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Work Life Balance - no wonder people are leaving the job.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by nicos15, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. nicos15

    nicos15 New commenter

    Work Life Balance - no wonder people are leaving the job.

    Nicky Morgan needs to wake up and realise the true nature of teaching in 2016. At 10 p.m. last Monday I asked my wife to stop marking the Year 11 practice exam scripts that she started at 6-15 p.m. Here is why. She was up at 6-15 a.m. and left for work at 7-20 a.m. to prepare for the day. Being a Monday it was is her Duty Day and she has a full teaching day. This meant that she did not have a morning break and was also on duty for half of the 30 minute lunch break. Monday is also Department meeting day. Her school begins at 8-20 a.m. and finishes at 2-30 p.m. for pupils and she is form tutor as well as a Maths teacher. The department meeting finished at 4-30 p.m. and my wife arrived home at 5-15 p.m. Fortunately I had managed to sort dinner out so she sat down to eat, only to start marking again at 6-15 p.m. This work load is not out of the ordinary, as the press and the Department for Education lead the public to believe. I see this from my wife at least 3 times a week generally having to do marking up to about 9 each evening. Perhaps she needs to stop being so conscientious especially as she has decided to get out of teaching and has resigned her post as of the end of this academic year. After 33 years teaching Maths she has finally had enough and by taking an early retirement will lose out on her pension, but we need a life. The school and education will lose the services of a highly professional, hard working and dedicated teacher in July. She is a qualified D of E assessor who helps the children gain this prestigious award (was out on Saturday from 9 a.m. till 1-30 p.m.) and as a designated and trained mini bus driver she helps with school sporting fixtures. As a willing supporter of residential experiences for her pupils she has always been willing to give her time to help with these. Her job had to be nationally advertised twice as the first first 3 applicants all pulled out at the last minute. At the second time of asking only 2 applied to this small rural school. The workload of teachers is a major issue as so many new "hoops" are placed in the way for us to have to jump through. Teachers are too fatigued, through workload and the bombardment of political intervention to be able to have a life. As a semi retired teacher I only teach 2 afternoons a week in a tiny rural primary school where I also volunteer to be a governor. I am astounded at the dedication and work load of the teachers who are generally in school by 7-30 a.m. and invariably leave after 5-30 p.m. with arms full of marking and preparation. The head has a teaching commitment and has to juggle the nonsensical paperwork of initiative overload from the government. She begins her day by clearing emails, many of which are new impositions on her or request to do more. Now she is having to get involved in the paper work to join a Multi Academy Trust. This was forced upon schools in the area by the Regional Director for Education prior to the Chancellors budget announcement.
    Fear not - we will all become academies and everything will be fine! (Sorry not sure if the exclamation mark is allowed here.) Teaching Assistants will be pushed out of roles, Headteachers in small schools will lose the status they have worked hard to gain throughout their personal career, schools will be allowed to employ unqualified people to act as teachers, each of the schools budgets will have to provide funding for a designated CEO and all the time our government will bring teachers down with demoralising statements and unrealistic targets and curriculum content. When the academies fail we will all be blamed and told that as a business it is up to you to sort out (clearly privitisation through dogma). Our co-operative trust of 8 primaries and 1 secondary school is not allowed to continue as we are, we are forced into a MAT solely for political reasons. My final note is in regard to this governments insistence that teachers need to be doing more extracurricular activities. That really does show how out of touch they are. Schools in our area have a tradition of rich and varied extra curricular enrichment programmes in sport, music, drama, outdoor and adventurous activities and residential experiences in the UK and abroad. This is the norm around most of this country, but Nicky Morgan and her crones choose to ignore the facts. Academy schools are not required to even teach P.E. It really is time the public got the whole picture of what is happening and understood exactly why long serving experienced teachers are leaving the job (used to be a vocation by the way) and why there is a shortage. Certain Education officials state that there is no crisis yet they are spending massive amounts of tax payers money on a national T.V. advert and giving up to £30000 inducements to Mathematics and science graduates. There is even a shortage of P.E. wallers now.
  2. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    A wonderful heartfelt post from @nicos15 which must have taken a lot of heart-searching time to write. I have nothing to add except I hope you and your wife enjoy a long and well deserved retirement. I am sure , should she wish and chose to do it, that she could tutor Maths and continue to contribute to a long life of helping children.

