Responding to inter...
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Responding to internal emails over break/weekends

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Posts: 8
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Joined: 4 months ago

I have a HOD who's always emailing out of school hours, they don't expect responses right away but it keeps me on edge whenever I receive something. Anyway, we've been on summer break for a week and a half now and there's already been 3. I tend to ignore anything that isn't urgent but have responded to something that was a logistical issue for the next academic year. 

Similarly I'm in a whatsapp group with other teachers from my year group and I just wish I wasn't, I'm a big advocate of keeping work at work.

Is it best to just ignore these or going back to reinforce that I won't be dealing with anything outside hours? When others reply and I don't I think it makes me look bad by default but I need time for myself. 

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Posts: 8
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago

I hope you're being contacted via your work email? Just don't respond, set an out of office that says which date you'll be looking at emails again. People tend to do this because it works for their own schedules so you do what works for you. 

Alternatively, don't look at your emails over weekends/breaks, hard habit to break but sounds like you'll be better off for it. I would much rather do that than responding to set boundaries, you'll be potentially creating extra issues you don't have to if your HOD decides to take it the wrong way. 

Whatsapp groups a little more tricky, once you're in one it's hard to get out! 

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Joined: 5 months ago

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Posts: 6

Agree with this OP, if you are responding, even once, it sets the precedent that you are available outside of work hours. I'm guilty of checking and replying to work email at home in the evenings but never over the holidays! 

Posts: 10
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Joined: 5 months ago

Concur with other answers, don't respond, we're all conscious of school work even over the holidays but any extra time spent we put in should be because we want to do it. 

My headteacher always emails early morning/late evening, tends to be a pattern, but there's no expectation of a response until we're all back in work hours. 

Also in a whatsapp group with other teachers!!! Although it's a fun group it does take up time in the evenings when we're trying to arrange things, gifts for TA's and what not. 

Posts: 14
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Joined: 6 months ago

When I get emails over hols I just flag them so I can pick them up when I'm back

Similarly with the whatsapp groups just keep the chats muted until you're ready to respond 😊 

Posts: 4
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Joined: 6 months ago

I still don't have whatsapp for this very reason, everyone thinks I'm crazy. I find that people only go out of their way to contact you if something is really urgent when you're not on it 🤣 

No reasonable school/HOD should expect you to be sifting through emails during holidays, how you manage it should be up to you. Personally it's easier for me to clear my plate before I go back so I don't have mountains to catch up on but everyone's different.


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