Ways into teaching part-time?

(73 Posts)
plainjayne123 Thu 14-Mar-13 10:43:19

I would like to career change and become a primary teacher, but part-time for the next few years at least. I have been told School direct/SCITT are only full time and I have rang some School direct schools and they won't consider this. OU and my local universities don't do part-time PGCEs. What else could I try anyone? I think I am an ideal cadidate - 1st from a great university, PhD, experience of working outside education, and very committed to starting teaching career.

Acinonyx Fri 15-Mar-13 21:12:20

Actually I do know people who have retrained as doctors and lawyers. Not dentists though....

Roseformeplease Fri 15-Mar-13 21:17:30

Not trying to dishearten but genuinely fed up with the idea that teaching is somehow an easy choice for a late career change. And if people do change to other professions in their 40s, it is rare, but teaching.....hundreds try each year. As a chemist, you might have a better chance in secondary but life experience counts for nothing in a room full of teenagers. They just want to know if you know something and can present it in an interesting way.

Not a special club, but also not an easy option for Mums.

BranchingOut Fri 15-Mar-13 21:19:14

Sadly, I failed to get a pt teaching post when i was applying with ten years primary teaching experience, in central London!

Will return to thread and add more later.

noblegiraffe Fri 15-Mar-13 21:27:30

What makes you think you'll be a good teacher? Have you done any teaching? Do you know any teachers? 50% of teachers quit within 5 years so if it is a career change and you've got dependants, it's got to be something you go into with your eyes open.

Acinonyx Fri 15-Mar-13 21:35:50

'but life experience counts for nothing in a room full of teenagers.'

I have no particular opinion about this - but note that the teaching agency recruitment process makes it clear that they don't agree and this is bound to influence prospective mature career-changers (as it is meant to). (As it happens, I do have several years teaching experience in another capacity so I have no ax to grind either way - just interested).

Roseformeplease Fri 15-Mar-13 21:40:04

Agree, life experience might get you a job, but it doesn't make you good at it. Having children doesn't guarantee you will make a good teacher, but not does it exclude that possibility.

noblegiraffe Fri 15-Mar-13 21:41:15

I'd say personality and a thick skin counts for more than life experience in the classroom.

wild Fri 15-Mar-13 21:47:32

since it's primary you want, why not TA until your youngest starts school? this will give you valuabe experience together with a lighter work load. Then you could teacher train full time for a year and look out for NQT options that could be flexible (you'd only be in classroom 0.8 anyway). I have gone 3 days a week towards the end of my NQT it's certainly possible, but you may have to compromise eg decide to prioritise hours, type of school, location etc

wild Fri 15-Mar-13 21:48:44

yy to thick skin

BranchingOut Sat 16-Mar-13 07:39:43

I think that the issues around availability of pt teaching posts are:

Primary is female dominated, so when a part-time post is advertised every woman and her sister are after that job.

People don't often tend to move on from the plum part time jobs. In my own school they were held by a teacher on the verge of retirement, one teacher without children who just did not want to work full time and two teachers with older school age children. So there was no suitable role for me, returning from maternity leave...

Teaching is more stressful than you might anticipate, so sometimes even people without children want to work part-time for other reasons.

KatAndKit Sat 16-Mar-13 07:46:45

I was a teacher for 10 years. Almost all part timers that I have come across were full timers to start with who got well established in their jobs and then were allowed to return part time after a maternity leave. I have never come across a part time trainee or a part time NQT. In my opinion you would probably have to commit to at least 2 years full time and then when you are fully qualified look for a part time job. They are like gold dust though.

I did my PGCE when my dds were 3 and 1, FT for an academic year. Then I got a PT teaching post and did my NQT year over 18 months. I love my job but am beginning to think about going FT now so I can really sink my teeth into it. Job sharing can be difficult, it's not without complications.

teacherwith2kids Sat 16-Mar-13 11:50:38

As others have said, I think that the issue will not necessarily be training (though don't underestimate the 'full timeness' of the placements - remember that you will have a LOT of paperwork and much more detailed planning than you will ever do again, so think about whether 8 weeks of c. 6 day weeks and c. 12 hour days is doable for you. My DH was unemployed while I did my final placement, and tbh we wouldn't have managed otherwise, even though I can manage a FT teaching job OK).

