This week in the eteach office we have been talking about Mothering Sunday and which jobs fit well with family life. In the past teaching has been seen to be a career that fits well, with teachers being able to take holidays with their children and not have to worry about getting family or friends to cover the long vacations. I remember my own mother who was a teacher all her life, always being able to collect us after school and was rarely aware of her job affecting our family life.
Today in the light of the curriculum, assessment and after school activities I do not feel the original advantages associated with this job still exist in the same way. Large chunks of weekends are now spent creating huge amounts of planning and preparing for the coming week. Holidays are spent catching up with reports, assessment and filing and coordinator work. I have spent two weeks of my summer holiday washing lego and equipment in my new Reception class, because building work from the summer holiday had covered the whole lot in dust. Not fun I can tell you!
I believe that we need more teachers who are parents in education because they bring a wealth of additional experience to the job that can only benefit both pupils and schools. I look back on my own career and even though I felt I did a good job I would certainly have a greater empathy with parents and their concerns for their children had I been a parent then.
Finally I think schools could be missing a trick. All the working mums I know are extremely efficient and professional with their time. Rather than over looking them for posts because they can’t give you 24/7, how about thinking outside the box and offering more job shares or part time roles? I bet you would find them more effective for time they are with you and their maturity a real support for the younger staff.
Are you a parent looking to find a teaching role that fits in with your family life? Eteach offers many part time positions on our website. If you are a working parent let us know what you look for from a school you want to work in. Do you thinking teaching still works well with family life?