General Chat Thread, NUT Strike 24th April in General; Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
Fair enough point about KS1 and 2 ... though some primary friends would strenously disagree ...
3rd April 2008, 01:49 AM #46
Of course some will disagree, I'm generalising based on the experience of teachers I know and have had experience of.
Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
Procedures are in place. The procedure that exists is: if you want to buy anything related to ICT, speak to me and I'll check it out. This is supported by my boss (bursar). However, many teachers simply ignore it.
Teachers and the wrong tools ... why are they allowed to buy those tools? Why don't they go through you? Failings of Senior Leadership or yourself to put the proper processes in place should not be thrown back at teachers. (ok .. a bit heavy there but just to show that just because it does not work for you the way it should it does not mean that others should be labelled that way.)
That's the thing, I just can't see that their workload is as high as they are making out any more. Yes, targets are changing constantly - but so is ICT, so are health and safety rules, so are the accounting rules. And we have a very good SMT here, which provides support to teachers very well.
Teachers get stressed because of workload; lack of support from further up the chain; having to deal with the kids, their parents and the general public; the mad drive to meet Govt targets and changing Govt agendas (which can often conflict with one another depending on whether you work closely with the LA or people like SSAT!)
No, they aren't unique. But I've yet to come across any other profession where planning properly is seen as a luxury and is skipped so often as it is in teaching.
Yes, teachers get stressed if someone is wrong because they failed to plan properly ... they are not unique like that. It affects us to ...
We have 35 teachers in our school, I would hazard a guess that only a fifth of them are in at 8. The rest appear either at 8:30 or just before. They do not have to teach lunchtime groups - this is purely voluntary, and has the advantage they get free lunch if they do. Meetings - we all have meetings, not just teachers.
And as for having to do call-outs, parents' evenings ... you can get paid for it or time off in lieu ... if you don't they have a strong word with your union rep about your contract. Don't get taken advantage of. Teachers are known to start work at 8 (catching up with parents dropping kids off), have a complete day teaching ... have to do the morning break duty as part of a roster, teach a lunchtime group and them have meetings in the evening finishing at 5 upwards (in spite of union guidelines saying no more than one meeting a week of 1 hour max!)
And I agree with the whole parents evenings thing, but it is not as simple as that. Life isn't as easy as complaining to your union and the school rolling over.
My father is a teacher, so I know all about the stress. He used to work long hours but he changed over night and decided that enough was enough and now is nowhere near as bad as he was. Sure he still has all the extra bits to do, as he is a dept head KS3, GCSE and A-Level teacher but I still wouldn't say he worked more hours than the average full time member of staff. (And he is an outstanding teacher as well). This is what I mean about a lot of the stress being created by the teachers themselves. They seem to be stressed for stressed sake in many cases, and there is no need for it.
Yes ... I am married to a teacher and slightly biased on this ... I have worked in a school where teachers were employed to stay onsite until 5, but tended to be there until 6 to work with students ... I have seen the stress, the burnout, the evening and holiday work. I am not saying everyone is like that ... but that is the direction that the Govt is pushing for teachers to go ... extended schools ... VLEs ... home access ... students can learn anytime, anywhere.
I would simply say I disagree - teachers are shafted no more than any other industry.
Yes ... teachers know they are getting shafted and will be shafted even more in the next couple of years.
Nope, we got 'Good with Outstanding factors' in our ofsted a couple of months back - and the only reason we didn't get outstanding as a whole was down to some bizarre stuff happening with tracking of progress.
Originally Posted by contink
I know this is going to sound harsh, but that simply points to it being a bad school (which is not the norm) and as such your fiance should be looking at finding another job.
Most of the very real stress I've seen in my fiancee and other friends or colleagues in the profession have been a direct result of poor or downright criminal management through a wide variety of problems, none of their own making. Sure they whinge from time to time about silly stuff, but high blood pressure at 27 and another seriously considering anti-depressants to cope is hardly someone forgetting to check that powerpoint is working for the lesson.
