7th September 2007 at 01:00

I have just started my probation year and since my third day I've been given extra classes to co-op teach and my overall class contact time is now 17.5 hours. I know the maximum class contact time probationers are meant to have is 0.7 of the full contract, therefore, 15.75 hours. Is this the case for all probationers? If I was to complain would I come across as an "unwilling to take one for the team" type of teacher? Or, am I being overworked and underpaid?


It's up to you whether you choose to complain or not. The school has to adhere to it, but sometimes this isn't possible. This has been the case with me too. I've decided not to complain as I'm only a couple of hours over, and the school has been so supportive in other ways. In the uncertain job climate, I don't want to be seen as one who can't be flexible everyone tends to bend the rules now and again.


You shouldn't get please takescovers at all during your probation year. The exception is the last month. When there's give and take in a school, many people do go over their 0.7. However, there should be no pressure to do so. It should be out of choice and should benefit your development, rather than just be a staffing-desperation issue. The problem is when many probationers judge others for wishing to stick to the 0.7. Everyone is under different pressures, has different classes and so on and anyone is entitled to say no to going over it.


The whole point of the probationary year is to give our future teachers the best possible start. Schools are funded for the probationers they get. Due to the way the system works, they sometimes get additional funding for probationers, that is, "buy one, get one free". Probationers should have no compunction about asking to be treated in the way they should be treated.

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