Working above and beyond

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by smile, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. smile

    smile Companion

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    Jan 12, 2007

    I've been teaching for several years now and I always work above and beyond my work hours. I practically take the whole class home on a daily basis. I come in early and stay late.

    I know some of my co-workers don't take things home or work more than their required hours. How do they do that????:confused:

    I was wondering does anyone take work home during the day, weekends, holiday, vacation? How about working more than your contract hours?
     
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  3. GatorGal

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    Jan 13, 2007

    A friend of mine who is a teacher (i am not..*yet*, so I can't personally answer your question), gets somewhat upset about the fact that she works so hard to really teach her students (staying late, tutoring, having creative assignments), and there are other teachers in the building who do not, yet get the same pay and benefits as her.

    But, thats really just a difference between personalities I suppose. My guess is, if students are learning, then there really isn't a right or wrong.
     
  4. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Jan 13, 2007

    I think some of us were teachers before we were teachers and will be teachers long after we retire. For those of us, it is only natural to think about our students, all of them.
     
  5. teach 4th

    teach 4th Rookie

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    I see the same thing. And, it isn't only people more veteran than me. There is a 2nd year teacher who probably is around 45 more minutes than the kids. There is no way that I would feel like I was doing a good job with those hours.
     
  6. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Jan 13, 2007

    I do use my time at school so that I don't have as much to take home, BUT I do get to school at 7AM most days so that I can do that. I purposely did not bring work home over winter break because I wanted to spend that time with my own children. I was able to get caught up with my grading this week by really working hard at school. You have to be smart, use your time well, be organized, and have a plan. I do often spend at least an hour or two grading after my girls are in bed, but I won't grade if they're still up.
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jan 13, 2007

    This is my fourteenth year. I made a vow this year to only work ten hour days and no more (school day is 8). I spent my summer really organizing my units so they are really easy to implement and grading is done during my lunch time so I have a little less to do after school so that has been feasible so far. Some days I go home after only nine hours! Woohoo!
     
  8. KinderCali

    KinderCali Rookie

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    Jan 13, 2007

    perhaps I am "one of those teachers"

    When I began teaching, I worked 70 hour weeks. I had no life outside school. It wasn't working for me, but I wanted to stay in the profession. So I am trying to cut back my hours quite a bit, through organization and teaching of routines. Teaching the same grade helps too. I now work about 45 hours a week at school. And I absolutely love my students and my job. My job performance is excellent.

    The truth is, you don't really know what someone's workload is. They could leave right after school and do work at home. They could spend hours surfing the web for ideas from other teachers. : )Perhaps they have families that need their attention. Perhaps they perform other valuable activities. I don't think you absolutely need to work marathon hours to be a good teacher. When I am at school, I am doing 100 things at once. I work through my lunch and prep. I am totally focused.

    And then I go home.....
     
  9. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jan 13, 2007

    Hey, I was suppose to mentor a first year sp. education teacher last year but she would arrive 30 minutes late to school -- she would arrive a few minutes before the bell rang or after her students arrived AND she would leave with her last student. She did stay late one day every couple of weeks to move her classroom around. She did not try to supplement her program with anything (she used scripted texts) and told me that she was not planning on teaching anything outside of her students' IEPs.

    My second graders moved into her class this year so I gave them tons of IEP goals so she will no choice but to cover everything that third graders should know -- instead of only 3 math goals, 3 reading goals....

    I do feel sorry for the students that moved onto her class though. On a good note, she has been valuing my expertise more this year, as the students that moved on to her class from mine are eating her alive due to her "babying" them. She is learning to be more strict and consistent when dealing with their behavior and learning that there can be "too much free time/choice" when working with students with autism.
     
  10. Tbelle1035

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    Jan 13, 2007

    Things aren't always what they seem.

    I also worked long hours at first, at school and at home.

    When my first child was born I made a conscious choice to work as much as I could during the school day so I would not have to take time away from the children.

    Now I stay after school for about an hour each day. Sometimes I go back to school in the evening. I work straight through my lunch and prep times as well as before school. I try to stay super organized with materials so I don't have to prepare so much from year to year.

    However,our report cards are very involved, and for the month and a half before they're due I work multiple hours at home to complete them as accurately and with as much thought as I can.
     