The issue will be getting a 'balanced' first job to complete your NQT year (many advertised PT posts are either a) advertised 'because they have to be' although there are internal candidates for them or b) PPA cover, maybe teaching 1 or 2 subjects to several classes), especially if you then want to make a 'proper' career out of teaching - as faced with a candidate who has done a limited subject, part time NQT year vs someone who has done FT, many schools will take the latter. Also, though flexibility is now coming in, teachers' pay goes up with years post qualification, not with 'actual years taught' - so a teacher wanting to go FT after 3 years of teaching 2 days a week will cost as much as a teacher who has been teaching FT all that time, despite their much more limited experience.

On the other hand, in some jobs - but not all by any means - your previous experience can be helpful. From my previous career, for example, I have particular skills in data handling and website development, and the school I worked at PT could use those. That gave me experiences that someone of my years in teaching would not normally have, and in turn I could 'sell' those on my cv when it came to getting a full-time job. However, those skills alone would not have got me the FT job - it is that I could show that I had applied them in a school setting that was useful.

Acinonyx Sat 16-Mar-13 13:56:13

The key issue that makes me hesitate about doing a PGCE is whether I could get a part-time job afterwards. For several reasons, FT is not an option. PT going in every day could work (I know a lot of PT secondary jobs are that type) depending on the actual timetable.

It's quite a gamble - could FT work for you OP?

plainjayne123 Sat 16-Mar-13 14:46:18

FT would be ok in about 10 years, and maybe for short periods, eg maternity cover. But I do want to be around for my children as well whilst they are young. There is also supply teaching as an option. I don't need to work for financial reasons but SAHM novelty has worn off and I am getting very bored. I have done some regular volunteering at school as a parent and as a govenor I have experience of school life. My personality is fairly introvert and I feel at ease amongst children and find them fascinating. I have a very bright child who loves learning and a child with severe learning difficulties so I have experienced the joys of a wide range of children learning.

letseatgrandma Sat 16-Mar-13 15:06:27

Well, as long as you are prepared to probably have to train f/t and then more than likely do the NQT year f/t, plus organise childcare before/after school and accept that the chances of p/t work are highly competitive and usually filled by those who were previously f/t then you're going into it with your eyes open. Supply teaching has also dried up completely in a lot of areas due to HLTAs covering courses/absence as they are cheaper and known to the children.

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Mar-13 15:30:05

Teaching really isn't the best job if you want to be around for young children, especially when you are training.

reastie Sat 16-Mar-13 16:19:05

plain just to give you a head up for teaching. It's a truly great and rewarding career if it's something you are truly passionate about and have a vocation for, but be aware as you have 2dc and can't do this FT for a while (as I can't) it is ALOT more work than the hours you actually work, it's one of those jobs where you can never do enough, there's always more to do. You have meetings/lesson planning/marking/paperwork coming out of your ears all the time. I work 2 days a week officially but I'm in school early (sometimes over 2 hours before I start teaching) and take work home. I also have to go in on my day off for parents evenings/week end events/INSET for no extra money. My DHs brother is a primary HT and he has told us he actively prefers employing PT teachers as he gets more for his money with a couple of PTers than one FT as they do comparatively more for the pay they get than FTers. I truly feel like it may be a 2 day a week job but I do so much more than that. It is fun and rewarding and a great career but it's also so hard and work life balance is very difficult. I don't regret going into teaching one little bit but I am also shocked at how much work I do. I'm not trying to put you off at all, but I am trying to give you a clear showing - teachers don't just turn up when school starts and go home at 3:30, despite what people think!

changeforthebetter Sat 16-Mar-13 16:33:41

I did a full time secondary PGCE which nearly -killed-- me. I got a job at a placement school. 3 days spaced out over 4. I still work crazy hours for a pittance but do get to see my kids, who are pretty young, much more. I went in to teaching because I love my subject and want to share it with young people. They are not so enthralled wink. I certainly didn't do it for a cushy life. I went in with my eyes open. Chances of promotion are zero as a PT and because our head thinks anyone over 30 is as good as dead but he is git my DDs' school has quite a few PTers but they used to be full time.

slambang Sat 16-Mar-13 16:50:42

Part time teaching fitting round the kids. ha ha!!
I taught primary for 9 years and got a p-t job after relocating with small dcs. I was job (and class) sharing with the HT in a small village primary. My p-t role paid me for 3 days worked over 5. The HT took the school for assembly and PE and I did everything else. To all intents I was the full-time class teacher and was therefore responsible for all the planning, curriculum areas, playground duties, report writing, parents meetings, Christmas plays and all the never-ending paperwork.

