Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

What if: You've worked 50 hours this week and stopped after that. Fair enough? Watch

Announcements
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    What I would like to know is - if you were to stop working after a set amount of time (for arguments sake lets say 50 hours in a week would be your max) and clearly stated that as the reason things hadn't been done, what would happen?

    No excuses, no apologies, just flatly state that you've worked for 50 hours that week (or 10 hours that day) which is already plenty, and that you'll carry on the next week / day.

    What happens?

    Because one thing that I'm seeing a lot of is talk of 60-70 hours a week being done by a lot of people, but what I'm not seeing much of is people explaining how they've defended themselves.

    I've tried asking people and as far as I can tell most people don't even think to stand up for themselves with respect the to the hours that they work.

    I get that things need to be done - but I also get that not everything can be done.

    Personally I have no problem with being very clear about such matters to people. It's not a case of complaining or moaning - just saying that I have a life, I have this much time for work and if it goes over then it's going to have to be done the following week.

    I think this is a perfectly reasonable position, but I don't have much feel for what the reactions to such a thing might be. I'm currently considering whether to take up some training in conjunction with my maths degree (re teaching), and trying to get a feel for things.

    cheers
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ithinkso)
    What I would like to know is - if you were to stop working after a set amount of time (for arguments sake lets say 50 hours in a week would be your max) and clearly stated that as the reason things hadn't been done, what would happen?

    No excuses, no apologies, just flatly state that you've worked for 50 hours that week (or 10 hours that day) which is already plenty, and that you'll carry on the next week / day.

    What happens?

    Because one thing that I'm seeing a lot of is talk of 60-70 hours a week being done by a lot of people, but what I'm not seeing much of is people explaining how they've defended themselves.

    I've tried asking people and as far as I can tell most people don't even think to stand up for themselves with respect the to the hours that they work.

    I get that things need to be done - but I also get that not everything can be done.

    Personally I have no problem with being very clear about such matters to people. It's not a case of complaining or moaning - just saying that I have a life, I have this much time for work and if it goes over then it's going to have to be done the following week.

    I think this is a perfectly reasonable position, but I don't have much feel for what the reactions to such a thing might be. I'm currently considering whether to take up some training in conjunction with my maths degree (re teaching), and trying to get a feel for things.

    cheers
    Unfortunately this is not always possible. A deadline might be involved such as completing a set of reports or there might be an internal inspection coming up to check the quality of marking for a particular year group. It's true that an experienced teacher can turn up for a lesson without having prepared a thing but professional pride would mean that very few would want to do this regularly.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr M)
    Unfortunately this is not always possible. A deadline might be involved such as completing a set of reports or there might be an internal inspection coming up to check the quality of marking for a particular yearbook. It's true that an experienced teacher can turn up for a lesson without having prepared a thing but professional pride would mean that very few would want to do this regularly.
    Cheers Mr M.

    I appreciate that there are deadlines but this is part of my point, there are (almost) *always* deadlines, important things to do, things which MUST be done, etc etc. It's quite easy to slip into considering "a childs future is more important than me doing X,Y or Z this evening" or whatever (if things are phrased as such).

    So what I'm saying is that, given there are so many important things to do, past a point it ceases to be the responsibility of the individual teacher to ensure that they're all done within the given time frame. At this point it seems to be more of a management responsibility, I see no reason to give the work of two people to one and be surprised when something doesn't work out.


    X needs to be done by Y? Then Z can't be done by Y as well... that's just time really. Unless one takes everything into their OWN time.



    I have asked a teacher this question (in person) and didn't get much response. It seemed as though I was proposing some new fangled experimental approach to life by stating that working past a point could be refused. I'm pretty confused by it to be honest.


    So what happens? A teacher works hard for 50 hours* for the week and explains that they'll do no more.


    I appreciate the points about professional pride etc, and I do take things seriously, but I also take myself seriously and value my life (basically). I would suggest that someone working for ~9 hours in a day is entitled to say enough, certainly at 10.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    There's nothing wrong with wanting a life outside of work. But I think that if you took on a job which you knew requires 'out of hours' work, it would annoy your employer if you turned round and said 'actually i'm putting a 50 hour limit on my out of hours work' after you were given the job. Things have to be done and if they have to be done now then do them now. It comes across as a bit of a bad work ethic to me.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ithinkso)
    ...
    The Schoolteachers Pay and Conditions Document says "a teacher must work such reasonable additional hours as may be necessary to enable the effective discharge of the teacher’s professional duties, including in particular planning and preparing courses and lessons; and assessing, monitoring, recording and reporting on the learning needs, progress and achievements of assigned pupils."

    There is no upper limit. If, with the support of your union, you wanted to argue that a total of 50 hours meant you had completed a "reasonable" number of additional hours you could certainly do so. It is easy for schools to dismiss teachers however. All they need to do is give you a bad appraisal and subsequently say you have failed to respond to the package of support provided.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by stressedotu)
    There's nothing wrong with wanting a life outside of work. But I think that if you took on a job which you knew requires 'out of hours' work, it would annoy your employer if you turned round and said 'actually i'm putting a 50 hour limit on my out of hours work' after you were given the job. Things have to be done and if they have to be done now then do them now. It comes across as a bit of a bad work ethic to me.

