Should I train to be a teacher or move for a £60K paid job?

(268 Posts)
Arthurlager Wed 27-Mar-13 13:48:37

I have a dilemma and would welcome opinions.

I am 39, have 3 DC, 11, 9, 6. I have a place on a teacher training course in September. It will mean no income for a year then a starting salary of £21K. And fab holidays of course. Things are already very tight financially. Just to keep my options open I have applied for, and got through to the last stage for, a job paying a starting salary of £60K, final salary pension, bonus scheme etc.

If I am offered the job, it would mean moving house to a part of the country I have always liked, moving schools etc, something I have never done before. But of course it is F/T so I would need a childminder or nanny as we have no family there.

So...what would you choose?

CautionaryWhale Thu 28-Mar-13 00:54:45

Take the job if offered it!

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 07:13:57

You'd probably enjoy teaching more if you wait at least a decade, your children would be grown. I do think it's now a job for a decade rather than a lifetime if you don't want to burn out. Or perhaps longer if you work part time.

TeamEdward Thu 28-Mar-13 08:26:56

I worked with a teacher who trained in her 50's.
39 is not too late!

dopeysheep Thu 28-Mar-13 08:45:22

Take the 60k job.
If you love literature I think you will quickly feel demoralised by the fact that many of your pupils won't give a shiny shit about it.
Kind of like watching a landscape you love being obliterated by rubbish and factories. Sorry.
But 60k! Do that.

dopeysheep Thu 28-Mar-13 08:46:05

Maybe pop over to the TES forum and ask over there?

cocolepew Thu 28-Mar-13 08:50:35

I work with teachers and I can't think of one that would say don't take the 60k job. They all would leave teaching in a heartbeat for it.

DebarkabyQuaker Thu 28-Mar-13 08:56:32

Take the job and move. With you and dh both earning well, take your dm/df/family with you.....granny annex??
I'm a teacher and I think I'd take a lower paid job just to get out of teaching sad

mercibucket Thu 28-Mar-13 08:56:50

If you love English lit, the last thing you should do is teach it. Think of all those images from books - the boot endlessly stamping into a face, people treading on your dreams etc. That would be a disillusioned year 9 class stamping all over your love of literature

Don't go into teaching. Esp not when you have a family. And esp not if you have any other option.

CornMonster Thu 28-Mar-13 09:02:41

I'm a teacher. Take the job and never look back. The holidays are great but they are the single thing keeping me in teaching.

SmileAndPeopleSmileWithYou Thu 28-Mar-13 09:10:41

Well, to offer an alternative view...

I'm a teacher and I love my job. I wouldn't take the 60k job.
My reasoning is because our household income is fine for us, we're not wealthy but we don't struggle either. I always wanted to be a teacher and I am very lucky to work in a school where I am supported and valued. I have one young DC but I juggle my work at home around him (often work once he is asleep). Personally I wouldn't be happy in another type of career.

However, I agree with other posts. You need to look at what jobs are available and think about the workload vs pay. You don't get ALL the holidays. If it's something you are dying to do then do it. But it sounds to me like the 60k job would suit you, after all, you did apply.

Weigh up your options carefully, teaching is not going to be right for you if you don't have a passion for it. Many end up hating it because of the school they are in etc.
Not everyone hates it though.

TwllBach Thu 28-Mar-13 09:16:05

I'm coming back to this thread after finding out my school are still not sure if I have a job after the Easter holidays. I am halfway through the first week of my Easter holidays.

Let me tell you some realities of the job as I have experienced it so far:

I have to do 30 plans a week. 30 plans involving 2 sides of A4, overall aims, individual aims, lesson contet, skills from te curriculum, assessment opportunities, details of classroom arrangements and differentiation, resources, future plans and self assessment.

The photocopier room is locked so all staff have to go to the heads office with a key - with the stuff for photocopying, explain how many you need and when it is for. You also have to ask for the paper to photocopy it on.

All staff are observed and assessed every half term.

Conversations in the staff room are not sacred - other members of staff will take what they have heard and report it to the head. You will then be hauled up to the heads office in front of the head, the deputy and another senior mentor of staff to discuss why you thought talking about the colour of the whiteboard pens was appropriate (NB This was not me)

Should you dare to do a lesson that you did not plan - for example, as a reaction to unexpected weather - and the SMT find out, you will be threatened with being sacked on the spot. Also not me.

I love being in the classroom. I love thinking about the lessons I could plan and seeing the children every day. That, however, is not enough.

IME... Well. I wish I had chosen a different career. Don't do it OP.

usuallysickonaswing Thu 28-Mar-13 09:24:12

Not read whole thread, but just want to point out that you will NOT be teaching English literature.

You will be priming students for writing controlled assessments and exams, in a very prescriptive way. No room for exploration or interpretation.

You will be setting unrealistic targets to keep your HT happy, and then you'll be castigated when your students inevitably fail to achieve them.

You will be constantly judged and found wanting, you will be exhausted and stressed and this has a good chance of spilling into your home life.

And you'll be paid a laughable wage.

Don't.

Take the £60k.

BucketsnSpades Thu 28-Mar-13 09:28:29

I've only read the first page of this but I just wanted to add that I think you should bear in mind that for 60k a year a company may well expect a lot back from you, availabity to cancel planned holidays at short notice, work very late at the office at short notice, take responsibility for projects and manage other colleagues who may be jealous of your senior position, with none of the flexibility you currently enjoy as self employed. The salary will be high for good reason and all those teachers who have replied here talking about the downsides of teaching, there are also many positives, both my parents were teachers and they were at home for all of my school holidays, they were able to encourage me at exam time without blowing things all out of proportion and putting too much pressure on me. Presumably part of the motive for this career change is to accommodate the children?

