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?

Cheddars Wed 27-Mar-13 13:51:34

I would go for the 60k job. Teaching is a lot of work for not enough money imo. If you are not absolutely sure you want to be a teacher, it can be the most stressful job in the world!

anchovies Wed 27-Mar-13 14:07:40

Do you have a dp or family support where you are? I am currently doing a PGCE but over two years and am really enjoying it. I like my subject and there is a good chance I'll get a job from my placement. What do you think your job prospects would be following the course? I am finding it hard work though with three dcs even part time. I still have moments of doubt as I left a well paid job behind.

It's hard to say without knowing how much you would enjoy the job you have applied for and what made you decide to apply to teach?

YoothaJoist Wed 27-Mar-13 14:09:19

The 60K job, no question. The chances of you ever earning money like that as a teacher are very slim.

Oh, and those fabulous holidays? You need them to recover from the sheer grinding horror and misery of the terms.

rottenscoundrel Wed 27-Mar-13 14:13:40

final salary pension <faints>

you are basically insuring your financial future in retirement by taking that job (if you get offered it)

Arthurlager Wed 27-Mar-13 14:22:18

Thanks for your replies. I have always fancied teaching and at 39, I feel ready for a change. Also, at this age, it is now or never! I think I would love it but the starting salary is low and it would take me 5 years to earn £31K. I think my job prospects would be good, but I would still have to travel to work and arrange childcare for school drop offs and pick ups, atthough none for the holidays!
My DH runs his own business so we do have another income.

Arthurlager Wed 27-Mar-13 14:23:39

I know I nearly fainted about the final salary pension scheme, Rotten ! I am self employed at present so it has great appeal!

Arthurlager Wed 27-Mar-13 14:26:54

Anchovies, I would teach English Literature and I adore that subject. But I am sure it would be very hard work and I would be starting at the bottom. My mum would take children to school and pick up for me. No childcare worries in the holidays.
The new job would be doing the sort of thing I am doing now, but employed rather than self employed. And full time of course, without the flexibility I have now.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 27-Mar-13 14:30:23

I'm a teacher, I'd go for the 60k job.

Arthurlager Wed 27-Mar-13 14:46:01

Really Nebulous? Can you tell me why? Sorry for the naivety!

TeamEdward Wed 27-Mar-13 14:47:22

Go for the job.
Bitter ex teacher

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 27-Mar-13 15:46:14

Because you seem to have an idealistic, somewhat unrealistic view of the current state of education as experienced by a class teacher.
I'd worry that you would crash into the reality of the 7.30-6 day, and the extra hours in the evening, the relentless expectations on constantly shifting grounds, the planning and target setting and all the rest of the package. The continuous government interference.
And that you would get stressed and disheartened, and that your young family will suffer for it.

'I have always fancied teaching and at 39, I feel ready for a change'

The choice is yours, but I stand by my advice.

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 27-Mar-13 15:51:27

On the other hand if you're close to family where you are you might find you really miss that. After a few years in teaching you do at least get most of the summer holiday and that's a fab time to spend with the children. Your will need tons of childcare all holidays etc if you move away from home.

As fantastic as money is, I'm a teacher and would personally want the quality of family life over lots of money. I may be mad.

Lindyhopper29 Wed 27-Mar-13 15:54:12

No brainer. If you want a (relatively) poorly paid job with endless hassle from parents and very little appreciation of what you do, then go into teaching.

I speak from 30 years' experience.

Timetoask Wed 27-Mar-13 15:55:46

If you have applied for this other job, it means that you are not desperate to leave your current career.
I would say that unless you are desperately unhappy, depressed with current career, or teacher is a real vocation/passion, then I would take the 60K job.

TwllBach Wed 27-Mar-13 15:56:34

I haven't read the thread but, as an NQT I can quite honestly say that I would


Good God... Take it and run for the hills.

PandaNot Wed 27-Mar-13 15:59:33

I love my job, I'm a teacher and have a much sought after pt position. But I would take the other job.

TeamEdward Wed 27-Mar-13 16:00:04

I left teaching because it seriously effected the quality of family life. I couldn't stand the politics and stupid amount of paperwork, lack of trust in professional judgement and constant pressure to meet constantly changing targets. My 12 hour days meant that I hardly saw my children during term time, and during holidays I was working at least 20% of the time in preparation for the next term. My DC are a bit younger than yours OP, so that might a difference.
It's just not the same profession as the one I started in 11 years ago. Maybe trainee teachers today are more prepared for the administrative guff required now.

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 27-Mar-13 16:11:40

She'd be moving away from her mum though. The children could continue their relationship with their Granny, have Granny come in to see plays, shows etc rather than move somewhere completely new.

I disagree its badly paid too. Its higher than national average and in line with other graduate public services such as social work and nursing, ot etc.

Once established you work mad hour in term time but free in holidays. I loved teaching and if I had a mum to take care of kids would be back in a shot!

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 27-Mar-13 16:32:50

I don't have an issue with the pay, never have had in 30 years.

mistletoeoak Wed 27-Mar-13 17:09:08

The 21k sounds good, but do your research and make sure there IS a job at the end of it. I trained as a primary teacher to find out no jobs in my area once I qualified, I could not even get a days supply and after a year of offering to even teach for free in order to keep my skills up to date I had to give up. Heart breaking. Loved teaching, but if no jobs in your area it is pointless. Before anyone shouts oh lots of jobs in my area, brilliant, hopefully things have changed, but it is geographic and also subject specific - so have a look and see what job prospects there REALLY are. Ask teachers, TA's and have a snoop - universities will always tell you there is a job as they want you on the course so they get the money to train you.

BelleEtLaBaby Thu 28-Mar-13 00:39:33

Take the job. I'm a teacher and I'll say it again. TAKE THE JOB. No question. The fab holidays everyone thinks you get go like this: all half terms spent frantically catching up, planning or marking, or both. All longer holidays start with at least a week of being madly ill with what feels like flu as you crash from the horror that is the academic year. No control over when you take leave. Marking, planning, prepping. Repeat as nauseum. You take work home every night during term time so don't see your dc's, OR pull late nights every night once they are in bed. If you don't do this, what feels like seconds into term you are playing catch up and will do so for the rest of the term. You start ridiculously early and finish ridiculously late. You get 48 hours notice for an OFSTED inspection, or which you will be told you are not expected to act any differently then massively pressured from every direction to do new paperwork you've never seen/make breathtaking displays/learn by heart school charters etc. You go through inspection which is hideous. No one cares if you are sick, pregnant, or as in my experience, actually nearly dead in hospital at the other end of the country - my hod telephoned the ward I was on to ask for some marking to be sent to her. I couldn't actually answer the phone to her as I was on oxygen and had to write my response.

Jobs are fiercely contested and you will never, ever feel valued. Parents will hate you. Lots of the students will have little to no respect for you, your managers will constantly want more from you and give you less time and support to do it in. Jobs are secure in some subjects but not all. Please don't think teaching is a rewarding career which is really good for a mum to do as the holidays make it easy. I'm six years in and I hate it. If someone offered me a 60k job doing quite literally anything else I would snatch their hand off. And I'm a good, organised, hardworking person, and I do care about my kids. But the job is hard, exhausting, undervalued and underpaid. Please really, really think about the realities here. I can't even afford to go away anywhere during all that fab holiday as I make so little money at the end of the day, once bills, pension and student loan cons out of the equation.

Run for your life, take the money, have a great time with your kids able to switch off at the end of the day and able to actually go on holiday with them, spend time doing stuff with them not marking at the play barn and trying not to feel guilty about it sad

BelleEtLaBaby Thu 28-Mar-13 00:42:15

Oh and to make it worse, when you complain to your friends about how rubbish it is and how exhausted you are, while trying not to cry into your wine, they will look at you and say oh, well, at least you get all that holiday

Disclaimer: I'm ill, pregnant, and I hate teaching. So I'm not really an unbiased opinion smile

BelleEtLaBaby Thu 28-Mar-13 00:44:34

Sorry, I've just read back. Final salary pension?

You would actually be mad to turn this job down for teaching.

Snazzynewyear Thu 28-Mar-13 00:49:29

The time to decide when you want a job is when they have offered it to you. Never cut off your options before that. So wait and see what happens with the 60K job. I actually don't think 'time is running out' at 39. You could still make the move to teaching in a few years if you wanted. So like others, I'd say take the 60K but if that doesn't come off, at least you have another option. Win win really.

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.


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.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 28-Mar-13 11:31:34

With the 60k job, you'll still be doing long days and working in the evenings, but you will be able to get to the odd nativity play etc, which you can't with teaching.

But, trying to sort out childcare every six weeks plus inset days is a nightmare.

noblegiraffe Thu 28-Mar-13 11:47:42

Another teacher interested in the 60k job. Would it be a job you enjoy?

Teaching isn't family friendly, it's stressful and emotionally demanding and during term time you may not see your family at all as you are buried under paperwork. Training is even worse and the fab holidays will be spent writing assignments and doing paperwork.
Teaching has a high burn-out rate - 50% of teachers don't last 5 years.
Look at the TES student forum for an idea of what you'd be letting yourself in for. If you do choose teaching, go in with your eyes open.

I'm a teacher, I love teaching. I'm part time at a good school. I couldn't do it full time with a family, it's too much.

GraceSpeaker Thu 28-Mar-13 16:38:52

It's taken me a while to get to this point, but, 8.5 years in, I love teaching and can't wait to return from maternity leave (give me OFSTED over 24/7 newborn care any day!).

The workload is as described upthread, i.e. there is a hell of a lot of paperwork, the holidays aren't exactly holidays and days are long and relentless. It's physically demanding, which a lot of people don't realise. You do have to love your subject, constantly thinking on your feet and performing for a crowd. You do have to deal with the goalposts constantly changing, marking all day on Sundays and feeling guilty ALL the time when you're not doing work. The money certainly isn't enough for what you're actually called upon to do (not least by your own expectations of yourself). Teaching isn't for weaklings.

However, not all schools are as hideous as some of those described above. I work in a comprehensive, where expectations of staff and pupils are very, very high. Senior management are supportive and I do feel valued most of the time. The kids, on the whole, are lovely (but then, I don't teach English/Maths/Science - they opt to do my subject!) and it's them I'm really missing at the moment. No day is the same and the only time I'm ever bored is when the kids are doing a test in silence. Teaching as a craft has come to really interest me - experimenting with different resources and techniques means I don't actually teach the same material in the same way every single year. Teaching certainly hasn't killed my love of my subject - it means I get to revisit it every single day and I love that. Given it's also an optional subject, I spend a lot of time marketing it to parents and children, so I constantly remind myself why I think it's important.