  11. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Jan 13, 2007

    This is my first FULL year, and I spend a lot of time at home doing stuff for school. I am not married and don't have kids. I knew to keep sane that I had to hold off on that stuff. The teacher next door to me (this is her 1st year as dept. head) stays until 5pm (we get out at 3:15), and she has 3 teens. I'd hope that in the next 5 years, things will settle out.

    I teach 7th grade English, and I basically type out all of my notes and tests. That's what is so time consuming. In the future, all of my notes will be done. I will vary my tests, but I will have the bulk of the information done. I know that grading will always be my extra work, but I finally believe that things will get easily. Luckily, I teach at a jr. high, so the only grade I could be moved to is 8th. I hope that I will be teaching 7th again next year so that I perfect myself. I also plan on getting a lot of ideas together this summer (while probably starting my master's). I guess I've found out that this year has been time-consuming, but I love my job and school. So, I guess I don't mind much.

    Nevertheless, I'm off to doing school work.... on a Saturday! lol
     
  12. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    Jan 13, 2007

    I do a lot of work at home too. I search for ideas, type assignments, grade, and prepare myself for the next day for at least two hours at home every night. I am usually still thinking about the next day when I fall asleep at 10, 11, or 12!

    My theory is that I do better work after a couple hours of rest and dinner. I am exhausted at the end of the day and just want to get home. Then about 7pm I start up again. I can do this right now because I am not married (and no kids), but in the future I will probably have to get to school a little earlier and stay a little later than I am now to avoid working at home. I also have a part-time job and volunteer on the weekends so it's not like I'm going home and sitting on the couch all night.

    I try not to judge other teachers based on their time in the school building, and hopefully others do the same; we all have our strengths, weaknesses, and habits that work for us!
     
  13. Tigers

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    Jan 13, 2007

    The OP stated that they knew...and for all we know they told her this. I am sure the OP is well aware that there are many activities which they could do without the traditional grading papers. I don't think that the OP is judging anyone per se. Seems to me, that they were just commenting on how hard it is to let go of all those little things which we need to finish or do. Moreover, I imagine she was referring to the way that some teachers continually think and plan lessons to make them more appropriate for thier classes. I know many teachers that freely say that they only work on work at work, with the ocasional exception, of course. They are great teachers too. It is possible with good time management, focus and determination. But, for some of us...our mind is always in teacher mode to some degree.
     
  14. ms.jansen

    ms.jansen Companion

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    Jan 13, 2007

    I don't think anyone on this thread has been judgmental; I was more thinking of people I actually know personally. Sorry if it seemed like I was saying that. : ) Everyone just needs to do what works for them and makes them the best teacher they can be!
     
  15. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Jan 13, 2007

    well said... Sorry if I misread your post.
     
  16. Tbelle1035

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    Jan 13, 2007

    And if you are sitting on the couch all night...so what...it doesn't make you a bad guy!:D
     
  17. Ms. I

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    Jan 13, 2007

    I think that's it's great to want to do excellently in our jobs, but this type of career can very easily consume you if you let it. This is one job that is NEVER done, there's always something to do & learn for that matter w/ continuous teacher trainings, inservices, etc., etc. even if someone's been teaching 50 years, they're still not done.

    There needs to be a healthy balance. I personally take it one day at a time. For the most part, I leave pretty much on the dot and when I leave, I clear my mind of all work things for the day & enjoy the rest of the evening, as quickly as it goes. I'm a 1st year teacher & I usually work 7 hour days 4 days out of the week. I'll occasionally go out to dinner or something, but I usually go straight home when I get off from work. I don't go to bed any later than 11:30 or midnight. Just because I do that, that doesn't mean I'm not a good teacher. But teachers need to have a life too.

    With this type of profession, it's practically mandatory to have an outlet/hobby such as yoga, meditation, working out at the gym, or some other relaxing ritual because this job is overwhelming, stressful, & thankless. The combination of these factors will wear you down if you let it.

    This all goes back to my motto: Life is Short ~ Be Happy!
     
  18. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jan 14, 2007

    There are many nights/mornings as I sit in my classroom and certain grade levels have no teachers that stay past 4 or come in before 8 that I wonder how they are meeting the needs of their students....

    I feel like I over do it. I always have. I think some people are just going to go above and beyond. There are no outside rewards though-be prepared for that- no recognition- I sometimes have even gotten resentful comments directed my way. The only kudos I've gotten from coming in early and leaving late is I KNOW my students are getting what they need and mORE....
     