No, it adds bias too I'm afraid. You are seeing things from a person who you are emotionally attached to's point of view. This is why ofsted is done by external people, as there is no attachment to anyone.
Just because we're married to or marrying to a teacher doesn't just make us biased it makes us better informed.
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3rd April 2008, 02:01 AM #47
The generalisation is based on experience. And as it is a generalisation, there will of course be edge cases.
Originally Posted by contink
True, but exam pressures are a lot more stressful than those general subject teaching issues.
1. KS1 and KS2... You have to be able to teach ALL the curriculum which means mastering the materials for a wide range of subjects, planning, etc... and dealing with all the latest initiatives.
Sorry, but if they are working such long hours then they *must* be doing something wrong. No KS2 teacher should be working those sort of hours at all - the entire point of the changes to teaching in the last few years is supposed to have got rid of that. I would not say that any of our KS2 teachers work those hours! And we get good progress in KS2.
2. KS2 is positively brimming with work especially in year 6. SATs ring any bells? The work involved is monumental especially as this is the schools statistics score talking... The pressure is unbelievable for these teachers and I know at least 2 staff in two different schools who work five 14 hour days pretty much all the time.
I did exactly that - I work in a middle school so have contact with KS2 and KS3 teachers.
Perhaps it'd be worth basing your opinions of primary teachers from actual extended periods of observation and action instead of falling back on the old generalisations of little kids = less responsibility/work/etc...
Not all teachers take PGCE's, there are many that do straight teaching degrees and other training. However, I do agree that the PGCE is a stressful course. I agree that the workload in it is very high, but then I also see that they get funded to do the course, and get a golden handshake after their NQT year. So, swings and roundabouts really.
3. NQT's invariably arrive after their PGCE which is a year of unmitigated hell where a social life is non-existent because of all the paperwork and the NQT year is no better...
That is exactly what it is. That is some of our's argument - that adding the hours that teachers do up doesn't mean they work more hours than full-time members of staff such as network managers, site managers etc...
Heck after all that wouldn't you go on a 4 week holiday, think of it as time in lieu...
That is something that I can agree on. Too many statistics. But, as the government says, if you are teaching well, the statistics should be there anyway shouldn't they?
Sure I'm biased... it'd be nice to have more in the house account but frankly I think my fiancee and many others would be happier if the job was actually about educating and not about filling out some stupid statistics report.
3rd April 2008, 02:02 AM #48
@contink - how about people BORN in this country with no skills to speak of sponging a free ride ? they still massively outweigh the number of migrants receiving benefit. They used to call the nhs cradle to the grave care. I think that should be changed to DWP cradle to grave care.
The trouble with NUT saying that teachers can't afford to get on the property ladder. Unfortunately that's the case for us under 35's working in either public sector or private sector across the board. I think the issue of affordability is not necessarily down to an individuals income say a teacher on 25k a year.......but about household income. What concerns me is the single income families or couples (yes Gordon some of those still do exist in this day and age) don't have the luxury of a backup income and 50K+ joint incomes. So while a lot of working couples can afford the large mortgage in the desirable postcodes....the single income working family have to make do with HA stock or lower mortgage for properties in less desirable areas. Thus restricting social mobility to a matter of how much you earn.
You can call that market forces if you will, but it's a very sinister market forces,where those that can afford to can buy into a lifestyle and a future for their children whereas those that can't have to take that risk with their childrens future by living in more deprived areas.
Thanks to torledo from:
localzuk (3rd April 2008)
3rd April 2008, 02:26 AM #49
slightly biased ?
Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
You talk about an 8 to 6 working day as if we're talking about a junior doctor working in the nhs in the early 80's working 16 hour shifts.
Please, there are a ton of jobs i consider more stressful than what you've described, and yes people get burnout but they don't rely on anti-depressants or have the whiney, shoulder to cry on mentality of the teaching profession.