    Unless you can provide me with a clear definition of what 'out of hours' work means/entails then I'm going to have to disagree with you.

    Or are you suggesting that "out of hours" means that any time is suitable for work allocation? And if so, could you provide me with a source for where I can read as such, as I'm not doing too well at finding anything concrete about how much is expected. It seems to be left vague at the hope teachers will sacrifice themselves rather than stand up for themselves as far as I can tell.


    (Original post by stressedotu)
    Things have to be done and if they have to be done now then do them now. It comes across as a bit of a bad work ethic to me.
    This is called time management and planning, and if a manager turns around and says "this has to be done and it has to be done now" they should fully be expecting and outcome of "not possible". SOMETIMES things have to be done and one takes a bit of a hit for that, these are exceptions though not rules.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr M)
    The Schoolteachers Pay and Conditions Document says "a teacher must work such reasonable additional hours as may be necessary to enable the effective discharge of the teacher’s professional duties, including in particular planning and preparing courses and lessons; and assessing, monitoring, recording and reporting on the learning needs, progress and achievements of assigned pupils."

    There is no upper limit. If, with the support of your union, you wanted to argue that a total of 50 hours meant you had completed a "reasonable" number of additional hours you could certainly do so. It is easy for schools to dismiss teachers however. All they need to do is give you a bad appraisal and subsequently say you have failed to respond to the package of support provided.
    Cheers, I have read that statement re

    " a teacher must work such reasonable additional hours as may be necessary to ... "

    And it's just so ridiculously vague. It's literally a blank cheque on the part of the employer if they want to treat it as such.

    (Original post by Mr M)
    It is easy for schools to dismiss teachers however. All they need to do is give you a bad appraisal and subsequently say you have failed to respond to the package of support provided.

    This is sad to hear. The more I read about the industry the more toxic its culture seems.

    However, I'm still not sure whether anyone has answered my question. If someone was to work hard for 50 hours a week and be quite definite about more what would happen? Are you suggesting that they would be dismissed? If this is the case, then at what point could a teacher put their foot down and say "that's enough hours for this week"?
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ithinkso)
    Are you suggesting that they would be dismissed?
    They'd only be dismissed if they failed to discharge some of their duties e.g. books were not being marked in accordance with school policy (and there are absurd policies in some schools that require triple making in different colours) or lessons were unplanned (again some schools require teachers to hand over all their planning each week for inspection).
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mr M)
    They'd only be dismissed if they failed to discharge some of their duties e.g. books were not being marked in accordance with school policy (and there are absurd policies in some schools that require triple making in different colours) or lessons were unplanned (again some schools require teachers to hand over all their planning each week for inspection).
    Yes I understand that position, but there's the rub. I mean, I would argue that if you're not able to get your work done in a reasonable amount of time then you're being set an unreasonable amount of work. I've suggested that 50 hours would be a reasonable time at which to say "enough". I can understand that in such an environment there are always things to do and that if someone keeps taking the work on then it'll keep flowing, so I would have thought one would have to be firm about where they stood re their own time.

    But it's hard for me to get an idea of what others think is reasonable, and what would actually happen if someone was to carry out what I was suggesting.

    If there are 5 hours of lesson plans to to and 5 hours of marking and only 5 hours available then something is going to give, assuming that it's not all my free time. So I'm wondering what happens in this situation? Clearly the staff member isn't trying to cause trouble or neglecting duties, they're merely stating that there's not enough time to do the allocated work.
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    As an inexperienced teacher (NQT), it seems to me that it would depend on what the things I left undone were...

    I'm fortunate enough to work in a school with a supportive SLT (at least, that is the view I have of them, and quite possibly is not the view of other teachers in my school). I was regularly told last term that I am working very hard and that nobody expects me to work as hard as I am. The fact that I was generally the last person in school and had to be kicked out every evening, and that I was the first person in school every day, and that I spent quite a lot of my weekends working as well, was appreciated but wasn't necessary.

    As it was, I was fairly close to a breakdown at various points (although not solely because of all the work I was doing - other personal issues were also occurring), and working more than 60 hours a week. A part of my first NQT report included taking care of myself as one of my targets! After two days back, I know I will continue to be the first person in school aside from the caretaker every morning, but that is a personal choice due to traffic. I am trying to make sure that any work I do at the weekends are the things that absolutely MUST get done before Monday. If it isn't vital, I won't do it. And no one has thought twice about telling me off for not sending out a letter or three that probably should have gone out before Christmas.

    All in all, I guess what I think is that, yes, I could quite easily say to my SLT that I've worked for 50 hours that week and I refuse to do any more. And unless something I hadn't done was absolutely vital and seriously urgent, then they probably wouldn't have a problem with it. But being able to do this would be heavily dependent on the school... and you just never know what will crop up in this job that requires out of hours work!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by beanbrain)
    As an inexperienced teacher (NQT), it seems to me that it would depend on what the things I left undone were...

