This is my first posting on Mumsnet, so please be gentle with me! I completed a Primary PGCE in July and I'm seeking my first post. I am a mature career changer (with over 10 years in learning & development in the corporate world pre-PGCE).
I have 2 young children (6 & 4) and for that reason completed my PGCE part-time. So far I have held out and only applied for the couple of part-time posts I have seen advertised in my local area. Realistically I am beginning to think I only have a good chance of securing a post if I apply for full-time posts. However, the prospect juggling parenthood and full time teaching does terrify me! Any advise/words of wisdom welcome. Have you had a similar experience and how did it work out for you?
It worked out fine for me until my son got very ill and my school were expecting Ofsted. The first year is harder, my second year was great, third okay, fourth hell (but my child was hospitalised) and now am looking for supply work. It is doable, choose your school carefully you may find larger schools easier to start with as there is often a parellel teacher to bounce ideas off. Try to cut down on the after school clubs your kids do, they will be tired after a longer day and so will you. Batch cook, let the housework standards slip and block out at least a day for family time. Good luck.
I started my NQT year when my youngest was 4 and ill! It is doable - you just need to timetable everything.
For instance drop off as soon as possible for child care so you can be in work early; this way you have the photocopier to yourself and there are less people about so you can set up for the day ahead without any interruptions.
At the end of the day only stay in school to complete the tasks that you need school facilities to complete else collect your DC and go home! Cook tea, do homework with DC, bath them, spend time with them and after they have gone to bed, then you continue with planning/marking etc
Make use of resources already created online or in school - there is no need to re-invent the wheel; you just 'tweek' it to suit your students.
I agree with looking for larger, rather than smaller schools. It's so much easier if you are working with a colleague in terms of planning and assessment. You can share the preparation of resources which saves loads of time.
As in almost any field, I think you are more likely to get a decent PT job by starting FT and doing a good job. The other route seems to be doing supply and getting known and liked and being in the right place at the right time when someone is looking for a job-share partner or to cover regular PPA/management time.
I did FT PGCE when my DCs were a little older than yours (5 and 9), and found that year harder than my NQT year (all that pointless evidence collection...). Now going into my 4th year and it is starting to feel like it might be manageable this year. I have a fantastically supportive and flexible DH. I honestly have no idea how single parent teachers manage.
But, I think it is worth it. My background was also corporate L & D and there is no comparison- primary teaching is rewarding in a way that working with adults never was. It also tunes you into your own DC's world - you understand a big part of their life better than you would otherwise.
Looking at friends who do PT, a 3 day week seems to equate to 5 days work, but any less seems to mean you end up doing bits and pieces, rather than having a class. For me, the joy of primary is really getting to know a group of children. I now do a very slightly less than FT week which means I don't miss anything really at school but I do get to pick my DS up once a week or roll a couple of hours up to go to sports day.
The thought of going back to school seems to terrify most teachers ( look on here or TES towards the end of August!), but once you get going the reality is never as bad as you imagine. Hope you find something good for you very soon.
Thanks everyone. It's good to hear about your experiences & always helps to talk things through to get some perspective. I am starting to see jobs advertised again & I think I will bite the bullet & go for it. I need to get back into the classroom before I get rusty. My husband is going to see what he can arrange with work so that he can do at least a couple of school runs, which would help to ease my guilt!
Mine were yr3 and yr6 when I did my PGCE, full time. I now work full time.
I agree with so many of the comments made above about planning your time effectively.
My DH drops off our younger one to school (still at primary) and we would alternate picking up from after-school club. I am now much closer, so I can now pick up. A colleague with primary-aged DCs uses breakfast club, with her DH working early hours. He then does the pick up at the end of the day.