I've never been offered the job you nearly have, though. You're not going to miss a job you've never done and being a trainee teacher and NQT is bloody hard, particularly with three kids. I'm dreading dealing with working 4 days with just the one! Your workload will feel overwhelming to begin with - you'll be observed every single lesson and your mentor may want plans in 24 hours in advance or more (I do), which will take you MUCH longer than an experienced teacher to write. You won't have the same rapport with the kids that your mentor does and you'll spend ages building up any kind of relationship with your classes. On top of that, you'll have university essays to write. If I were you right now, I'd go with the 60k job and come back to the idea of teaching once the Idiot Gove's out of the picture, at least.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Lara2 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:16:26

Teacher here, go for the 60k job! I'm 50 and shattered. I love being with the children but it's an incredibly tough job. My pension will put me just under the breadline when I retire - not what I what I was promised or had planned.

pudding25 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:28:46

Another teacher here. Definitely go for the £60k job. Good luck.

aroomofherown Thu 28-Mar-13 19:31:31

Another teacher and I say go for the 60K job.

I'm in an OK school but everyone is on their knees due to micro management. I have friends in two other schools, and we all suffer from The Fear. One of my friends is on prescribed valium at the moment and just keeps crying. I've worked with her and she's great at her job, but there's a constant feeling that you are about to get into trouble for something.

Not to mention the constantly changing goalposts, and the complete ignoring of students as a whole person. I LOVE teaching, but I hate the job.

aroomofherown Thu 28-Mar-13 19:39:24
TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 19:59:59

If more parents read the TES forums, they'd have a much more realistic idea of what's behind the mask. As I said, it's a job for a decade then you burn out.
I love supply teaching, back to the basics I joined for.

Arthurlager Thu 28-Mar-13 21:00:25

Wow, I am so glad that I posted here. Teaching was definitely my first choice, it was only the salary that was putting me off. But all the teachers that have posted here can't be wrong! It is very sobering. There would doubtless be long hours in the other job and probably out of hours too. I think I would like it as it is similar to what I do now. Childcare would be a big issue in the holidays.....gah.... I started off half hoping they don't offer it to me....I now really hope they do!

WhatKindofFool Thu 28-Mar-13 21:03:14

You need to think about how you would cope being at the bottom of the ladder again and being like a junior again.

I tried teacher training but gave it up shortly after I started my 1st placement. I could not deal with being told what to do all the time as if I was still wet behind the ears. It was awful.

WhatKindofFool Thu 28-Mar-13 21:05:26

I should also add that the PGCE was incredibly hard work. There are plenty of threads about it on the TES forum. You basically work from the moment you get up to when you go to bed. I would have had a nervous breakdown if I had carried on! My children missed me interacting with them. (I have 3 kids)

nkf Thu 28-Mar-13 21:07:13

The £60k job.

VenusRising Thu 28-Mar-13 21:08:38

Take the 60k job, and move your mother up there too!

Arthurlager Thu 28-Mar-13 21:13:04 you mind me asking how old you were when you did pgce? What did you do instead?
We would only be 1 and a half hours away from "home" so maybe my mum would have them for a week in the holidays!

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Thu 28-Mar-13 21:24:47

I'm not a teacher but I do work with them. What sort of terrible situation have we come to when all these wonderful teachers are so disheartened - and it's not the teaching of children that causes this!!

I think you are all fantastic. Wouldn't encourage my children to become teachers though!

Gooseysgirl Thu 28-Mar-13 21:35:40

I'm a teacher. Take the 60k job. I will be spending most of the next two weeks sleeping off the term, I would give up the hols in a heartbeat to be in a less stressful job.

nkf Thu 28-Mar-13 21:40:23

It's pretty resoundingly in favour of the £60k job isn't it?

Gooseysgirl Thu 28-Mar-13 21:47:56

I should say we have a brilliant senior leadership time so that's not an issue where I work.. but we are all feeling demoralised (including leaders)... All the attacks on our pay, conditions, pensions, endless paperwork etc. And Gove... Don't get me started angry

WhatKindofFool Thu 28-Mar-13 21:53:54

I was 43. It was recently. I had a career before for 20 years that has been severely affected by the recession. Latterly i had been running my own business. The idea of a secure job attracted me and I had always had a bit of a yearning to be a teacher.
I thought the kids were great and I loved the teaching bit but I was never going to cope with a school hierarchy. Also, you have no autonomy in a school - you work to the bell. There were incessant meetings and briefings and stuff to attend in addition to the teaching bit. I'm used to choosing how I use my time and the bells and routines drove me crazy.
The experience quickly made appreciate how decent my previous career had been so I have gone back to it and things are actually looking up for me in spite of the awful economic climate.
The bottom line was that I already had a career and that I had no need to put up with the hell that is teaching. (Just my opinion of course)

flumperoo Thu 28-Mar-13 22:01:44

Yet another teacher here saying take the £60k job. I think most teachers I know would leave teaching now if they could walk into a job with an equal salary let alone double!

Beveridge Thu 28-Mar-13 22:38:17

Be careful-the first few years of teaching are the hardest and I have no idea how you would get through those with DC. I have 2DC under 5, work 3 days a week and that's all I can cope with after almost 10 years in the job which means I can wing it --just about every lesson--when I need to.

I also teach in Scotland which although sounds less of an administrative hell than down south given these posts, is bringing in a new curriculum and new exams with zero development time.

I love my job but I am in a school where I can try and stick as closely to my 21 hours as possible-part of that is due to a realistic line manager and part of it's because I prioritise.Unfortunately that means that I haven't marked a single assessment for one junior class since October because they are way down that list-but next year I'm going to do lots of peer assessment to avoid this because there's absolutely no way I can find any extra time at work or at home to do it myself. (reflective practitioner, me!)

Presumably a £60k job is not going to be money for old rope though-but you would then have money for domestic help/childcare.

weegiemum Thu 28-Mar-13 22:41:13

I'd teach. But I love teaching.

Though as a disclaimer I'm now an adult educator for young mums with no qualifications and the idea of going back into a secondary classroom in Glasgow in 2013 makes my skin crawl!

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 06:57:18

'I tried teacher training but gave it up shortly after I started my 1st placement. I could not deal with being told what to do all the time as if I was still wet behind the ears. It was awful.'

That never stops really, due to the continuous changes and reversals. Every month there is some new initiative to take on board, some new, compulsory method of hoop and hurdle jumping that must be undertaken.

nkf Fri 29-Mar-13 07:11:24

Winging it and not being able to mark since Ocober isn't good though.

I'm horrified by this thread

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 07:16:34

The expectation in my school is that all books are marked properly, with a developmental focus, by the end of each week.
So no, that would have you hauled up and warned by early December. SLT often randomly check that sort of thing.

WeekendsAreTooShort Fri 29-Mar-13 07:17:06

This is very sad to read but I wonder what all the people in the 60k job would be saying. Probably most of the same things. Every job has its problems. Paperwork and stress levels are high everywhere.. There is no perfect job although some people will thankfully enjoy elements of their jobs that keep them going. I changed career 6 months ago after working at home for 6 yrs. I am back in a job I used to do. Money is less, stress is high but I enjoy it. Mornings and evenings are manic and I hardly see my kids 3 days a week. I am off for Easter and shattered. Working with children is very stressful and demanding. I don't think there is an easy option at all and life is hard. I think you need to think what it would be like to work full time in the demands of the other job. I think they will be equally hard IMO. I wish you the best with whatever you decide. I am very happy with my decision as needed a change. I am lucky that I will be able to alter my hours in summer so will get more time with kids but that will mean less pay and less security as I will be self employed.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 07:17:29

What in particular are you finding horrifying, SPB?

That so many otherwise professional and dedicated teachers find their jobs so over-demanding and frustrating. That people are coming on saying they like the actual teaching part but constantly have "the fear" (I've had a "fear" job before, nothing I did was ever good enough) and I lasted a year. I realise this isn't all teachers just the ones who've chosen to respond to this thread, but srill.

aroomofherown Fri 29-Mar-13 07:32:16

Weekends you write as though you aren't a teacher?

WeekendsAreTooShort Fri 29-Mar-13 07:35:25

No I am not a teacher. Just saying that to make choice between 2 jobs you need the bad about the other one as well and the good of course. I admire teachers massively and really hope my sons teacher does not hate her job

sassytheFIRST Fri 29-Mar-13 07:36:48

I adore teaching English and I'm good at it. It's exhausting and can be deeply frustrating (paperwork, marking, unfair senior management expectations, appalling pupil behaviour etc) BUT I wouldn't do anything else.

But I am 15 years in, earn £36,500 pro-rata'd over 3.5 days, and my kids are now 10 & 8 so the juggling act is getting easier. My experience means I can wing some if my lessons - I could not work in a school where you are expected to hand in and stick to detailed pre-planned lessons. My dh usually works from home so he can go to the special assemblies I know I would never get time off for.

I'm not sure I would go into teaching as a new entrant now. And I do think you HAVE to want to do it - for me the sense of vocation and love for the job is what keeps me going - not sure your posts exhibit that, op.

aroomofherown Fri 29-Mar-13 07:36:53

The number of teachers (including Leadership) that I've seen in tears, or off with stress and anxiety this term (from two different schools) is telling a story about Gove/Wiltshaw and their policies.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 07:37:39

Weekends, that's not what the OP is asking. We know that there are many, many jobs that are more challenging or stressful or whatever. No one here is playing misery Top Trumps.
She asked a question and some of us answered it to the best of our considerable knowledge of the inside experience of teaching.
I'm sure that you could write as confidently about being self-employed from home.

yellowhousewithareddoor Fri 29-Mar-13 07:40:10

I'm half thinking of returning to teaching, but with a husband that works away and no family support (to go to the assemblies etc) I'd like to do something else.

I do wish I'd realised this earlier sometimes. I'm 34, oxbridge etc etc but only really qualified to teach.

(I love teaching, would stick at pt teaching if I had family support)

WeekendsAreTooShort Fri 29-Mar-13 07:45:46

I was only adding a point. Apologies...

WeekendsAreTooShort Fri 29-Mar-13 07:46:29

I despair really. I really thought to myself... I know lets play misery trumps... Not

WeekendsAreTooShort Fri 29-Mar-13 07:47:55

The question was not should I retrain to be a teacher... It was between two scenarios if I read it correctly. All I meant was that you need both sides to get a good picture.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 07:51:22

smile Weekend, it's just that on any threads when a teacher is perceived as whinging about how hard the job is, someone always comes along and says:

'You think you have it so hard, try being a frontline squaddie, a top line executive, a junior doctor in a hospital, a freelance fire eater with hiccups and no insurance'

As if the fact that other jobs have challenges invalidates other people's opinions of theirs.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 07:52:36

But presumably if the OP has been offered a 60K job in her own field of expertise, she knows what it will entail.

WeekendsAreTooShort Fri 29-Mar-13 07:53:49

I think you read too much into my comments. It was never meant to invalidate any ones opinion. I was simply meaning to state that the other job may also have many negative points as all jobs have and to make an informed decision especially such a major one you need all the facts.

