Gransnet forums



(96 Posts)
sneetch Mon 27-Jun-11 09:37:04

Anyone else having to step in on Thursday? Am I being unreasonable to feel just a teeny bit resentful? And...any ideas how to entertain a couple of boys of 11 and 8?

gangy5 Mon 27-Jun-11 10:09:08

No you're not being unreasonable. For one thing - the majority of teachers have not voted for this. Surely most reasonable people will understand that these measures or similar (regarding pensions)
will have to be implemented and are no more harsh than what most of us will have to endure because of the dire situation that we are in.
I haven't heard yet, but I have a feeling that we'll be on entertainment duty on Thursday. If the weather is fine it's not such a problem. DH takes them to the swimming pool first and then we go out for a picnic - near a stream or in the woods and I sit and watch them play.

janthea Mon 27-Jun-11 11:34:03

I think the strikes are completely uncalled for. Everyone has to suffer measures to get us out of the situation that we are now in. The majority of us just grin and bear it, but those in unions seem to think that they have the right to go out on strike and inconvenience those people are suffering as they are. I feel that unions are an irrelevance in today's world. Everyone's human rights are protected (and some may say over-protected) nowadays.

GillieB Mon 27-Jun-11 11:44:01

The strikes won't affect me, but I am not in favour of them - I think what previous posters have said is right. We are all having to suffer and why public sector workers seem to think they should be immune, I don't know.

Magsie Mon 27-Jun-11 11:50:48

I just wonder whether the bankers who caused the recession are grinning and bearing it too- or whether they still get large bonuses and pensions?

harrigran Mon 27-Jun-11 12:04:41

We won't be needed this thursday, village school will probably remain open.

Elegran Mon 27-Jun-11 12:37:20

Magsie -

I would divide and conquer, if possible. Two boys can be more than twice the trouble of one, more like trouble to the power ten. It's not always easy though.

If the weather is good, go somewhere outside to tire them out, preferably where you can sit down to watch them getting exhausted without doing too much yourself. If not, copy the Scouts and Be Prepared with indoor ploys

I don't know what is available in your neck of the woods, but we have had good fun fossil hunting (needs a bit of preliminary homework so you can plan where to go, and make an educated guess at anything they manage to find - but the internet has images)

There is geocaching, if you have a handheld GPS - some mobile phones have this. This is great - combines puzzle solving, elementary map-reading, a treasure hunt and a healthy walk. Don't confuse it with orienteering, there is no time deadline and the terrain is usually gran-friendly.

Closer to home, find a caterpillar in the garden and identify it

Indoors :-
Cooking something (and then eating it) is one idea. have lots of activities.

Just seen the "alphabet game" on another thread. That could fill in a few quiet (hurray!) moments with the boys.

crimson Mon 27-Jun-11 12:53:43

People work for the public sector for two reasons. Job security and decent pensions. Most of them would earn considerably more if they worked in the private sector. There won't be any strikes in future because people with degrees won't consider going into teaching.

baggythecrust! Mon 27-Jun-11 12:59:36

I'm with you on this, crimson. Public sector pensions should be ring-fenced. It's not as if teachers haven't worked for them or paid for them. The same applies to other public service workers. Maybe we need to start a publice service worker appreciation society.

crimson Mon 27-Jun-11 13:08:58

If only everyone had to teach in a secondary school for a few weeks [or even days]. There are always so many comments concerning the long holidays that teachers have etc but they don't realise how much time lesson planning and marking takes up [on top of dealing with the children and their parents]. I believe that some 'celebrities' worked in classrooms for a tv programme and they were exhausted. There's no quarter given in a classroom; lose control and you're done for! Teaching the youth of this country is one of the most important jobs anyone can do.

Barrow Mon 27-Jun-11 13:15:05

Yes teachers have paid in for their pensions - but so have their employers (us) made contributions. Story of 2 friends:

One left school at 16 worked until she was 60 (44 years) and retired on a state pension and a tiny private pension.

Second left full time education in her early 20s, went into teaching, retired at 55 (having worked for 33 years) on a pension which is more than the first persons 2 pensions put together and can also look forward to her state pension at 60.

My friend (the teacher) always said her job was a doddle. Yes she had to spend time preparing lessons and marking but she said this could be done in an hour or so. During the summer she would disappear to Spain for most of the summer break, returning only a couple of days before school was due to start when she would get the course work ready for the coming term.

baggythecrust! Mon 27-Jun-11 13:16:41

Barrow, I don't think you'd find many teachers nowadays who think their job is a doddle.

crimson Mon 27-Jun-11 13:27:25

Don't wish to be rude, Barrow, but I don't think your friend could have been a very good teacher. Or, perhaps, she taught at a time when the lessons remained the same ad infinitum and the govt didn't change the syllabus constantly. Perhaps she taught a subject like maths where there aren't essays to mark? Teaching is very vocational; if you put your heart and soul into it it can break you.

Barrow Mon 27-Jun-11 13:32:47

baggythecrust! I am only repeating what my friend told me - true she retired around 3 years ago but I don't think too much has changed in that time. Yes she had some difficult pupils but she was one of the old fashioned strict teachers who seemed to be able to control a class.

I am not for one minute suggesting that all teachers find their jobs a doddle but I do think that the training teachers receive these days isn't up to the training which our teachers received. Part of my job as a PA was to vet potential employees - the letters I received would be full of spelling mistakes, bad grammer and terrible handwriting. One letter was written on a page torn from a spiral notebook!

baggythecrust! Mon 27-Jun-11 13:45:29

I guess she was lucky. I know a lot of teachers who love their job and are good teachers into the bargain but they don't find it easy. And yes, there are always sloppy people with regard to grammar, spelling and presentation. This often has as much, and more, to do with their attitude to learning as it has to do with the teaching they received. Anyone who sends in a sloppy job application doesn't want the job, or else it doesn't matter. Does a barrow man (someone who wheels a barrow around and picks up litter) need good literacy skills or is his (or her) physical fitness for the job more important?

