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how likely is it to be employed as a PART-TIME MATHS TEACHER in my 40's

(28 Posts)
margaery Sun 16-Jun-13 15:32:53

I have two dc's. 5 and 3. Both DC's have health problems which is why i took redundancy from a successful career in IT at 38. Money was great in IT but I had to work overnights, and weekends at extremely short notice and job security is rubbish in the industry at the moment. Have been made redundant 3 times in 11 years. Also IT is a young persons game. You have to constantly keep up with technology so by not working for years, I am pretty much unemployable now.

DC2 starts school next year hopefully, so I thought next year I could volunteer to work in school in maths dept to see what it's like. I have Maths degree (2:2) and Masters in Comp Sci.

Another thing, I got an A in Maths at GCSE, however, I only got a C at A-Level. I was on for at least a B, but was going through a bad time so underachieved. Would this be a problem when applying for course or jobs ?

Ideally, I would do a PGCE or GTP and qualify at age 43.

But I have heard alot of negative stuff about teaching such as:-

1) 50 hour weeks (which is why if i thought if did it part-time it would be more manageable). and therefore working holidays and weekends.

2) don't do it if you have low self esteem cos you are constantly being monitored (ofsted?)

3) It's a young persons game and people are often burnt out by 50's. I am looking for a career that will take me into my 60's.

4) Maths is a core subject so more pressure to get results.

Any advice from any teachers would be much appreciated.
Also how difficult/easy is to get part-time work in Maths dept ?
Is Maths an easier subject to mark than other subjects ?

margaery Sun 16-Jun-13 21:32:29

That's great. Thanks all. Good for me to hear that you don't always get lots of high caliber applicants at good schools.

frogspoon
I would love to be a TA/LSA if money wasn't an issue, but I need something that I can go full-time in and earn a bit more, just incase DH's IT career dwindles.

badbride also i need to be working when my kids are at school. With private tuition I would be working after school, evenings and possible weekends. But totally appreciate the idea of not having to deal with crowd control/social work etc. Maybe a thought for later on, when the kids are older.

badbride Sun 16-Jun-13 17:54:10

Why tie yourself down to a job when you could work for yourself? There is a huge demand for private tutors to help kids struggling with maths/ compsci at all stages of their school careers, see this recent Guardian story. There's also demand for training adults in computer literacy/ basic programming, something you for which you are eminently qualified.

Pros: you could probably charge a decent hourly rate, and arrange the hours to suit you (up to a point--you'd be limited by school hours if you only tutor kids). You are free to ditch any tutees if they turn out to be ghastly (not an option in school). Plus you'd actually get to teach maths, rather than spend the majority of your time on crowd control/ social work, which is what a lot of school teaching these days involves, by all accounts.

Cons: less job security (you are responsible for finding the work), having to deal with all the paperwork.

frogspoon Sun 16-Jun-13 17:07:40

If you enjoy working with young people and want to work in a school environment, have you looked into being a TA or LSA?

You will have shorter hours than a maths teacher, with little or no planning or marking. Your maths skills will still be very useful if you were to be a LSA in a secondary school.

sleeplessbunny Sun 16-Jun-13 17:04:12

Maths and science subjects seem to be short of teachers. I once enquired about doing a PGCE to teach Maths and Physics, changed my mind, but still get inundated with calls and emails about bursaries and teaching experience days. I get they feeling they are pretty desperate to increase the resource pool.
www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/subjects-age-groups/teach-maths.aspx
I have no teaching experience though, so can't comment on hrs, pt etc.

noblegiraffe Sun 16-Jun-13 17:01:51

Honestly, a good school in a nice area doesn't necessarily attract a lot of high calibre candidates in maths, mine has struggled to recruit in the last few years.

Perhaps you could contact your local schools and scout them out for this info?

margaery Sun 16-Jun-13 16:48:23

Thanks all for the info. Very useful.

If I can only get a job in bad school, as my results/qualifications are not good enough then maybe this is not for me. Would want job in average to good school.

I can resit a Maths Alevel, but not my degree.

xylem8 Sun 16-Jun-13 16:39:07

you would have your pick of bad schools to work in.a maths position in a good school in a nice area will attract a lot of high calibre applicants.

FrogsGoWhat Sun 16-Jun-13 16:26:53

I'm a part time science teacher - 50%. But again as per PP because of how the timetable works, I work 4 days a week and my day off alternates because of the 2 week timetable.

I'm probably working 8 hour days on my 4 days, and then nothing else - so 32 hour week - unless I have a load of tests or marking or reports to catch up on - in which case add another 8 hours on top to do over the weekend. I daren't work out my hourly rate, but as a NQT I did work out that I was working for less than minimum wage due to 60-70 hour weeks, taking into account the "holidays".

