Thinking of becoming an English teacher in a secondary school...

(16 Posts)
RingInTheNew Thu 08-May-14 21:58:54

nyone out there do that job or similar? I currently work in marketing and am feeling disillusioned with the commercial life.

Pros/cons/advice would be most welcome! Thank you.

Roseformeplease Thu 08-May-14 22:01:28

Yes, have been teaching English for more than 20 years - 7 in England, the rest in Scotland.

Pros - love pupils, teaching and my school

Cons - Scottish government and their ridiculous meddling with the curriculum.

Fruityb Thu 08-May-14 22:02:26

And the marking!! Oh sweet lord the marking!!!

Gove is enough reason not to...

squizita Thu 08-May-14 22:04:34

Try shadowing a new teacher for the day -many schools will let you do this.

I could write 10000 words and not capture everything you'll see in that 1 day.

I love it!

squizita Thu 08-May-14 22:05:06

...I hate marking though.

RingInTheNew Thu 08-May-14 22:10:21

Yes, I thought the marking might be a big minus! Good idea squizita re. shadowing - I will look into it.

Fruityb Thu 08-May-14 22:23:57

Don't get me wrong I love my job and I do lots of different things in promoting literacy which I really enjoy. Exam season is soon upon us so that means you can take your foot off the gas after months of heck! Then the stress of waiting for results kicks in...

It's fab, working with the kids is amazing and no day is ever the same! But it has stress, irritation and too much bloody paperwork sometimes. That and being beaten with the OFSTED stick can get on your nerves.
I spent four hours marking on Monday and got fed up, you always have that niggling "I've got planning to do and this to mark" voice in the back of your head when you'd rather be having fun and sometimes you wonder how the hell you will get it done. You can kiss goodbye to weekends some weeks and as much as the holidays rock, half terms are usually marking and catch up weeks. I spent a week of my Easter break going through coursework and other holidays planning. But somehow it gets done, and it's worth it. when a kid smiles and feels they've achieved something then you know you're getting it right.
That being said I'm still holding out for a lotto win and then I won't have to work at all! That's the dream lol.

Nocomet Thu 08-May-14 22:24:18

Fortunately DD1 is in Y11 and never intends to do English again in her life, so you won't get to mark her dyslexic muddles. She said she felt sorry for her English teacher getting reams of illegible scrawl, but she'd just done a drama practice paper too.

Amaxapax Thu 08-May-14 22:36:03

I'm an English teacher. I'll echo the others who say the marking is the biggest challenge. Sometimes the quality of my lessons is not as high as it could be because so much of my time and effort goes into marking, but fortunately I'm quite good at making the kids work hard in ways that mean I don't have to.

The one thing I would say about being an English teacher is that, in some ways, it can kill your love of the subject. At GCSE you have to teach to the exam, even though it means essentially getting the kids to respond to a tick list of requirements rather then necessarily helping them to develop any particular skills. Teaching some texts repeatedly has killed them a bit for me. But saying that, I recently marked an assessment on Macbeth by my Y8 groups and was so pleased with the quality. I sat back in my chair and said to myself, "Damn, I taught that well." And results day last year was the single most rewarding day of my six year career. So, you know, it's swings and roundabouts.

sarahquilt Fri 09-May-14 05:49:13

I would echo what Amaxapax said. In addition, a lot depends on the kind of school you're working in. I work in a private now with tiny classes but it's still very tough with a shedload of work and marking. However, bear in mind you could end up in a school with a lot of kids like the ones in 'Mr Drew's School for Boys'. I've seen both sides and worked in some really tough places. Pros of job - I get to teach some texts I love, particularly at A level. Some kids are lovely to work with. It's a relatively stable job with an ok salary (not amazing!)
Cons - marking if you're teaching English or history, school politics with managers etc - there's always too many of them trying to justify their existence, crap behaviour depending on school and the sheer volume of workload. I'm in bed by 9 every weeknight and up at 6, otherwise I wouldn't be able to function.

PickledPorcupine Fri 09-May-14 06:01:07

Even though it's hard when you have a full time job try to get as much experience in schools as possible (and not in the summer term when things can relax a bit). I got experience for 8 weeks in 3 very different schools to check it was for me. There's a reason 50% of teachers quit within 5 years so you need to be absolutely sure before investing.

wannabestressfree Fri 09-May-14 06:09:04

Another English teacher here. Bed at 9.00 and up at 5.30 to mark and prepare. I love it though smile

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Fri 09-May-14 06:17:20

I was a secondary English teacher, and am now a SEN teacher in a mainstream school. Mainly English depending on the needs of the group.

All of the good things about teaching with class sizes of four on average, so consequently the marking load is significantly lighter.

susannahmoodie Fri 09-May-14 08:43:24

I an English teacher in my 7th yr now although I'm on my 2nd mat leave ATM.

After dc1 I returned ft and worried about how I'd cope with the workload but it was honestly fine. Tough but fine. Marking gets done after kids are in bed, I actually enjoy marking a level essays so not too bad.

I love it, but do not underestimate the marking load or the pressure at certain times of year.

RingInTheNew Sat 10-May-14 19:58:09

Thank you everyone! Really useful.

LittleMunchkin Sat 31-May-14 00:42:31

Pros - job security. Depending on where you live, you will always get a job. Also, I love the actual teaching - the classroom experience. I also did this as a career change and now feel that I am doing something really worthwhile. The reason for changing was that my son was starting school; having school holidays at home is fantastic for working parents.

Con - I think one or two people may already have mentioned the marking! Realistically, apart from most of the summer, the rest of the holidays can just be regarded as 'working from home.' I spent about 60 hours working at home over Easter. Fortunately my child is old enough to relatively independent. However, teaching English can be very stressful for mums with very young children. I also agree with Fruityb - even when you are not marking/planning/writing reports, you always feel that you should be. This means that you don't always enjoy the time off. You should assume that for most of the working year, you are gong to be working 6 days a week, and most evenings.

Would I recommend it overall? Yes, at the moment. However, if I did not have a school-age child myself, I think I would choose something that allowed me to have the week-ends off.

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