  19. LuvMySunshine

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    Jan 14, 2007

    I don't normally stay late or get to school extremely early, however I do plenty of work at home. Once the kids leave at 3:15, I need to decompress and have time to myself to relax, so I normally go home, watch The View and Judge Judy (I'd be lost without my dvr!), eat dinner and then do work. I'd say 1 or 2 days a month I find myself staying late to accomplish tasks I can't get done at home.
     
  20. MisterG

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    Jan 14, 2007

    There are many kinds of teachers when it comes to work hours. I don't think there is a right or wrong unless that teacher is having a end result of their students not learning.

    My mom has been teaching for over 35 years and never brings home work as she feels she shouldn't have to. One of her coworkers used to bring stuff home every night and work until 10pm correcting...etc. Thats nuts! For the most part, I don't bring stuff home because I have this belief that I shouldnt have to do any work at home...I work at work. I dont need to bring my crazy day of teaching back home with me....I need to rest and relax. If that means I stay an hour or so after school to get things done...then so be it...but I refuse to bring schoolwork home because that is not part of my job. Id burn out if I did that. After school...after the last kid is gone...I surf some news websites and putz around on a couple of forums I belong to just to let my brain cool down. Then I do some planning or I will come in the next day for planning.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 15, 2007

    I have 3 small kids at home. So I try to get a lot done at school. Some days I can, other days I get caught up in extra help after school or something comes up during my prep period (Or I just don't feel like doing it then.) So sometimes work comes home, sometimes it doesn't.

    I do long range planning before the start of the marking period- lesson by lesson. So it may look to others as though I'm not prepping at alll. Likewise, I make up my trimester exams the preceding summer to make things easier during the school year. I don't re-use tests or quizzes, so I do them as they come.
     
  22. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    That's what I do. My family time is more important so I do as little as possible at home. I do lesson plans on the computer at night.
     
  23. Starista

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    I like to get to school about one and 1/2 hours before the kids come. I find I am more energized to work in the early hours than after school. After school, I promised myself I'd go to the gym 4x a week ~ and am keeping to that resolution! =) So I usually leave within an hour of when the kids leave! =)
     
  24. BuLadybug

    BuLadybug Rookie

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    I am a first year teacher and I usually am the first one at school and sometimes the last to leave. Alot of my work right now is organizing everything. Whereas the other teachers have binders full of masters, originals, etc - I am now trying to organize mine so that next year I won't have so much to do. I usually always bring stuff home to do. I have cut back a little bit since after Christmas - and it is a great feeling! At the beginning of the year I would leave at 5:30 and at times 6! Now, I am usually out by 4:00-4:30 and really I feel less stressed. Everyone says that the first year is the most work....I think getting everything into place and organized is most of the work! Some teachers are in at 7:50 and out by 3:30....maybe someday that will be me!
    :)
     
  25. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 15, 2007

    Isn't there anyone in the building who could share their materials with you? We always share with someone doing a new prep-- then, over time, they can develop their own materials from the base we've given them.
     
  26. BuLadybug

    BuLadybug Rookie

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    Jan 24, 2007

    yes the other teachers do share all of their materials. In fact we sit down and plan each week together because we do much of the same stuff (just in different ways)- I just envy them because they already have everything in order by month, story, chapter, etc and I want to get my piles of papers looking that way!

    I should to what others do and not bring any work home....lately I have not been bringing anything home (except report cards! yuck!) I need to realize too that there is, as some of you said, always going to be things that are left undone that need to be done.......
     
  27. Exo

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    I have a friend who teaches in HS and who is out as soon as possible. I work at work, I work at home, I work in between... I have a 5 year-old who I pick up at 3pm , so it's really tough to stay at school after that - I do that, though, to clean up my room or set up for the next day lab. I can't come at 7am, because my child's school starts at 8:40 and poor kid waits in the caffeteria every day since 7:45 am for classes to start. I have no lesson plans made, so I do them every day, and I teach Bio and Physics... And I am the only teacher teaching advanced program,and it's a new thing, so I am making my own curriculum. Needed to say, that this is my first year?
    Well, next year will be better.
     
