career change into teaching?

(14 Posts)
sophiesm0m Thu 28-Feb-13 10:22:17

I am looking for a career change, trying to find the elusive work life balance. I have a 2yo toddler, and a few days ago a friend mentioned teaching and the shortage there is for math/chemistry/physics, and since then the more I think about the idea, the more i like it.

I would like to know if mums in the mumsnet community that have changed into teaching can share their experiences with me?

lpy101 Thu 28-Feb-13 14:54:59

I'm a secondary Science teacher but I trained straight out of uni, 10+ years ago. Yes, there is a shortage so I think you would do well to re train.

However, whilst we have our holidays, teaching is not flexible and you are unlikely to get a decent work life balance! I don't want to put you off because it is a really worthwhile job that can be very rewarding.

The PGCE year is extremely tough, especially with children! I have mentored various student teachers, some of whom had children.

A part time position could be a good option but many schools are reluctant to take on part timers on account of their impact on time tables.

Good luck with whatever you decide!!

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sun 03-Mar-13 14:52:02

Be careful -

there aren't necessarily the shortage subjects you think there are. Funding for teacher training is often being cut or reduced.

As a teacher of a core subject - you will have to work long into the evenings and at least a day on weekends, probably. Yes, the holidays - but no flexibility. In term time, the school owns you, and that's that. Yes you finish at three, but you could stay till 5/6/7.

I am childless and a teacher - I am lucky my time is all my own. I have great respect for those who do it with children.

Go on the TES forums and do some research. Good luck.

RainbowsFriend Sun 03-Mar-13 14:57:34

I retrained as a chemistry teacher in my thirties - already had an unused chenistry degree so just had to do my PGCE.,

I can honestly say that teaching in the first 5 years in much longer hours than I had ever had before - with a daytime office job and evening/weekend waitressing. Term time you will NOT have a better work-life balance - expect to work 50-60 hour weeks.

But you do get the holidays.

I now have DD 20 months and cannot imagine being able to work full time as I want to see her occasionally, so I am now part time. Other people manage it though.

Littleturkish Sun 03-Mar-13 15:05:28

I think of you're passionate about wanting to teach it's a great move- please don't do it unless you enjoy explaining things to children, teenagers and young people.

I would suggest getting a few days observing in a school watching outstanding teachers teach. As you've got life experience, you may prefer to do a GTP over a PGCE.

PM me your area and I can reccomend some schools to go and observe in if you're in my part of the country.

Work life balance is awful at the start, but it's a very rewarding career if you love what you do. I honestly love my job, happy to go to work every day and always look to improve and do a better job- such satisfaction. I would say I'm 100% happier than any of my friends in my work BUT I'm also the most poorly paid!

BlackholesAndRevelations Tue 05-Mar-13 18:00:17

Make sure you don't go in expecting to finish at 3! Expect to work your butt off and work when you've put your toddler to bed, weekends, some days in the hols.

Leaverightnow Wed 06-Mar-13 23:15:28

I teach a core subject and have just returned after a year's mat leave. Seriously think long and hard about it. I have just finished my marking and prepping for tomorrow-it's eleven pm and I'll b up at 6 to b in school by seven thirty tomorrow. Very hard work with young children at home!!! I trained in my early twenties, wouldn't even dream of doing so now with a young child. Maybe wait til your child is older. Teaching is a calling, a true vocation - I love teaching and know it is what I am meant to do but I wouldnt recommend it as a flexible or family friendly career. Sorry and good luck with whatever u decide!

wild Wed 06-Mar-13 23:20:28

yeah I just finished for the night now, too, leave! (primary)
GTP no longer exists try Schools Direct op

ToTeachOrNotToTeach Wed 06-Mar-13 23:24:24

I've got a 4 and 1 year old and just considering returning to teaching part time. I've not taught since I've had children and its the stress and lack of work life balance in term time that's putting me off. I did love the job though . . And holidays are easy to cover!

BackforGood Wed 06-Mar-13 23:31:35

Have to agree with everyone else. If you are passionate about sharing the subject with young people, and/or enthusing a generation of teenagers, then teaching can be a very rewarding and satisfying job, but it's not really a job to go in to because you are looking for a better "work/life balance". Yes, it's good to be off most of the time your children are off, once they are school age, but during term time, there's little time to be with them.

wild Wed 06-Mar-13 23:32:22

I definitely work shorter hours than I did when I was in publishing and I'd say that having my own dc has helped me do that. Having a non negotiable leaving time, and having to keep a bit of family time free, has kept work within limits whereas when I was younger and had no dc I'd have worked from dawn to dusk, because it's one of those jobs that never ends, there's always more you can do. Having dc forces you to be pragmatic about seeking a work life balance. My dc are a little bit older, but I am on my own with them, so it is definitely possible if you want it.
Find out if you want it first, though. Work in a school.

BackforGood Wed 06-Mar-13 23:42:09

Yes, I should have said that too. My dh is a scientist, and, at one point when they were struggling to find funding for research, he seriously thought about looking at teaching. He arranged 2 days work shadowing in a local secondary school, and I think realised after about the first morning there's no way he could do that for a living. He couldn't cope with the fact that such a tiny % of the working day was actually about science.

Littleturkish Thu 07-Mar-13 01:15:22

Wild we have GTPs in our school- is this the last year?

missprocrastinate Sun 17-Mar-13 17:26:25

You could tread the water by doing a bit of voluntary work in local school, or maybe even consider role of Teaching Assistant. I'd thought about teaching as a career but have decided to stick with being a TA. OK, pay isn't as good but don't have pressure that I think many teachers face these days. Yes, it's great to get hols but don't underestimate how much work teachers have to do at home as well. Teacher I work with doesn't feel she gets work/life balance as she's constantly marking, planning etc.

Good luck!

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