1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Why I think teaching could really benefit from more part-time teaching roles.

Discussion in 'Education news' started by MissC_123, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. MissC_123

    MissC_123 New commenter

    I'm a first year teacher who comes to the profession a little later in life. I've written a blog recently after completing my first year of teaching. In it I discuss why I personally believe the profession and teacher retention could really benefit from making part-time roles more available to teacher at any stage of their career.

    As a first year teacher with a background in something very different (landscape architecture and horticulture) in my first year of teaching I bought a new perspectives forged from of all my interests and ideas. After my first year of teaching I'm returning to Australia with new experience and a somewhat uncertain future as I apply for new jobs and opportunities. So many teachers I met were ready to jump ship from the profession. Excellent teachers that the profession can't lose. In my blog, I propose and wonder about the possible alternatives. Obviously there are barriers but I feel like it's worth talking about.

    needabreak likes this.
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I read your blog. While there is far too much unnecessary work in teaching right now the solution is not a TED-hipster revolution: Teaching is a profession, not a station for dilettantes. This is not to say that people should be discouraged from entering a new career but they should not expect a career to bend itself around them.

    Not having trained in the UK your first year teaching here will have come as a shock but do not be discouraged. Spend a few years where you are or at another school, earn your stripes and see how our schools at their best work for students and for their teachers before you commit your intelligence and verve to some of the zany strategies you outline as ideal. Challenge those ideas, widen your reading to include Greg Ashman, a teacher who made your migration in reverse and whose is possibly the best exponent for traditional teaching out there, also David Didau, and Daisy Christadoulou. Each make rigorous criticisms of some of the more free-form and loose-knit pedagogy littering the UK education system and elsewhere. Do not neglect Quirky Teacher who is almost your antipode and who will provide you with the counter view.

    Good luck.
  3. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    You have a fair point in that some schools are extremely dismissive of the idea of part-time teachers due to cross over/hand over, meeting times, schedules and timetables; all of which could be dealt with as they are purely administrative hurdles; what is missing is the value for a) teachers who enter the profession later in life (as your blog mentions) and b) the value of refreshed staff who have had time to do other things and maybe even have a life outside of the classroom and leadership meetings.

    There is so much more to life and I fear our teachers loose out as they burn out or move on and our students lose out as they have to deal with a rather high turnover of staff in the most challenging schools, or even worse stayed and tired repetitive lessons from staff who have been in the classroom too long without adequate experience of the "real world".

    @Vince_Ulam I may have mistaken you for someone else but wondered if you have taught in UK State schools say in the last 10 years?
    agathamorse and wanet like this.
  4. MissC_123

    MissC_123 New commenter

    @Vince_Ulam not all career change teachers are TED hipsters or dilettantes, nor do they dismiss teaching as being a profession that requires 100% commitment, as does anything. This is exactly what I talk about when I say that sometimes I feel neither here nor there in teaching because It's perceived that I'm not committed to it by teachers who have been in the profession longer.

    I'm not leaving teaching - in fact I'm in the process of trying to get a position which is much harder in Australia.

    What I noticed during my time in teaching is a lot of excellent, capable and amazing teachers being spewed up and spit out and them feeling like they had to get out. They often said they loved teaching but it was ruining them and their motivation for their students. So I believe that if there was the option for teachers in this position to go part time and be reinvigorated that we would be better for it.

    Yes - teaching is a profession but many professions change and can be flexible around the people that serve. Yes I'm aware that teaching is very different but I also feel like a different approach really couldn't hurt.
  5. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    I think you're right. If there was a way to be a teacher and work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, who would leave? Unfortunately you have to add 20 hours a week to that to get a more accurate reflection of today's job.
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    @needabreak, yes. The most famous person for whom I have been mistaken was Richard Rorty. He was dead by then, may he rest in peace.
  7. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I would not dream of saying otherwise, but then the American 'career coach' in your TED talk was not speaking of career-changers or careers as these things are commonly understood.
  8. MissC_123

    MissC_123 New commenter

    Perhaps I need to find the perspective of a teacher who is practicing as well as a multipotentialite
    needabreak likes this.
  9. MissC_123

    MissC_123 New commenter

    My dad is 3 days part-time but this was a decision based on salvaging his health and he's been in the profession for over 30 years. Him going part-time was the best thing that happened to him. It's a shame it took a huge health scare for that to be a possibility.
    needabreak and palmtree100 like this.
  10. MissC_123

    MissC_123 New commenter

  11. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I get the feeling of having gone through the looking-glass when reading the OP's blog!!! Similar to Holmes' opium habit but with a wee too much and at the wrong time. Love the vocabulary, though ;) - we'd call that being a dilettante in any country by the way. Glad you able to spend an entire academic year in one school!!!​
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  12. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    i worked with a wonderful colleague who could not work full time. our class was split 3 days to 2. As one of us was specialist maths and science and the other English/humanities/art the children received a very good mix of expert teaching. The head decided to abolish all part time posts, leading to my moving on from a fixed term contract, and my colleague teaching small groups only, which she hated.
    It was rather nice when the end of year results were published to find that our class made the most progress across the school in both maths and english. What price experience and specialist knowledge.
    It was even nicer when the school's subsequent ofsted report went down a level primarily for poor behaviour "due to a lack of experienced teachers..."
    Mrsmumbles and First Snowdrop like this.
  13. MissC_123

    MissC_123 New commenter

    Wow man comparing my experiences to a Sherlock Holmes opium habit is interesting to say the least. I'm also not sure what you mean when you say you get a picture through the looking glass? What is it you're trying to say?

    The very definition of a dilettante is someone who cultivates an area of interest with not much commitment or passion. I am actually much to the contrary of what you think. I'm passionate about all and can see how these areas have the potential to overlap for the better to educate children and people.

    I'm not quite sure I understand if your comment about 'interesting vocabulary' is sarcasm or not?
  14. MissC_123

    MissC_123 New commenter

    This is a really great story and the kind of story in teaching I'm really advocating for. It sounds like the kids really benefitted from this unique situation.
  15. swampyjo

    swampyjo New commenter

    In secondary schools, too many part-timers = crappy timetable. It is unfortunately inevitable, unless you split lots of classes which is generally educationally unsound.
    My wife tells me that class shares by part timers works well in primary.
  16. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    In my experience, over 2 decades in the primary classroom and now over 5 years on supply, jobshare in classrooms with behaviour issues is not a good idea. I would go as far as to say that if my own children were in a primary classroom with jobshare teachers, I would have them out tomorrow.
  17. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    What teaching needs is people who are more interested in the pupils and their learning than themselves.
  18. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    A lot of the people who ARE like this are treated badly by people who hardly taught before getting themselves into well-paid roles 'managing' these good teachers-who then are made to leave.
    There's too many people talking about this on these forums to doubt it.
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  19. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Also, part-time teaching is what most people would call a full-time job-a former colleague working 2.5 days says she basically manages to do her job properly by spending 37 hours a week on it. That means she actually gets toilet/tea and lunch breaks, which most other professions don't see as a special thing.
    As she taught full-time before this, she does!
    num3bers and palmtree100 like this.
  20. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Really interesting, but the bulk of pig ignorant or budget conscious heads will just see older part timers as costing a lot in employer pension contributions, so avoid hiring them. I guess you could write 'Hey, hire me as I have opted out of TPS so am experienced, older and cheapo cheap!' - but that's probably illegal, according to the great HR Mandarins....

Share This Page