Workload is not a contest

18th November 2011 at 00:00

I am a primary teacher and have recently been a teaching head in a small school. While I understand the workload issues of the PT modern languages in her letter "A 35 hour week? If Only" (7 October), I do feel that there tends to be a culture among teachers of almost trying to outdo each other in the number of hours worked.

As committed and enthusiastic teachers, we could all spend our whole lives on work-related activities - there is always something more we could do in terms of planning, responding, consulting, resource-gathering, research etc - but each of us is also entitled to life beyond teaching, including spending time with family and friends, leisure pursuits and relaxation.

We should not feel guilty if we are able to say "this is good enough" and to keep to a working week of 35 hours - or even 45 hours - if that is our choice, and if the quality of learning and teaching in our class is not compromised.

We may even have more to offer as we are less stressed, physically and emotionally healthier and have happier families.

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