Wednesday, January 18, 2012

TEACHERS: Email your actual working hours to the Education Minister

My friend Tor has started up a rather marvellous Facebook group encouraging we teachers to all email Michael Gove to let him know how much time we put into our jobs outside of our normal teaching load.

Gove announced a few days ago that he wants to lengthen the school day, open schools on Saturdays, and reduce the school holidays.  He has bizarrely (and patronisingly) suggested that teachers would welcome the increased workload:
“If you love your job then there is, I think, absolutely nothing to complain about in making sure you have more of a chance to do it well.”
I do actually quite like my job most of the time, but there's only so much being-in-charge-of-twenty-plus-children I can actually physically and mentally cope with.  The two main reasons I became part time were:

  1. I wanted to achieve other things for my own personal satisfaction and not just spend all my time being a teacher.
  2. I was exhausted all of the time when I used to be full time and it made me hate my job.

The real effect of these proposed changes, of course, would be to demoralise and tire teachers out even more, making many of them worse at their jobs, and put more pressure on students to achieve ever increasing numbers of qualifications.

Schools would be under more pressure to achieve and maintain their league table positions, exacerbating the culture we already have of teaching children to pass more and more exams at ever increasing rates without ever actually educating them.

So obviously I think "The Reality of a Teacher's Day" group is a super idea.  If you know any teachers please do let them know about it.  If you're a teacher yourself then start submitting those timesheets!

Here's my latest email to the Education Minister:

To: ministers@education.gsi.gov.uk


Dear Mr Gove

Please find below my teacher's overtime for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Sorry I'm emailing Tuesday's in late - I was delayed on my way home on public transport and had to rush my dinner before going off to do a three hour course I'm taking in the evening.

Name: Phil Hatchard
Job: Teacher of Maths, The Quest Academy

Time spent working outside of school hours, Tuesday 17 January 2012

Planning and resource creation *before* school started: 1 hour.
Lunchbreak spent continuing to teach students who still required extra help: 20 minutes
Planning/marking after school: 1 hour 15 minutes
Emailing my jobshare teacher on progress made in day: 5 minutes
Total: 2 hours 40 minutes

Time spent working outside of school hours, Wednesday 18 January 2012

Planning and resource creation before school started: 30 minutes
Comics and Creative Writing club: 1 hour
Planning/marking after school: 40 minutes
Logging merits for the pupils who performed well today and emailing their tutors to inform them: 30 minutes
Emailing my jobshare teacher on progress made in day: 10 minutes
Making a congratulatory phone call to a parent: 10 minutes
Total: 3 hours

Total overtime hours so far this week: 10 hours 40 minutes
(Note: Remember, you'll have to scale this up by 67% to calculate the full time equivalent as I'm part time on a 0.6 timetable.)

Hope you're finding this data useful!

Yours sincerely

Phil Hatchard

[picture via asphalt classroom]

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