What other jobs can I do?

(39 Posts)
Worried123456 Tue 22-Oct-13 10:44:01

I am sick of teaching now, absolutely sick of it. I've only been qualified for 14 years, but the job has changed beyond belief and there is absolutely no scope for any creativity or fun. sad Every week brings new initiatives, if not from Gove, then from the management who are terrifed Ofsted will put us into RI. There is no time to cement any of these ideas and then they are thrown out for not working!

Everything is an absolute priority in my school at the moment-marking, assessment, success criteria, Learning objectives, mini-plenaries, next steps, intervention, extra-curricular clubs, Outstanding lesson observations (if we are not Outstanding, we will be repeatedly observed until we are, or we go on Capability!), targets for the children which they must be able to parrot off to whoever asks, displays...the list goes on. I can't do it, I hate it. I've always been rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, but quite frankly, you are only ever as good as your last observation and I can't face being hounded like some of my 'unsatisfactory' colleagues have been, should I have a bad day in the future.

I'm a Y1 teacher and need to get out! I have a fairly unhelpful (English) degree and don't know what else I can do. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was 5 sad I'd like do do tutoring; there is a big call for 11+ tutoring down here and I have tutored my own older kids successfully through the 11+, but I still have little children and committing to after school/weekend work right now is not going to work (but is an idea for the future).

What can I do!? Is it just my school-are other primaries better? I don't know whether to change schools and see what's out there, but frankly my confidence is low at the moment after being constantly told things aren't good enough (not me, particularly, but as a whole staff) and I'm not sure I can face an interview of spewing blue-sky thinking and whatever is en vogue at the moment and then teaching a lesson whilst 4 members of SMT watch me (which is what happens at my school) right now.

Help sad I'm nearly 40 and my pension age says I can 68-there is no way in a million years I can carry on like this for 30 years...

storynanny Tue 22-Oct-13 11:57:14

I got to this stage 2 years ago after 33 years of teaching for all of your reasons and more. Ive only ever wanted to teach and have never had any other job other than student vacation jobs.
I am doing supply teaching in several local infant and primary schools, including a few in which I have previously taught, about 5 days a month. It cuts out all the ridiculousness but doesnt give an awful lot of job satisfaction. I thought it would be enough and fulfilling but there is something missing. However I am definitely never returning to the treadmill of full time teaching. Ive witnessed all the stress and strains, easily visible the minute I walk into a staffroom and have quickly weeded out some schools that I dont want to work in even for a day. The best sort of supply is becoming a regular at a school so that you can build some sort of rapport with the children and regular staff.
Although I am grateful to be off the treadmill Im just not sure it will be enough in job satisfaction terms to keep me going until im 67 which is my pension age.
Why dont you give supply teaching a go? If you work in several different schools it will give you a feel of how it would be to work someone other than your current school.
Best of luck, I will follow the thread with interest as Im still considering a career change!

cherrypiesally Tue 22-Oct-13 19:34:48

Omg, it reads as if I posted all of that but I am secondary. Have no advice just hugs. Xx

stargirl1701 Tue 22-Oct-13 19:36:24

Move to Scotland. grin

Mrspebble Tue 22-Oct-13 19:43:22

I moved out of secondary teaching years ago .. Nothing was good enough.. Push push push.. Parents not supporting etc.

I now teach in a special school..wonderful atmosphere, supportive parents.

It is all about the children. I can be creative and am still motivated every single day... I love it. Yes we have to adhere regulations but there is greater flexibility.

Could you work for an exam board ? Advisory teacher ?

Euphemia Tue 22-Oct-13 21:02:04

I was going to say move to Scotland! I'm a P1/2 teacher and I don't face any of the things you list as causing you stress. The inspection system here is also much lighter touch.

The BIG plus is ...

NO GOVE!!!! grin

BrigitBigKnickers Tue 22-Oct-13 21:16:09

Primary teaching is no better...

Finickynotfussy Tue 22-Oct-13 21:35:13

I do think you should try another school before chucking all your training and expertise away. You could consider the independent sector?

bigTillyMint Tue 22-Oct-13 21:37:50

Have you thought about specialist settings? IMHE, there is much more room for creativity, and really making a difference to the children who need it most.

pickledsiblings Tue 22-Oct-13 21:42:34

If you live near a Uni, check out the teaching associate posts.

