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Any teachers here? How many hours a week do you work?

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Found 3rd Oct 2013
My wife is a newly qualified teacher and currently has a position at a college.

I'm curious whether it is normal for her to be working such long hours. She's starts at 8 and works until 6pm at the earliest and then is marking or preparing until 10pm every night.

Weekends she might have a few hours break but the majority of her weekend is also marking and preparing.

She's doing atleast a 60-70 hour week and I'm just wanting to know if any other teachers out there are overworked and underpaid.

It's a college and they've over subscribed so her room has 31 instead of 20.

Anyone know the legalities of it.. she is commissioned to teach 24hours and the rest is supposed to be prep but as a NQT she is supposed to get a 25% reduction on teaching hours but they say they can't do this.

It's very stressful and I hardly see my wife anymore. Any advice and experiences are appreciated.
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My partner is a teacher, and long hours are quite typical... she teaches 8:30-3:30, is asked to monitor an after-school club afterwards and subsequently spends most of the evening preparing lessons.

That said - there is a legal limit under EU law of 48 hours per week, unless she signed a form waiving that... worth looking into...

Edited by: "Spinal333" 3rd Oct 2013
My wife is doing exactly the same. Long term I am scared it will affect our marriage.
Original Poster
Thanks for the reply. I know other teachers and they also do extra curriculum activities such as mentoring but this is their choice and they get paid to take on these extra roles.

I know her contract doesn't state working hours and vaguely mentions something about hours necessary to perform the role.

She works in a team of 4 which should be 5 and with a 50% oversub it's just nuts. She's new so she doesn't want to rock the boat but even the lady that's been there 30 years is freaking out and asking head for another teacher or to split the rooms up. I just think they are TTP.
Original Poster
Hi Steve, is your wife a NQT?

My wife is hoping that once she prepares for each subject for an entire year that as long as she teaches the same subject for the following year that the material will still be relevant and will help with the workload. I'm sure more experienced teachers will be able to confirm this to be or not to be the case.
Hey, my wife is in the same boat as your wife. She is home late in the evenings, then its marking and preparing for the next week and weekend are much the same. It does get better as time goes on, learning techniques for preparing lessons etc and as you said using the same material in the future years but there will always be long hours with teaching I am afraid. And then the fun begins when they have to get externally assessed as well, that's stress city.
Yes and they only get about 12 weeks a year holiday too. It really is a hard life!
It sounds like it may be a temporary situation until they hire someone new, in which case she may be lucky...

The extra curricular activities aren't always paid sadly, if they are, again, consider yourself lucky,... not paid in her (our? my?) school...
Original Poster
Thanks ggmurray. 12 weeks holidays sound good until you factor in the working hours. Any other job would accumulate days in lieu and you'd rack up the extra 8 weeks in no time.

Do the math, 20 hours extra a week, working 40 weeks in the year = 800 extra hours above 40 hpw. That equates to 100 x 8 hour working days or 20 weeks.

So the 8 extra weeks holiday only cost them 20 weeks of work... sounds pretty awesome.

We're trying to book holidays abroad for school holiday times and as it is so busy prices are sky high.. should we holiday during school time prices are ofter 40% cheaper.

Original Poster
Spinal333

It sounds like it may be a temporary situation until they hire someone … It sounds like it may be a temporary situation until they hire someone new, in which case she may be lucky...The extra curricular activities aren't always paid sadly, if they are, again, consider yourself lucky,... not paid in her (our? my?) school...



Thanks spinal. She did 6 months placement at this college and it was hectic as then. They were looking for temp staff then (a year ago) and they've still not sorted it out. I just hope that it's not the norm and that it's just a really unorganised college.

Hopefully the other teachers back each other and something gets done. At the moment students pay under £2000 a year and some of them don't have a laptop in class (when it's needed) and have to share. Others have to sit on the floor or a small cupboard room away from the other students since it's overcrowded. I know if I was a parent paying these fees I'd want much small class sizes for my money, and a chair.
TheGimp

Hi Steve, is your wife a NQT? My wife is hoping that once she prepares … Hi Steve, is your wife a NQT? My wife is hoping that once she prepares for each subject for an entire year that as long as she teaches the same subject for the following year that the material will still be relevant and will help with the workload. I'm sure more experienced teachers will be able to confirm this to be or not to be the case.



