I have a table which stores which teacher (teacherid) works for which group (groupid) of pupils starting from the date startdate:

CREATE TABLE `pupilgroupteacher` (
  `id` int(10) unsigned NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
  `groupid` smallint(5) unsigned NOT NULL,
  `startdate` date NOT NULL,
  `teacherid` int(10) unsigned DEFAULT NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (`id`),
  UNIQUE KEY `date` (`groupid`,`startdate`),
  KEY `teacher` (`teacherid`),
  KEY `group` (`groupid`),
  CONSTRAINT `fk_pupilgroupteacher_2` FOREIGN KEY (`groupid`) REFERENCES `pupilgroup` (`id`) ON DELETE NO ACTION ON UPDATE NO ACTION,
  CONSTRAINT `fk_pupilgroupteacher_1` FOREIGN KEY (`teacherid`) REFERENCES `employee` (`personid`)

Having a teacher ID and a month, I need to find all groups for which this teacher worked (or is going to work) at least one day in the given month.

Note: For a given teacherid there may be more than one startdate (if, for example, a teacher worked for a group, was replaced with another teacher and then replaced back on a later startdate).

2 Answers 2


Another way to get the result is this. It finds first all groups that the teacher has surely taught (or is going to) by checking that she has started within the month and then in another subquery it finds - for every group - the last teacher that started at the first day of the month or earlier.

With the unique index you have on the table, the second subquery should be quite efficient. The first subquery would benefit from an index on (teacherid, startdate, groupid):

SELECT groupid
FROM pupilgroupteacher
WHERE teacherid = @teacher 
  AND startdate >= @month + INTERVAL 1 DAY
  AND startdate < @month + INTERVAL 1 MONTH


SELECT gg.groupid
    ( SELECT DISTINCT groupid
      FROM pupilgroupteacher
    ) AS gd
  JOIN pupilgroupteacher AS gg
    ON  gg.groupid = gd.groupid
    AND gg.startdate =
        ( SELECT MAX(gi.startdate)
          FROM pupilgroupteacher AS gi 
          WHERE gi.groupid = gd.groupid
            AND gi.startdate < @month + INTERVAL 1 DAY
WHERE gg.teacherid = @teacher ;

It seems that the following code solves my problem:

FROM pupilgroupteacher x
WHERE teacherid=@teacher AND startdate<@month+INTERVAL 1 MONTH AND
FROM pupilgroupteacher
WHERE groupid=x.groupid AND teacherid!=@teacher AND startdate>x.startdate AND startdate<@month

(Here @month is the date of the first day of the specified month and @teacher is the teacher ID.)


  • is this code error-free? Please help to check it.
  • can it be optimized to use fewer server resources?
  • 1
    I think it's correct but you (may) need to replace the AND startdate<@month) with AND startdate <= @month) (if as I assume, when a teacher starts to work at 1st of July, then the previous teacher counts as having taught in June only.) Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 19:43
  • @ypercube: You are right
    – porton
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 11:03
  • Added missing groupid=x.groupid AND
    – porton
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 15:54

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