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To consider retraining as a teacher?

(60 Posts)
bagelmonkey Mon 12-Sep-11 18:45:12

I no longer feel that my career is compatible with my family. I'd like a job where I don't need to work nights or weekends.
I've always enjoyed the parts of my job that involve teaching - I love helping people to understand things and sharing knowledge, although my teaching experience to date has been informal rather than formal. I think I'd enjoy being a teacher. I was thinking along the lines of secondary school biology/science.
I'm 33 with a 7mo DD. AIBU to consider doing a PGCE and a compete career change?

ASByatt Mon 12-Sep-11 18:49:30

You might want to stand back a litt,e and prepare yourself for a barrage of messages explaining to you the hours teachers wrok at weekends and during the evenings! The workload is pretty heavy, especially during the the PGCE and first few years.

Plus, I'm guessing that by wanting a job compatible with family life you are thinking of the school holidays? - Don't forget that part of those holidays will be needed for school work anyway, plus it's not very family friendly in terms of not necessarily ever being able to take time off for your own DD's first day at school/school play/class assembly/ sports day etc.

I've answered seriously as I'm trying to be a nice person today smile, but did actually wonder if this was a wind up....

ASByatt Mon 12-Sep-11 18:49:51

'little' sorry

Andrewofgg Mon 12-Sep-11 18:50:26

What is your present work?

ASByatt Mon 12-Sep-11 18:50:34

Aaaaaargh and 'work'

dollydoops Mon 12-Sep-11 18:50:42

Sorry, I came on here to say Yanbu, go for it, but now I see that you want a job where you don't have to work nights and weekends, I would say yabu. I am a secondary English teacher. I arrive at work at 7.45 and leave between 5.15 and 6. I then spend at least 1 hour per evening working on top of this. I allow myself one weekend day off but on the other day I work for at least 6 hours. Teaching involves a lot of extra hours. It is very rewarding and can be fun, but I don't think it meets your criteria! smile

bagelmonkey Mon 12-Sep-11 18:52:03

I wasn't really thinking of the holidays. I was thinking more about the nights and weekends away from home that DH and I have been working. I don't think we could both continue it with a family.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 12-Sep-11 18:53:55

DH works 60-70 hours a week, isn't home yet and is never home before 6.30.

He then works one day every weekend, and half of the school holidays (so one week at Christmas/Easter/2or3 days in half terms/half the summer.

He has 10k worth of management responsibilities though.

His ordinary teaching staff only work about 10 hours a week less than him though so it might not be the option for you as schools are working people increasingly harder (and letting go off staff/ta's) smile

bagelmonkey Mon 12-Sep-11 18:54:17

Extra hours isn't the problem. If I go back to work on January in my current job I'll be working 7:30-18:00 at least every weekday, plus overnight one day per week, including weekend shifts.
In my previous jobs I've worked over 100 hours some weeks and DH the same.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 12-Sep-11 18:55:15

You will never get to go to a play or event at school if you're a secondary school teacher.

DH has never made one parents evening (his were on at the same time) or school event. Not once, ever.

ASByatt Mon 12-Sep-11 18:55:32

Hmm I see - you would be potentially spending lots more time at home, but you'd still be tied up with marking/planning etc - it is really time consuming.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 12-Sep-11 18:56:36

Yes, if you're used to doing a 100 hours a week teaching may seem like a relative breeze at 60-70 grin

bagelmonkey Mon 12-Sep-11 18:56:53

Oh. Should have said. Currently a junior doctor (not in UK currently though).

Teapotqueen Mon 12-Sep-11 18:57:45

I have just finnished my first week as a primary teacher, did PGCE last year. V hard work lots of hours, but all worth while now.Only you can answer if you have the time/energy. If so go for it!

DownbytheRiverside Mon 12-Sep-11 18:58:28

t works well as a career if you can get by on four hours sleep a night.
It's the only way I can fit everything in.

pozzled Mon 12-Sep-11 18:59:06

Well the good thing about teaching is that you have a lot of say about where and when you work the extra hours. So you can do your planning once the kids are in bed if that works for you. And teaching is incredibly rewarding in many ways. But don't expect to work much less than a 60 hour week, especially when training and in your NQT year.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 12-Sep-11 18:59:16

Ah. Then the money really won't measure up - do you really want to do 50-60 hours a week for 25k without management responsibilities?