I'm afraid not, she has been teaching for 9 years now and has recently moved from Senior to Junior school. If anything she has found the workload to be more intense and the hours longer where she is now.
Just curious, a lot of people say teachers spend most their evening preparing the next days lesson plan. But if your teaching the same year over and over again, isn't the lesson plan more or less the same each year? So once you've prepared it once you should just be doing minor changes the following year right?

I know things change and you have to sometimes change the plan each year, but isn't the general plan already done?

Also teachers complain about a lot of marking to do a night. But what are they doing during class hours when the class is working on something? I recall a lot of teachers when I was at school would sit at their desk working on something, are they not marking?

Not trying to attack teachers, just wondering.
redarrowrules

Just curious, a lot of people say teachers spend most their evening … Just curious, a lot of people say teachers spend most their evening preparing the next days lesson plan. But if your teaching the same year over and over again, isn't the lesson plan more or less the same each year? So once you've prepared it once you should just be doing minor changes the following year right?I know things change and you have to sometimes change the plan each year, but isn't the general plan already done?Also teachers complain about a lot of marking to do a night. But what are they doing during class hours when the class is working on something? I recall a lot of teachers when I was at school would sit at their desk working on something, are they not marking?Not trying to attack teachers, just wondering.


Not in my experience... down to two factors... Firstly, the curriculum changes every year meaning the lesson plans from the previous year change. Secondly, pupils change - a good teacher will tailor the material taught to the pupils level and understanding. Hence, while you can rely on previous material for inspiration, it really needs to be re-done every year. (that's not to say that some teachers don't care and just re-use the same material... but that's the difference between a good teacher and a not-so-good one).

As to marking - what I've been told is that marking in class is near impossible... the attention needs to be on the students, even when they are working on something...
Original Poster
Sounds about right. At uni my lecturers did sweet FA.. probably teach around 14 hours a week and it wasn't uncommon for a module to be dated 5 years earlier with no noticeable changes. This just reinforcing the argument about good teacher/ bad teacher.

Some schools have mental policies.. for example at this college students could submit their work as many times as they want which lead to some students submitting the same piece 10 times for marking.. I think this is out the door now as they realised how stupid it was. Now my wife has unofficially told the students they have the opportunity for feedback twice before final submission.

Thanks very much for all the comments.. I hope things calm down for her soon.
Realise its a lot of hours and people do focus on the holidays but it's a bit of a trade off is it not?

Work long hours during term time, but rewarded with long holidays every year? (I'd say very long holidays)

A lot of jobs where people work late in the office etc, but only get 5 weeks holiday a year (most places don't give time in lieu for this extra time worked). Plus I guess it's one of those things you accept when starting a career that it's long hours if you want to do well and be good at what you do.
Kev - I get more holidays as a contractor than she does as a teacher... better pay too...

Anyhow, to the OP:
gov.uk/max…iew
my cousin just qualified and she mentioned the long hours, however it does get easier with time. the first yr is the longest in terms of work and prepping new lessons. second, third etc time round u know what to prepare or have material ready to go
Spinal333

Kev - I get more holidays as a contractor than she does as a teacher... … Kev - I get more holidays as a contractor than she does as a teacher... better pay too... Anyhow, to the OP:https://www.gov.uk/maximum-weekly-working-hours/overview



Not really a fair comparison is it? Contractors do get better pay, but you lack job security and so on and have to do your own taxes etc.

I was comparing to a full time employment job. And salary is kind of irrelevant, all jobs have different pay etc but the working hours for a full time employment can be compared.
KevClark1985

Not really a fair comparison is it? Contractors do get better pay, but … Not really a fair comparison is it? Contractors do get better pay, but you lack job security and so on and have to do your own taxes etc.I was comparing to a full time employment job. And salary is kind of irrelevant, all jobs have different pay etc but the working hours for a full time employment can be compared.



While I agree that it's not a fair comparison, neither is comparing holidays... when I was a permie, I was getting 33 days a year - which is 6 weeks (7 weeks if you play it right) + time-in-lieu when I had to work in the middle east (Sunday working). Is that a fair comparison? Not really - the point is, each profession has it's holiday allowance, teachers are lined up with the students. Same goes for salary, it shouldn't come into the equation - the OP's question was purely around working hours - which legally are limited to 48 hours per week.