As PP said being part time means you have some life balance (normal hours compared to my DP who works in IT, rather than doing 10-12 hour days) but you can be overlooked and also undermined to a certain extent.

I actually don't know anyone who has been employed part time though - it seems that mostly you are granted part time after maternity leave. Actual part time posts don't seem to be advertised very often.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 16-Jun-13 16:21:29

Mght be worth having a look at FE where it should be easier to get a PGCE funded. Lots of need for numeracy support there - often on access courses. Good luck

soverylucky Sun 16-Jun-13 16:13:02

noble you have it spot on about being overlooked. I feel like I am not an equal to the full timers and can be excluded from things quite easily.

soverylucky Sun 16-Jun-13 16:11:38

You will find employment quite easily as maths teachers are really in short supply. In terms of hours worked - I am a part time teacher with two children but they are both at school and at an age where they can get themselves ready in a morning etc. I do most of my work on my days off to keep my weekends relatively free. I think my hours work out the same as an average full time office type job (9-5, mon - fri) but only in term time.
It is a rewarding job but like many I am fed up with the scrutiny from others, unrealistic expectations from people, constant bashing in the media etc. Visit a school and do several days observation. Ideally visit different types of schools. Some private schools would employ you without any extra qualifications.

noblegiraffe Sun 16-Jun-13 16:03:51

It doesn't matter so much what you got at A-level as you have a maths degree - that is rare! I'm not sure whether you'll get any help with pgce funding with a 2:2 though, it's all changed recently and degree class matters.

I'm a part time maths teacher, but I was full time at the school before going part time after my first child. I'm on a 0.6 contract (3 days) but because of the timetable, have to work every day, no full days off. I reckon that I work a 35-40 hour week. Part time is great, I do work at weekends and evenings but only a couple of hours where it used to be much more. I feel like I've got my life back. But part time means no promotions and you can feel overlooked.

In terms of jobs, I teach in an outstanding leafy middle class comp, and we get hardly any applicants when we advertise for maths. If you're good, you should have no problems finding a job. Finding a part time one that suits you might be trickier, have a look on the tes job site in your area.

Arisbottle Sun 16-Jun-13 15:59:18

50 hour weeks sounds like a dream to me, my hours have never been that low.

However you are a maths graduate which is a big tick in the box. Some schools will have a problem that your degree is a 2:2 and that your A level result is so low but you do have a masters which may compensate for some schools.

I don't think teaching is necessarily a young people's game but I don't plan on doing this when I am in my 60s.

There is a lot of pressure in maths and maths often sees to be a department with issues, which serves only to highlight any problems.

Eyesunderarock Sun 16-Jun-13 15:56:39

Oh, I'm not talking from a POV of knowing owt really!
I'm a primary teacher, in my 50s who has been teaching FT for almost 30 years.
I have 2 adult children, one of whom is G&T for maths, the other not at all, and I've got two friends who teach up to A level maths.

margaery Sun 16-Jun-13 15:53:36

i don't live in london, but an hour commute from london, but i do see maths positions coming up locally ALOT

margaery Sun 16-Jun-13 15:53:02

Eyesunderarock how many hours do you work on average ? thanks for your insight so far.

margaery Sun 16-Jun-13 15:50:32

Eyesunderarock
I'm ok with children, but I need to work in school before I know how I am with teenagers.
The only part i liked about my old job was working with people, and being able to help. Was quite good at training part, and good at teaching peers maths at school/college/uni.

EliotNess what's your average week like ?

McNewPants2013 Sun 16-Jun-13 15:50:01

How dn school does it is that the 1 teacher teaches algebra and the other geometry for example.

Eyesunderarock Sun 16-Jun-13 15:47:28

It's not the marking that will take forever, unlike English. It's the working out what went wrong, why this individual didn't get it and how to ensure that they do understand next time around.
It's a hard subject to teach well

Bestseller Sun 16-Jun-13 15:47:15

I think youd find work easily, always a shortage of maths teachers, but p-t in secondary seems to be difficult to organise. My sister works an 80% timetable , but the way the timetable is organised means she has to work part of every day

EliotNess Sun 16-Jun-13 15:44:58

you choose a school you want to work in. You would have your pic

EliotNess Sun 16-Jun-13 15:44:28

no
of course not. You make it sound hellish

bamboostalks Sun 16-Jun-13 15:43:51

Depends where you are? If London, you will walk into position.

Eyesunderarock Sun 16-Jun-13 15:41:57

How are you with children?
Those of us that are burnt out in our 50s often started in the circus in our early 20s, so that has a bearing too.
Constant monitoring, yes.

McNewPants2013 Sun 16-Jun-13 15:41:14

My DN has 2 maths teachers, the 2 teachers do 2.5 days a week as a job share after maternity leave. They alternate a Wednesday so 1 week it's morning and 2nd week it's afternoons.

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