WeekendsAreTooShort Fri 29-Mar-13 07:54:29

Have a good day all. I not having an argument about this. Was certainly not my intention

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 29-Mar-13 07:55:12

Take the 60k job.

changeforthebetter Fri 29-Mar-13 07:58:28

NQT here - the PGCE left me physically and mentally shattered (no previous major health issues) The NQT so far has been hellish, I am hardworking, compassionate and have excellent subject knowledge. I find it hugely rewarding getting through to "difficult" kids. However SMT don't trust staff, half the printers and.copiers in the building don't work, the HT allows a situation where basically some kids run riot and.vandalise the place, a member of staff was assaulted and.the pupil remains in school... unless you really have a burning vocation and are made of steel then for gods sake take the other job.Yes, you will be expected to work long hours BUT you will be paid for it. sad

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 29-Mar-13 07:59:04

Wow! This thread is a really fine example of just how low morale is in Education at the moment sad

As a teacher, I love my job and I am in a very good school who care for their staff. it's still very tough.

Do the teacher training if that is your dream, because it really does need to be a vocation. nd the training is very tough indeed. s one poster said, it will become the first and only thing in your waking world, giving all the lesson planning, resource making, assessment marking and essay writing you have to do..... All at the same time!

Sadly, there is nothing else I would rather do in the world than teach!

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 29-Mar-13 08:01:59

Teach. You can have my job. I'll take the 60k one.

Nearly twenty years in, love my subject, love teaching, love the kids - but Gove and Wilshaw are driving me out. Fuckers.

ZolaBuddleia Fri 29-Mar-13 08:02:43

Former teacher here, don't regret leaving for a second. I too taught a subject that I loved and still hated it. I was regularly in tears of anger an frustration, had overwhelming 'Sunday night dread', it was truly awful. In the end I had next to no affinity with the students and actively disliked most of them.

60 grand plus pension to move to a part of the country you like?! Fingers crossed you get it!

TheRealFellatio Fri 29-Mar-13 08:04:07

If you are offered the other job, take it, rent your house out, try out the new job/area for the next few months and if it doesn't live up to your expectations you can still move back and start the course in September. Or perhaps take the job but ask if the course can be deferred for a year to leave your options open.

I do 3 days teaching and Dh is full time. Is is hard work and stressful at times. I get Sunday Feeling iykwim. Lots of my friends are teachers. From my experience it is not as bad as described by others on this thread. i have worked in 3 different schools over 12 years and have generally found colleagues supportive although not always. Spot checking and having to hand in planning in advance etc has been minimal. I agree expectations in terms of performance are ridiculously high and goal posts move constantly. I would love to earn more but i would not move house and away from family to do it.

Coconutty Fri 29-Mar-13 08:10:10

I'm a TA and work in a private school with a brilliant head and SMT. I love my job because it's very rewarding. I go home at 4pm, don't think about work again until 8am the following morning and when it's holiday time I am genuinely on holiday.I'm very lucky as I also get a decent salary unlike my colleagues in local state schools.

The lovely teachers however are on their knees. All without fail have been poorly for the last week and I just know that they will all start their holidays with a nasty virus. They are exhausted, overworked, underpaid and I would not want their job for all the tea in China.

When the head asks me to do a PGCE I have no difficulty saying no.

orangeandlemons Fri 29-Mar-13 08:14:09

Another teacher here...take the job. Don't even think about teaching. You will have no life....and the holidays...well I am doing school work for 5 of the 10 days holidays, and that isn't really enough time to get done what I need to do.

catinboots Fri 29-Mar-13 08:18:20

Good god don't go into teaching.

I taught in FE for 6 years and it nearly destroyed me and my family.

I was teaching a vocational subject which has been my lifelong passion.

The pressure is unbelievable. The things you get asked to do within a certain time period are impossible.

Nobody trusts your judgment. Nobody respects you.

SprinkleLiberally Fri 29-Mar-13 08:19:44

Another "take it". I personally am not at the hating teaching stage quite yet, despite having done it for a long time. I am genuinely physically exhausted though, and would say a majority of colleagues would get out now. Whoever mentioned micromanaging is right.

chutneypig Fri 29-Mar-13 08:21:47

I think weekend raised some relevant points. Although OP is experienced in this area of work, the shift from self employed to full time and the lack of flexibility isn't insignificant and all needs to figure in the decision. I've made a similar sort of move fairly recently and although on balance it works, there have been issues and I wasn't factoring in loss of family support.

Reading the thread I'd be inclined to go for the 60K job but everything needs to be considered in the mix.

olivo Fri 29-Mar-13 08:23:32

At the risk of being repetitive, another teacher here saying go for the other job. 17 years in, 2 children, and I am on my knees. I love the actual teaching bit, I love the kids I teach who come from such a wide variety of backgrounds, I love the fact that I have helped some of them through troubled times but I am utterly exhausted on a daily basis. I did 5 years of 4 days a week after the DCs, I just about managed but full time is nearly killing me. DH takes the children at 7.30, I arrive at school for 7.40 and leave at 4.45 to collect them. This year, I have been ill about once every 3 weeks, but struggle on in, have spent each of the holidays ill, and so have still fallen behind. I'm in a good though not high achieving school, with a HT who is committed to supporting family time etc, though in a dept where I am the only one with children.

Y the other job if you are offered it.

lollystix Fri 29-Mar-13 08:24:39

I seriously looked at retraining and did some work experience. My view - looked like a really worthwhile career but twice the work for less than half the pay. Another vote for the £60K!

riskit4abiskit Fri 29-Mar-13 08:25:01

I'm a teacher, I also love teaching but am beconing demoralized with the job. My colleagues are fantastic but management pressure is horrendous. My problem is that results can't get any better if the kids can't be fussed to work harder. Too many kids are switched off and world settle for a c rather than work hard for their target of an a. You just can't physically make them then you get all the blame!

If I got paid about 15thousand more then I would be satisfied, as I would be willing to put up with the hard work for 40 thou! As it is I will never see that amount of money!

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 08:26:04

It really is shit, isn't it?
And it didn't used to be like this, and it doesn't need to be like this. But no one above the chalkface is listening.

riskit4abiskit Fri 29-Mar-13 08:26:35

Also its really really hard to get a teaching job, plus English would automatically give you loads more pressure as a core subject!

So what has changed? Nc? Gove?

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 08:30:39

The micromanagement, the lack of respect or trust that you can do the job and the constant improvements and initiatives without anything ever being dropped or reduced to make time within the curriculum. The level of paperwork, from planning to assessment.
The constant vocalisation that nothing is ever good enough. The observations with a checklist of over 40 points to be met at an outstanding level...

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 29-Mar-13 08:31:15

The NC was the start of it IMO...that was twent years ago.

What it did was make education a political football and took the emphasis away from children. Each new education minister has to make their mark hmm

Gove is just the hideous culmination of that. His wanton desire to reform, policy reform by headline newspaper and total lack of any sense of reality are breath taking.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 08:31:41

Not Gove really, things have been increasingly bad over the last dozen years.
He's just a symptom, not a cause.

WhatKindofFool Fri 29-Mar-13 08:32:04

When I decided to quit the PGCE I wondered why anyone with a degree would choose the hell of what is being a teacher. Teachers are treated horrendously by management and colleagues. I have never seen such awfulness in the 20 years I have worked. Maybe it was just the school I was at, but reading these threads and those on TES, I suspect most schools are the same. I had never felt so stressed and unhappy about working. One thing I noticed was that all the teachers in the school suffered from extreme paranoia and for good reason too. It was a nasty, bitchy, undermining place. I think I would have been destroyed by it so I got out PDQ.
I think it is a true vocation.

So what was pre-NC? Apologies for ignorance.

But why should it be a vocation? I agree that people should want to teach and genuinely want to work with children. But vocation implies underpaid and unappreciated.
And is this all the way through, or particularly bad at secondary?

MrsHeggulePoirot Fri 29-Mar-13 08:38:52

I would become a teacher! I love my job, and it is tough, but my school are lovely and supportive and flexible for the most part. I do a lot of work in the evenings, but with children the age yours are, you will be able to do some in the holidays a bit too.

Having family around would swing it for me tbh, yes I could earn loads more doing something else (maths graduate) but I don't want to. It is tough, but in the right school can be great.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 08:39:16

I'm primary SPB.

The irony is it sounds like the education system needs huge reform!

chicaguapa Fri 29-Mar-13 08:42:07

DH went into teaching science at 40. He's aged 10 years in 3, is a bad-tempered stress head and the only time he relaxes is 2 weeks into the summer holidays. He spends every other holiday/ half term juggling catching upon school work with looking after DC.

I'd like him to leave as I think he gets shat on by the SMT, the government, the parents who turn up to parents evening with clip boards and bitch on mn about how the teachers only care about their league tables, the kids who don't give a flying fuck about their GCSEs and the general public who think teachers whinge too much.

I'd like to have our decent income back, flexibility about when we can take holidays but most of all I'd like my happy, optimistic DH back as I haven't seen him in a long time.

There are lots of teachers who go into the profession every year and I'm sure they all think it's anti-propaganda and that it'll be different for them. But OP you do need to be realistic about your expectations of being a teacher and listen to what everyone says on this thread. I'd take the other job. Not because it pays £60k, but I think it will be better for you and your family.

TheUnstoppableWindmill Fri 29-Mar-13 08:42:16

I teach on a PGCE course (just the remotest possibility it's the one you've got a place on!) after years of secondary English teaching which I loved. I have to add my agreement, though, to those saying that teaching is a vocation and that if you have doubts go for the 60k! It definitely does get easier over time and eventually you'll see some of those holidays, but the PGCE & NQT years are really tough, and you'll be spending half term & holidays on assignments (for PGCE), planning & resources, marking... Also, unless you're doing post-16 it won't just be literature you'll be teaching but language too!

As for what has changed in teaching, I think the 'target' culture has been very damaging. All students at all ages now have 'targets' often based on prior attainment across all subjects (so KS2 attainment in maths contributes to ks3 target for English etc) as well as social factors based on postcode. At high statistical levels - eg across a few hundred pupils- the 'lumps & bumps' in this sort of prediction even out, but on an individual level targets are often woefully off- too low often as much as too high, especially given the shite that is SATs. The culture now is that, as a teacher it is your responsibility to get the students their target grade, not the students'. I remember hearing a y10 pupil say, on getting their KS3 English result, "Well I won't worry cos it's not my result, it's Mrs X's really..." Nightmare. Add to that Gove's insanely narrow 1950s idea of education...

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 29-Mar-13 08:42:26

The National Curriculum came in during the late eighties.

Before that, Government oversaw education but exam boards (associated with Universities) and educationalists 'ran' education. HMI inspected school but it was a collaborative process (from memory) rather than a judgmental process.

The Goverment brought in the NC to gain control over something they disapproved of idea logically. However, the upshot is to turn Education into a cheap point scoring exercise that has led us to where we are now.

