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When your family and partner have had enough

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Oldfashioned, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Not so much a dilemma as an observation

    I have had some younger teachers chatting to me about their involvement in various extra curricula activities: musical, skiing, debate etc. Everyone of them has said their spouses, partners and families were starting to get annoyed or were very much already annoyed with the time they were committing to the activities and 'other people's kids' while they hardly saw them or saw them knackered and grumpy.

    I don't really do any of this anymore, I used to but I now work to live, not the other way round.

    If there were no book trawls, learning walks, data inputting/analysis etc maybe these younger teachers would be at home (and actually present not marking) and these extra activities would go unnoticed. Can this be maintained? Yes enrichment is important but if you are harassed and micro-managed why would you? I wonder if such activities have declined? I know of several English teachers who will only take kids to a matinee of a play because of the other pressures.

    I feel intently sorry for those involved. I especially feel for those family members that have been pushed to the point of having to say they are angry or annoyed. We all know how awful it is to teach in many schools at the moment but do we stop to think of the families and partners who never see their partner or they see a crouched figure marking, followed by snoring before going out early the next day for more of the same?

    I would always choose family and my other half over.

    Maybe you really can't have a life when you teach.
    bevdex, Flanks, Morgan93 and 10 others like this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It does sound increasingly like it. Live to work.

    But the answer to exploitation by the employer is always opposition from the employees. En masse. United.

    The STPCD gives the Contractual Framework for teachers and lists the Professional Responsibilities.

    It also says the following:

    Work/life balance

    52.4. Governing bodies and headteachers, in carrying out their duties, must have regard to the need for the headteacher and teachers at the school to be able to achieve a satisfactory balance between the time required to discharge their professional duties including, in particular, in the case of teachers to whom paragraphs 51.2- 51.12 apply, their duties under paragraph 51.7, and the time required to pursue their personal interests outside work. In having regard to this, governing bodies and headteachers should ensure that they adhere to the working limits set out in the Working Time Regulations 1998(23).

    It refers to the Working Time Regulations 1998. So. What do THEY say???

    The Working Time Regulations 1998 impose limits on workers' hours of work. Workers cannot lawfully be required to work more than an average of 48 hours a week.

    However, a worker may agree to opt out of this weekly working time limit and work more than an average of 48 hours a week as long as he or she does so voluntarily and in writing.

    The Working Time Regulations 1998 also give workers the right to a minimum daily rest period between each working day or shift, and to a minimum weekly rest period.

    Oh, look! Your working week should work out an average of no more than 48 hours. Unless you opt out. In writing. Without having your arms twisted.

    Ask yourself - what's the length of my average working week? Why are you doing more? Because you're scared not to? Or because you believe in it 100% and think it's worth doing? Worth giving up "personal interests outside work"? OK. Then opt out formally. But the rest of you/us? No!
  3. FredfromFrance

    FredfromFrance New commenter

    Try saying that during a capability meeting...
    tenpast7 and Curae like this.
  4. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi New commenter

    I'm worried that teaching is being taken over by people who are able to dedicate unreasonable hours to the job. So, if you have a partner, family, any hobbies, or any other things which take up time, you don't stand a chance with a teaching job, because there are people who don't have those things. One slightly sinister thing I've observed is young NQT teachers, with no life outside teaching, socialising with older pupils instead. Not healthy at all.

    We definitely need to make a stand against teaching workloads.
  5. littlejackhorner

    littlejackhorner New commenter

    I didn't realise how much teaching was taking over my life until I have up. Now I have so much more of a social life with friends and family. I really don't know how teachers with young children manage. The sad thing is that this lack of balance in your life probably doesn't make for the best teacher. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
    sparkleghirl, Shedman, Curae and 7 others like this.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I do not recognise this at all.
    I do recognise the younger teachers in many places having both limited social horizons, and limited ability to mix with anybody other than the other younger teachers, but I cannot imagine a single teacher actually socialising with pupils.
    If so, that goes beyond sinister, it's just plain wrong and I do not understand who would think it right. those teachers included.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    That's it right there @littlejackhorner

    Boring, work-obsessed teachers who have no life. No humour. Nothing to bring to the party but tales of how hard they work!
  8. newposter

    newposter Occasional commenter

    Many of them seem a bit thick too, sadly.
  9. CWadd

    CWadd Lead commenter

    I have no partner or children. I could dedicate unreasonable hours to the job, and therefore shame and embarrass those who can't...but you know what? I don't dedicate unreasonable hours to the job, because I matter too.