    I'm fortunate enough to work in a school with a supportive SLT (at least, that is the view I have of them, and quite possibly is not the view of other teachers in my school). I was regularly told last term that I am working very hard and that nobody expects me to work as hard as I am. The fact that I was generally the last person in school and had to be kicked out every evening, and that I was the first person in school every day, and that I spent quite a lot of my

    weekends working as well, was appreciated but wasn't necessary.

    As it was, I was fairly close to a breakdown at various points (although not solely because of all the work I was doing - other personal issues were also occurring), and working more than 60 hours a week. A part of my first NQT report included taking care of myself as one of my targets! After two days back, I know I will continue to be the first person in school aside from the caretaker every morning, but that is a personal choice due to traffic. I am trying to make sure that any work I do at the weekends are the things that absolutely MUST get done before Monday. If it isn't vital, I won't do it. And no one has thought twice about telling me off for not sending out a letter or three that probably should have gone out before Christmas.



    All in all, I guess what I think is that, yes, I could quite easily say to my SLT that I've worked for 50 hours that week and I refuse to do any more. And unless something I hadn't done was absolutely vital and seriously urgent, then they probably wouldn't have a problem with it. But being able to do this would be heavily dependent on the school... and you just never know what will crop up in this job that requires out of hours work!

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    All in all, I guess what I think is that, yes, I could quite easily say to my SLT that I've worked for 50 hours that week and I refuse to do any more. And unless something I hadn't done was absolutely vital and seriously urgent, then they probably wouldn't have a problem with it.

    That's good to hear, I wonder how rare this is ? And what type of school are you at re grammar, academy, independent , state etc? Which subject?

    Seems not to be the norm from what I've been reading.


    Also sounds that you were keen to make a good impression which is understandable, but this wouldn't be my first job, so I'm pretty aware of how much I would want to give and confident in drawing lines around that.


    Still, it's hard to get any solid idea of what "out of hours" means with the vague definitions I've seen. So I'm a bit hesitant to commit to any training program that's going to lead me down a path to 60 hour weeks and poor pay.



    cheers!
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ithinkso)
    That's good to hear, I wonder how rare this is ? And what type of school are you at re grammar, academy, independent , state etc? Which subject?

    Seems not to be the norm from what I've been reading.


    Also sounds that you were keen to make a good impression which is understandable, but this wouldn't be my first job, so I'm pretty aware of how much I would want to give and confident in drawing lines around that.


    Still, it's hard to get any solid idea of what "out of hours" means with the vague definitions I've seen. So I'm a bit hesitant to commit to any training program that's going to lead me down a path to 60 hour weeks and poor pay.



    cheers!
    I'm a Year 6 teacher at a small primary school, state-funded, non-academised, with what you would call a "disadvantaged" demographic of children.

    I wouldn't say that I was keen to make a good impression, as I did some of my training at that school and already had a relationship with many of the members of staff. However, I have always been a hard worker, and in one of my previous (non-teaching) jobs, it was absolutely the norm for me to work 11-13 hour days, 6 days a week.

    Yes, I would agree with you that the definition of "out of hours" is vague, or possibly even non-existent. However, I think with teaching, it is a foolish person who enters into it with any sort of financial incentive. The pay is not likely to equate to a decent wage for the amount of hours any teacher puts in, ever. But I choose to teach because I enjoy it, truly. Last term, in spite of everything, it was spending 5 hours of my day with my class that was keeping me going. And, as has already happened to me in the three months of being a proper teacher, I would willingly spend a few hours at the weekend "working" if it is spent dealing with an issue that will affect a child's life (i.e. a safeguarding issue).
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by beanbrain)
    I'm a Year 6 teacher at a small primary school, state-funded, non-academised, with what you would call a "disadvantaged" demographic of children.

    I wouldn't say that I was keen to make a good impression, as I did some of my training at that school and already had a relationship with many of the members of staff. However, I have always been a hard worker, and in one of my previous (non-teaching) jobs, it was absolutely the norm for me to work 11-13 hour days, 6 days a week.


    Yes, I would agree with you that the definition of "out of hours" is vague, or possibly even non-existent. However, I think with teaching, it is a foolish person who enters into it with any sort of financial incentive. The pay is not likely to equate to a decent wage for the amount of hours any teacher puts in, ever. But I choose to teach because I enjoy it, truly. Last term, in spite of everything, it was spending 5 hours of my day with my class that was keeping me going. And, as has already happened to me in the three months of being a proper teacher, I would willingly spend a few hours at the weekend "working" if it is spent dealing with an issue that will affect a child's life (i.e. a safeguarding issue).

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    Yes, I would agree with you that the definition of "out of hours" is vague, or possibly even non-existent.

    Yes! it's pretty hard to get any sort of handle on it.


    (Original post by beanbrain)
    However, I think with teaching, it is a foolish person who enters into it with any sort of financial incentive. The pay is not likely to equate to a decent wage for the amount of hours any teacher puts in, ever.

    Can I just stress how ridiculous this notion is in my opinion. I constantly hear it, along with the "I did XYZ hours last week" as though it's some badge of honour.

