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Why are teachers contracts so generic?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by coldmetal, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    Ok now iv'e gone through my offer contract and it's all generic stuff "Academic Contract Permanent Teacher" . It annoys me a little that as teachers and lecturers we are given generic contracts as if a maths teacher and a PE teacher or indeed a Graphics teacher are all the same and the realistic duties from one to the other should I believe be listed... If you asked me to run around a rugby field in the winter or deliver cosines and logs I'd say that is beyond my remit

    What do you think?
  2. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I think you might be winding us up...;)
  3. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

  4. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Is finger painting not specified on yours then?
  5. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    Good one...
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    What I think is that you are making that classic error of expecting that a teacher is largely employed to teach.
  7. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Does it mention biscuits?;)
  8. bflat

    bflat New commenter

    Your contract will be generic but your job description will be specific.
  9. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Indeed, lots of specifics and a statement that you should fulfil any other duties that your employer can reasonably ask you to fulfil. Nonsense really.

    @mikecom's threads usually begin with him being wound up about something and then everyone else following suit :)
  10. nernstlaw

    nernstlaw New commenter

    I am unique (regardless of legal stuff) ;)
  11. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    That's because you're probably being employed as a teacher - not as a teacher of X.
    You may find yourself running round the rugby field yet!!
  12. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    It annoys you. Take a deep breath. Release. (Repeat as necessary). Sign it. Job done.

    Unless it mentions donating body parts. If so, please disregard all previous advice.
  13. coldmetal

    coldmetal Occasional commenter

    What we need is a Job Description that is specific to your expertise - I did not take a generic specialist subject I have a BA Hons in it and I don't expect to be teaching other specialisms. Should the organisation then specify I teach maths / English / Nuclear Physics then they are in breach of contract
  14. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I have a PhD in my subject yet my contract says 'Teacher....'.:confused:;)
  15. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Ah, no - they can deploy you for whatever need, but me thinks, not Contract Law ;)
  16. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    But you are a teacher of students.
    knitone likes this.
  17. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    It is a practical thing. If our contracts were for one or more specified subjects only, then there would need to be a lot of part time staff to make up the hours needed for each subject. And there would be redundancies every time there was a significant change in the teaching time needed for different subjects, plus the cost of employing new staff. Schools could not afford that in terms of time or money. Making it possible for them to give teachers other subjects to teach gives them the flexibility to not change staff every year. Of course, H&S considerations mean that most teachers can't do subjects where specific dangers exist, unless it is possible to train them. I looked at an old contract of mine from my investment management days, and that seemed to allow me to be moved to a different specialism, so it is not unique to teaching.

    Mind you, if I had been asked to teach languages or PE, I think I would have become a laughing stock in the school. Or perhaps I was that already!
    sabrinakat, wanet and grumpydogwoman like this.
  18. CuriousTurtle

    CuriousTurtle Occasional commenter

    You may have a BA in your subject, but you don't have a teaching qualification in specifically your subject, it qualifies you to teach. They employ you as a teacher, not a (subject) teacher. I have a masters but my contract just says teacher (I'm maths, so out of subject occurs very rarely, but it happens) so that they can deploy you in any subject area. It may not be ideal, but it isn't a breach of contract. They literally word your contract so that in asking you to teach another subject they would not be in breach...
    TCSC47, emerald52, knitone and 2 others like this.
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Teachers are responsible for moral guidance, pastoral welfare, literacy and numeracy (otherwise why would you need minimum qualifications in Maths and English?). I'm sure many of us can think of other things.

    So a school would shoot itself in the foot by spelling out specifics. On Sports Day staff would decline to supervise. People would all opt out of assemblies etc etc.

    It's a job with a fairly global role. We don't use in loco parentis much any more but you are effectively a parent when you're with the kids. You'd have staff leaving a kid with a broken leg at the bottom of the stairs. "Not my job!"

    You don't think like that as a teacher. The good teachers actively want to step in and help and be good role models. Not martyrs. Not slaves. But not jobsworths either.
    emerald52, wanet and knitone like this.
  20. secretteacher2357

    secretteacher2357 Occasional commenter

    I started teaching within my specialism. Over the years I have taught secondary and primary, all core subjects and a fair bit of other subjects too. Of course my deepest understanding and preference is for the subject I want to teach, but having tried so many others has made me more respectful of other subjects and more understanding of the school experience for the students I teach.
    Given the chance (or order!) to teach outside of my comfort zone again I would do it and I would expect to be a better, more appreciative subject specialist at the end of it.
    sabrinakat, wanet and grumpydogwoman like this.

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