The summer term is usually not as long as people thing... the school she works at asks teachers to be back 2 weeks before students (to prepare) and leave 2 weeks after students (to take down displays, meetings, and all sorts of time-consuming things).
Spinal333

While I agree that it's not a fair comparison, neither is comparing … While I agree that it's not a fair comparison, neither is comparing holidays... when I was a permie, I was getting 33 days a year - which is 6 weeks (7 weeks if you play it right) + time-in-lieu when I had to work in the middle east (Sunday working). Is that a fair comparison? Not really - the point is, each profession has it's holiday allowance, teachers are lined up with the students. Same goes for salary, it shouldn't come into the equation - the OP's question was purely around working hours - which legally are limited to 48 hours per week.The summer term is usually not as long as people thing... the school she works at asks teachers to be back 2 weeks before students (to prepare) and leave 2 weeks after students (to take down displays, meetings, and all sorts of time-consuming things).



agree to an extent but just pointing out there is an element of trade off, xmas, easter and summer time is guaranteed holidays (agree not as long as the perception is though but still pretty good amount of time off), in return you work more during term time (not ideal though but it's the way it is).

I think the OP's other half is in an unfortunate situation that is not fully because she is a teacher, not all teachers are working 60+ hours a week. Seems to be a combo of the normal extra work a teacher does, plus the other stuff piled on due to lack of staff etc. My comparisons were based on a 'normal' teachers workload.

To the OP - hope your wife finds some respite soon!
Banned
Most schools open about 830 till 330 minus hour for lunch = 6 hour day, So I guess teachers work a 30 hour week

Then they get a nice 12 weeks of holidays,

Their start wages are nearly 22k minimum

London fringe: £22,853 to £32,914
Outer London: £25,369 to £35,468
Inner London: £27,270 to £36,751
Rest of England and Wales: £21,804 to £31,868

Oh then they get a 7% pension to start rising to up to 11.2%

Then most of them get a nice health plan

Also most sign up to the NUT , a nice almost militant, left wing union that help them strike because all the above is not good enough for them. So when they should be setting an example and educating our children they're off crying and waving their red flags.

Unlike the rest of us that carry on day in day out in shops,warehouses,factories etc earning less than this in a lot of cases and barely complaining at all, as we try and get this country back in good shape again.

Yes, my heart bleeds for teachers.


Edited by: "Musician" 3rd Oct 2013
Musician

Most schools open about 830 till 330 minus hour for lunch = 6 hour day, … Most schools open about 830 till 330 minus hour for lunch = 6 hour day, So I guess teachers work a 30 hour weekThen they get a nice 12 weeks of holidays,Their start wages are nearly 22k minimum London fringe: £22,853 to £32,914 Outer London: £25,369 to £35,468 Inner London: £27,270 to £36,751 Rest of England and Wales: £21,804 to £31,868Oh then they get a 7% pension to start rising to up to 11.2% Then most of them get a nice health plan Also most sign up to the NUT , a nice almost militant, left wing union that help them strike because all the above is not good enough for them. So when they should be setting an example and educating our children they're off crying and waving their red flags.Unlike the rest of us that carry on day in day out in shops,warehouses,factories etc earning less than this in a lot of cases and barely complaining at all, as we try and get this country back in good shape again.Yes, my heart bleeds for teachers.



Musician, would love to know where your figures come from... SWMBO gets to work at 8:00, stays there until 18:00. She doesn't get a lunch break as such as she's asked to monitor the lunch room or playground while eating.

12 week holiday is actually 5-6 weeks...
Yes, what you say is normal but not acceptable. I lasted seven weeks as an NQT and then quit. Not worth the nervous breakdown.
My best wishes go to your wife.
It is an extremely difficult job. Those who can teach, I take my hat off to them. I couldn't handle the stress or workload.
Banned
5-6weeks is the summer holiday alone so I don't get how you come to that.

My figures are from the governments own website.

Sorry I don't believe she is asked to monitor every lunchtime, I'm sure they have assistants and rotas for that, perhaps the odd one she may have to muck in for.

Yes there's a few teachers that get in at 8 and go home at 5, must be awful for them. Yes there's a few that tick a few books in front of Eastenders, must be so hard. Yes there's a few that don't strike- respect +1 for that. Yes there's a few that go in on the odd inset day. There's also some that knock off at 3:30 everyday: my wife see's them going home when she picks the kids up. Sorry if my facts upset you, it's just the way it is though there's nothing not to like about the facts.
They got a 1% pay rise in September, most UK companies have had pay freezes for several years. British public are sick of hearing them bleat on about how hard they have it:They don't, comparatively to the rest of the world they have it easy. Get on with it and be grateful you have a well paid job with lots of good benefits. Remember it's the kids that are ultimately suffering.