    Are you a volunteer? No, so you're getting paid. There's a wage attached. If there was a school equidistant to yours, same conditions etc etc and offered a job would there be a certain point at which the pay would be motivating? I imagine in nearly all cases the answer would be yes.

    Because someone is asking for reasonable pay and hours does NOT mean that they're expecting some kind of CEO. And it's really unfair of people to insinuate that's the case. Perhaps if people realised how they were driving talented people away from the industry (and children) with such notions they might be a bit more reasonable themselves. I'm sure they could do more time if they wanted.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    And, as has already happened to me in the three months of being a proper teacher, I would willingly spend a few hours at the weekend "working" if it is spent dealing with an issue that will affect a child's life (i.e. a safeguarding issue).

    I'm quite happy to leave something until I'm actually meant to do it. I've worked in mental health, and learnt that somethings just happen. Sure you can break your neck weekly if you like, but ultimately the positive change from it is next to nothing in comparison to changes from the top down.


    Perhaps someone will twist that statement into "oh so you don't care" or something equally extreme and nonsensical.
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ithinkso)
    Yes! it's pretty hard to get any sort of handle on it.





    Can I just stress how ridiculous this notion is in my opinion. I constantly hear it, along with the "I did XYZ hours last week" as though it's some badge of honour.

    Are you a volunteer? No, so you're getting paid. There's a wage attached. If there was a school equidistant to yours, same conditions etc etc and offered a job would there be a certain point at which the pay would be motivating? I imagine in nearly all cases the answer would be yes.

    Because someone is asking for reasonable pay and hours does NOT mean that they're expecting some kind of CEO. And it's really unfair of people to insinuate that's the case. Perhaps if people realised how they were driving talented people away from the industry (and children) with such notions they might be a bit more reasonable themselves. I'm sure they could do more time if they wanted.




    I'm quite happy to leave something until I'm actually meant to do it. I've worked in mental health, and learnt that somethings just happen. Sure you can break your neck weekly if you like, but ultimately the positive change from it is next to nothing in comparison to changes from the top down.


    Perhaps someone will twist that statement into "oh so you don't care" or something equally extreme and nonsensical.
    As a public service, teaching, nursing, policing etc. etc. will never hold as attractive a wage as privatised jobs do. Until the whole education system, the whole healthcare system becomes privatised, the public sector wages will not be attractive. As stupid as this sounds for a job where a huge amount of working hours are put in, it is unfortunately the way things are. As somebody who chooses to willingly work in this role, I accept this. Like it? Not much. But I am much less motivated by money than other people might claim to be. I have always chosen my jobs based on happiness and fulfilment. Unfortunately for my bank balance, these are not the ridiculously well paid jobs. Fortunately for me, I don't care.

    As a teacher in an area where there is a recruitment crisis, I could have hand picked any number of jobs near enough to my house to commute to. Given where I live, I could have chosen somewhere that attracted a higher salary simply due to its proximity to London. I could have chosen an academy, given that they tend to pay higher salaries. I chose a school that I liked, and where I knew I could have a huge impact on the children because their parents cannot or will not afford them whatever it is they are lacking. I knew what I was getting into. I knew it was hard work for little salary. But you know what - it isn't the salary that drives people away, it is the hard work. And given my experience of people in general (Warning: sweeping generalisation of human beings coming up), I would say that a lot of people would leave teaching even if the salary was 3x what it is, simply because they wouldn't want to do the work involved.

    In simple terms, it isn't teaching and the salary that drives people away from the profession. I believe it is the government and the amount of uninformed control they have over the profession, which makes the job what it is. I think politicians are the real problem here.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by beanbrain)
    As somebody who chooses to willingly work in this role, I accept this. Like it? Not much. But I am much less motivated by money than other people might claim to be. I have always chosen my jobs based on happiness and fulfilment. Unfortunately for my bank balance, these are not the ridiculously well paid jobs. Fortunately for me, I don't care.

    You seem to be contradicting yourself - saying that you don't like it but you don't care...? I've not said anything (nor read anything) along the lines of it should be "ridiculously well paid" either so I'm not sure what you're on about. It seems that you're exaggerating to try and make your position seem reasonable?

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    As a teacher in an area where there is a recruitment crisis, I could have hand picked any number of jobs near enough to my house to commute to. Given where I live, I could have chosen somewhere that attracted a higher salary simply due to its proximity to London. I could have chosen an academy, given that they tend to pay higher salaries. I chose a school that I liked, and where I knew I could have a huge impact on the children because their parents cannot or will not afford them whatever it is they are lacking. I knew what I was getting into. I knew it was hard work for little salary.

    Note I said that there would be a certain point where the pay is motivating, it didn't reach that point, great. What I'm getting at is this 'holier than thou' attitude many seem to put out on this topic is daft, it's blatantly not black and white. Yes yourself (me) and many others would have priorities other than money with respect to work, but that doesn't mean that getting money isn't important OR that peoples time isn't.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    But you know what - it isn't the salary that drives people away, it is the hard work.
    Nonsense I think. It's the *culture* that drives a lot of people away. Doing a stupid amount of hours isn't *hard* work in a particularly meaningful way, it's just stupid work. It causes stress, lack of free time etc. There are many jobs which the work is hard because the actual work is hard, whether you're doing half an hour or half a day of it, so I don't think that this makes sense here.