  28. La Profesora

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    Jan 25, 2007

    I think Mrs. R. shows a great example of "setting limits." Work can definitely expand and consume your entire life, if you permit it to do that. I could work every day of every week of every vacation and still have more work - but I refuse. There is a certain point where I want to be with my family, work out, go out with friends, go to church, watch some Grey's Anatomy.....

    You are really no good to anyone if you work so hard you get sick, get stressed out and yell, or lose your focus in life. Make yourself your priority, and then your job. As much as you love your students, and I do too, my family misses me more than the students do....

    Good Luck!
     
  29. curious

    curious Companion

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    When I used to teach at a private school, I usually arrived no earlier than 15 minutes before the first class began and I usually left within 10 minutes after my last class. Was I shorting my students? Not in the slightest. After my first year of teaching, I created a curriculum that made the least amount of work for me (while still being very effective for my students).

    My first year of teaching, though, was quite different; I would sometimes work as many hours outside of the classroom as I did inside the classroom because I was always testing and researching new teaching ideas.

    Of course, I was childless back then. This time around, when I start teaching again, I'm nervous about how I'll juggle both work and family. Ensuring that my students get the education they deserve is, of course, a top priority. But I don't want to shortchange my own child in the process. I sure hope I can get organized again.
     
  30. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    The last 3 posts are just excellent examples of getting our priorities in order. Good for you! I don't think you left anything out.
     
  31. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    At my school the kids get out at 1:50, teachers are required to stay untill 2:20 I usualy stay until 3:00-3:30 helping kids, planning, and grading. I do have most of my planning done becuase I have been teaching the same courses for over 15 years, however I do try to add in some new activites and I always make new quizzes and tests for each year. When I get home I usually try to relax, help my wife around the house, etc. Then at around 10ish I usually spend about an hour doing school work and grading.
     
  32. Tbelle1035

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    Don't worry, Curious. I know everyone's style is different, but I found I was actually more organized with home matters when I was working. I took a year off and couldn't wait to get back! When working, I felt forced to be organized because of time constraints, and I scheduled the things I had to do. But when I was home all day, I procrastinated big time. Probably because "there was always tomorrow!" You might be pleasantly surprised! Good luck!
     
  33. ddb23

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    I'm usually at work from 7 - 5 each day. To me it's like any other job - the more you put in, the more you will get out of it. I prefer to complete more work at school than at home, and I am used to the schedule now. I actually have less pressure when I complete most of my work at work instead of at home. Nothing is worse than sitting around on Sunday morning knowing that you have to work on lesson plans or grade papers.

    To prevent myself from working too much at home, I don't bring my laptop cord. The battery usually dies after abou 2.5 hours.

    db
     
  34. kem

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    Jan 26, 2007

    Don't you wish the general public could read these comments? In their minds, teachers have the easiest workload of any profession-so frustrating!!
     
  35. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    I have to be at school at 7:45 and stay until at least 3:15. With four kids, I have to be organized both at school and at home. My boys come to school with me and sometimes help me in the morning before the school day starts. They also like to help other teachers and the teachers know it. They will seek those boys out. :)

    I use my planning time to grade papers and get things ready for the day. I also have WONDERFUL parent helpers whom I would not get through the weeks without. They are a God send and make my life so much easier.

    I do bring work home on weekends but it is usually only planning. I get it done within a couple of hours, when the babies are taking a nap. Sometimes the boys like to help me grade and sort through papers but usually I try to get it done quickly. We have sports events and family things to do on the weekends.

    I used to bring things home every night, even during the week but that soon got old. My time at home is spent with my family. My kids are growing too quickly and I don't want to miss it. :love:
     
  36. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Oh yeah! Great point!
     
  37. lajoers3

    lajoers3 Comrade

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    Jan 26, 2007

    Well, i'm starting on Monday and i'm rather anxious about scheduling. I want to get into work as early as possible but for me that is going to be 7:40 - 7:45am. Classes start at 8:55am and I would like to take sometime before that (perhaps 10mins to do nothing but relax). I have 3 young children and my husband has agreed to take care of getting them off to school and preschool in the mornings so I don't want him to have to do that in the afternoons as well. We've been told that 3:30pm is the earliest we should expect to leave. I need to go home, help my first grader with her homework, get dinner ready, bath the kids and just spend mummy time with them before getting them off to bed. I even have to think about taking the kids to dancing (my 5year old goes and i'm hoping to get my 3year old involved this year too) and other activities during the week.
    I want to be able to get up at 5:30am so that I can do some exercise and prayer/devotion at the start of the day. I also need to spend time in the evenings preparing for the next day (not school work preparations but just packing lunches and kids bags etc), so everything is ready. I'm thinking that by the time that all gets done I won't want to do much except watch a bit of TV and then go to bed. I have epilepsy which is well controlled but I did have a seizure 3years ago and the whole reason why the drs believe it was brought on was due to lack of sleep. I know I can do it but i'm just not sure at the moment HOW i'm going to schedule it so I can fit EVERYTHING in that I need to do and i'm thinking that i'm going to be using every moment of time I have at school to my advantage so that I can get enough sleep and be prepared enough.
     