Annobel Mon 27-Jun-11 13:54:54

Children in a dreadful school almost broke me over thirty years ago. They were ill-mannered, defiant and cared nothing for their education, unlike the girls I had taught in East Africa who were desperate for education and appreciated every minute of it. I was lucky to be able to escape to further and adult education. Perhaps if parents heeded Mr Gove's call to go into schools on Thursday, they would discover for themselves what life in the classroom can be like. Come to think of it, if the secretary of state tried to teach a class, how would he cope?

JessM Mon 27-Jun-11 14:09:18

Teachers do have a hard job, I know I have worked in secondary schools. (should have stuck with it, I know, I'd be retiring on a fantastic pension about now) They also get fantastic benefits including long holidays and a great pension scheme. They can even go down to part time at the end of their career without endangering pensions. Policemen get to retire even earlier - and they never seem to go anywhere without a buddy - even to a meeting with a headteacher for example. Lots of people in the private sector work just as hard as teachers and for less reward. So I am not entirely sympathetic. I don't think this is about the recession or cuts though - it is the issue that we are (in general) very happy to live longer healthier lives, long past retirement in many cases but there is not willingness to recognise that pension age has to change. It is just not sustainable. We are heading for a situation where a good proportion of adults live longer after retirement than the time they spent as working people. How does that add up? (How does it add up - do a degree and a masters then have a gap year to recover, as they do. So you start work at about 24. You retire at 60, with possibly a sabbatical or two in between. So about 35 years of work. If you live to 95 as increasing numbers are.... then that's a 35 year retirement. Yes it does add up.)
There has just been a generation of retirees that have benefitted from both good pensions, often with an early retirement option, followed by good health. This has built up an expectation that this pattern is somehow an entitlement. When pensions were first introduced for the working man they were mostly dead within a couple of years.

baggythecrust! Mon 27-Jun-11 14:16:16

Teachers and policemen are an easy target. They also do a valuable job that a lot of the people who moan about their 'perks' couldn't do.

jangly Mon 27-Jun-11 15:39:00

I think it will be a good thing if some of the parents spend time in the classroom on Thursday. Let them see what its like trying to keep a modern day class of teenagers under control. Perhaps then they might have a bit more appreciation of what the teachers try to do for their children.

jangly Mon 27-Jun-11 15:46:22

And when a person has spent the best years of their life working hard in the public sector feeling secure in the knowledge that at least they will have a decent pension at the end of it, its hardly fair to start moving the goal posts part way through.

crimson Mon 27-Jun-11 16:40:45

Policemen see terrible things during the course of their careers; it's a wonder they're not all suffering from ptsd. Unless any of us do a job, we have no idea what it's like or how long you can do that job for. It also concerns me [and, in all honesty I can't believe that I'm saying or thinking this] that the people who do work are having to do so to compensate for those who don't [by that I mean won't]. I always used to say that I would happily make do with less if it meant that people less fortunate than myself would get help, but I don't know what I feel now. Life seems very bleak.

Charlotta Mon 27-Jun-11 16:41:21

I'm new on gransnet and am impressed with views so far. I think that the teachers should go on strike as without pensions and holidays no one will put up with being a teacher. Perhaps it might do the students good to find no one at school although one day won't make a lot of difference.
A lot of grandparents are getting ready to look after their grandchildren but an awful lot of working mothers don't have that support near at hand.

goldengirl Mon 27-Jun-11 17:08:04

Striking rarely hits the people it needs to affect eg politicians, but impacts on those who use the service, in this case parents many of whom are probably trying to hold onto their jobs.
Teachers on strike set a bad example to their pupils ie if you don't like what you're told, don't keep up the consultation pressure but down tools and walk out. Hang on, isn't this what some pupils now do??????
I started out as a teacher in a school where discipline was a natural part of the school day. The problems I faced were not from the pupils but from their parents!

janthea Mon 27-Jun-11 17:10:29

I paid into a company pension scheme for 25 years only to have my contributions that I paid increased by 9% and my retirement date extended. What's the difference between me and teachers, etc? I'm grateful to have a job in today's economic climate. Perhaps the strikers should think about that.

JessM Mon 27-Jun-11 17:17:14

No one is suggesting that they suddenly whisk away the retirement plans from teachers that are a couple of years off retirement.
I am merely raising the point that this strike is not about "cuts" - it is about trying to protect the interests of a "profession" that currently enjoys much better terms and conditions than most working people.
Many secondary teachers with long service are on about 50K by the time they retire and by that time they are not struggling to control classes. They have much more regular pay rises than private sector jobs. They are finished with teaching by about 3 or 3.30 every day. The actual contact hours are quite short - about 4-5 hours a day. They have protected preparation time during the day. They have about 14 weeks paid holiday every year, compared to the 4-5 weeks that other people get. They are no longer asked to do lunch duties or pastoral care etc. (yes and i know a lot of them are wonderful but as a profession they do tend to convince themselves they are hard done by. I know, I have sat in those staff rooms.)
If changes are not agreed to retirement age then the burden on the tax bill when those teachers now in their 30s and 40s retire will be unsustainable. Our grandchildren will be the ones paying huge taxes to keep armies of retired public employees in a life of index-linked comfort for 30 or more years after retirement. The last government also knew this was a huge looming problem This is an issue that governments all across Europe know they need to address - but it is not popular with the electorate.