    People who imply that others can't "hack it" or whatever is daft. And what's frustrating is often people who don't go into teaching as a result are *really* good candidates, they just so happen to have enough strings to their bow that they don't **need** to do teaching like another might. I personally know a few people who're PhD level and wanted to go into teaching and didn't because of the culture there. So as a result the system (and the students) have lost out on some fantastic maths teachers. Great.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    And given my experience of people in general (Warning: sweeping generalisation of human beings coming up), I would say that a lot of people would leave teaching even if the salary was 3x what it is, simply because they wouldn't want to do the work involved.

    Can't you understand that people DO want to do the work involved. There are many people who would love to do it and are passionate about it but they're not about to make themselves a martyr for it.

    Basically they think that teachers time and finances should be reasonably respected. Makes sense to me as well.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    In simple terms, it isn't teaching and the salary that drives people away from the profession. I believe it is the government and the amount of uninformed control they have over the profession, which makes the job what it is. I think politicians are the real problem here.
    [/QUOTE]

    ... so it's not that people can't work hard enough any more?

    What do you *mean* by "the government and the amount of uninformed control they have over the profession"? The regulations etc? Yes, I'm sure that this adds to things as it puts up the workload and increases the stress placed on teachers as a result. (what are you doing to improve this?)

    Politicians are a problem yes, as well as what seems to be a culture of teachers who don't have any respect for their personal time and brandish those who do as unwilling to work hard. And ultimately it's the quality of education that suffers over all. As a result I would probably argue that people of such dispositions are either pretty short sighted or aren't actually that bothered about improving the system over all.
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ithinkso)
    You seem to be contradicting yourself - saying that you don't like it but you don't care...? I've not said anything (nor read anything) along the lines of it should be "ridiculously well paid" either so I'm not sure what you're on about. It seems that you're exaggerating to try and make your position seem reasonable?
    Compared to other jobs, teaching will not be well paid because it remains a public service role. Until it is privatised, or people become willing to pay a lot more in tax, any public service role will pale in comparison to any private company role in the financial department. That is the nature of a service that is provided to people free of charge. Financially, I could be in a much better position by doing another job, but it is no contradiction to say that that I don't like it but I don't care. Similarly, I could be doing another job that doesn't ask/require/expect me to bring work home with me in my free time. In fact, before reading an earlier post today, I wasn't aware that the pay documents said that it was deemed reasonable to expect teachers to work outside of normal working hours. I did it anyway, because I care about my job. That is not something alien to other jobs. Many people I know, and I'm sure many I do not, take work home with them at some point because they care about getting it done. The only difference that seems to be causing you an issue here is the amount of money I receive compared to somebody like my sister, who frequently takes work home. At what point does money ever make taking work home reasonable? At what point does the work that needs doing become so important that it requires taking home? Every person will have a different answer to these questions, at which point I say that the entire debate becomes a waste of time.


    (Original post by ithinkso)
    Note I said that there would be a certain point where the pay is motivating, it didn't reach that point, great. What I'm getting at is this 'holier than thou' attitude many seem to put out on this topic is daft, it's blatantly not black and white. Yes yourself (me) and many others would have priorities other than money with respect to work, but that doesn't mean that getting money isn't important OR that peoples time isn't.
    Time is important. Money has been made important. The amount of work put into teaching by a lot of people has been generated by the expectations and demands on the profession. The expectations and demands on the profession have been generated by, vaguely speaking, a lot of people who don't know anything about education (i.e. politicians). Because teachers are held accountable for the outcomes of their students, if they care about their job they work hard to make sure they do everything in their power to generate good outcomes. We have to justify everything we have done, prove that we tried everything we could to get that student where they needed to be, and that has to happen for every single student. Class teachers are under pressure from SLT because SLT are pressurised by the budget and the continuing scrutiny of schools and their performance. Ultimately, it is a choice to spend however many hours a week teachers spend working. The 'holier than thou' attitude you see is actually people who care about their job doing what they feel they need to do. They work that many hours because, for whatever reasons, they choose to. Those that can't find the reason to continue working that much tend to be the ones who leave.

    (Original post by ithinkso)
    Nonsense I think. It's the *culture* that drives a lot of people away. Doing a stupid amount of hours isn't *hard* work in a particularly meaningful way, it's just stupid work. It causes stress, lack of free time etc. There are many jobs which the work is hard because the actual work is hard, whether you're doing half an hour or half a day of it, so I don't think that this makes sense here.

    People who imply that others can't "hack it" or whatever is daft. And what's frustrating is often people who don't go into teaching as a result are *really* good candidates, they just so happen to have enough strings to their bow that they don't **need** to do teaching like another might. I personally know a few people who're PhD level and wanted to go into teaching and didn't because of the culture there. So as a result the system (and the students) have lost out on some fantastic maths teachers. Great.