Be a doctor! My friends daughter has just become a GP on 110k. She says her jobs a piece of piss - she works 8-6, plus one Saturday in 7 on a rota.

bagelmonkey Mon 12-Sep-11 18:59:53

I guess my question should have been would you recommend teaching as a career? What are the good and bad points? Would you encourage or discourage your child to go into teaching?

Helo Mon 12-Sep-11 18:59:54

If you want to then do it! I used to work nights and weekends in the NHS and I have just qualified as a primary school teacher.

It is nice having weekends off, the evenings are busy busy though. I feel I am in work or working far far more than I did when I was working shifts. I was in school 8-6 today and I have so much work to do tonight sad I worked 12 hours straight yesterday and my to do list is still gigantic. I am crazy organised as well.

But I do enjoy it and I do feel very lucky to do my job, not everyone you teach wants to be helped and that can be a challenge at times.

It is a very target driven profession, you must ensure the kids make progress and have the data / planning to evidence this.

Moulesfrites Mon 12-Sep-11 19:01:35

The holidays are a massive advantage BUT they are the only advantage IMO.

I am going back to full time teaching in Jan when my ds will be 11.5m. I am lucky in that I can be home by 4 and spend 3 hours or so with him (or that is the plan) and then do my work after he has gone to bed (except on nights with meeting, parents evenings etc), but I am fully anticipating it to be knackering.

As others have pointed out - there is absolutely no flexibility at all. Yes you have 13 weeks off but that means you just cannot take time off at any other time - to see a sports day, special assembley etc.

I am a bit bitter about this as my school are especially crap at accommodating working parents and part time workers are treated like huge inconveniences which was part of my decision to return full time. They are hmm about people asking for time off to go to family funerals so not very supportive at al when children are ill. They also have a 2 week timetable so part time workers can have different days/mornings/afternoons off each week, making childcare a total headache. This is just my school but IMO teaching does attract perfectionists and martyrs who question that anyone would put other stuff (like their family) before their job.

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 12-Sep-11 19:01:53

bagelmonkey - the PGCE is very hard in terms of hours. I only just managed mine and I was childless at the time, not sure I'd like to try it with a family.

In terms of working hours, 10 hours a day is about right for a normal week, although it does get busier. It's a bit more flexible in that you can get home at 5ish if you're lucky and then save the several hours of marking until the children are in bed.

Before you commit it would be worth finding out about vacancies, particularly in your area if you are not keen to move to find a job. If there is any way you could teach physics rather than biology you'd find more available, I think.

bagelmonkey Mon 12-Sep-11 19:02:36

I considered GP training. I'd need to do another 2 years in hospitals if I got a place on the scheme.

I think I'm having a midlife crisis.

Helo Mon 12-Sep-11 19:02:55

Teapotqueen - nice to see another NQT!

I am having v.v.little sleep at the moment in order to fit things in.

I like it when the kids go home and I can have a drink, didn't really get that doing 12 hour shifts, very different balance of work.

Tortu Mon 12-Sep-11 19:03:49

You can leave at 4.00 though. That's what I (am trying to) do- though that does mean doing most of my work when the baby has gone to sleep.

However, I'd echo others and say that GPs seem to have more reasonable hours.

Two words, though: summer holidays.

emsyj Mon 12-Sep-11 19:07:04

YABU unless you hate medicine. If you don't dislike medicine, but instead want to focus on teaching/reducing your hours, keep going and look into lecturing/teaching within the medical field and flexible working options. I have no idea what hours an average GP works, but I do know a mum who lives near me who is a GP and she only works 2 days a week as she has 2 young children. Sounds like there are options to be flexible in your existing career, albeit you may need to do further work and wait a while to get them.

It would take you longer than another 2 years to get to a 'flexible working' or 'no weekends or evenings' stage in teaching for sure.

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