I'm not going to sit here and say that dealing with children and they're parents isn't a difficult task and that the job requires specific skillset.....but why are teachers THE story when it comes to being hard done by. As i've said before my brother regularly does 12 hour days, that's before motorway time to and from work, and he spends a lot more than an hour a week in meetings, and he's got a lot of targets to meet, but he puts his head down and get's on with it. He doesn't expect nor demand job security and 2.45% pay rises, neither of which btw is guaranteed.
It's fine saying that you want to argue for better pay and conditions for all public sector workers, but i think when you talk about us supporting teachers...they as a body as a profession need to do more to get us on side.
Some of the teachers i've worked with have often complained they have trouble getting a good nights sleep....is that because they had a medical condition or were over stressed ? No, it was because they didn't exert themselves enough during the day. My dad used to say when he heard about someone needing sleeping pills that they should spend a day filling an entire skip with rubble, then they'd have no trouble sleeping like a baby. Maybe teachers should be forced into doing some real work instead of tea and sympathy.
3rd April 2008, 08:00 AM #50
Some of these posts put me in mind of bisley69. Can't dig up the original posts tho'.
aha! Here it is
Last edited by beeswax; 3rd April 2008 at 08:12 AM.
3rd April 2008, 08:22 AM #51
Just thought I'd clarify something:-
I do think teachers, like all public sector staff, should be getting a better yearly pay increase, linked to the RPI (4.5% or more at the moment).
What I don't agree with is the attitude that teachers are hard done by, or have a poor starting pay when compared to other jobs. This attitude may have been correct 10 years ago, but not any more.
3rd April 2008, 08:53 AM #52
hey, what gives ?
Originally Posted by beeswax
That lot over at TES can use the word 'arsewipe' whereas here swearing of any kind isn't tolerated. Even in FFS. FFS.!!!
3rd April 2008, 09:17 AM #53
Actually that was the exact point I was trying to make... I wasn't on the "migrants = bad, wasters, etc" kick. Obviously wasn't clear enough.
Originally Posted by torledo
3rd April 2008, 09:18 AM #54
You may be right about schools being able to get rid of teachers, but IMHO they just don't - and these and the other points above are due to SMT not being able to cope with the workload and extra responsibility - and also the amount of management training is minuscule so they really have been promoted to their highest level of incompetence. Obviously this does not apply to all teachers but I do think that there is a lack of cohesive direction in the management of the schools in which I work.(first and middle). The two schools of which I am governor (middle (different one, same pyramid) and upper) seem to have a slightly better handle on it but even then I feel that there is a fatally flawed mix of business and public service in both places.
Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
Teaching is not an easy job, and not one that I could ever do, and there are many problems with the way things are going - ridiculous changes of direction by government, high levels of paperwork, lack of support etc - but I am not sure that more pay is really going to address these issues in any meaningful way. Especially given that the pay is not *that* bad in comparison to private sector jobs (see earlier comment).
I have asked around and most of the teachers I know would far rather something was done about the problems as mentioned above, than the salary. All they want to do is get on and teach - and this is what they feel they are being stopped from doing at present. They feel that a call for more pay is masking the real issue which is that little Jonny isn't being taught because the teacher is filling in a stupid form!
3rd April 2008, 09:26 AM #55
I don't think it's a question of do they deserve the rise, so much as a question of do they deserve it at the expense of other, probably more deserving, people?
There's a limited pot of money, and I don't think they have the greatest need.
I decided to work in a school because I wanted to help, I often work extra hours without pay, and I've even 'forgotten' to claim when I've been offered pay for a specific out of hours job. Apart from one occasion, I've never even taken time in lieu.
I exercise restraint - I want other people to exercise restraint too - why should the people with the loudest voices always get everything?
I know that pay rises (above productivity increases) are, in themselves, inflationary. I know that if we all get pay increases, the increase in the costs of goods will offset this, but if the teachers get an increase, and I don't, then they won't be any better off, but I'll be worse off.