BrigitBigKnickers Tue 22-Oct-13 22:14:48

Nah-I work in a specialist setting- it's no different- I still have to jump through all the same hoops as mainstream teachers- next steps marking, success criteria, mini plenaries, AFL, talk partners -( ha! that's an interesting one for pupils who have severe communication difficulties hmm.) I sometimes wonder why I spent two year gaining extra qualifications to work in my field... Chuck em all in mainstream with no TA- they'll do as well...

My performance management target is for all my pupils to attain 3.5 points progress per year ( the same as mainstream children...) Apparently that is considered to be "good" progress. Well for some of my pupils "outstanding" progress might only mean a few extra points ticked off on an APP grid.

When I pointed out to my line managers that the OFSTED progress guidance documents advised that other areas of progress needed to be taken into account for SEN children (ie not just NC data) I was told, no they still expected 3.5 points progress. They hadn't even seen the document- didn't even know of its existence. I am being judged by senior leaders who know nothing about the needs of the pupils I teach and don't even know about the guidance that inspectors have to follow.

And my pay is dependent upon the judgements of these clowns...

Oh and in the last OFSTED inspection (where the inspector was qualified and extremely experienced in my field of expertise) my provision was rated as outstanding in all four areas of the report...

Interesting about Scottish schools. We keep being told that research proves this is the best way to teach children, that these are the best methods to use to ensure the best progress and the highest standards. So what is different in Scottish schools? Is their research different???

bigTillyMint Wed 23-Oct-13 08:11:33

Euphemia NO GOVEenvyenvyenvy

stargirl1701 Wed 23-Oct-13 08:29:28

What is different? Everything. The two systems are further part than I have ever known.

Scotland now has a curriculum based on social constructivism. No external testing until post 16. All state schools are still controlled by local authorities. One pay scale for teachers nationwide. No performance related pay. HMIe (our OFSTED) have moved to a supportive inspection framework. Individual schools can alter the deliver of their curriculum to suit the needs of their school. No league tables exist. Most children go to their local school (Edinburgh does have a high proportion of children in private school). No unqualified teachers can teach in state schools. No academies or free schools exist.

It is not an educational utopia though grin All of the stressors mentioned by the OP would be eliminated. The only fly in the ointment might be the GTC. Everyone I know who came from England to teach in Scotland had to complete a probationary period as an NQT. It means starting at point 0 on the pay scale.

Orangeanddemons Wed 23-Oct-13 17:45:49

I feel the same too. Have been looking for something else for 3 years, but cannot find anything. Eventually had a long time off with stress 2 years ago. Can feel it starting again....

stillenacht Wed 23-Oct-13 17:53:28

Snap. Have been teaching 20 years. Its killing me. I came into this job to teach music, to inspire, run clubs and enthuse and instil a passion for my subject. I did not come into this job to justify at every step data which has no baseline relevance to my subjecthmm

AmelieRose Wed 23-Oct-13 17:57:53

I'm so sorry you feel like this Worried. I taught in England for the first 7 years of my career after training there, but moved back to Scotland (where I'm from) 6 years ago. I despair at what Gove is doing - many of my friends that I used to teach with in England are feeling similarly to you. They too are fantastic teachers who feel their professionalism is being undermined completely.

I much prefer teaching in Scotland, although it was quite a shock to the system at first as it's so different. Of course we have problems here too - the new curriculum stargirl has described has caused lots of problems in the secondary sector in particular.

I didn't have to complete a probationary year when I moved back - I don't know if that was because I was an AST and went back to classroom teacher though. I couldn't have got a promoted post here straight away despite my experience so had to take a mahoosive pay cut for a few years.

I know a couple of people who have reduced their hours to keep their foot in the door, and taken on consultancy work to top up their income - would this be an option? One advantage I found about teaching in England was the range of options/schools/responsibilities available - in Scotland it's much more streamlined.

Otherwise, what about working in a non-school education setting, like museums or charity? I know it's not as well paid but it might be worth it if you can afford it.

I am an English teacher so sympathise with feeling your degree isn't that useful! As a final note, a former colleague that I trained with gave up teaching and went into recruitment - not for everyone, but she loves it and has never looked back. If you are serious about leaving, remember you have a huge range of transferable skills - sometimes teachers are very hard on themselves as we feel we are pigeonholed into one area. It sounds like you'd be an asset to a wide range of things.

