The working culture in teaching is impossible for mums

Jul 26, 2015 by

 drained teacher

My students get every bit of me and I would never want to give less. But it’s unfair that my own children suffer so I’ve decided to quit

Imagine the scene. I’m racing down the motorway, pedal to the metal, desperately trying to get to my daughter’s school. I’m running half an hour late for one of the most important events in the school calendar: parents’ evening. When I finally arrive, I pat myself down to try and look presentable, before scrambling into a seat next to my husband. I mouth “sorry” as I join the meeting, which is already in full flow.

In recent months I have been absent from countless events – from my children’s football matches to their school plays. The reason is ironic: it’s because I am a teacher. I struggle to find time to spend with my family because of the 12-hour days I am expected to work. My students get every bit of me and I would never want to give any less – but it seems unfair that my own children have to suffer.

It’s all the usual things that are tying me down: data and tracking progress, endless marking, pressure to prepare for Ofsted and proving that my pupils are working at the right level. But it’s not just the workload that makes it impossible for me to be there for my children. My main gripe is that there’s no flexibility about when my work gets done. There is a culture of staying until all hours, which means I can’t pick my children up from school or make them dinner. I am happy to do the work, but it doesn’t seem like a massive ask to leave on time every now and then, and finish bits off at home.

Source: Secret Teacher: the working culture in teaching is impossible for mums | Teacher Network | The Guardian

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