  38. Tbelle1035

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    Wow, when you put it all out there like that, it does seem overwhelming! How did I ever do it? You can make yourself crazy if you feel you have to fit everything in. Maybe you shouild see how the first couple of weeks go and then prioritize. Do you have to have a big cooked dinner every night? Can you find someone to carpool with for dance lessons? Is your husband a teacher too? Will his job demands allow him more flexibility that yours will? If so, let him pick them up as well. It already sounds like he's aware of what you are up against and wants to help out. It seems as though You are going to be responsible for so much as it is!

    I wish you well getting started next week. Let us know how it is going!:)
     
  39. curious

    curious Companion

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    Jan 26, 2007

    Tbelle1035, thanks for the encouragement!

    Kem, so many non-teachers just don't seem to understand all the work that goes into teaching. It's so frustrating. If I had a dime for every time someone said to me, "You have summers off? Wow, don't you get bored with nothing to do?"... If they only knew the truth!

    Lajoers3, wow, you have a lot on your plate. Best wishes making everything work.
     
  40. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    The way is manage is to pretty much let the house go until weekends. I get up at 5:30, shower, eat, and get myself ready. By the time my husband leaves at 6:15, my 2 younger kids are up-- they get breakfast in front of the TV as I do the lunches & stuff. By 6:30 I get them started on getting dressed and wake their 8 year old brother. By the time the sitter comes at 7, all 3 are dressed and usually fed.
    She gets them on the bus, picks them up and starts homework.

    I pick them up sometime between 4 & 4:30. If my youngest has Speech classes at 4:45, I either drop the other 2 with my husband or bring them along. The other days, it's home for dinner, baths, and family time.

    Confession time: sometimes I cheat on the baths if there's a good game of Monopoly Jr or something going on. The girls are in bed by 8, and Brian by 9, so that's when I can really get to schoolwork.

    I do a lot in school so I don't have as much to bring home; by the time I can sit down to do it I'm just not in the mood to do much. So I do a lot of the grading over the weekend, and planning ahead of time: either in the preceding summer or during the weekends.
     
  41. lajoers3

    lajoers3 Comrade

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    Jan 27, 2007

    Thank you for everyone who responded to my dilemma. Tbelle, in the past when I was only working as a casual/substitute teacher my husband was not very helpful but he has promised that he will be more helpful when I start at school. I guess part of the problem is that I need to try not be supermum and LET him do his share. He has also told me that I need to just see how the first couple of weeks go because i'm worrying about it all now when I don't know what it's all going to be like - it may not be as difficult, or it may be more difficult than I anticipated. I'm trying to be prepared though and i hate that I can't schedule for absolutely everything yet.
    Also my friend is going to be taking my daughter to dancing but i'm not sure what will happen with my son as I think he'll be on a different day. I will still get there (at the dance studio) before the class finishes but it helps that I won't need to drop her off.
    And dinners, no I don't need to have a huge cooked meal. I plan to have mostly grilled or easy bake food with vegetables that I have already peeled, chopped and frozen (ready to be nuked in the microwave) from the freezer. Weekends, where I have time I may make a double batch of certain foods (not grilled/baked kind) and freeze for later use so I may have some of those midweek as well - but i'm definitely not going to be making devilled sausages midweek. If I have a batch in the freezer fine but otherwise it's steak, lamb chops, rissoles, pork spare ribs etc. So basically, i'll be keeping it easy as possible.
    My husband is not a teacher but my job gives more flexibility than his does. I'm sure it will all work out - it's just me have a freakout.

    Aliceacc thanks for your advice too - it's good to see how someone else does it.

    I'll definitely let everyone know in a couple of weeks how i'm doing.
     

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