That's my opinion anyway..

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 29-Mar-13 08:44:23

What unstoppable said about targets too... We are too driven by market doesn't work like that

TheUnstoppableWindmill Fri 29-Mar-13 08:49:15

Oh and it's a vocation because of the emotional energy & commitment needed to work all day with large groups of young people (and their parents!) and is completely knackering. But it can be bloody wonderful too- there aren't many jobs where kids/teenagers come & tell you that they actually love you grin .

NonnoMum Fri 29-Mar-13 08:50:56

Teach. It's fantastic. But don't do it for the money.

I do a couple of waitressing shifts to supplement my falling wages and increased pension contributions.

So, teach, but get another job too.

Oh - and I work in the holidays too.

Hope that helps.

DizzyHoneyBee Fri 29-Mar-13 08:57:22

It's sad to read about so many unhappy teachers sad
I would go into teaching at the drop of a hat. Yes, there are long hours but with a job earning 60k a year you are not going to be walking out of the office at 5pm and you'll be doing the long hours for 46 weeks of the year. Teaching is a tough job but it's for 39 weeks of the year and is very rewarding.
Go for the teaching, and I hope you love it as much as I love my job. I've worked in education for 13 years and would never choose to leave it.

Ruprekt Fri 29-Mar-13 09:14:15

Coconutty , I am like you......a TA in a great school, leave at 4pm and go home to be with the children.

My HT asked me to consider teaching but I would not touch it with a barge pole.

The stress and misery heaped on teachers is shocking! Attitudes of parents and children to school and teachers is staggering. So many social issues to address.

If teaching was about being passionate about learning with keen bright students, it would be a joy. Often, however, it is about managing behaviour, levels, pupil tracker and lovely gifted teachers on their knees in despair. confusedconfusedconfused

Go for the 60k OP.

aftermay Fri 29-Mar-13 09:16:40

As a GP I sign off lots of teachers: stress, anxiety, depression. I believe them 100%. I'm sure I could say that fir every profession but teachers are the ones that still take me by surprise as it shouldn't be like this. Also self-employed gardeners, another job I wouldn't have thought associated with so much ill health.

The 60K job: may have a shit boss, the promise of the final salary pension forgotten or ignored, stressful holidays on your Blackberry, redundancy.

My dh has a phd, but was treated like a moron (and I do not use that word lightly) by everyone even slightly senior to him during his teacher training and nqt year. He nearly jas a breakdown, his physical health has been irreparably damaged after he was made asked to sign a contact promising he would take no more sick days that year (this was after having swine flu and daring to take 2 weeks off).

Luckily for him his industry recovered from the recessional dip and he left teaching as fast as he could for a job which pays more, had fewer hours, no take home work, no threat of physical violence and treated him like a responsible adult who could be trusted.

Teaching nearly ended our marriage. I have so much pity and respect for anyone doing that job

aftermay Fri 29-Mar-13 09:20:56

BTW I thought the over-reacting and interfering parents were a figment of MN's collective imagination. Till we moved schools and realised these petty politics are very real and a HT can be hounded out of his job by the braying parents. Who has the time to get so involved and how can anyone think their opinion will be more informed than teachers'? Get a life, get a job, let the teachers do theirs.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 09:22:21

' I've worked in education for 13 years and would never choose to leave it.'

That's a lovely comment, but are you a ft classroom teacher HoneyBee?

I'm absolutely horrified. Are there any satisfaction surveys carried out nationally? Are any measures of teacher satisfaction taken into account in any planning? The obvious ones would be the % of NQTs who are still teaching 5 years later.

TwllBach Fri 29-Mar-13 09:38:08

One thing I noticed was that all the teachers in the school suffered from extreme paranoia and for good reason too. It was a nasty, bitchy, undermining place. I think I would have been destroyed by it so I got out PDQ.


At one point, a colleague told me they thought their staffroom had been bugged because SMT would pull them up on private conversations.

Colleagues have been pulled in to the heads office and told off because of typing errors in their plans and been downgraded on their assessments because they referred to a child as 'they' instead of 'he/she' on their plans.

When I told people that I planned to be a teacher, my family and friends who already worked in education told me not too. I thought it was what had been mentioned up thread - anti-propoganda and that it would be different for me.

It isn't.

TwllBach Fri 29-Mar-13 09:40:00

SPB as part of the NQT folder I was given, there is a quality assurance section for the school, but who in their right mind, given the state of the job market at the moment, is going to put anything less than yes it is wonderful down? Especially given the penchant for fixed term contracts "with the potential to become permanent."

I'm sure I read upthread that 50% of teachers don't make it over five years.

Pointless if it's not properly anonymous I agree

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 09:42:05

The attrition rate is huge, SPB.
There is a % who never begin their NQT year after doing the training, another % who drop out completely after 5 years, another % who work pt... it's a mess.

Yes, I'm sure. But why is nothing being done? Given these are the people who are teaching children. And it sounds like they're all one small lottery win away from packing it all in.

partystress Fri 29-Mar-13 09:47:06

As someone who retrained 10 years older than you OP, and 4 years on is seriously regretting it sad, I would ask whether you are prepared for the emotional drain of being treated like a child by those above you in what is the most rigidly hierarchical workplace I have come across. My prior experience counts for nothing (even though it is from a field closely related to education). I am expected to implement new schemes without question: there is never any reason given, no evidence presented, but questioning is seen as dissent and disrespect. Performance management is a sick joke. I have had no problems, but have seen colleagues broken by subjective, irrational, inconsistent bullying observations masquerading as PM and "support". Worryingly, I know that although dire, the leadership team at my school is much less unreasonable than at many others. The sad truth is that HTs are treated like naughty children themselves by Gove and Wilshaw and having been comprehensively disempowered and threatened over the years, few have the imagination or strength to do anything other than funnel the crapstorm downwards.

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 09:51:10

I would go into teaching, I left a job paying far in excess of 60k to go to into teaching and am glad that I have.

I have moments when I am knackered and think about leaving but they never last and whenever I am thinking I just can't do this a holiday pops along.

With relative speed as a secondary school teacher I am earning in the region of 50k a year so not a bad wage. The holidays to me are utterly priceless as I get to be an almost SAHM for 13 weeks a year but with a good wage coming in. I don't work in the holidays.

TwllBach Fri 29-Mar-13 09:54:44

Aren't teachers almost universally hated though? The steady stream of "but you only work from 9 - 3, yes but think of all the all holidays, yeah but you just get to sit and draw all day, yes but come on they are children etc etc etc" has had an effect on the way teachers are viewed by the public, I think.

Plus, teachers are blamed for producing badly mannered, illiterate children but on the other hand, parents are up in arms about teachers disciplining children (not all, or even the majority, obviously.)

And there has been a concerted effort IMO by the government recently to turn the general public against teachers (and nurses and police etc) so no one cares enough to take it seriously. When teachers really are being attacked bythe government, like now, people are saying "well it's about time, they've had it easy for a really long time - I don't even have a pension scheme" I kid you not. My own father and (ex) DP said this to me.

It's the same with nurses. It's got a lot to do with the 'vocation' thing I think. Teaching and nursing are vocational, therefore you have no right to complain about lack of support, lack of money etc because you are there for your Vocation.

I'm not even sure if any of the above makes sense, I'm still trying to form opinions about it all myself. I do know that if I could find a job on a similar or even slightly less wage atm then I would be tempted to take it. If I was offered a better paid job I would grab it and volunteer with children some other way. Because I would have spare time that was actually mine.

Interesting points. But tbh its in no ones interests to have trained teachers leaving within the first few years. Or teachers only doing the job for a decade (understand why the person who said it did so, but feel it is not ideal). Children are not going to thrive being taught by people who hate their jobs and are either actively looking to leave or fantasisijg about sticking two fingers up. Who is this serving and how?

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 10:00:20

I certainly do not feel universally hated, in fact when people find out what I do they all seem to hold my job in some kind of awe that it does not deserve, as if I am lion training or raising the dead. The only place I see negativity is on here.

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 10:02:22

SPB unless people are saying one thing to me and thinking something else, I do not as a rule work with people who hate their job. No one works in fear , my FB feed is full if teachers about to go on holiday for most of the holiday . No one I saw left school with lots of work and most are declaring this holiday as a work free one, which is as it should be.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 29-Mar-13 10:02:37

your post makes perfect sense to me, Twllbach!!

Beveridge Fri 29-Mar-13 10:02:49

"Winging it and not being able to mark since Ocober isn't good though"."

Well, obviously not nfk but it's the reality. Admittedly, my situation has been complicated by being off for a few weeks which means I've been playing catch up all term. But I came straight back in to a huge pile of urgent senior exam marking waiting for me on my first day back (nobody else could do it) as well as the chaos of picking up the threads of whatever the supply teachers had been managing to do.

But even without this, I certainly wouldn't be on top of things for all classes in the way I would like to be.I have 3.5 hours of non-contact a week that is meant to cover everything, including all the time-consuming whole-school admin, liasion with pastoral care, development of a whole new junior curriculum and senior exams as well as run of the mill marking, prep and reports and chasing kids for homeworks, missed assessments, etc.

So I prioritise the most urgent of these things on a weekly basis and see what I can do within that time. Obviously I still have to find huge chunks of my own time when exam/internal assessment marking/reports, etc. come up though as that would really sink the ship if I tried to do that only in the time I was paid for.

In Scotland, it is also now the norm to be working within a multi-subject department where the head doesn't even teach your subject so tasks that previously would have been been the preserve of a specialist promoted Principal Teacher of Subject with less class contact to enable them to do these things (e.g. set/oversee exams and exam board issues, curriculum development, chair subject staff meetings, feedback to student teachers)have to be undertaken by the rest of us in our non-contact time. So, with well over a hundred pupils a week to see in 3 days, you do the maths to see how much time I can actually spend on them!

The reality of teaching is that everything is cobbled together and half-arsed.Nothing is ever done properly. Curriculum for Excellence is being shuffled together on the hoof using stuff we already have because there is no money or time to do anything else, and the teacher training days are wasted because we have to sit through endless presentations and then are sent off to pontificate in mixed subject groups e.g. on how to assess pupils work generally, which does not result in anything concrete we can actually use for our classes .

Personally, I have made my peace with all this for now because I love actually teaching and I'm only p-t at the moment. I have earned my stripes working long 6 day weeks for years with a 10 hour a week commute thrown in but I simply do not have any time at home to do the job as well as I used to because I now have children.I Do What I Can In The Time Available and repeat ad infinitum....

Aris, do you work in a state school

knackeredmother Fri 29-Mar-13 10:04:16

I haven't read the whole thread but good god take the £60k job.
I retrained at 27 to be a doctor. Truly love the job but the long hours are breaking me and my family and now at nearly 38 I earn £34k full time. That doesn't pay my bills and childcare and to be honest I'm thinking of looking for that £60k job.
Medicine is not dissimilar to teaching in terms of long hours and poor pay (despite what everyone thinks- I have the pay slips to prove it!), TAKE THE 60k JOB!