    Can't you understand that people DO want to do the work involved. There are many people who would love to do it and are passionate about it but they're not about to make themselves a martyr for it.

    Basically they think that teachers time and finances should be reasonably respected. Makes sense to me as well.
    Of course people can't hack it. In the same way that people can't hack an office job because it drives them crazy with boredom, or they can't hack a job in a supermarket because it isn't mentally challenging. It is natural for people to be unable to cope with certain things, and when they can't cope, they avoid the situation and do something else. Being a teacher, like any other job, requires a skill set combined with a set of personality traits. To which end, people who do want to do the work involved by don't want to martyr themselves do not have that combination of traits to become a teacher. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that - possibly they are more sane in some ways than other people.

    It interests me that you mention "enough strings to their bow that they don't need to do teaching like another might". To me, this implies that you are measuring people based on things like intelligence, qualifications and academic ability, or the lack thereof. Whatever strings to their bow that you are implicating, it still comes back to the point I have just made. Skills and personality traits need to combine in a particular way to produce someone both capable and desirous of teaching. If they don't want to teach because of pay, culture or something else, then at this particular time they are not cut out for teaching - again, maybe they are more sane than other people who can cope with the demands of a teaching job. The whole thing is relative, as is much of life.

    In terms of time and finances being respected, and in terms of your previous idea that teaching should be a more respected job - by questioning the motives and comments made by current teachers who feel the need to justify their work/life balance, you disrespect the job more by insisting that we should be working less, and making more of a stand against low wages and long working hours. Until a person actually sets foot into a classroom with 30 odd children, who all need to learn about 7 different things to each other in the space of an hour, with just one teacher and possibly one other adult to help out in the room, that person will not understand the job and therefore find it difficult to respect it as it should be respected. For me, being respected as a teacher would not necessarily look at a pay rise and shorter working hours - it would look like a lot less scrutiny of the things that I do as a teacher, and a more relaxed attitude to how I do my job. Sure, that change might affect the length of my working hours, but not necessarily.

    (Original post by ithinkso)
    What do you *mean* by "the government and the amount of uninformed control they have over the profession"? The regulations etc? Yes, I'm sure that this adds to things as it puts up the workload and increases the stress placed on teachers as a result. (what are you doing to improve this?)

    Politicians are a problem yes, as well as what seems to be a culture of teachers who don't have any respect for their personal time and brandish those who do as unwilling to work hard. And ultimately it's the quality of education that suffers over all. As a result I would probably argue that people of such dispositions are either pretty short sighted or aren't actually that bothered about improving the system over all.
    As I mentioned previously, the level of control over education by politicians and the government is what dictates the amount of money schools have to spend (or not, as the case may be), and what they have to do as part of their daily job. But education doesn't suffer because teachers don't respect their personal time - quite the opposite, because if they didn't sacrifice some of their personal time to get some of their job done, it would result in something being missed out or not done that would have been beneficial to the education of the children in their care.

    What am I doing to improve the situation things are in? First and foremost, my job. I put a lot of effort into my job because I WANT to. I make time for myself and any social life and activities I choose to take part in. I work 50 or 60 hour weeks because I want to do the best I can for the children in my class, and I want them to leave my class as more capable, confident individuals. As a teacher, that is my role, and sorting out the problems with teaching - that's what unions are for, that is why they exist.

    So sue me for taking a "back seat" in solving the pay and work/life balance issues in the profession I chose to be in from this point forward. If people don't want to be teachers for whatever reason, or can't understand those that do want to teach in spite of the 'lack of respect for pay and time', I can't help them. Because I want my time working to be spent improving children's lives, and I want my free time to be spent enjoying the many "strings to my bow". Which, ultimately, means that I will not be reading this thread any more. I have spent enough time on here, and I have other things to do than remonstrate over matters that I can neither control nor directly change as an individual. I wish you happy remonstrating
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Well beanbrain may read this maybe not. I'll answer the points to anyone who bumps into the thread though as I belive that mentality such as beanbrains is genuinely harmful to education in general.


    (Original post by beanbrain)
    Compared to other jobs, teaching will not be well paid because it remains a public service role. ....
    beanbrain seems disproportionately focussed on money, I will say that time is more valuable to me than money. Also, if one is in a job that they like hobbies often feedback into that job. Having free time is just a healthy thing in general (which is why some companies promote staff members to have their own projects, free time etc). If someone **wants** to spend all that free time doing additional animations on their powerpoints or whatever then go for it - however that free time either isn't given in the first place or it's sacrifice is *presumed* is pretty poor.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    I did it anyway, because I care about my job.
    (this is re why to bring work home). Another damaging position, as it's putting forwards that if someone cares about their job they'll always bring work home with them. And as said, if it's a job that one is interested in the odds are that hobbies will feed back into it. I imagine someone interested in programming will think of things to add to a CS lesson (or maths), the same for other subjects of course (I'm not familiar with them though). It's the presumption and expectation of this time that's wrong.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    That is not something alien to other jobs. Many people I know, and I'm sure many I do not, take work home with them at some point because they care about getting it done. The only difference that seems to be causing you an issue here is the amount of money I receive compared to somebody like my sister, who frequently takes work home. At what point does money ever make taking work home reasonable?
    (Original post by beanbrain)
    That is not something alien to other jobs. Many people I know, and I'm sure many I do not, take work home with them at some point because they care about getting it done. The only difference that seems to be causing you an issue here is the amount of money I receive compared to somebody like my sister, who frequently takes work home. At what point does money ever make taking work home reasonable?
    Again the point isn't *just* about money. People such as beanbrain appear to assume that if someone mentions something about money they're expecting some kind of huge salary, which isn't really the case. It's generally used to highlight that teaching is a really important part of society and should be taken seriously, paying people around minimum wage doesn't *generally* equate to that being taken so seriously. People have to live, and for that they need time and money.

