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To ask teachers why they do it and how they cope and don't end up crying when they come home of an evening?

(62 Posts)
LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 05:56:57

I had to take a kids martial arts class last weekend with DS 13. I had a chest infection, granted, but it was fucking traumatic and DS and I never want to do it ever again. I think Sensei is really pissed off with us about it.

How the hell do teachers manage it? Especially ones that teach at secondary school? All I can think is that they must be mad, have not realised what they were getting themselves into or have nerves of steel.

Even teaching the little ones must be nearly as bad. My parents were both teachers, and my dad wangled early retirement. They were always stressed and moaning. My dad hated every minute of it (secondary school). He used to refer to the children and parents as "the shower of shit". The pay is good, and you get good holidays, pension and middle class professional status. Is that the appeal for most people?

How the hell do you not end up having nenrvous breakdowns and being in tears every evening. Hats off to you, I wouldn't and couldn't do it. I like children, but not enough to spend most of my week with 30 of them.

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 06:55:54

WofflingOn, the sad thing is that if they are teenagers, it's probably peer pressure and wanting to look 'cool'. At least it was at my secondary school.

I have a lot of respect for teachers. There were a couple when I was at secondary school who had breakdowns and had to leave. It could have been stuff going on outside work, and probably was, but having to get flack off horrible teenagers all day couldn't have helped.

Euphemia Mon 08-Oct-12 06:57:28

Especially given the area the school is in, we're very mindful that 50% of the male prison population and a third of the female prison population in the UK were excluded from school. We're lucky that we have some support for learning staff who can work with these pupils, but obviously it's disruptive to their learning to be out of the class too much.

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 06:59:50

It must be tough Euphemia. I would have thought that making progress with the disruptive pupils would take a lot of one-to-one support. From what I can gather budgets have been cut, and there may not have been the money available before that.

mumto2andnomore Mon 08-Oct-12 07:00:03

I teach little ones and love it , yes there are parts of the job which are frustrating mainly the paperwork, meetings, shifting goalposts etc but the actual teaching bit is great smile Not sure I'd fancy secondary though after some of the things dd tells me go on !

WofflingOn Mon 08-Oct-12 07:04:13

I'd enjoy secondary too, I'm trained for KS3 as well.
Would be good not to have to teach 11 subjects and have slightly less parental interaction on a daily basis. Plus you could reuse some of your planning!

teacherandguideleader Mon 08-Oct-12 07:07:16

I teach 14-19 year olds and rather than being a subject specialist as such I specialise in low ability, disaffected children. These children often have horrible home lives and it is hard and upsetting. It can be frustrating spending hours planning lessons knowing that whether they engage or not largely depends on what happened at home last night.

However, what gets me through is when one of these children is proud of a piece of work they have produced even if it is the simplest task, when one of them says hi in the corridor or the best of all 'thank you' at the end of a lesson.

A bottle of wine at the weekend also helps smile

Euphemia Mon 08-Oct-12 07:13:51

teacher I have a pupil like that - dad went to prison for a truly horrific murder a few months ago, mum getting a hard time in the community because of it so they've had to move house. The wee lad we're pretty sure is ADHD, cannot sit still or focus on his work unless you sit beside him. Poor wee guy is a pain in the bum at times, but how could he be otherwise?!

He made a junk model in school last week, all by himself, chuffed to bits with it so he went all round the school showing it off to teachers, dinner ladies, everyone! He came back covered in stickers and with a grin from ear to ear. smile

Euphemia Mon 08-Oct-12 07:14:48

teacher at the weekend hmm


LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 07:16:42

I'm glad you get thanked teacherandguideleader! You certainly deserve it. Even some of the children from 'naice' areas were disruptive and off the rails when I was at secondary school. I have a theory that once people hit puberty anything can happen. Even kids from typical middle class families go off the rails and for no apparent reason. I became completely disengaged. I was only really good at art and I'm sure I have dyscalculia as a few teachers described me as numerically dyslexic. I don't think dyscalculia was even recognised in those days. The result was that I felt really stupid and lost all confidence. Plus, I have always been a very sickly person and had to miss most of year 10 and 11 dues to illness.

I'm surprised that you have a lot of parental interraction in year 11 *WofflingOnP. Mind you, I've had to be in contact with the school since DS (13) developed a dislike for homemwork. The little beggar wasn't writing things in his homework diary. I had to call and ask whether he wasn't writing things down, because he seemed to have very little homework. Generally speaking there's much less opportunity for parents to talk to hassle the teachers.

noblegiraffe Mon 08-Oct-12 07:18:09

I teach part time secondary at a generally nice middle class state school. I can't remember the last time I was told to fuck off!

It was way more stressful when I was full time because I spent pretty much all of my evenings working. Now that I have fewer lessons to plan for and mark, I get most of it done during the day.

WofflingOn Mon 08-Oct-12 07:21:18

'I'm surprised that you have a lot of parental interraction in year 11'

I don't teach Y11, I have year 6 who are 11 years old. smile

sashh Mon 08-Oct-12 07:22:12

I love the look on the face of someone who has just 'got it'. They may have not understood something sine primary school and then at age 17 something finally goes 'click'.