To cap it all, as a low paid worker, I've just had my income tax rate doubled from 10p in the pound to 20p in the pound. I've just joined Unison in the last month, so I may have a word with my rep to see if they know anything about tax credits, because it looks like a hand-out is the only way to offset this. (Why the government sees the need to take the money from me, pay for someone to look at it, then hand me it back I don't know.)
3rd April 2008, 09:59 AM #56
I was a graduate, I started on 12k, moved up to 15k. Don't see my prospects for getting anywhere close to TEACHER starting pay happening any time soon, let alone above that mark. Fair pay? Where's the fair pay for us underpaid fools who slave round the clock to make the lives of Teachers even more easy?
3rd April 2008, 10:09 AM #57
I think it is one of those areas that there are very good teachers that do put the extra effort, for who the 13 weeks holiday are well deserved and could do with a lot more money. But that would be like saying every footballer shoudl be on ManU player fees.
As others have said, during the summer here we have about 5 teachers in a lot during holidays (& 3 of those admit it is because they are sad, unorganised and like it when it is empty) until probably the week before coming back when it will ramp up to maybe 10-15 and then the day before maybe half the staff.
Someone mentioned that all we do is make our lives easier so we don't ahve to leave the office. well that in turn makes the Teachers and students lives easier as we can diagnose adn fix things quicker. Also maybe some teachers shoudl follow the same idea. Many don't make it easy on themselves & as such the extra stress & problems. Take the teacher who phoned up today to say she needed a youTube video for her lesson today she found last night. When I said sorry youTube is filtered, even we can't get at it, she got in a flap about her lesson. Now we haven't just filtered the site, it has always been, yet she decided the night before to base her lesson on something she didn't know she could or couldn't get. If she had come a week ago, or even beginning of the week I would have downloaded it at home and sent it in & her life would suddenly have become infinitely easier. We make our lives easier to make users lives easier and so we can do more, I don't think that should be held against us or used as an insult.
As for there not being the same level of stress or accountability in our jobs. You obviously haven't had someone manage to take out SIMS in the middle of the day, with every lesson registers in place, everyone trying to findout what is wrong, the office braying for blood as they can't get any information and the head wondering if you could possibly fix it soon as.
But as in any sector some make a job look immensley tricky and complicated. Some teachers have got it down on pat, have the resources at their finger tips, have good time management and get along all right. Others bumble along from one panic to another, complaining that photocopier is broken again when they need it right now, or this isn't in place, or that isn't where they expected it to be. This also shows up a problem with the teacher training. I have had some friends becoming mentors int he school and it is damend near impossible to fail a student who is rubbish. The Uni tutors conspire and manipulate to force the student through leaving a teacher that is so called qualified ready to be dumped on a school.
I think yearly raises should be fair, I think good teachers should be rewarded. But I think bad teachers and teachers that are happy to coast along waiting for the pension should get a rude awakening.
3rd April 2008, 10:15 AM #58
Very true, the public sector has historically been paid less then the private sector. The reason usually given is job security pension etc.
Originally Posted by Diello
However these benefits do not allow you to get a mortgage this is because in this country successive governments have used house prices to support the economy, most other European countries do not have the tradition of home ownership and their economies are not dependent on the population getting massively in debt.
In order to change the way we and all public sector workers are paid is for a totally different approach by politicians.... and we all know how risk averse they are! Because they only think in 5 year cycles in order to cling onto power.
Sorry if this appears to be a rant against our politicians it isn't it is my observations.
3rd April 2008, 10:18 AM #59
My niece, a recently qualified junior doctor IS still working 16-18 hour shifts in her hospital..... on a starting salary of around £26k after studying for 5 years.....
Originally Posted by torledo
3rd April 2008, 10:26 AM #60
At the school where my wife works (as a science technician) one of her teacher colleagues was complaining recently about having spent a 'whole weekend' writing the case for his 'threshold' payment. Not a bad two days work for several thousand pounds annual increase!
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