My dcs ended up long hours in childcare and every weekend I had to leave them with dh while I locked myself away to do my week's planning and prep.

If you want a job that fits round the dcs I would not ever choose teaching, even part time.

teacherwith2kids Sat 16-Mar-13 17:56:26

You do need to think very carefully about your motivation for teaching IMHO.

If you are desperate to teach, dream of having your own classroom, can't visit a school without thinking about what you would do if you worked there, love spending time with children, feel passionate about education, bore your friends rigid by talking about it ALL the time....then you're probably part of the way there. You will still find it hard, frustrating, overwhelming and exhausting, but your desire to teach and belief in education will carry you through.

If you are thinking it is a nice, convenient job that you could easily fit round children and that you think you could probably walk into - then it's probably not for you.

I second the advice above to apply for TA jobs for the moment (though tbh almost all TA jobs in my area are being taken up by qualified teachers who can't find jobs or who want to work in school but can't or don't want to do the hours of preparation and paperwork and meetings). It will give you a slightly more realistic view of what teaching involves (though even so you won't see the hours worked at home), has much more child-friendly hours, and will stand you in good stead if you wish to apply for a PGCE later. I would say that 80% plus of the people on my PGCE course - and this was just pre-recession and before the current teacher glut - had worked in school in some capacity (TA, support assistant, playleader, cover supervisor, sports coach, 1 to 1 tutor etc) before applying.

plainjayne123 Sat 16-Mar-13 17:58:58

I have just looked on our LA authority website which publishes monthly jobs for teachers and there are 5 PT primary jobs advertised, which surprises me but gives me hope. I am not after an easy life, I want a rewarding, challanging career that I can enjoy and be passionate about, and I am very happy to work 2 or 3 days and spend the other days whilst the children are at school working to prevent evening/weekend/holiday work, after all I wouldn't have anything else to do! I am sure this can be done. When the children are older I can go FT and go for extra responsibilities/promotion etc if that is what I want.

BackforGood Sat 16-Mar-13 18:03:24

See, this is where you are confused :

There are surely a lot of great teachers in the army of mums whose children have started school and they want a career change that fits in with having children

Primary teaching does not fit in with having small children.
Don't get me wrong - it's a great job in so many respects, but it is not a job to go in to if you want to be at any of your childrens "important moments".

However, I agree with everyone esle that all PT teacher I now are people who were already working at the school and had built up their reputation and then requested PT.

Panzee Sat 16-Mar-13 18:08:09

I did a part time distance learning PGCE with Liverpool Hope a few years back, although the teaching practice sections were full time. Not sure if they still do it but it's worth a look.

teacherwith2kids Sat 16-Mar-13 18:09:46

Well, no, not really (on the 'avoiding evening work' idea). If you have Maths each day (which you will) then the books have to be marked on Mon for Tues, Tues for Weds, and marked to be left on Weds eve at school to be used by the other part of the jobshare team. Same with English books, and any other subjects that you split between you or teach more than once a week.

Equally, you may plan your lessons on Thursday for the following week BUT the first lesson may not go as planned - you may need to add more material, go back to revise, ump ahead - so you re-write your plans and resources and interactive whiteboard stuff on Monday night for Tuesday and Wednesday's lessons. Same will probably happen on Tuesday evening, especially if you do joint planning with your jobshare partner, as you will need to work out how to adapt their part of the week to achieve what you planned given that your first part of the week will have changed things.

One of those evenings will have a staff meeting. On at least one other you will meet a parent or a colleague after school, or have a meeting (SEN / CAF / behavioural issues / training) etc so you will have to do your marking and prep at home because by the time the parent / colleague has left you have to pick your children up from childcare.

You will also need to put up displays (or prepare material for displays which a TA may put up, depending on school custom and practice). That can't be done at home, and you can't have access to the classroom while your jobshare partner is teaching in it. So you do it after school on one of 'your' days, again meaning that marking and prep gets done at home.

Teaching just isn't one of those jobs that you can structure 'work / non work' time as you describe. Some stuff just has to be done before the pupils walk in the next day, even if that means that you have to work at night rather than saying 'ah, no, I can't look at that until my next day at home'....

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