Thursday 5 November 2009

Teachers have it easy

Herein lies a rant about my job.

My pet hate about my job is when people make assumptions about my time. They assume that, because I finish teaching at 2.50 every day and get 13 weeks' holiday a year, life is easy.

I spend a LOT of time justifying the hours I work, usually alone, in my car, during long drives home. Tonight I had a course in Salisbury after work and didn't get in until 7.15, so I had plenty of time to do some sums.

Here are today's sums.

I teach 40 hours a fortnight (out of 50). That's about half of a full time job, in teaching hours. That sounds easy enough, right? Oh wait, there's the marking but that can hardly take any time can it?

OK, well, now let's consider it closer. Let's think about one KS3 class: I teach them 3 hours a fortnight. That's 60 hours a year, roughly. For every 3 hours of teaching, I have to mark the books - an hour each time; I also have to mark 5 assessments and an exam throughout the year, maybe 90 minutes each; so that's 29 hours to add. Then planning. I reckon, after 6 years of teaching, I only take about 20 minutes to plan a lesson, including all the photocopying and making the resources; so another hour a fortnight, and we're up to 49 hours a year. Plus 3 for parents' evening. Plus 2 for writing reports; now we're at 54, and then there are the detentions, the phone calls and letters to parents, the chats with tutors/heads of year. That's 60 hours. So, for every hour I teach, I do another hour for that class; and now that's a full time job.

Big whoop, I still get 13 weeks' holiday, right?

OK...(it was a LONG drive home)....4 weeks of holiday would be normal, so let's look at 9 weeks, 40 hours a week, 360 hours to find.
Role as a tutor: 3 and a half hours a week, plus a parents evening = 143 hours
Faculty/tutor/staff meetings/briefings: 2 hours a fortnight, plus line management, an hour a fortnight, plus open evening (directed time, hateful), 2 hours = 62 hours
Training courses (like the one I did tonight) = 15 hours a year, approximately
Break/bus duties = 11 hours

231 hours. My 9 weeks of extra holiday now looks more like 3 weeks - and I haven't even mentioned the residentials yet. I'm doing 5 residentials this year, giving up a total of 6 weekends and one full week of holiday, not to mention the paperwork I have to spend time doing, the courses I have to attend and the meetings I have to have about them. Of course, that's my choice. I'm hardly complaining about residentials - I love them. But if you add all that on - well, look! I don't even get 4 weeks of holiday a year. And that's not even considering other extra-curricular activities, time spent endlessly updating development plans and self-evaluation forms, or any of the admin and work I do for my TLR post.

Here endeth the rant. And funnily enough, I am loving my job at the moment (though it's still as tough as it was when I was not loving it so much last term), and nobody has said anything to upset me. I just thought I'd work it out.

I can tell you're finding this scintillating. Tomorrow: a break down of how long I spend each year doing my hair and make up, shopping, knitting and bathing.

Not really, promise.

1 comment:

Christine E-E said...

I followed this link from another post! people don't understand the "real life" of educators.
One of my girlfriends & I were talking recently - she said, "what have you been reading lately?"
I said, "Queen Bees & Wannabes" by Rosalind Wiseman.
"ummm... is that like "The Secret Life of Bees" she asked.
"No, I'm reading material for a training I'm conducting for middle school staff"... I said.
"EWW - can't you just read normal stuff? why are you always working?" she questioned. "This is summer! read something fun, trashy, not work-related!"
I put my hand up, "I don't have time during the school year. I'm planning my professional development trainings for August..." my voice trailed off...
The conversation ended when she said, "You need to get a LIFE!"

ummm... I like my LIFE - people just don't understand the field of education...