Subject overload

1st October 2004 at 01:00
Q: What precisely is meant by "unreasonable demands"? I am trained in leisure and tourism, though I am teaching four subjects - business studies, leisure, geography and ICT.

I teach 25 out of 30 lessons and very frequently find myself in five different classrooms in a single day. I never seem to have enough time to set up the necessary equipment - overhead projectors or books, for instance. I feel totally inadequate, ill-prepared and so fed up that I'm considering whether this job is really for me. Any advice?

A: Your headteacher is clearly making unreasonable demands of you on perhaps three counts. For one thing, you should not be teaching subjects in which you are not trained, so you need to drop them or be given additional support and preparation time. Check that your "25 out of 30" lessons represents 90 per cent of the normal timetable for a class teacher. It seems to me that moving around so much is crazy, too. Raise these issues verbally and in writing with your induction tutor, then the head, then the appropriate body at the local education authority. You and your pupils deserve better.

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