Hope things improve for you soon.

snowmummy Wed 23-Oct-13 18:07:13

Its so sad to hear that all this experience will be walking out of the door because of the idiots that run our education system. I've just gone back to teaching after 8 years at home. I've done half a term and am not sure I'll make it to the end of the year.

storynanny Wed 23-Oct-13 18:15:17

Im seeing so much stress and strain on teachers faces as I travel around on supply. I suspect that teachers will only be able to work at this level of pressure for a small number of years unlike in the past, or in my case over thirty years. It is a disgraceful and very sad reflection of all the nonsense that goes on in schools now.
Im disappointed that my current and future little grandchildren will not experience the fun that my own children and I enjoyed at primary schools. None of the schools I work in have an art area permanently up and running! Most don't have time for story at the end of the day. How can that have happened in infant schools?

ipadquietly Wed 23-Oct-13 20:02:28

I'm with you worried.

I've been in the job for 20 years and love the teaching part - thinking of a creative and meaningful curriculum and seeing the progress of the children. I passionately believe that primary education should provide children with a love of learning.

However, looking at the new curriculum, I see years of drudgery stretching ahead for teachers and children. I really can't bring myself to get involved with it! I've just announced to the HT that I'm leaving next summer.

We're in the process of buying a small-holding and we'll be living in penury...

... but I feel liberated.

stillenacht Wed 23-Oct-13 20:03:35

Ipadquietly good for you!!!!!smile

barmybunting Fri 25-Oct-13 13:05:01

Worried I have to concur with the info on Scottish schools. We are in the process of moving to England just now, and I am applying for teaching jobs there for the first time having only taught in Scotland. I have to say I'm horrified looking at some of the details of the curriculum, observations etc in comparision to what we have in Scotland.

barmybunting Fri 25-Oct-13 13:11:03

Sorry, I didn't manage to finish that!

What about a role in learning & development in the council or for a larger company? I worked in L&D prior to retraining in teaching, and a lot of former colleagues and been teachers in a previous life.

snowmummy Fri 25-Oct-13 14:38:47

barmybunting comparing the two, would you say the Scottish system is better than the uk? I ask because we may have an opportunity to relocate and I'm thinking from a parent's perspective what would be best for our children. I am also a teacher but whether or not I can teach in Scotland is a secondary issue.

Arisbottle Fri 25-Oct-13 18:25:51

Would your English degree allow you to move into secondary education? seems much less work to me.

stillenacht Fri 25-Oct-13 19:30:33

Secondary education much less work? You are having a laugh aren't you??!!shockshockshock

Have you seen an English teacher's marking pile at secondary??!!shockshockshock

Euphemia Fri 25-Oct-13 19:51:05

I don't know about the comparison between the Scottish education system and England's - it's hard to gauge as we don't assess at primary school in as regimented a way: no levels and sub-levels, no SATs.

My impression is that teachers and pupils are under much less pressure in Scotland. My DD is in P7 and having a high old time, with no worries about SATs or competitive entry to secondary school, as she would have were she in her final year of primary in England. Here we have state secondary schools or private schools, and that's it. No grammars, academies or free schools.

As a teacher I'm left to get on with my planning, teaching and assessment, by and large. I'm observed once a term, if that. I need to have evidence of achievement and progress available, but no-one asks to see it very often.

Dayshiftdoris Fri 25-Oct-13 21:03:17


Have you got a link to that OFSTED document re: SEN please.

Be handy for Governors

BrigitBigKnickers Fri 25-Oct-13 23:03:45

Progression 2010–11Advice on improving data to raise attainment and maximise the progress of learners with special educational needs Here FAO DayshiftDoris

Dayshiftdoris Sat 26-Oct-13 09:50:13

That is excellent Thank you smile

snowmummy Sat 26-Oct-13 18:18:13

euphemia thanks for that. It sounds ideal to me and backs up what I've heard. I want my children to achieve but there must be a better way than a test driven, uninspiring curriculum.

Who said secondary is much less work? Ridiculous.

barmybunting Sun 27-Oct-13 17:51:37

Snowmummy - I think Euphemia sums up exactly what I would say about the difference between the Scottish system and the English system. I can't directly compare the two with active experience as I have yet to teach in England, but from first hand experience of the Scottish system, and looking at the English system as I apply for jobs, it does seem to be that children and teachers are under less pressure here, and are more able to get on with what they are meant to be doing without additional reporting of levels, observations etc.

Personally, as a teacher in Scotland, I feel I have the freedom to teach in a way that works for the children in my class at a given time, rather than worrying about endless tests and levels. BUT, I do realise this differs from school to school.

