Top 10 Reasons To Leave Teaching: Number 2: Extremely High Workload

Following on from the previous blog post, I have already mentioned the amount of paperwork a teacher has to deal with. For me, it was 20,000 words worth of writing per half term, or 120,000 words per year: the equivalent of my undergraduate dissertation every half term. Aside from writing or research, I can’t think of any other profession, certainly not one where the majority of the work is practical as in teaching, that expects this level of paper work.

It isn’t just paperwork either, there are many extra tasks to complete that aren’t centred around teaching, learning and planning. Parents evenings, open evenings, school trips, performances, matches, CPD, meetings, photocopying, contacting parents and other external agencies, etc. It all adds up and all adds strain.

The common conception is that teacher’s have a lot of time off and a lot of holidays. Here is the link again I posted previously that shows how incorrect this is: A lot of teachers report working between 60-70 hours per week, which is not uncommon in professional positions, but is uncommon at entry level and at this level of pay.

Whatever the status or level of financial compensation, this amount of hours, which must be at least 12 a day, has a lot of repercussions on a person’s life. Even with no outside of work commitments, and with a total devotion to a job (unhealthy in it’s own right) this amount of work will mean tiredness, a reduction in job performance as well as encouraging obsessive and workaholic tendencies.

When a normal person’s life is considered, one with friends, family and children then the implications get serious. Relationships may suffer, once in a lifetime moments in kid’s lives are missed, hobbies get abandoned and all for what? To get that extra column on the new proforma filled in. This is expected to take precedence over all of those things.

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