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Work during holidays

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Lucilla90, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    Myself and most colleagues have always gone in at the start or end of holidays, to do things which are difficult with pupils in, leaving the middle for ‘me time’ or planning etc...when we choose.

    One school then began only opening in the second week of the summer holidays. In another school, one line manager would contact staff in the holiday, requesting that they to go into school to help with various situations ( due, in my view, to lack of organisation) and making demands for work to be done by given dates in the holiday or by the first day of term.

    The impact of not having head-space to just be yourself and not be a teacher is, I think, immense. The middle of the holiday, particularly summer, is the only time teachers can truly switch off. It is easy to say ‘don’t respond’, but when one receives a message asking urgently to contact/look at email etc... it can be alarming, you worry about colleagues/the pupils. Then demands are there and that ‘space’ is lost.

    Not only is this not allowed, but it is so important for managers to appreciate the hours and hours which staff put in during the term with long days, clubs, residentials, weekend work... (and voluntarily in holidays) and allow them time to be themselves.
  2. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    My time away from work is sacred!! The minute I'm out the door I forget about it and refuse to check emails or plan or mark etc. Holidays aren't for more relaxed work, they're for no work!
    henrypm0, agathamorse, Pomza and 4 others like this.
  3. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    I always say... Sorry, I'm going away for the whole holiday and it's already booked,
  4. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I totally agree. Teaching takes all your energy and by the time you get to holidays you really need them. I agree with what has already been said. Rest, relax and go back to school ready to face another term.
  5. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    I am interested to know how you achieve this, are you primary or secondary ( if that’s relevant). As primary,for many years, I have met no teacher who can achieve it.

    My one head even used to quote how much people had been paid over the holiday. Another used to arrange for teachers to swap classrooms, but give no release time. All totally unacceptable practice, I know, but hard to walk in at the start of term into a classroom which has not been set up, particularly if the ‘O’ is looming.

    As discussed in previous threads by various people, if we all stood together and just refused, so be it...but if one or two don’t, the others are then seen as troublemakers.
  6. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    I am secondary and have often walked into school on sept 1st into a new classroom having not even looked at it. Does it have desks and chairs? Yes, then I'm fine.

    Do I know my subject and am able to think on my feet? Yes, so good again. Do I ensure children spend time working independently in lessons? Yes, so I have created some extra marking time.
  7. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    I am not in any way belittling secondary, but in terms of classroom environment there lies a big difference. The expectations put upon primary teachers in many schools, in terms of areas, what has to be on display etc...always has meant to me spending time in school when the children aren’t there.

    Also,isn’t quite as simple to let say, R or Y1 work independently ( unless it is play activity, which means they get under your feet and make a racket) in order to get things sorted in their presence. Hence why I ( and a lot of others) normally spent a couple of days each end of the holiday on classroom stuff.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Yup. 100% agree.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  9. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Going in for a couple of days at the end of the Summer holiday to make my life more comfortable on day 1 of the next term, if it is my choice - fine.

    The minute I'm told to, I would find a pre-arranged commitment.

    NB I was secondary. Maybe if a primary teacher also refuses to go in to swap classrooms etc, then it won't happen...or the HT will do it!
  10. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    Totally agree, that’s what I am saying in the OP, it’s the direction element which is totally unacceptable.

    I actually HAD a pre-arranged commitment the last time I was called in the middle of the holiday, so I genuinely could not go in, but my head-space had been invaded, which spoiled what I was doing. It’s down to personality as well, I guess. Whether you can or can’t switch these things off easily.
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    If I were working today, I'd give my school one email address I didn't use for much else. ;)

    And only check it when I wanted to!
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    For once - I will be away for most of this upcoming Easter holiday.

    I believe some Easter revision sessions are being planned but they are voluntary - I won't be volunteering this time.
  13. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Every school I've worked in has had at least one day (often two and sometimes three) as teacher's days at the start of the new year. The sensible ones leave most of this time free for teachers to get on with organisation or planning. The daft ones fill those days with pointless meetings and expect everything to be magincally ready for when the kids come back.

    I'm more than happy to spend a couple of days at school at the end of the holidays to get ready for the new year. I'm not so happy when I'm obliged to be there for pointless unhelpful meetings and inset.
    agathamorse and Lucilla90 like this.
  14. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    Yes, I have always done this, or had school email and only checked that when I chose, but ( as discussed on a thread by someone else a while back) phones, especially mobile phones mean people can get hold of you anytime, any place, anywhere. We are expected to give our contact numbers in at the office, they are on applications etc...

    I never had the foresight to get myself one mobile phone for school use only, but that is a good plan.
  15. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I can access school emails from home and occasionally do but it's not something that is expected of us.
    Pomza likes this.
  16. Braindead101

    Braindead101 New commenter

    It is important that schools have the staff's contact details - last week the head, reasonably I think, rang people to see if they were able to come in because of the snow. (I should add that there wasn't pressure put on people to attend if they felt it was unsafe.) However, I'm not on the school's automated text messaging systems because I really hate being contacted by text and unlike some, have no way of accessing work emails on my phone. If I want to, I can choose to check my work emails at home on my computer, but I don't usually. My time is my own.
  17. Bequia2000

    Bequia2000 New commenter

    Happy to go in if I have a choice, definitely not if directed!
    A teacher of mine used to say 'if you play in work time you'll work in playtime'
    Maybe we should suggest a day's holiday in term time in lieu of working in the holidays???
    More and more often it seems that good will is being taken for granted and becoming an expectation!
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Give a slightly wrong number, ooops did I say 353, I meant 535.
    Or when you get the first nonsense message, block the number.
    Etc Etc
  19. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    You can apply different ring tones to different numbers, so give one to your school number and then you know when to let it go to voicemail (if it's important I'm sure they'll leave a message). Choosing a ringtone for them could be fun as well.
  20. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    My phone used to play Darth Vader's Imperial March whenever my boss rang...

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