Edited by: "Musician" 3rd Oct 2013
Banned
don't worry she'll have a day off soon when they strike
Well put sir.
Hours sound about right. Trouble is if they think that she is coping with this work they will not try and reduce it. She needs to tell them what she is doing.
Musician

5-6weeks is the summer holiday alone so I don't get how you come to … 5-6weeks is the summer holiday alone so I don't get how you come to that.My figures are from the governments own website. Sorry I don't believe she is asked to monitor every lunchtime, I'm sure they have assistants and rotas for that, perhaps the odd one she may have to muck in for.Yes there's a few teachers that get in at 8 and go home at 5, must be awful for them. Yes there's a few that tick a few books in front of Eastenders, must be so hard. Yes there's a few that don't strike- respect +1 for that. Yes there's a few that go in on the odd inset day. There's also some that knock off at 3:30 everyday: my wife see's them going home when she picks the kids up. Sorry if my facts upset you, it's just the way it is though there's nothing not to like about the facts. They got a 1% pay rise in September, most UK companies have had pay freezes for several years. British public are sick of hearing them bleat on about how hard they have it:They don't, comparatively to the rest of the world they have it easy. Get on with it and be grateful you have a well paid job with lots of good benefits. Remember it's the kids that are ultimately suffering.

Can't believe I've taken a break from marking 180 books (6 lessons a day x 30 pupils) to look on my favourite website to see your absolute rubbish. I don't know where to start - You mentioned something about a health plan? Is that the NHS? I am a state school teacher and I don't get anything. Our 1% is on the back of 3 years of pay freezes. Just remind me what part we've played in the credit crunch and what wealth we were able to create? You have to appreciate that every society needs public servants and they need to be paid. So sorry I'm not prepared to work for free.

Yes my lessons begin at half 8 and finish at half 3. But as previous posters have written it is IMPOSSIBLE to mark all books within this time. Take a better look at those teachers who leave at half 3. More than likely they are carrying an enormous bag with over a hundred books. No teachers are complaining about how bad they have it - they are complaining about how bad it will become. I have worked for over 7 years in insurance/banking and the workload of teachers does not compare. Ever. I could go on and on and on, but then again, I haven't the time.
Original Poster
Hi mooruk and others who have cared to comment. It's a shame there are some who comment on something they know nothing of and ruin it for the rest.. just don't be dragged down to their low.
I'm a teacher, I have 30 to teach. I get to work at about 7am and stay at work until 5pm. I tend to manage half an hour for my lunch but no other breaks. So 9.5 hours a day plus half an hour lunch.

I work most evenings from 8.30 (when my kids go to bed) until midnight.

I don't work Friday nights or Saturdays, but work all day Sunday every week (with the odd browse of the internet thrown in to alleviate boredom!)

Holidays - The single week half term holidays (3 of) I work straight through to catch up and plan as much as I can for the future.

Christmas and Easter I have a weeks holiday and a week of work.

In the summer holidays I work the first and last week and have 4 weeks in the middle of actual holiday.

So in reality I have about 6 weeks holiday in total, I work 6 days a week for approximately 12 hours a day, so somewhere in the region of 72 hours a week.


Oh for the OP NQT time is usually 10% not 25%
redarrowrules

Also teachers complain about a lot of marking to do a night. But what are … Also teachers complain about a lot of marking to do a night. But what are they doing during class hours when the class is working on something? I recall a lot of teachers when I was at school would sit at their desk working on something, are they not marking?Not trying to attack teachers, just wondering.



I work with quite young children, a lesson is made up of:
A quick warm up activity
Full class exposition
Children to activities - one group is a guided group that I work with
Plenary

So not a second during a lesson to do any marking or prep.

A normal day is made up of:

Kids come in at 8.45 (try to hear two readers while the others do a wake up activity)
Registration
Assembly - If I'm not doing assembly then I will hear readers during assembly
Lesson 1
Phonics
Break time (set up for next lesson)
Lesson 2
Lunch time (hear some readers, tidy from the morning - set up for the afternoon)
Afternoon lessons - sometimes I get some time whilst children are all occupied with activities (during this time I hear readers)
Home time

I do after school clubs, we have staff meetings, or planning meetings. I also have to put up work and prepare resources.

