lessons I'll need for the next day at home, assuming there isn't something in the shared schemes that is of high enough quality to use.

    I typically work most of Sunday, planning as much of the next week as I can and marking a whole set of books. I find that if I can mark two sets of books during the week I can stay on top of marking fairly well.
    SLouise91 likes this.
  8. fairypenny

    fairypenny Occasional commenter

    Generally get in about 7.30 and do my copying for the day.
    I teach 43/50 (over 2 weeks), and generally use my PPA/free to do bits I have to get done as part of my TLR. At the moment, I have a PGCE student on a second placement, so I spend a good few of my free hours with them.
    I try to leave school by 4 to get home and be with my son before he goes to bed, and then once he's asleep, I will do any marking/planning I have.
    I don't work every evening or every weekend. Maybe 3/5 nights in the week and 1 day at the weekend, but it depends on workload at the moment. We've just done mocks, so I worked all last weekend, and will be taking this weekend off.
  9. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    I get in about 45 mins before the start of the day and leave 1 minute after the kids.

    I mark while they're doing independent work and plan for the day in the morning.

    You have to train classes and be confident.
  10. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    I think before anyone can judge we need to know whether you're primary or secondary, and possibly which subject.

    Workload wise you'd never catch me trying to teach primary, or English/maths in secondary. I'd rather have my fingernails pulled out with red hot pliers than do that much marking.

    I have a rule that I never take work home with me.

    It is a rule which I sometimes have to break, but as long as the rule is there I know it keeps me in check.

    I try to do all marking/hardcopy paper work at school. All work at home is electronic, laptop or PC stuff.

    Absolutely spot on.

    My tip, get inventive. Cut every corner you can get away with. If you get 'caught' you can just say you thought it was okay, you've been doing it that way for ages, and no one ever stopped you or commented. They may now make you do it the long way, but if you've got away with it for a year or two (or five ir ten) the benefit has been all yours.

    Here are a few ideas.

    Peer mark.

    Recycle where possible (resources).

    Use one piece of work to count as two. For example, if you have to do 4 ieces of work and an end of topic exam, mark a piece of work in their books, then call it an end of topic exam. One lot of marking potentially ticks two boxes.

    Do your last piece of marked work at the end of the year. Make up the marks. No one will ask to see it next year. No one will do a book check during the last week of the year, and if they do, you haven't had time to mark it yet (they only did it this week!).

    If you know where students are (what level/grade they're on), give them an exam and just write the mark/grade/level on it that you think they're at. You'd be amazed how infrequently anyone checks this stuff. And again, if someone picks up a paper and says "That's never a 3, it's a 4 (or whatever) have a look and say "You're right, I was a bit harsh." The chances of someone going through the whole lot and concluding you've not actually marked them is slim, and even if they suspected that they could never prove it.

    Give students an assessment one year without writing their class name/year on it, just their name. Carry it forward into your 'evidence' box to the next year. Well done, if you had to mark 4 pices of work this term you have one done already.

    The lesson they were going to be doing that work, show them a video. There you are, that's one less lesson to plan, too.

    Now to be clear, you might not be able to get away with some of those. Or any. But in many cases you can, and even if you don't think you can get away with it it's often worth a shot. At worst you're probably only likely to be told to change your practice, rather than re-do everything or get in trouble. As I say, the benefit will have been all yours.

    Some of the above is very tongue in cheek, but I hope it's given you a few ideas.
  11. cb324

    cb324 Occasional commenter

    Turn up at 7:15am. Print and prepare for my day. Work in the day, improving lessons etc in PPA if there is chance. Go home around 3:30-4:30 at the absolute latest. I am leaving in April and stopped marking my ks3 books in January (only assessments). Manage to get everything done in that time. Haven't done any weekend work this year or work in the holidays.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    This is where experience comes in. The shared schemes are probably not lower quality than you want, just less snazzy and jazzy.
    Maybe make a commitment to use the shared schemes for at least two classes each week and see how things go. Bet you anything the learning is just as effective.
  13. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I arrive in school at about 6.30 in the morning and work for a couple of hours getting stuff done. This is not a load of macho c***, I'm a naturally early riser and I work better first thing. Another teacher in my department is much the same.

    I leave around 3.30 if possible so I can give my wife a lift home and then I'll work an hour or two in the evening (but I don't do the marathon marking sessions I used to do).

    I don't work Saturdays - have a regular tutoring gig on Sunday morning and then work a few hours on Sunday afternoon.

    I still enjoy what I do.

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