    As for younger teachers socialising with older students - if you've got evidence. put it in writing and give it to the HT. Its a safeguarding risk.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  10. 1970devon

    1970devon Occasional commenter

    I'm leaving teaching at Christmas after nearly 25 years......my most recent post has only been 0.4 as UPS but found I was easily doing the equivalent of 3.5 or 4 days in order to succeed. In the school I worked, 3 of the teachers were single and either no kids or grown kids. One had 3 under 18s but sacrificed time with them whilst their father did a normal 37 hr week job. I haven't found the right job to move to yet but, having done 7 - 6 for years and years with added extras on the weekend, I have to keep reminding myself that perhaps 30 hours in another job paying 24k is no worse than the pay received as a teacher. I believe the constant running on empty and crashing during holidays has contributed to the chronic health condition I now have. Wouldn't encourage anyone who wants a life to enter teaching now.
  11. Summerhols6

    Summerhols6 Occasional commenter

    The workload has gone too far. A new teacher from my school told me last week he had applied for a job outside of teaching and had got an interview but didn't follow it up. He isn't an NQT but is in his second year of teaching. He only started in September and has complained about workload, behaviour ,observations, learning walks, book scrutinies. I can't do a lot to apart from giving him advice (for what good that can do with all of this) as I'm off with WRS, but it goes to show how the system is stuggling.
    If you don't report this and it is true you could be in trouble yourself. My advice is to report it to HT ASAP.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
    FredfromFrance, agathamorse and CWadd like this.
  12. bflat

    bflat New commenter

    I lead a performing arts department in an independent school-15 years of teaching under my belt, third HOD position, have survived four inspections in various schools over the years but have never ever felt pressure like we have at work at the moment with inspection looming. My stress levels are getting the point where I’m getting dizzy spells driving home in the afternoon and waking up at 5am in a cold sweat checking my work emails in fear.

    My family life is suffering, my parenting is dreadful, my social life is almost non existent in term time and i am neglecting many important relationships in my life. I am not even doing that much work at home, but am almost catatonic with stress when I get to the evenings that I just sit on the sofa unable to motivate myself to do anything.

    My husband regularly tells me to just resign and we’ll be ok, but I want to get to the end of the year.
  13. bishbashbosh3

    bishbashbosh3 New commenter

    I'm new to teaching. I've never had so much time with my primary school age daughter.
  14. GirlGremlin

    GirlGremlin Occasional commenter

    I'm leaving in the summer. I'm losing friends left right and centre who are out living their lives. When I see them now we have nothing in common and I can hear them gettig bored with me. They are doing young 27 year old things and I'm waking up in cold sweats worrying that I'm letting a load of kids down because I'm an awful teacher. My boyfriend puts up with me but I'm sure he'd like some company in the evenings. I'm sick of being a martyr.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  15. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter

    I left teaching this year after 8 years in the job. During that time, I lost most of my friends and my fiancé broke up with me because he felt that I put the job before him. I still think I tried my best to spend time with him but the planning/ marking etc needed to be done and being a non teacher, he didn’t understand the pressure. I sometimes worry I wasted my twenties on a job that wasn’t sustainable in the long term.
  16. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    This should be put up in every staffroom.....
  17. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    People should be grateful they have a family/partner. Some of us are terminally single.
    Matt994 and welshwales like this.
  18. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    I fear I was becoming this person but try to force myself to do other things now. So easy to become sucked in and the job takes over your life.
  19. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi New commenter

    Agreed, although that observation was from a HOD job I've since left. Had I stayed, and had the situation got more serious, I would certainly have escalated it.

    Although, I did have to advise a friend of mine not to date an ex sixth former of his school who he'd got to know. Just didn't think that looked right
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Many replies and some sad stories of exactly what I feared has happened.

    Surely this has to stop. Younger teachers may well give their whole life to teaching but they soon burn out. It really isn't fair that family life and hobbies are considered secondary to teaching. Regardless of everything this is a job. To pay the bills, it shouldn't be the only thing in your life.

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