The One About Workload

I don’t write often enough, and I certainly don’t write enough about things that matter. Today, I’m thinking about my work. And specifically my workload.

I teach. I’m contracted for 13.5 hours over 2.5 days. And yet my children attend nursery for 30 hours on my three teaching days. How come they are there for so long? The snow days we’ve had this week have given me more of an explanation for this. My school has been closed on the three days I usually work. My children’s childcare provider has been closed the same days. As a result, I haven’t touched any of my normal schoolwork for those 3 days. Yes, I know, I haven’t had the teaching to do, but I think I can finally account for what I do in the other 16.5 hours!

Day 1 is my half day. In the morning this week, I should have been shopping for craft resources in our local town (2 hours extra) Then there’s my 30 minute drive to work. I’d then teach for 2.5 hours and have a 2 hour meeting after school before driving home (30 mins) to pick up my children just as nursery closes. Paid time: 2.5 hours. Time worked: 8 hours.

Day 2 and 3 are full days in school. So each day looks similar:

30 mins drive. Teach for 5.5 hours, mark at lunchtime (30-40mins working, 20-30 mins eating), marking after school (30-60mins), collect resources needed for the next day (30 mins), check planning for the next day, (20-30 mins). 30 mins drive home to pick up the kids as nursery closes. Paid time: 5.5 hours each day. Worked time: 9.5 hours.

I have planning time fortnightly for 2.5 hours. Usually in that time I can get the next fortnight’s planning overview done for English and Maths. Everything else gets 1 day in total during the longer “end of term” holidays.

I also coordinate curriculum areas, so that has to be done in unpaid time too.

Next week. I’ve got report planners to pull together, copying data from our online portal to a booklet to print for parents’ evening. Yes, it’s an admin task. But there’s no admin staff time to do it… so it’s down to me. That will take me up to 3 extra hours.

I’m actually a lot better off than some teachers in other schools. I’ve read that some schools are trying to imply that 3 snow days means no PPA time next week as staff have had that time this week…. I can only assume that those leaders aren’t also parents. I’ve barely had time to sit down for 3 days with 2 young children in the house, never mind turn on my laptop and think about work!

When I think that I work at least 2.5 times my contracted hours, and that I am not in a leadership role, I feel even more strongly that something has to be done to ease workload.

For now, I don’t have time to think about that as I need to catch up on the resourcing and planning that I didn’t get done during the snow days.

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