We have to hear every child read at least once a week, plus we have some daily readers, who need to be heard every day.

Before anyone thinks that hearing readers is easy - I have to listen to them read, give them high frequency words to practise at home, check the HFW, question the children, write a comment and cross reference against our assessment criteria, write a comment for parents and teach them strategies to support their reading.

The good thing is I enjoy the teaching! Could give a miss to all the rest of the baggage that comes with it though!
nbuuifx

Oh for the OP NQT time is usually 10% not 25%



I think that's added to the 10% PPA we all have to get a little nearer the OP's 25%
Evilmonkey

I think that's added to the 10% PPA we all have to get a little nearer … I think that's added to the 10% PPA we all have to get a little nearer the OP's 25%



It should be a statutory 10% PPA + 10% NQT.

Ours give 2 hours PPA and 2 hours NQT.
It is hard work, the OH is a primary teacher, she works the standard day, then comes home and does planning etc from around 5-10. This is the same every night, we have 1 day together which is the saturday, the sunday she has to plan again. Even in the holidays its the same, she is planning nearly all the time, it annoys me when people think its so easy. Instead of winging about how easy their jobs are, go to uni for 3 years be an NQT for a year then start teaching properly and see how easy it is......
Banned
those who can do do, those who cant teach.....

teachers chose to do what they do so should get on with it or get a different job....

striking only affects working parents and makes them resent teachers more
Banned
Daaaavvveee

It is hard work, the OH is a primary teacher, she works the standard day, … It is hard work, the OH is a primary teacher, she works the standard day, then comes home and does planning etc from around 5-10. This is the same every night, we have 1 day together which is the saturday, the sunday she has to plan again. Even in the holidays its the same, she is planning nearly all the time, it annoys me when people think its so easy. Instead of winging about how easy their jobs are, go to uni for 3 years be an NQT for a year then start teaching properly and see how easy it is......



she could always stack shelf's, oh but then you wouldn't have anything to moan about
sumo999

she could always stack shelf's, oh but then you wouldn't have anything to … she could always stack shelf's, oh but then you wouldn't have anything to moan about



Some people aspire to be more than shelf stackers, she has worked hard for it so deserves more. She hates the fact people are striking due to the kids not being able to be taught, but even though they were on strike she still had to do her planning for most the day.
Banned
3 years of partying in uni to learn how to stick glitter on a picture and read noddy books, must be so hard ? Not sure how much "planning" that would take either, it's the same as what most parents do with their kids daily anyway. Sorry, I really have nothing against anyone wanting to be a teacher, but it's the incessant complaining they do about their conditions and pay, when really they have it easier than the vast majority of people and are far better paid for their "work".
It's almost as if they actually believe they are special or work harder than anyone else does, some schools now the teachers only go in for 3 days and kids have different teachers on different days. You would think they would set a better example instead of teaching kids that striking is right because you can't get your own way.
Edited by: "Musician" 6th Oct 2013
Just come across this thread and just wanted to say how hard most teachers do work. No I'm not one but my wife is and over the last 25 years her workload has increased time and time again. I have found it irritating over the years when people go on about the holidays. Most half-decent teachers go in during the holidays anyway to plan ahead, take down old displays, put up new ones etc (rather than keep the same old stuff for five or ten years as some here seem to think). Anyway, each to their own.

I don't hear that many teachers gripe about their lot to be fair but I do hear a lot of people who are NOT teachers gripe about how easy teachers have it. More than once I have said to people I have worked with that if we all wanted the long holidays we should have applied to be teachers rather than just moan about it. Most teachers I know take real pride and care in looking after those in their care. I hope things improve for your other half soon TheGimp.
sumo999

those who can do do, those who cant teach.....teachers chose to do what … those who can do do, those who cant teach.....teachers chose to do what they do so should get on with it or get a different job....striking only affects working parents and makes them resent teachers more



Or have Maggie as an avatar and have astonishing views!
Whoaaaa. Don't forget the extra holidays called Teacher training days. Still my friend is a teacher and hats off to you guys for dealing with some of the little darlings nowadays. I couldn't be a teacher as I'd slap the life out of some of these kids. My children are being brought up to be polite, respectful and caring.

But teachers. Keep up the good work and I for one know how restricted you are and how to be a teacher you must have the patience of a saint.
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