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 10:07:32

Yes, state school.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Fri 29-Mar-13 10:08:28

My old job: 3.2K/month
My first year (part time) teaching salary: £890/month

Old job: Arrive 8.30am, leave at 5pm, no working at home
Teaching: Arrive 8am, leave 5pm, work 2-3hours a night and at least one day at the weekend.

Yes, we (in theory!) get lots of holidays but there is work to be done in half terms and data to be analysed Christmas and Easter.

I love working with the children, but all the crap that comes with it is terrible. I never switch off. I am planning on 3 more years and then I am OUTTA HERE!

Thanks aris. Wonder what makes your place different.

sparkle9 Fri 29-Mar-13 10:13:58

I'm a teacher. And I love teaching. I am a member of a school management and I even like that! I observe staff and ask things of them but hope that I'm a reasonable manager. I still teach a class 3 days a week so that helps me to be a realistic manager.

I would take the 60k job. Definitely. I don't see myself staying in teaching for too much longer. I would like to start a family and this job is just not compatible with that. Teachers' own children matter very little.

I wonder if that is the difference then?

Sorry, I'm not makjng much sense, but on here the majority of posters are parents, mums in fact. Wonder whether childless teachers are as dissatisfied. Teaching is seen as a family friendly job jn general but in reality is very inflexible.

BettySuarez Fri 29-Mar-13 10:18:25

OP I'm not a teacher so have no personal experience but 4 of my closest friends are (all primary).

When we get together socially, they all tend to spend the evening complaining about work. I don't mean the odd whinge here and there, I mean really stressful, demoralising stuff. One or the other of them seems to be at breaking point. This is going to sound terrible of me but I sometime find myself avoiding nights out because of it blush.

I run a preschool music franchise (sensory, developmental classes), I work term time only (although I do run sessions in the holidays but its by choice and for supplemental income iykwim).

I don't earn quite as much as my friends and being self employed does bring its own challenges but I'm so glad that I didn't train to be a teacher in the end sad

balia Fri 29-Mar-13 10:25:26

I'm a teacher, I love my job, even with all the negatives that everyone has pointed out. Only read to page 4, so forgive me if I am repeating other advice, but wanted to point out that come September, there will be no national salary progression for teachers. All and any pay increases will be at the discretion of the head (who of course is responsible for keeping to the ever-decreasing budget) and even if you do secure a pay increase, it will not be 'portable' so you'll go straight back down if you change jobs. So it won't take you a few years to get to £31 K, it will take forever.

Hope you get the £60K job.

BettySuarez Fri 29-Mar-13 10:33:10

I didn't know that Balia. That is awful sad

partystress Fri 29-Mar-13 10:36:30

SPB, I'm sure the irony of what a poor parent you end up being if you are a FT teacher makes it worse, but my two closest colleagues are childless late 20-somethings and they too are utterly demoralised. Even for non-parents, the workload in term-time is punishing. Autumn term this year was 8 weeks, half term, 7 weeks. As others have said, the one week half-term is just catch up time - not a holiday, but a chance to do all the stuff you just can't fit into your normal 60+ hour week so that you start the next half term feeling there is a crumb of a chance you might stay on top of things. There is NO chance you will stay on top of things, because the goalposts move massively at the drop of a hat. It is not sustainable as a lifestyle and, once you pile on the growing public distrust of all public sector workers with their strong unions, cushy pensions and endless sick leave, the job you dreamt of, trained for and competed hard to get becomes something you resent and yes hate.

And I completely agree that it is very, very worrying that our children are being taught by people who feel like this. I try really hard not to let it affect my work in the classroom, but I know I don't always succeedsad. Add in what is happening to the National Curriculum from 2014, and I am glad my own children are through primary at least.

Crap. We're considering private schools, I realize the actual teachers aren't going to be any better but I suspect the overall teaching may be, because of the reasons we've been talking about. But we've not even looked yet, and I'd be going into it with an open mind

Beveridge Fri 29-Mar-13 10:46:27

It's amazing reading this thread that the main issues that are being cited are the stress of too much to do in the time available and unsupportive senior management/government departments, rather than actually teaching the little blighters!

I usually get a sharp intake of breath when people discover I'm a secondary teacher and a "oh, I couldn't do that. Kids today, eh? " but for many of us in the job, the real stresses come from completely avoidable sources.

The ironic thing is that people are far better teachers in the classroom when they don't spend hours and hours sitting up late marking jotters and creating resources from scratch. I am far less knackered standing in front of my classes now and much better at actually running the class and responding to the pupils in front of me which gives them a much better educational experience.

Someday, the powers that be will get that.

karenflower Fri 29-Mar-13 10:54:20

This time last year I had a place on a PGCE course but got to take the job first - no move but £30k for 3 days per week and one horrible journey per week but I am so happy love my job and for the most part leave it at the end of the day

in retrospect I wanted out of my old job and thought teaching was the answer but it was only one escape route


TwllBach Fri 29-Mar-13 11:00:07

The reality of teaching is that everything is cobbled together and half-arsed.Nothing is ever done properly

I'm not sure I agree with that bit - anything I ever do/did is done "properly" and I enjoy doing it - making resources, planning engaging lessons to suit the different ability levels. I dont enjoy having to write detailed lesson plans on all of them as this pretty much doubles my workload. I work in a big state school and I can say that all the staff there do this too, and enjoy that part of the job. I also don't really begrudge the taking work home thing because I knew that was part f the job. I enjoy looking for/creating things for my pupils.

My colleagues are good, committed teachers with a passion still for teaching pupils. It is the rest of the job that is difficult.

I wouldn't consider private school for my DC where we currently live because, IMO, the state schools are better. Besides, the private schools in my area pay a standard hourly rate to their staff regardless of experience or extra responsibilities and do not pay over the holidays.

I did briefly consider home educating though.

BassDownLow Fri 29-Mar-13 11:01:47

No way would I turn down a 60k job for teaching. Teaching is INTENSE. The training alone is hardcore.

Go for the 60k job, do it for a year, and if you hate it, do the TT.

HandbagCrab Fri 29-Mar-13 11:07:11

Take the 60k job! 60k is a primary head or secondary deputy head and neither of those positions get the school holidays.

I'm retraining and I have the kind of teaching job lots of teachers would bite my hand off to have - part time, quite flexible, interesting etc. but I'm utterly demoralised, stressed and depressed.

My childless full-time colleagues are under the impression if they work really, really hard they will get rewarded and slt will be dead impressed. My experience is that we are all disposable and slt/ the system will take whatever it can from you, but not necessarily reward you for your insanely hard work.

So take the 60k. Teaching will always be there as an option later on - there's a shortage of teachers coming up, plus many are leaving due to the erosion of pay and conditions. I'd wait until the gov are paying people to train again rather than pay out for yourself to do so at the moment.

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 11:10:26

I would imagine that a 60k job is also intense.

In my previous retail linked career I was often away from home for days at a time, at least I can fit my marking and planning around the children.

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 11:11:20

I am in a role similar to a deputy head, I take my holidays. All our senior staff take their holidays.

ubik Fri 29-Mar-13 11:14:08

I'm seriously considering moving into teaching - I am the living cliche, 3 children, previous journalistic career which was very demanding, Eng lit degree, second degree, family all teachers grin

Some teachers have kindly allowed me into their schools next term to have a chat about it/observe some lessons.

This thread gives me pause for thought.

I currently work in a call centre, public sector, part time 25K pro rata (I have OOH enhancements) I currently work bank holidays (I have two 9 hr back shifts and three night shifts to look forward to) xmas day. NYE/Day etc

But I never worry about my work - when I clock off, I 'forget' about it. My work is relentless but not challenging. My toilet breaks are timed. Nights shifts make me ill.
It's so hard trying to balance it all - time with kids, work.

I'm going to start playing the lottery

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 11:17:56

I work long hours during term time, but one day a week I clock off. I do not give teaching a second thought .

During the holidays I do similar.

I have four children , hope for more and find teaching helps me to be a very good parent.

Flicwantsprivacy Fri 29-Mar-13 11:21:52

40k a year (could easily be earning 60k in another 5 years), 4 years post PGCE work perhaps 3 weeks of my 18 weeks holiday a year and 1 day every other weekend. Work 2 evenings p/w 7-11pm.

Love it. It's hard but not unreasonable. I have an excellent and fair manager and I get to teach in lovely facilities. My school is shielded from the new initiatives bollocks and we do not teach the NC.

Pressure is immense in terms of results and targets. --but I think this is true of many jobs.

Free breakfast, lunch and afternoon cake. Free Gym. Subsidised housing.

So in short, teach if you want to, but for the love of God don't teach in the state sector!

yellowhousewithareddoor Fri 29-Mar-13 11:22:12

Do you have a nanny arisbottle? Or a husband working flexible hours? Does anyone ever see their school performances?

It sounds like you've found your niche in life and are doing very well. But how on earth are you managing 4 long days a week and children?

yellowhousewithareddoor Fri 29-Mar-13 11:23:03

Flic. That sounds a lot better!

orangeandlemons Fri 29-Mar-13 11:24:26

I think all teachers like the kids, that's why they are teachers. I teach secondary, and the kids are great. They are without a doubt the best bit of the job.

It's the rest of the stuff that makes us so fed up.

I was a teacher, but retrained for another career and I am now in a better paid industry. I think we need to know more about your other job to be able to help with a decision. My current job is 9-5.30 and while I work in my lunch hour a bit, there is little work beyond this, even in our busy periods (though my boss is a bit of a workaholic so probably protects me from having to do more). When I leave work, I can forget it, whereas I found that teaching ate into my psyche and it took me at least a week to switch off in the holidays. Teaching is also something that can take all the time that you give it and you can still feel inadequate about the output because you can put huge amounts of time into planning and still feel like you are winging it a bit. I also didn't really like teaching the beligerent end of the pupil spectrum, some teenagers are really quite unpleasant and I felt no obligation to put myself in front of them. Also please be aware that if you teach English, I think you will be teaching English Language more than Literature as most children do English Language GCSE but a fair proportion don't take Literature.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 29-Mar-13 11:27:01

i love my current school and have always worked in state schools...but i do find myself paying more attention to private sector section in the TES jobs!

mind you, its tough in other ways in private schools, I think...

Felicitywasonholiday Fri 29-Mar-13 11:29:15

Private schools are tough, but the rewards are better.

orangeandlemons Fri 29-Mar-13 11:29:16

Toilet breaks... Ours aren't timed, but they can only take place at certain times. I often don't have time to go for a wee all day.

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 11:34:52

We don't have a nanny but we do have a home help who comes in as DH leaves for work or starts work ( 8am) - I start work at 7am. One day a week we have a family breakfast together and I do not go to school unit 8:15. She also picks up our youngest from school and remains with him until DH or I get home, I usually get home just after 6pm.