At this stage, I personally would stay in Scotland and teach given a choice. We are moving due to DH's job, but I am dreading trying to get my head around the English system and the pressure which seems to go with it.

In terms of finding a job in Scotland, I am very concious that
a) some teachers trained in England via the system overbearing to register in Scotland, but it is doable. Various neighbours of ours are teachers (we live in military housing due to DH's job so a lot of our neighbours are from England & Wales rather than Scotland) who trained in England, and I know a number of them have decided it's not worth registering here due to the time/cost it takes. However, the ones who do have managed the process and found roles fairly easily.
b) job availability depends where you are. We are very fortunate at this stage that there is a shortage of primary teachers where I live (rural North East Scotland) and a lot of vacancies. Aberdeen recently advertised a £5000 'golden hello' to teachers new to the area who are appointed to permanent primary posts as there is such a shortage there. The central belt - Edinburgh and Glasgow - are a different story though, friends of mine who trained in the last 5-6 years are still struggling to find a permanent post there despite endless interviews etc.

I think it depends where you are going and what you're looking for regarding teaching. But I do personally find teaching here a lot less stressful than I am anticipating down south being.

Misssss Tue 29-Oct-13 19:39:54

Op I feel for you, I wouldn't be surprised if you worked in my school. I've had enough. Been there just over a year, had Ofsted in September who have graded us 4. Morale is low, and there is going to be a relentless round of observations in the coming half term. SMT keep coming up with initiative after initiative which are invariably scrapped after a couple of months. Don't want to out myself but the amount of admin/paperwork is horrific. I printed 1500 sheet of A4 in the last week of term - there are only 26 children in my class.

Seriously considering handing in my notice and going back to supply. I feel this sense of impending doom all the time. I too had time off with stress a couple of years ago and I can feel myself teetering again.

Has anyone successfully changed career? I won't be able to retire for 40 years. I want to cry at the thought of it.

toomuchicecream Tue 29-Oct-13 21:25:37

Definitely try another school before leaving altogether. 2 years ago I wasn't at all happy in the school I was at. I took a risk and moved to an interesting sounding maternity cover (SEN) which I absolutely loved and then when it ended got a job in another very different primary school (very very small) which, although hard work, is manageable. I know that when I was job hunting 2 years ago I worked out that if I didn't get another job soon I'd have lost my edge so much I wouldn't be able to get something else as I'd no longer be good enough. The maternity cover (in what turned out to be a lovely, lovely school) gave me a whole new lease of life, teaching-wise!

rainbowmagic1974 Tue 29-Oct-13 22:54:02

I feel the same hmmhmmhmm
After 16 years of teaching I've had enough. Although no idea what I could do instead ( my degree is English and Drama).

ilovesooty Tue 29-Oct-13 23:38:08

I taught for 23 years. My degree is in English and my PGCE is in English and drama. I work for a charity now. I work with offenders and class A drug users and currently deliver employability interventions. I'm also a self employed counsellor in private practice.

KatyCustard Fri 01-Nov-13 22:44:56

Hello OP,

I was a teacher, but about 4 years ago started work for an LA for a special needs team. I write statements and look after provision for children with statements, shortly to become EHCPs. I found it really really hard at first, partly because it's a lot more controversial than I realised when I applied. You only have to spend a few minutes in the Special Needs area on MN to see that LA SEN officers are not very well liked. But I work for a small LA in a challenging town and have come to really like it; I have a good relationship with my schools. LA jobs are not always easy to come by these days, but it's worth looking into. (Big draw back - not term time only).

Worried123456 Wed 06-Nov-13 13:00:23

Thank you for all the replies. It's comforting to know I'm not alone but depressing to think there are so many teachers out there who are utterly miserable.

I need to get out of this school, I know that. I've been looking over the last week and there is nothing local, so I would end up having to travel. I think a change is what I need though.

I am so sad that the job I've always wanted to do has changed beyond belief. If I could afford to resign, I would do it in a hearbeat.

carolinesas Fri 22-Nov-13 17:12:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

carolinesas Fri 22-Nov-13 17:15:59

I'm also in this quandary. I've only been teaching two years, since September I've been doing supply and although the work load is far less, I see children at their worst every day I work. It can still be very draining. I'm considering doing admin temping until my maternity leave starts. I'm not sure I'm qualified to do anything else having only ever worked in schools!

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