    In response to "at what point does money ever make taking work home", I'm not sure what that means. I'm assuming that beanbrain has heard of overtime.

    Obviously sometimes things have to be done in ones free time, I get that. But the constant abuse of it really isn't a good thing.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    At what point does the work that needs doing become so important that it requires taking home? Every person will have a different answer to these questions, at which point I say that the entire debate becomes a waste of time.
    Again, beanbrain is missing the point. That the work is being taken home constantly and done all night isn't a testimony to it's importance as much as a lack of respect for the persons time. The work might be very important. There are lots of important things that are just done at work though.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    Time is important. Money has been made important.
    I'm not sure what this point is. Without going down some fruitless philosophical path about materialism and such I think most people would agree money is important to pay for things like food etc.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    The amount of work put into teaching by a lot of people has been generated by the expectations and demands on the profession. The expectations and demands on the profession have been generated by, vaguely speaking, a lot of people who don't know anything about education (i.e. politicians).
    What's funny is that beanbrain is talking about how much of the work is generated by people who don't know what they're doing (politicians etc). So much of beanbrain's time is presumably spent carrying out useless checkbox tasks set by people who "don't know what they're doing". Yet beanbrain seems to defend this spent time quite passionately!

    (This is the kind of daft position that drives people away from teaching :P)

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    Because teachers are held accountable for the outcomes of their students, if they care about their job they work hard to make sure they do everything in their power to generate good outcomes. We have to justify everything we have done, prove that we tried everything we could to get that student where they needed to be, and that has to happen for every single student. Class teachers are under pressure from SLT because SLT are pressurised by the budget and the continuing scrutiny of schools and their performance. Ultimately, it is a choice to spend however many hours a week teachers spend working. The 'holier than thou' attitude you see is actually people who care about their job doing what they feel they need to do. They work that many hours because, for whatever reasons, they choose to. Those that can't find the reason to continue working that much tend to be the ones who leave.
    I think that for many it doesn't really feel like a choice (to do these kinds of hours), and if it did much of this would be pretty null.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    Of course people can't hack it. In the same way that people can't hack an office job because it drives them crazy with boredom, or they can't hack a job in a supermarket because it isn't mentally challenging. It is natural for people to be unable to cope with certain things, and when they can't cope, they avoid the situation and do something else. Being a teacher, like any other job, requires a skill set combined with a set of personality traits. To which end, people who do want to do the work involved by don't want to martyr themselves do not have that combination of traits to become a teacher. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that - possibly they are more sane in some ways than other people.
    Here beanbrain is talking about people not being able to hack teaching. When they're talking about the skill set needed for teaching I don't think that's as unique as they seem to. I think there are probably many competent people who would enter the profession if there wasn't so much nonsense associated with it. It's the bureaucracy that's a killer, often not the teaching. (Although I can understand people leaving as a result of the teaching part if they're in a particularly rough school or something, that's not going to suit many).

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    It interests me that you mention "enough strings to their bow that they don't need to do teaching like another might". To me, this implies that you are measuring people based on things like intelligence, qualifications and academic ability, or the lack thereof.
    beanbrain has read into this - I'm simply stating that if someone has more options to choose from they're less likely to choose the one that involves them having no life and very high stress levels. To me this seems like a pretty easy concept to grasp.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    Whatever strings to their bow that you are implicating, it still comes back to the point I have just made. Skills and personality traits need to combine in a particular way to produce someone both capable and desirous of teaching. If they don't want to teach because of pay, culture or something else, then at this particular time they are not cut out for teaching - again, maybe they are more sane than other people who can cope with the demands of a teaching job. The whole thing is relative, as is much of life.
    Again, many of the people that I have spoken to have no problem with the teaching. I would be pretty surprised to meet someone more suited for teaching (maths) than some of them. It's the amount nonsense *around* the teaching that is troublesome. I expect that much of this is the political nonsense that beanbrain mentioned, yet seems to defend wasting their time on because... I'm not sure why.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    In terms of time and finances being respected, and in terms of your previous idea that teaching should be a more respected job - by questioning the motives and comments made by current teachers who feel the need to justify their work/life balance, you disrespect the job more by insisting that we should be working less, and making more of a stand against low wages and long working hours.
    I'm not too sure how I disrespect teachers by saying they should receive more respect. I do think that mentalities like beanbrain's towards hours and such are pretty damaging over all though.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    Until a person actually sets foot into a classroom with 30 odd children, who all need to learn about 7 different things to each other in the space of an hour, with just one teacher and possibly one other adult to help out in the room, that person will not understand the job and therefore find it difficult to respect it as it should be respected.
    I'm not sure what this means. It seems as though beanbrain is being defensive for the sake of writing this paragraph about how hard they work though. I'm aware of what's here to a degree (having familiy in both primary and secondary education).