I then have time with my family until about 8:30-9pm ( in my previous job I was often home later or not at all) before I start working again until about midnight . My children are in bed then , so are not affected by my working. Every week I have an SMT meeting which lasts until about 6:15 at the latest, usually much earlier. I will have at the most one other compulsory meeting. If I want to , the other days I can be home by 4pm. I don't do it that often but I can do, something that was impossible under my old job.

My husband has some flexibility, he has an office but can also work from home if needed.

I don't get to go to school concerts for my eldest and younger children if they are in the school day - it was the same in my old job unless I took the whole day off and I had to give so much notice it rarely worked out.

My middle second child goes to school where I teach and the others will do, so I often get to to go to anything they are involved in.

Beveridge Fri 29-Mar-13 11:51:43

To clarify, Twllbach I really meant the bigger picture of curriculum development. In Scotland, we have been trying to plan for new exams with limited guidance from the Scottish Qualifications Authority, which has involved us having to basically guess what the new exams might include for planning purposes as they didn't release the detailed guidance until late on this year! The first cohort will begin these new courses in June, a few weeks after we pack the seniors off for study leave. I have no idea what actual lessons I'll be teaching yet as I'm neck high in Other Stuff right now and am hoping I can just use the resources from the old exams and develop it as I go.

I assume this is because the Scottish government thinks that we can just rustle up meaningful courses, complete with valid and reliable assessment and reporting procedures after an extra inservice or two, because that's basically all the extra time we're being given. It's always the same - it takes ages to pull new policies/strategies together properly if at all because we're too busy trying to keep our heads above water with our day-to-day workload.

But when it comes to the big stuff, we are overloaded with too much to do in the time available. Half a day's development time (prized and rare) does not develop an entire course properly. And if you have a big senior workload with certificate courses, they always have to take priority. And while I have always accepted teaching is not a 9-5 job and as I've said I do do work at home when I have to, I'll be damned if I run myself into the ground for unpaid overtime.

The McCrone pay deal we got in Scotland a decade ago was based on the premise of a 35 hour week (pro-rata). They were going to reduce the summer holidays by a week to bring staff in ahead of pupils and use this for curriculum development (would have been fine by me). Then they realised how much they extra they would have to pay us and scrapped that idea pretty quickly. You get what you pay for...

Hence, tinkering and adapting what you have already to finish the job as you have run out of time and need to get something together to put in front of the pupils, not least because there's no money for new resources. We are now encouraged to have lessons only on powerpoint as we don't have money to print off class sets of booklets, let alone buy any.

ubik Fri 29-Mar-13 11:53:20

I guess every job requires its pound of flesh, but what saddens me is that my family are teachers (parents retired) and they have great stories about teaching, about pupils and the things they used to do.

How my dad helped his pupils build a car from a broken down model after school, how we couldn't go anywhere in Brixton/Dulwich without one of his pupils saying "hello, I'm working at xyz now, I remember when you..' shaking his hand.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 11:57:19

'I guess every job requires its pound of flesh, but what saddens me is that my family are teachers (parents retired) and they have great stories about teaching, about pupils and the things they used to do. '

It's worse when those memories are first-hand. It seems like someone else's life when I look back.

TwllBach Fri 29-Mar-13 12:00:03

Eek, sorry Beveridge blush

<winds neck in>

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 29-Mar-13 12:11:05

Wanted to add, I think teaching is possibly the best job ever. I laugh a lot every day, I see kids make progress, I explain and they understand, I build relationships, I know about them and their families. I see some stuff that is heartbreaking too but do my best to make the difference.

But thanks to the changes in the OfStED framework, my teaching, which has always been good, now 'requires improvement'. My classes, who pass the exams they need, are told they are only passing because exams have been 'dumbed down'. My school, which operates in exceptionally difficult circumstances, has no chance of being outstanding because of our catchment.

A kid said the other day 'You know these exams are getting harder, Miss? Is it because they think we are smarter?' How do I answer: No, it's because they want you to fail to prove a political point?

Gove is a cunt. Wilshaw is a bigger cunt. I have twenty years left to retirement and will be lucky to see out ten of those. I'd rather work in a cake shop.

Angelico Fri 29-Mar-13 12:31:51

These threads are so sad sad Occasionally in my darkest dreams I hope some mad bastard Gove will shorten holidays etc so that the last thing keeping teachers in the job will be gone. Then in the face of the mass exodus from teaching (and I'm talking rats from sinking ship level) then (and only then) might people become more aware of what teaching actually entails. And how little of it is 'the good bit' - teaching.

I dream that at this point we might have a bit of soul-searching on a national level about why teachers are treated like shit but to be honest I suspect the right wing press will just use it as one last chance to give teachers a kicking.

Anyway, take the 60K job if you get offered it. Save a few pounds and you'll still have the option of going into teaching later on if you want, maybe when your own kids are older.

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 12:53:29

I do think this thread is painting a dark picture of teaching that is not the full story.

When there are threads about who has a job they love, it is filled with teachers.

The last half term is also the hardest for secondary , ask the question again in six weeks and you may get a different answer.

aroomofherown Fri 29-Mar-13 12:55:41

Stealth, I'm childless and so are my two teacher friends - one currently on valium and the other desperate to get out.

I'm hoping to retrain into another field (have applied, just waiting for acceptance)

The kids are loads of fun - even in some very tough schools I've worked in. The kids wouldn't drive me away.

aroomofherown Fri 29-Mar-13 12:57:32

Gove, when asked about the impact on teachers of his plans of a longer school day and shorter holidays:

"Well, if you love what you do, you should be glad of the opportunity to do more of it".

Tobermory Fri 29-Mar-13 13:01:08

Reading this thread with thread with interest. I'm a teacher and can relate to much of what as been said up thread. The demands, pressures, constantly changing goal posts make the job exhausting. A significant number f staff at my school suffer stress/anxiety/depression, some of them are still at work but some not. I was recently one of them.

I don't think it's straightforward enough to say "take the 60k job, OP" until she has a warts and all view of that position. I have a friend whose husband makes lots of money in his very senior role BUT this does have a huge impact on his family life and the time he spends with them. I don't know what demands the 60k role would have on you and your family, if it was no worse than teaching at least youd be better off and knackered!
But please make the decision with your eyes wide open.

Aris, how does it work with you DC attending the school where you work? Am thinking of applying for a job at my DCs school and wondering how it will work.

hobnob57 Fri 29-Mar-13 13:06:54

I'm racking my brains trying to think of something else I can do which can earn me a similar salary. I've been in teaching for 13 years and don't earn as much as others upthread. Perhaps it is because I am in a small private school. We don't have so much if the Government interference but all of the poor management issues, plus added parental pressure, and no perks or thanks for all the extra work we do including hours of what boils down to private tuition in our lunch breaks, before and after school.bplus the new curriculum. I'd love a job I can leave behind at the end of the day and allows me to return home as me, rather than a verge if a migraine physical and mental wreck. I want to be mum to my kids instead if struggling to keep my head off the table during dinner. Oh to have a 60k job where I could afford good childcare instead of having to take up the dregs once the powers that be announce my days off at the end of June for the forthcoming year commencing in August. I consider myself a well educated and committed teacher, but the job makes life so miserable and difficult. And as someone else said the Groundhog Day relentlessness of the predictable cycle of stress through the year is so depressing.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 13:14:32

Arisbottle, it must be said that when teacher threads come up on here, you tend to be the exception that shines out as a beacon of joy and organisation amidst the gloom though. smile
I'm genuinely delighted that it's working for you.

aftermay Fri 29-Mar-13 13:17:20

Did Gove say that? That both surprises me ( that anyone can be such a massive idiot) and doesn't. I mean, it's Gove. Fucker.

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 13:19:28

I have posted negative threads about teaching . Earlier in the year I was exhausted post miscarriage and was definitely on a downer about my job. But when I look back I can see that was not about my job but that I was not in a good place . When you are tired teaching is a relentless drain, but I suspect that is the case for most professionals jobs .

DH has just snorted at the thought of me being a beacon of organisation. smile

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 13:22:51

He doesn't appreciate you.
You are usually upbeat and manage what you have to do without working the ridiculous hours necessary for some of us. That takes organisation and the rest.

Arisbottle Fri 29-Mar-13 13:24:17

He does appreciate me . Organisation is just not my forte. Avoiding long working hours is though. grin

Cairngorms Fri 29-Mar-13 14:08:01

breatheslowly I would love to know what you do now. Could you tell us? All graduate / professional level jobs I've had have involved significantly longer hours than the standard working day.

I'd rather not say as it would probably out me, but lots of office jobs are 9-5.30 with just a bit of overtime occassionally.

yellowhousewithareddoor Fri 29-Mar-13 17:32:36

Are they? My husband regularly works silly hours and often away from home for a similar salary to my teaching one. We'd both consider something 9 to 5 but I thought they didn't exist anymore or were basic level.

To get a similar salary to teaching you would probably need to do some qualifications, but I have worked in a number of offices and many have a 9-5.30 culture, though some do not.

catinboots Fri 29-Mar-13 20:08:15

It's not just the hours though.

I'm sure most teachers wouldn't mind working office hours - if the pressure wasn't so hideous.

Cloudminnow Fri 29-Mar-13 20:14:10

Take the job - DO NOT DO TEACHING (I am a teacher). What is the 60K job? I'm looking round all the time for something to get out of teaching for!

yellowhousewithareddoor Fri 29-Mar-13 20:27:59

I could do other qualifications. I picked up a first in psych with the ou in my spare time. I just have done teaching for so long and am around people that work long hours. Would love to know how to get a 9 to 5 go this day and age!

mumnosbest Fri 29-Mar-13 20:57:57

go for the 60mk job. i always wanted to teach and loved teaching for 10 yrs but even i'm getting fed up of the pressure and negativity (never thought i'd say that). if i was 18 and knew what i know now i don't think i'd choose teaching as a career. I'm struggling with 3 dcs and nearly 15 yrs experience. couldn't imagine training and those 1st few yrs with a family.

if the other job isn't awful and doesn't have a great deal of 'take-home' work, i'd say it's a no brainer.

mamageekchic Fri 29-Mar-13 21:04:35

Not read it all, just shocked that any where still offers final salary pensions, I thought they had died! I'd take ANY job offering one of those.

Arthurlager Fri 29-Mar-13 23:05:35

Aris, what is your position and how long have you been teaching? 7 to 6 is a hellish long day though. But I guess the holidays make up for it?
I am going to canvas more opinions about teaching even if I do not get offered the job. This thread has been a real eye opener. I am doing work experience in my local secondary so I shall have to ask more searching questions of the teachers there.

HesterShaw Fri 29-Mar-13 23:10:26

Jumping in at this late stage....sorry.

