Yes I finish at 3.20. I jump straight in the car and drive home so I can maximise my time with my kids. This is something that I feel fortunate about. But I don't drive alone. I am accompanied by books or paperwork. In fact I spend around 1.5 hours working on 4 nights a week. I'm not full time, I only work two and a half days a week. If I didn't have the kids I would stay at work till 5 or 6 to get the job done, but I would rather see the kids. I know that's my choice, but it means that when the kids are bathed and storied up, and I have gone snoozy from breastfeeding, I descend the stairs and get the books out. Not exactly first on my list of things I would like to do in the evening. When you consider that I arrive at work at 8, I have already worked a 7.5 hour day, so add it all up and it starts to make me feel even more worn out.
And the holidays? Well, yes they are great. But teachers work in the holidays. Sure we also relax, but you know what, I am burnt out by then and I need the break. But the joy I used to get from a bit of a rest in the holidays along with a few days of hard graft to get myself caught up is tempered somewhat. I have to look after the kids, so there again I have to work in the evenings, or when I can get somebody to watch the kids. And resting? Well any parent knows that is rare.
I don't mean to complain. I consider myself lucky. I have a great job. I am lucky that i have more flexibility in my work than most working mums. I am passionate about teaching and really happy in what I do. It's fun, creative, rewarding, busy and the students are just great....But teaching is a real slog. I don't take breaks now that I don't express at work. I work any chance I get at home so that I can keep on top of things. So while I have the benefits of choosing when I work a little bit, I suffer from an industry where a great deal of 'overtime' is necessary.
What is my point....I'm not entirely sure. If you are a parent and thinking of being a teacher, it's not all rosy. If you know a teacher, be nice to them. Being a working mum of any profession isn't easy, and being a teacher is certainly not as easy as public perception would make you believe. Also, I promise I will blog more now that the heavy marking season is over xxx