    Well done to her and you and...how fortunate she is to have a spouse who understands so well the issues facing teachers now.
  3. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I logged in purely to click like.
    Mrsmumbles and NQT1986 like this.
  4. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    Because teachers are:

    Mindful of their responsibilities,
    Unstinting in their efforts,
    Generous to their school communities, and
    Selfless in their dedication.

    Do the acronym. :oops:
    indusant, wanet, sabrinakat and 2 others like this.
  5. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    It was mentioned that it was a smaller rural school and as such its long term staff probably went the extra mile. In "the old days" that extra mile was probably worthwhile, valued by staff and managers alike and was for the good of the kids. Modern teaching/schools are a different kettle of fish as is modern management. Modern management doesn't give 2 figs for "hearts and minds" and "goodwill" so I would say teachers are taken for mugs now but that didn't used to be the case. It is alas schools' and children's loss.
    wanet, delnon and guinnesspuss like this.
  6. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Or there's another HT abusing the "and any other reasonable duties as directed by the Head" part of the contract. I was told that failure to comply with all the extra stuff would be seen as me not fulfilling this part of the contract and would be deemed a disciplinary matter. As much as I didn't want to be taken for a mug, I also had a mortgage to pay and needed the job/a decent reference. It didn't seem worth the risk to try and call the HT's bluff.
    NQT1986 and delnon like this.
  7. keyboard2

    keyboard2 Established commenter

    There is a clause in one of the teacher standards (don't know which one) that is about fulfilling professional responsibilities. I am afraid this is likely to include lunchtime because we are paid during this time.
  8. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    If the union supports you....
    delnon and aspensquiver_2 like this.
  9. keyboard2

    keyboard2 Established commenter

    Depends what is being asked and what the priorities of the school are.

    Our school has introduced lunch duties over the past two years, mainly for pastoral staff, because the children are poorly behaved during the lunch break. As behaviour and safety of children would be classed as a priority, it wouldn't be unreasonable to ask teachers and support staff, especially those with pastoral responsibilities, to ensure behaviour is good through additional duties.

    I consider the lunch duty as unreasonable but I would be placed on disciplinary if I refused for failing one of the teacher standards.

    Schools are in a bad place. Children treated like cattle, and teachers bullied into submission.
    delnon likes this.
  10. keyboard2

    keyboard2 Established commenter

    Indeed. You would almost certainly lose any school related disciplinary case and could be dismissed.
    delnon likes this.
  11. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    A thoughtful manager would make sure that you never do a break and lunch duty on the same day and would try to give you a duty when you had a free before or after. Staff could also swap with others to make life easier.
    Anyway, I thought lunch duties were voluntary and you had to be paid for them.
  12. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    *laughs sadly*
    ValentinoRossi, delnon and sabrinakat like this.
  13. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    If you don't do them, then you are asking for trouble...seriously. How would an NQT refuse? How can somebody who is terrified of losing their job, not getting a good reference actually refuse? It's a nice theory - refuse! Get the union involved. The union is far too busy help others on capability or having breakdowns due to stress to be able to intervene in relation to lunch duty. One alone cannot change the system...
    delnon and rosievoice like this.
  14. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    and united, we can still fall......
    rosievoice likes this.
  15. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Blimey! Only three nights per week? She's finished by 9? Doesn't know she's born.....
  16. Whiskas

    Whiskas New commenter

    That's not entirely fair. If you read it in context she is actually going well above and beyond. I don't mark 'til 9 at night because I do as much as possible in my lunch breaks and before school. I'm more of an early bird and my kids are flown now. (Enough metaphor?)
    Marking is, of course, what I'm doing now. Not procrastinating on here. No.

  17. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Lunch duty.

    No teacher may be required under their contract of employment as a teacher to undertake midday supervision. 54.2 of the STPCD.

    It's quite unequivocal. If you choose to do it then do so with good grace.
    cissy3 likes this.
  18. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    We are not paid during lunchtimes. You are not even obliged to be on site at this time. We are (usually0 paid for breaks.
    cissy3 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  19. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I take full advantage of this... it's lovely walking into town and just feeling like a regular person for 15 minutes.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  20. ValentinoRossi

    ValentinoRossi Star commenter

    Can be very different in Independent schools, of course.

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