The holidays don't make up for it, IMO.

Go for the £60,000 job.

EvilTwins Fri 29-Mar-13 23:19:39

I love teaching. Absolutely bloody love it.

I wouldn't ditch it for a £60k job.

BUT if you don't already know that you'll love it, it's a risk.

<totally unhelpful>

BackforGood Fri 29-Mar-13 23:21:18

OK, only read first and last pages, but if I've not missed any crucial details on pages 2 - 8, then there's no question - TAKE THE JOB.
7 - 6 isn't a "hellish long day" - it's a pretty standard teaching day. Well, people work different hours of the day, but the average of 11 - 12 hours per day worked is pretty normal for teachers (some do shorter in week and do more at weekends, some have a break around tea time and do work inthe evenings, etc.).

Felicitywasonholiday Fri 29-Mar-13 23:38:10

7-6 is a short day.

I love teaching, but if that constitutes hellish to you, don't bloody do it! and tell me how to earn 60k in a shorter day

Arisbottle Sat 30-Mar-13 01:49:20

I am a senior teacher, have been teaching about 8 years.

I don't think 7 until 6 is a hellish day, I am lucky there is no commute so it iS easy. I also do another 2-3 hours a night at home.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 30-Mar-13 08:59:27

Aris, I really hope that you are still saying that after thirty years, especially if you stay in the classroom.

HesterShaw Sat 30-Mar-13 09:02:35

Personally I didn't find the hours exhausting as a teacher so much as the endless scrutiny, battling with disruptive behaviour, unsupportive parents, and absurd targets. That's what burned me out after five years

HesterShaw Sat 30-Mar-13 09:04:12

Sorry, finished too early. My new job earns me £20,000 in a good year, and I often put in 14 hour days. But I love it so do it willingly.

chicaguapa Sat 30-Mar-13 09:15:36

DH gave up a new job to go into teaching. The job involved a move to America to his company's head office doing a different job to his job then and we had actively sought it. He found out about getting on the PGCE course around the same time as the job in America and made his decision based on how he felt when he got the news about both.

He'd been wanting to go into teaching for years, but due to the cost and the reduction in income etc, we'd had to wait until DS had started school. So he was thrilled to get on the PGCE course. He's a gifted teacher and absolutely made the right decision as he's an asset to the profession and he has directly contributed to some kids' love of the subject. Many have gone on to study sciences at A level down to DH (so they tell him).

Unfortunately 3 years in, the politics of education have ground him down and extinguished his enthusiasm, so much that he's thinking of leaving. But if he'd taken the job in America, he'd never have known. That makes up for the £7k student loan we'd be left with, as regret for paths not taken is a big thing to live with.

But you do need to make sure that your expectations are realistic. It's not a family friendly job, you won't have any flexibility to be a part of your DC's school life, attend sports days etc. But they do get to be at home during school holidays, even if they are not having fabulous days out because you're catching up with work. Only you know how you cope with the pressure and how this will affect your family life and how you will feel getting paid so little for it and receiving such little recognition.

Removing automatic career progression is a biggie in teaching for people thinking of coming into the profession, and a scary change on the horizon. When schools' budgets are being slashed and in an environment of poor leadership or where your face fitting does matter, there's no guarantee that even excellent teachers will be rewarded. Which is why the unions are resisting this change so much.

Arisbottle Sat 30-Mar-13 09:20:31

I am too old to be teaching in 30 years, I also do not think I would want to do any job for that long, tbh, however much I enjoyed it.

These threads just show how individual teaching is,because of my job I deal with lots of parents, some of whom are not supportive but it does not bother me. Yes there are targets, if they are meaningful I strive to meet or beat them but do not feel under immense pressure. If I think they are absurd, as they seem times are, I ignore them. I am responsible for behaviour so deal with a lot of it but in this present post it is not overwhelming.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 30-Mar-13 09:22:39

Whereas I've been teaching 30 years, with more to go. smile
Ah well, plenty more fresh cannon fodder heading into the fray, even if they only last 5 years.

Arisbottle Sat 30-Mar-13 09:23:54

I do think that teaching can be a family friendly job, it is also not always the case that you cannot go to school events. If your school is close to the one in which your children attend, it may be possible if it coincides with your frees or a colleague can cover.

No job is completely family friendly , I think for me teaching offers a good balance.

Arisbottle Sat 30-Mar-13 09:26:28

I have been teaching more than five years and can see myself doing at least 20. The major reason I won't be doing 30 is that I don't want to be doing much in my 60s. If I had started teaching n my 20s that may be different. I do not think that makes me cannon fodder.

I've been teaching for 20years and I can honestly say this is the most difficult period I've known to be a teacher. Ofsted, targets and league tables have made very reasonable and previously inspirational leaders into paranoid, pressured people who are passing down their fears onto the classroom teachers.

I love my job, I really do. The kids I teach are fabulous and my colleagues are funny, supportive, hard-working - and exhausted and demotivated at the moment.

I must be mad, but I'm applying for a senior role at the moment; one that will increase my hours but which will allow dh to drop a day to spend more time with our dcs when my hours increase. I might be naive but I feel school leaders have a moral responsibility to try to make teachers' lives more reasonable and I feel, that is possible, although incredibly hard. I've seen enough in schools now to think that individuals can make a difference and it makes me very sad and angry to see SLTs making unreasonable and unworkable demands, like they've forgotten what teaching FT is like.

Arisbottle Sat 30-Mar-13 10:18:02

I've seen enough in schools now to think that individuals can make a difference and it makes me very sad and angry to see SLTs making unreasonable and unworkable demands, like they've forgotten what teaching FT is like.

I totally agree, I don't work mad hours myself and would never expect anyone else to do more than me. Don't work in holidays and would expect my colleagues to also enjoy their holidays. I always have one day a week totally work free during term time and hope everyone else can do the same. If it is possible to see my children in a school play without causing huge disruption I would want to do so and would extend that right to anyone else in my school.

noblegiraffe Sat 30-Mar-13 10:27:55

My school absolutely wouldn't allow time off to watch plays, or do the first drop off at school or such. In my department the mums cover for each other where possible to allow for this, but there's always the worry of being 'caught' - which is ridiculous. If someone is prepared to give up their free for you, then that should be fine.
They are also picky about time off for funerals if not immediate family.
In other ways it's a good school, but this insistence on no one ever having time off (I haven't been on a training course in years) really does grate.

MrsHeggulePoirot Sat 30-Mar-13 10:41:41

I had been thinking about hanging schools but it seems that I have it good from what lots of you say. My school are brilliant at time off if needed for all sorts of things - for the most part we organise this amongst ourselves by covering for others in a PPA etc but we have to let our head know. It has always been authorised and if we happen to have a cover supervisor in who is not required that period or school will cover for us. Our SLT and head in particular are very reasonable about all sorts of things - I think we might be quite lucky in that respect.

I get to school about 8 (can't get there any earlier with dropping DD off first at cm) and I have to leave to collect her at 530 latest. I work probably two/three evenings a week and half a day at the weekend.

I wouldn't leave for 60K. I love being in te classroom and preparing lessons, it sounds like Our school don't make us do as much unnecessary paperwork/admin as others. I love my holidays - I do some work for a few days here and there, but I love the time to catch up with my friends and family and spend time with DD. For me, my job woks perfectly with family life, of course it is stressful and pressurised at times, but I don't know anyone who doesn't have that in any job at some time.

Having said all that, if I ended up in some of the schools being described here I might well change my mind!!!!

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 30-Mar-13 10:50:31

I wasn't thinking of you as cannon fodder Arisbottle, more those that fancy teaching and trot in all shiny and uninformed and idealistic. Then leave after 5 years at the most.

Arisbottle Sat 30-Mar-13 10:59:21

I am quite shiny and idealistic to be fair. My husband also didn't think would lash five years.

I think you can be shiny and idealistic but you need the hide of a rhino. I suspect lots of shiny and ideal people are quite gentle by nature.

Arisbottle Sat 30-Mar-13 11:00:01

Didn't think I would last five years.

Even I can't go out on the lash for five years.

Every single conversation about anything in my school starts with 'if Ofsted came and saw that' or 'when ofsted come we have to..'
I work half seven am till ten pm. I don't see my two little DDs very much, holidays are good but as hundreds of posts have said, you spend much of the time, marking, planning, writing policies and schemes of work, assessing and general guff that just goes in a folder and is rarely used again.

I also know the fear twll you are spot on there. I used to encourage people to take up teaching but I don't anymore.

I do like the children and I do enjoy the teaching a lot, but it is a very intense and stressful job. All my friends think I go to work and read a story and come home. grin shock

I would take the higher paid job. Every time. <goes out to buy a lottery ticket>

Ha ha grin on the lash for five years!

HesterShaw Sat 30-Mar-13 11:25:54

I remember being ordered to alter two years worth of planning, because if OFSTED came in and saw that they would "crucify us". Even though the said planning was for SATs booster classes and the children had done very well in their SATs.

I refused. OFSTED came in and guess what. They didn't crucify us. The world went on turning.

orangeandlemons Sat 30-Mar-13 13:56:11

What is so sad about this thread is we are teaching the future. But the conditions we have to work in make it a miserable job. It doesn't have to be, and shouldn't be like this. Is this the best atmosphere to educate our young? I think not.

But it is like this, and it is so so wrong. How can the job of teaching have moved so far away from enjoying being with kids and educations them to living in a reign of terror and paranoia? And no one seems to have any power, knowledge or even desire to change it

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 30-Mar-13 13:59:02

Well, it would work if the same criteria were applied to us as we have to follow with the children.
You know, SMART targets, self-esteem, consistency, three stars and a wish?
All that positive thinking and enthusiasm and love we pour out from a dry well.

Viviennemary Sat 30-Mar-13 14:00:55

Go for the £60K job. Loads of teachers hate their job. Don't touch it with a barge pole.

orangeandlemons Sat 30-Mar-13 14:02:08

For instance, my Y11's have been finishing off coursework ( I teach a practical subject) basically they came in and got on with it. We didn't have learning objectives, starters etc and all the rest of the outstanding lesson guff. We just got on with it, as we had no time for the above.

Once the fear of being of smt coming in had gone, I really relaxed and got into it, ...and built up fantastic relationships with the kids. We had a great time, a real laugh, yet they were working their socks off. Isn't this how it should be, rather than being crippled by all the stuff that should go on in an outstanding lesson all the time? And the kids are sick of it. They told me that it was great to just come and and do one thing without being distracted and constantly changing tasks all the time

mizu Sat 30-Mar-13 14:15:15

I haven't read all the messages on here but do agree with Belle and Nebulous. I too love my job as a language teacher in an FE college - I really enjoy being in the class - and have been teaching for 17 years BUT the pay is dire. If i was full time I wouldn't earn much more than £26,000 a year.

It is a real struggle to make ends meet.