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    For me, being respected as a teacher would not necessarily look at a pay rise and shorter working hours - it would look like a lot less scrutiny of the things that I do as a teacher, and a more relaxed attitude to how I do my job. Sure, that change might affect the length of my working hours, but not necessarily.
    I agree that more autonomy could be a good thing. I'm sure there are lots of great teachers feeling a bit stifled by the way things are at the mo. Whether things are moving towards this or not I'm not sure though.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    As I mentioned previously, the level of control over education by politicians and the government is what dictates the amount of money schools have to spend (or not, as the case may be), and what they have to do as part of their daily job. But education doesn't suffer because teachers don't respect their personal time - quite the opposite, because if they didn't sacrifice some of their personal time to get some of their job done, it would result in something being missed out or not done that would have been beneficial to the education of the children in their care.
    beanbrain seems to be highlighting that things are currently grossly mismanaged resulting in people being forced to constantly carry things out in their free time if they're to get done.

    This *is* damaging for education in many ways as it causes an unreasonable amount of stress on staff and leads to many leaving, or not going through with applications, as a result. Good staff leaving or not starting in the first place is quite clearly bad for the industry and education in general.

    (Original post by beanbrain)
    So sue me for taking a "back seat" in solving the pay and work/life balance issues in the profession I chose to be in from this point forward. If people don't want to be teachers for whatever reason, or can't understand those that do want to teach in spite of the 'lack of respect for pay and time', I can't help them. Because I want my time working to be spent improving children's lives, and I want my free time to be spent enjoying the many "strings to my bow". Which, ultimately, means that I will not be reading this thread any more. I have spent enough time on here, and I have other things to do than remonstrate over matters that I can neither control nor directly change as an individual. I wish you happy remonstrating
    I'm not too sure why 'lack of respect for pay and time' is in quotation marks, perhaps the idea of feeling obliged to work 60+ hours a week is beanbrains idea of respect in terms of wage and time I'm not sure.

    Most people *wouldn't* share this opinion though, and to consider that this would make them *poorer* teachers is just plain stupid I'm afraid.

    Perhaps people accept this in the same way someone stranded at sea might learn to love the water or something, I'm not sure. I would note that such attitudes permute through and give a poor impression of teachers to others though, so perhaps this is worth others considering.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    i think simply refusing to do more than 50 hours a week would get you in the firing line of any superior in a school.

    Books have to be marked, data has to be inputted, and on top of that you have the regular distractions of this of dealing with students, which sounds sad - because that's the reason your there - but regularly staff must use the time they dedicate to all the paperwork that comes with teaching to deal with students. Which means staying late, working through lunch or taking your work home with you.

    I think simply refusing to do more hours just wouldn't work. It's sounds ridiculous. I work in admin in school til the end of next week, I may get a ten minute lunch break if im lucky. People tell me who don't work in a school, go, it's your unpaid break. But the culture is there for all staff. I know this is nothing compared to the hours teachers throw in - but when you have less responsibility and being paid 10 grand less than a teacher - it stills comes to something.

    There's no stopping in the education culture, so if you stand up and go against that - you will be the only one.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    You do have some options to stand your ground but it will depend on your workplace. If there is a culture of working long hours and it is expected and you refuse they may just decide that you're not the right employee for them.

    As far as standing up for yourself it's very reasonable to say 'I can't work more than X hours a week and can't complete my full workload in this time, what should I prioritise?'.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by doodle_333)
    You do have some options to stand your ground but it will depend on your workplace. If there is a culture of working long hours and it is expected and you refuse they may just decide that you're not the right employee for them.

    As far as standing up for yourself it's very reasonable to say 'I can't work more than X hours a week and can't complete my full workload in this time, what should I prioritise?'.
    I think the first ling of this is so true, which is probably why more teachers are quitting in the first five years after initial training. I think some people who are passionate about the job will cope with the hours and the longer you're in the sector the longer you'll be able to manage your work load. (not saying NQT's aren't good at their jobs, but it's like any work place - the longer you're their the quicker you can do tasks)

    I think saying that in any normal office job would be advisable, as most people will only have to work late maybe once or twice a week, and if they're working more than that- they are receiving a salary which compensates the extra time.

    For example, in an old marketing firm I used to work for my line manager worked 3 days solid of 12 hours for an upcoming deadline. He was rewarded for his extra time with time off to recover. In teaching, that just isn't possible because of the workload and constant deadlines, If you fall behind on the mentoring, or marking, and don't have the data in place for your classes, the admin can't process it and therefore there is nothing for head of departments/senior leaders to review. I could go on - but the fact is it's a machine that always needs to be running and someone simply refusing to put in the extra hours will stand out like a sore thumb.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.