Am I mad to be considering studying to be a teacher?

(25 Posts)
damppatchnot Fri 16-Aug-19 21:20:44

I’m 52 and have had a varied career in management. First in Credit Management then in local government as a Senior Manager in Crime and Disorder.
When my father passed away 6 years ago and I kicked out my alcoholic husband (long story) I was left with no childcare for my then 5 yr and 9 yr olds working long hours. I took voluntary redundancy and opened a business but soon realised this gave me less time with my children so started working in a school term time as a teaching assistant. I’m finding it frustrating given my years as a manager and although I love working in the school feel I can do more.

I’m 52 and left school at 16. I have 5 o levels but need a science one which I can do in a few months and sit in jane( I’ve checked online)
I have a level 5 BTEC and level 3 ILM but not sure if the BTEC gives me enough UCAS points (the ILM sadly appears to give nothing)
I want to do the Degree in primary education with QTS full time over 3 years
Im just turned 52 so would qualify at 55
But as I can’t retire until I’m 67 still gives me 12 years !

Am I mad ? Any advice would be appreciated

I absolutely love the work, the environment and know I’ve found my vocation. Just wondering if it’s too late ? 🤔

OP’s posts: |
damppatchnot Fri 16-Aug-19 23:42:48

Any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
fedup21 Fri 16-Aug-19 23:45:09

I’m a primary teacher and have been teaching for twenty years-I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy.

Look on the ‘staff room’ board on here and read the replies-people ask this question on a weekly basis.

damppatchnot Fri 16-Aug-19 23:49:28

That bad eh? X

OP’s posts: |
OhioOhioOhio Sat 17-Aug-19 00:02:29

So you must live in England? And no. Not that bad.

PickAChew Sat 17-Aug-19 00:04:53

Utterly stark raving, tbh.

C0untDucku1a Sat 17-Aug-19 00:10:28

Theres a bit of a problem with ageism in some english schools. Not sure how youd go getting a job as an nqt against 21 year olds.

Ounce Sat 17-Aug-19 00:17:41

Teaching won't give you more time with your children than running a business. Quite the reverse.

SuzieQ10 Sat 17-Aug-19 10:31:05

How much would you potentially be paying out in tuition fees etc? Would it be worth it financially?

Flurgle Sat 17-Aug-19 10:38:01

I wouldn’t- lots of heads only want young nqts they can drive into the ground. Lots of ageism around.
Tbh I don’t know how I’ll manage to teach into my 60s. I do love it but it’s pretty exhausting. Quick reflexes/speed are handy too and I’m not sure if I’ll cope in ten years!

virginqueen Sat 17-Aug-19 10:57:40

I'm 60 and have just given up teaching as I simply haven't got the energy any more, and I'm tired of the constant criticism. I plan to find something easier until I get my pension at 66. The job has changed hugely since I started, not for the better. I would not advise anyone over 30 to go into it now, and many under 30 teachers are giving up after a couple of years.

fedup21 Sat 17-Aug-19 10:59:15

Yes, it really is that bad. Work life balance is not good. I’m in at 7.30 and leave at 6-then working a few hours in the evening and at weekends.

What hours are you envisaging working?

IamtheOA Sat 17-Aug-19 11:20:21

But the OP is a teaching assistant...so surely you have some idea already about the hours/ commitment?

Seriously, go for it.

TheBitchOfTheVicar Sat 17-Aug-19 11:56:10

Well, I completely respect all the responses you have been given, but my own experience has been the complete opposite.

I was promoted during each of my (two) pregnancies, regularly see older colleagues and career changers employed and promoted, and feel valued (mostly). So it must depend on the school. It has its challenges, but as a career changer and parent, I see more opportunities than challenges.

damppatchnot Mon 19-Aug-19 02:41:23

Most of the teachers I work with complain about that work but to be honest compared to the careers I have had (the hours, the work and the stress) being a teacher is a breeze

It’s more whether it’s worth it going in at my age
I’m highly organised having been a senior mgr for 30 years and love love love working with children especially Sen
I’ve contacted a university so will see how I get on
Thanks for such honest responses I really appreciate it x

OP’s posts: |
catinboots99 Mon 19-Aug-19 03:45:23

Don't do it. Every single one one my friends still in teaching is desperately searching for an escape route.

mnistooaddictive Mon 19-Aug-19 04:43:17

“compared to the careers I have had (the hours, the work and the stress) being a teacher is a breeze”.
I’m secondary, but we have so many older trainees who come into teaching thinking the same as you and they have a real shock. The ones over 50 particularly struggle as they don’t have the energy. Teaching is highly complex and as such mentally exhausting. It’s in your feet and moving around. I walk 5 miles a day teaching. It is physically exhausting standing up all day.
The average primary teacher works 60 hour weeks. That’s a lot of extra hours after the very intense school day. We find career changers are always shocked at just how hard work it is. Are you sure it’s what you really want? I love teaching and would never do anything else but people are pouring out of the profession for good reasons.

RebeccaCloud9 Mon 19-Aug-19 04:48:29

It really does massively depend on the school and individual working environment. My school and the staff, team and environment are great and I love it, though I have friends in different schools who are in completely different positions.

My friend has been a TA for years has been doing courses (maths etc) for a couple of years and is starting SCITT in September. Is this something your current school could facilitate?

fedup21 Mon 19-Aug-19 10:29:48

compared to the careers I have had (the hours, the work and the stress) being a teacher is a breeze

I’m not sure you can say a job is a breeze without having ever tried it!

I’m finding it frustrating given my years as a manager

As a teacher-even a senior one who has been teaching for 20+ years-I am still micromanaged beyond belief! What exactly are you imagining it will be like?

fedup21 Mon 19-Aug-19 10:33:30

we have so many older trainees who come into teaching thinking the same as you and they have a real shock.

Agreed! We had one brilliant lady in her 50s who joined us a few years ago from a prestigious career as a manager in the NHS-she was so irritated by the pointless red tape and meddling in her classroom that she only lasted 18 months! She went back into the NHS.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Mon 19-Aug-19 10:37:25

I’m 55. Don’t do it.

Schools only want young people, and will only pay the lowest possible salary.

Teaching is mentally and physically exhausting. My joints and feet are wrecked from walking so much. I have injuries that physios usually only see in runners...... and teachers.

I have to keep going until 67. Fuck knows how.

SarfE4sticated Mon 19-Aug-19 11:07:58

If you have top notch behaviour management, a supportive heAd, are training at your current school and are happy to work 60hr week then I think you’re in a good position.
I was 49 when I did my pgce and it nearly killed me.

Phphion Mon 19-Aug-19 11:22:36

Would you consider training as a SEN HLTA instead?

fedup21 Tue 20-Aug-19 10:06:37

If you have top notch behaviour management, a supportive heAd, are training at your current school and are happy to work 60hr week then I think you’re in a good position.

A good summary there.

SarfE4sticated Tue 20-Aug-19 21:47:47

Hi OP, at the school where I was a terrible NQT, the only NQTs that survived were the home-grown TeachFirst ones. They knew all the kids and staff, knew all of the school expectations inside and out, and had a wealth of lesson plans and good will up their sleeves.
It was still really tough for them, but they started with a lot of insider knowledge which was a massive leg up.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in