Also agree with the horrendous paperwork, constantly shifting government plans, expectations to always work more hours than you can..........our department started a new course for learners this year - development time for the course which had no scheme of work, no materials, nothing? Zero. No time to talk to or discuss anything with any other members of my team as we are all so busy.

And half terms and hols are like coming up for air - when the prep for the following term has been done.

Go for the other job.

Arthurlager Sat 30-Mar-13 23:01:35

Why is teaching still such a popular career choice? Negative issues in teaching get a lot of news coverage. Yet it still seems really competitive to get a training place. Unless you want to teach secondary physics.

BackforGood Sat 30-Mar-13 23:16:01

Because a lot of people have a rather rosie eyed view of what it's actually like.
Don't get me wrong, I taught for 21 years - it's been a great job, really rewardig in so many ways,*but*, it grinds you down after a while. I don't know anyone in teaching who is over 40 who wouldn't get out like a shot if they could - says something I think. Also, I don't know the recent figures, but I know that for years and years, the % of techers who have left within 5 years of starting teaching, is incredibly high. All teachers want to do is to be able to get on and teach, but sadly, that takes up such a small % of their time and energy.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 31-Mar-13 08:32:09

'Why is teaching still such a popular career choice?'

Because it looks good on paper, because entrants believe they will get the chance to share a love of learning, because a lot of people think children are fascinating and exciting to work with.
Then after 5 years, with first-hand experience, up to 50% have dropped out, gone part time or otherwise adjusted their choice.

Arisbottle Sun 31-Mar-13 12:40:21

I am not sure that it is such a popular career, especially amongst some of the strongest graduates. When I left university I wanted to go into teaching and was persuaded out of it by just about everyone I knew. When I finally went into teaching people thought I was mad because it was seen as a second rate career.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 31-Mar-13 13:20:15

I've always thought it was seen by some as a safe bet...and so is a barometer for ecomonic times.

Arthurlager Sun 31-Mar-13 21:05:39

Still waiting for someone on 60k to say they wish they could retrain as a teacher! This has been useful thanks for all your responses.

TeamEdward Sun 31-Mar-13 21:15:00

You'll be waiting a long time, Arthur!

Arisbottle Sun 31-Mar-13 21:39:46

I was on a similar amount of money and did retrain as a teacher .

chicaguapa Sun 31-Mar-13 22:11:25

As was DH and he did too. I think that most highly paid jobs are so because you'd not do them otherwise. DH was bored rigid and was desperate to become a teacher, in spite of the low salary. Jobs like these are done because they're a vocation. They don't need to throw money at it for people to want to do teach/ nurse/ police etc. They'll do it anyway, as is demonstrated at the moment.

Arthurlager Sun 31-Mar-13 22:17:15

Good points. So no regrets Arisbottle? What age were you when you retrained? What did you do before?

Arisbottle Sun 31-Mar-13 22:28:29

I worked in retail before, started as a buyer. Good salary but on the road a lot and seeing little of the children. Went into teaching just after turning 30.

I have had moments where I have wondered if I have done the right thing. But it is certainly more family friendly than my previous job. I think if you want to earn money and you are good at teaching, in secondary it can be relatively easy to climb the greasy pole.

greenfolder Mon 01-Apr-13 18:21:40

I have just left a 2 year pgce course in FE. I went in with my eyes wide open. I left and went back to industry because of the lack of prospects, 1980s management style and endless scrutiny. The endless lack of basic resources and fighting for them just depressed me. Never seen more bizarre behaviour or politics in any business I have ever worked in. I reckon there's a book in it though!

greenfolder Mon 01-Apr-13 20:27:40

Honestly, I swear there was never a printer or photocopier that worked and at best a 50 per cent chance of any type of technology working. It drove me insane!

Arisbottle Mon 01-Apr-13 21:02:03

I think the problem is certain badly run schools rather than teaching as a whole.

Having said that I am always using up all the coloured ink at home!

I found that we were all taking part in endless initiatives which turned out to be one of the many deputies' National Professional Qualification for Headship projects. Many of the deputies went on to be heads elsewhere. They did a good job while deputy which was a strength for the school but these reinventing the wheel initiatives were designed to drive you mad.

Nope, I think the technology/printer/photocopier problems are nationwide! Because most good IT people don't work in schools, they're earning much better money elsewhere!

I'm generalising, but it's a valid point!

Sorry about all the exclamation marks!!!!!!!

greenfolder Tue 02-Apr-13 10:20:43

Seriously if you are used to working in a commercial environment or self employed it will piss you off big time.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 11:21:58

It may piss you off big time . It may not.

greenfolder Tue 02-Apr-13 11:23:58

Seriously if you are used to working in a commercial environment or self employed it will piss you off big time.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 12:57:16

I did work in a big commercial environment . It doesn't piss me off. It may do, it may not

HesterShaw Tue 02-Apr-13 13:00:38

Actually after leaving teaching and setting up my own business, and dealing with other businesses, I was amazed at how "professional" I was in comparison, just in terms of sticking to promised deadlines, returning phonecalls and answering emails, and simple common courtesy and people skills. Teachers are brainwashed into thinking they are only good for teaching, but actually they are very employable.

WhatKindofFool Tue 02-Apr-13 13:13:52

Never seen more bizarre behaviour or politics in any business I have ever worked in.
Agreed. Also, I never saw so many egos.

BranchingOut Tue 02-Apr-13 13:36:18

One thought that comes to my mind is that individuals can have quite a different working experience/work-life balance/career progression within the overall career path of 'teaching'. For example:

Secondary English
Early Years
Secondary PE
Primary KS2

All teachers, but all very distinct paths! OP, my recommendation is that you pay very close attention to those teachers working in exactly the subject area and type of school that you would be considering. Knowing the workload and lifestyle of a secondary science teacher is not much use to you if you are considering secondary English.

For what it is worth, I have left teaching (ten years, KS1/EY, progressed to SLT level) and my life is immeasurably better. This is what I love about not teaching:

work that is less tiring - I now work at a desk, rather than standing, bending, turning and moving all day long.
better hours - 9.00 - 5.00 rather than 8.00 to 6.00, then as long as needed in my evenings and weekends, all the while feeling that I was not doing enough.
evenings - i can read, study or watch telly without guilt
weekends - i can read, study or watch telly without guilt
flexibility - if I am tired or have something going on, I can book a day off
privacy - I am no longer a person under scrutiny, albeit on a small scale
media - criticism of the education system is now nothing to do with me!
heath - as a teacher I felt constantly stressed, running like a wind-up toy and would often suffer from pains in my stomach during the working day.
family - most importantly, my job offers me pt, flexible hours so that I can be there for my own child, which the school system wholly failed to do.

Let us know what you decide to do,
best wishes.

HesterShaw Tue 02-Apr-13 13:36:55

"Don't sit in THAT chair! That's Marilyn's chair!"
"Don't use THAT mug!"

I used to ask the headteacher to do demo lessons so that I could see in practice the kind of things he wanted me to be doing, when he came in and endlessly criticised observed me. He refused. That, to me, said an awful lot.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 13:49:27

I have quite a big ego, maybe that is why I fit in,

We have no set chairs though. Although drink out of my mug and you will die.

TwllBach Tue 02-Apr-13 18:10:41

I used to ask the headteacher to do demo lessons so that I could see in practice the kind of things he wanted me to be doing, when he came in and endlessly criticised observed me. He refused. That, to me, said an awful lot.

I have nearly fallen off my chair laughing at the idea of someone asking my head to do that grin

Although I would put everyone off if I could, I am still desperate to teach. It's a wonderful feeling OP, if you enjoy it. And I'm not a natural performer, I'm very shy, an introvert, but in the classroom I come alive. It's a truly beautiful thing...

dizzyhoneybee Tue 02-Apr-13 20:31:57

What really, really is sad about this thread is how hardly anybody (nobody?) has said that all the things that p you off with teaching can equally well p you off in a non-teaching job.

I have had nigh on 15 years in education and have had 3 days when I wondered what I was doing in the job and never clock watch. When I had a senior management job elsewhere the end of the day/my holiday couldn't come quick enough for me. Now I have a job that I love and enjoy going to work every day.

Seenitall Sun 07-Apr-13 00:29:02

Omg take the other job, I am currently in my Nqt year (well two years because I work part time) - nothing is ever good enough, my professional judgement is always in question, I spend every holiday ill and trying desperately trying to catch up, it's the hardest thing I've ever done, and I have 2 degrees & a MA, 60k I can't believe you are even wondering what to do, fuck the holidays you will have to use them to mark, plan, catchup anyway, by the way decided to throw in the towel and handed in my resignation last week - believe me it's not all its cracked up to be.

ravenAK Sun 07-Apr-13 01:10:36

blimey, grab the £60k, are you fully mad?!

(Secondary English teacher, specialising in Lit, consistently rated good or outstanding, love teaching, 13 years experience. Shattered & demoralised).

duchesse Sun 07-Apr-13 01:27:33

OP, go for the £60,000 job. (also former teacher)

The hours will be the same or better and you'll be paid 3x more. No brainer for me. Teaching is NOT a soft option. The only benefit is that you'd be around and compos mentis for the children for about a fortnight in the summer. Every other holiday will be spent recovering from a bug or playing catch-up with work and basic household chores. You will not get time to attend DC's pantos etc... or take them to anything much else. Go for the better paying job and get a really good nanny if you can afford it. Or if you really want to do the teacher training, get a job in a good boarding school afterwards where the children can be catered for all meals and see you a fair bit more than they would if you didn't work in the same school they are at, if that makes any sense.

duchesse Sun 07-Apr-13 10:22:21

Should add that in common with many others here I loved the actual teaching and buzz of being in school but loathed and feared the rest of the crap that goes with it. Unfortunately for me the fun of teaching couldn't outweigh the rest in the end.

superstarheartbreaker Mon 08-Apr-13 09:49:48

I trained as a teacher. I would take the 60K job. Without a doubt. I got pregnant at the end of the PGCE and was relieved to have time out tbh. I found the hardest thing was the bitchy staffroom politics but then mabe I'm just crap with people.

superstarheartbreaker Mon 08-Apr-13 09:52:55

BTW op; can you please tell me what job you are going for so that I can try and get into such a career!

Arthurlager Wed 17-Apr-13 16:58:47

Thank you all so much for all your advice. My heart is still in teaching, but all your comments have really made me think again.

They have offered me the job.

And I think I am going to take it.

And it is now £65K.

Childcare is going to be a major mind boggle but at least I will have some money to throw at it.


WhatKindofFool Wed 17-Apr-13 19:48:11

Good luck. I bet you have made the right decision. Xx

Arthurlager Wed 17-Apr-13 21:49:28

Thanks for your reply. If I don't try then I will never know, will I?

TwllBach Wed 17-Apr-13 21:57:16

Well done OP grin

FWIW, teacher training will always be there - if you don't like this job you can go for it.

Good luck!

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