I'm thinking of applying for teacher training to start next Sept. I was going to go for the 1 year in school training plus NQT. By then my DS's will be 7, 4 and 18 months. I took redundancy (must be mad) from my last job when I was 8 months pregnant as my commute was very long, and my job was going to be made full time. I'd never have seen my kids so couldn't face going back.
I figured once qualified, teaching would be a family-friendly and flexible career (I would also love to teach). My worry now is that the training is intense ~ 60 hours a week all in) and I'm not sure that it would be fair to do it with 3 small kids - am I just going to be in the same situation I was in my old job?
Are there any new teachers out there who can give me an honest opinion of the work involved in training and how they have coped doing it with small kids? Would it just be better to wait a few more years until they're all at school? Is teaching a flexible career or am I just deluding myself? Thanks, your opinions are much appreciated.
Teaching is family friendly in terms of holidays, however you will still need childcare for before and after school plus INSET days. You will also never be able to go to your own child's nativity, sports day, harvest festival etc as you will be at your own school! Days are long and ther's lots of pressure even when you're qualified. It's not as family friendly as you think (but I still love it!).
Ok it's family friendly in the sense that you have the holidays. But it does involve lots of prep and marking to be done at home in the evenings and at weekends. In reality you either stay late to do this work or you take it home and fit t in when the children have gone to bed. It gets easier as you start to build up resources but it is hard going to start with and training is also hard as you are expected to also write assignments etc. I enjoy it but it isn't easy and there are times when I am literally exhausted and stressed on Sundays trying to take care of children whilst working on my laptop making lesson resources or marking books.
Make sure you think very carefully before you take the plunge. I think the ability to combine teaching with a family and maintain any kind of work-life balance really depends on your personality and outlook. I left a full-time job in primary teaching a year ago because it was taking over my life. Teaching is very demanding (ditto what cansu and petal have said about marking, planning etc) and, certainly in the schools I worked in, there's an awful lot of pressure (from both management and parents) to perform on full throttle the whole time. As a perfectionist who's probably overly conscientious, I really struggled with this - it's impossible to do everything briliiantly well in teaching. You also need to be thick-skinned to ignore the constant government and media jibes about how rubbish/lazy/overpaid teachers are! I've met lots of teachers who have left or want to leave teaching because they had no life outside the job, but also plenty who love it and manage to fit it around family life. It really depends on you.
As a rule, I'd leave school at 5.30-6pm and do maybe one-and-a-half to two hours additional work each night (lots of laminating, making/cutting out resources etc as well as marking and lesson planning). I'd take Saturdays off, but start working again on Sunday afternoons until about 7 or 8pm. The holidays are great, but bear in mind that some of the time will be spent preparing for the new term/year, and many of the teachers I've worked with are regularly ill with bugs caught from school for the first part of many holidays! It's a career that you can't easily switch off from; even at weekends you may be expected to attend school events/competitions etc, (e.g. our Christmas Fayre and Carol Service were both compulsory 'Directed Time') and then there are all the extras like report writing, parents' evenings etc..
So definitely not an easy option, but it can be made to work I think...