SmileAndPeopleSmileWithYou Thu 28-Mar-13 09:30:22

It makes me so sad that so many of you hate teaching. I'm assuming you love the actual teaching part and its just all the other stuff you all hate.

Some schools sound like a nightmare, I consider myself to be very very lucky.

TwllBach Thu 28-Mar-13 09:40:06

I'm assuming you love the actual teaching part and its just all the other stuff you all hate.

I genuinely love the actual teaching. It's just a beautiful feeling, being in the classroom and, god help me, it is the thing that I enjoy most in the whole world. If I could just be left to teach then it would be glorious.

It's the other things. I have dubbed it The Fear. the gut wrenching feeling when you are called up to the Heads office. The cold sweats when you see members of the SMT walking in your direction. The unnecessary paperwork.

If it was just teaching, I would consider myself the luckiest person in the world, honestly. I have been told, though, that it's not like this in other schools, so I hold on to that when I'm not sitting in a corner, rocking

MeHearty Thu 28-Mar-13 09:50:20

Well, to buck the trend I would say go for the teaching - I am a teacher and I love my job. The holidays are fantastic, no day is ever dull and I love my subject, so getting to teach it all day is great. My dh is too and he also loves it - we wouldn't do anything else. Also, if you choose to work in the private sector or get extra responsibility quickly then you can get to a much higher salary more quickly. Don't underestimate the workload - but getting to avoid childcare and stay near family should make up for that.

I am a teacher, and if someone offered me a 60k job I would take it in a flash. Belle has given you an accurate description of the reality of teaching today (I have been teaching for 20 years) .

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 10:02:17

'both my parents were teachers and they were at home for all of my school holidays'

Well, Bucket unless you are 15 or under, that's not a very useful contribution.
I started teaching before the NC came in, and the job has changed beyond all recognition.

BranchingOut Thu 28-Mar-13 10:11:14

Sorry, Bucket, my parents had been teachers too and the job is entirely different now.

It changed significantly even in the decade that I was doing it.

I've just left teaching and reading this thread makes me never want to go back. I was an English teacher for 11 years, I was good, caring and creative, but that job sucked everything out of me. I agree that you won't just get to teach Literature and it will be quite prescriptive. The profession needs great people and it's sad that you're getting such a negative response from teachers, but they're telling the truth.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 10:13:59

That is one of the major problems with the perception of teachers' roles and what the job entails. many people are going on their own experience of education, which for the majority of posters is over ten years ago.

KristinaM Thu 28-Mar-13 10:22:11

As a parent I feel very sad to read these comments. My children love all their teachers. I have the utmost respectful for the staff who teach at my children's schools. I don't agree with all of them all the time but thats different and I would never tell my children that .

is it really true that " all parents and children hate teachers" ?

I'm so sorry to hear that the job is so stressful and difficult and that senior management and colleague are bitchy and unsupportive . It sounds like the job from hell TBH :-(

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 10:46:53

I like children and have a lovely class. Only reason I'm still going.

mnistooaddictive Thu 28-Mar-13 10:55:10

You can always do the pgce next year , the job is a one off! Take it.

BelleEtLaBaby Thu 28-Mar-13 11:23:00

It's an awful job and even though I have been told I'm gifted at it, I hate it. There will be maybe 1 or sometimes 2 kids in a class who are nice, work hard and are keen to learn. Of the rest, some will be capable but lazy, some will be nice but not capable, a few will be horrible little shits whose parents have probably told them all teachers are wankers and these kids will spend your time doing everything they can to disrupt the class and make your day hell. You probably won't remember the rest in a line up. If they do badly, you are blamed and questioned and threatened. If they do well, it is declared that every class henceforth must now do as well as this class (regardless of starting points or the actual ability of the kids). I have sat in a meeting in which my hod asked me how I intended to improve on a 100% success rate. Which had nearly given me a nervous breakdown to produce, and which I had only managed as I only had 8 in the class (long story) and had been informally told I wouldn't have a job in September if I didn't hit 100%. I quite honestly said that the following year, with a cohort of 30, I probably wouldn't be able to produce the same results and I got a bollocking and more threats. No praise or recognition for the 100% achievement (and certainly no bonus!!). Teaching died for me that day.

My gp calls the place I work 'The Stress Factory' and we have more staff off sick with stress or anxiety than any other industry I've worked in. I can't wait to figure out what the hell I'm qualified to do, get my year after maternity finished and get out of there.

Oh, and childcare? When I go back to work after this baby is born, every penny I make bar £200 will go on childcare each month.

I feel like a slave. And I complain to my mates (a social worker - she gets it, and an accountant - she really doesn't) and they just look at you like you must be mad as everyone thinks teaching is wafting about all day surrounded by adoring kids, dropping wisdom about a subject you love, going home at 3 and getting loads of massive holidays. I get no Christmas party, no bonuses, no rewards, and it's like Groundhog Day every year as you start all over again. And it's killed my subject for me.

All this and I'm lucky. I'm the young, fun, popular teacher and I teach a soft subject - drama. I can't imagine what maths teachers go through and the most hated teacher I know among the kids is an English teacher.

The TES boards are full of people trying to work out how on earth to get out of teaching and get their lives, health and sanity back.

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