I have gone home and cried, sometimes I have not made it home before the tears start.

WofflingOn Mon 08-Oct-12 07:22:28

Oh. 11 in my post referred to the number of subjects a primary teacher is expected to cover.

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 07:27:19

Aha, I read it as year 11 subjects! Oh, and parents always want to speak to the teacher.

noblegiraffe, glad you don't get told to fuck off!

EvilTwins Mon 08-Oct-12 07:35:04

I teach secondary. I don't generally find it that stressful. Busy, yes, but I don't remember the last time I felt so stressed I wanted to cry. It's tiring, and the workload is large if you want to do a good job, but I love it. Last week, I didn't manage to eat my lunch before the end of the school day at all because I was doing auditions for the school play and then having go to straight to my lesson. I spent the whole week grinning madly- tbh I find my job quite exhilarating most of the time. If I didn't, I wouldn't do it. I have colleagues who seem to be on the edge of breaking down a lot. I think they're either in the wrong school, or in the wrong job. No one should allow their job to have that much of a negative impact on their life.

Fishwife1949 Mon 08-Oct-12 07:38:49

LesleyPumpshaft my husbands cousin teahers business studys and he heates chikdren put it this was we have a child and we dont trust him with them

He wont even work full time he hates it so much he temps in diffrent schools
I feel so sorry for the chikdren in comes in contact with

Hes a really nice guy but SHOULD not be working with chikdren in any shape or form you should see what he writes about his students on facebook

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 07:42:37

Posting that stuff on Facebook is a really silly thing to do! Sorry, but people have to be careful with social media.

Alligatorpie Mon 08-Oct-12 07:44:39

I teach primary, really enjoy it although there has been the odd day in my career when I have gone Home and cried. But that is mostly due to parents - not the kids! I also did my teacher training at 37, after being successful in the counseling field.

I could not teach secondary. They are the amazing teachers!

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 07:50:20

They certainly are amazing. As I said before, most of them have nerves of steel. Fwiw I was lucky to have had some amazing teachers at secondary school. They were generally the ones who you could talk to and have a laugh with. If you over stepped the boundaries heads would roll.

Yorkstar Mon 08-Oct-12 08:00:58

I teach secondary - I love being I the classroom actually teaching. It's all the other crap that comes with it. Ofstead constantly changing their goal posts, the inconsistency of exam boards, the parents who are rude, the pupils who feel it's your job and you owe them something. The endless tasks of completing/updating data, figures and targets about this years projected targets. I love teaching but I often feel it comes secondary to everything else the schools expect of us.
I have worked nearly every night since starting back in sept. I have worked all weekend when I should be spending time with my little family. I cried yesterday when thinking about everything else I have to do. My husband is concerned about me. I love teaching but cannot do this job forever feeling like this sad

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 08:11:07

The whole thing about goal posts shifting is really stressful. I've never been a teacher, but had that when I was managing websites. The worst thing was a bullying boss. I used to cry at the end of most days. sad

The whole paperwork and planning side of it sounds crap. My mum hated it when she was teaching. Actually, i think she did cry on occasion, but not because of the children. There was also a head at one point who was a total bitch.

CreamOfTomatoSoup Mon 08-Oct-12 08:35:19

I teach secondary. Sometimes I do come home and cry! But the kids are very entertaining.You learn to develop a very thick skin.

Ashvis Mon 08-Oct-12 08:35:26

50smells, I've just picked myself off the floor after laughing so hard after your comment bout primary kids being cute! Lots of them are, yeah, but trust me, they are not all cute and lovely! I taught for almost 10 years before leaving the profession to raise my son and taught every stage from nursery to P7 and being perfectly honest, I much preferred teaching older children. I worked with one very little boy who trashed the classroom on several occasions, threatened people at home with knives...And he was only 5!

Some days I did go home in tears, after finding out some of the young kids I worked with had been sexually abused or seriously physically and emotionally abused, that stuff is incredibly hard to deal with. What you have to do as a teacher is remember that you only have them for a limited time and can't protect them outside school so you have to make your classroom a lovely, safe environment.

I never cried because of children's poor behaviour though because you can't start thinking that they only behave that way cause they hate you. Bad behaviour has lots of different causes behind it and a good teacher takes the time to learn why. I love teaching, even working with the crazy kids is massively rewarding but I'm not sure if I'll return to teaching because of the crazy ass paperwork and the changing goal posts.

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 08-Oct-12 08:37:50

Tbh I think I would come home and cry too, but then I am highly strung, emotional and anxious at the best of times. It really doesn't take much!

echt Mon 08-Oct-12 09:38:48

I used to be in tears quite often in my last school in the UK, and I had been teaching for 25+ years.

It's never happened since I came to Australia. The main difference is the lack of OFSTED, league tables, and a supportive SLT. All of these things could change, of course, and the government would love to have the top-down management systems of the UK.

I'm now as good a teacher as I can be. Nothing of any substance is in my way. That's the difference.

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