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To leave my professional career for a low paid job?

(186 Posts)
raininginbaltimore Fri 18-Jan-13 20:39:26

I'm a teacher. Been teaching for 8 years, I'm a Headnof department for a small dept in secondary school.

I have bipolar disorder, diagnosed two years ago an have just had my second dc. As a family we have had a rough few months, I've been in a mother and baby unit and dd has been ill. I cannot face going back to work. Teaching just doesn't seem doable anymore. I can go back 4 days, but nothing less. I can't move schools as I am too expensive, and not many local jobs.

I am so exhausted with the job. I have been made aware of a job in a local charity. Two days a week, much lower salary etc. however after childcare costs etc we wouldn't be much worse off.

Has anyone done this?

WillowFae Sat 19-Jan-13 23:18:56

I'm in my fourth year of teaching and I am seriously considering quitting. I want my life back while my children are still young. I want to enjoy the weekends with my family without worrying about the work I have to get done before Monday. But I don't know if we can afford it.

raininginbaltimore Sat 19-Jan-13 23:26:54

I need to take a serious look at our finances. We have already given up sky, contract mobiles, we haven't been on any kind of holiday for 5 years. I think we could do it because the difference in childcare.

And I could still do exam marking and tutoring.

Arisbottle Sun 20-Jan-13 01:16:00

At four years in you should be able to have one day a week completely free of work IME, are people being expected to do too much?

I have never worked Saturdays, even at peak time, and never do very much in the holidays.

Schooldidi Wed 23-Jan-13 15:10:13

raining I would do it, seriously. Look at your finances realistically, factor in the change in childcare, would there be less travel costs? How much tutoring could you reasonably expect to do? Could you sign up for a supply agency to do a little bit of extra if you needed to (this very much depends on the supply situation near you)?

Arisbottle I agree that you should be able to have one day completely free every week. I rarely work during the day on Saturday or Sunday and just work slightly longer hours on weekdays to get it done (mark 2 sets of books every Friday night - rock and roll). I don't do a massive amount in the holidays either, I always feel vaguely guilty when other teachers talk about how much they do in the holidays because I don't, but my classes are all making the expected progress, some exceeding their targets, so I must be doing something right.

TheArbiter Wed 23-Jan-13 17:24:09

raining - do it. Get out of there. I did. I ended up with staggering anxiety and depression because of teaching. I left and have steadily progressed in a non-teaching career ever since.

I would class training to teach as my biggest regret in life: I should have gone into publishing or journalism, which I actually have a flair for. Too many* teachers are very unpleasant people to work with (and I say this having worked with journalists).

*not all teachers, and not even the majority of teachers - just too many of them.

BranchingOut Wed 23-Jan-13 18:29:43

The thing is, Arisbottle, I regard one day per week free of work as fitting very low expectations of what my life should be... From time to time, yes, work at the weekend, but not every weekend in term time.

In the end the anxiety was creeping in to Saturday, because I was so conscious that day was my finite relaxation time and the work was already looming on Sunday.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 23-Jan-13 18:37:33

If it's financially viable then go for it, in fact even if it's not you could take it for the short term perhaps while you find a middle ground.

Mental health & wellbeing vs career = no contest.

Arisbottle Wed 23-Jan-13 19:05:37

Well that is fair enough Branchingout, we all want different things and there is no point carrying on in a job that does not meet your basic life expectations.

I am happy to work six days a week for six weeks because I do bugger all in the holidays. To have a six week period with nothing else to do than be a parent is a huge luxury.

Yfronts Wed 23-Jan-13 20:04:40

Do what is best for your health.

storynanny Thu 24-Jan-13 12:22:27

By the way, I agree with aris about the holidays with your own children, that is not going to happen in any other job you take outside of teaching. But unless you resign and take a part time post in school it still may not compensate for all the other complications of having a teaching career when your children are so young.
Re being expensive - in my experience unless the school is very small, it is not a major consideration when employing staff. I was initially concerned when I took early retirement from my TLr2 SENCo role last year that I would cost a school too much for supply. However the 4 schools I have become a regular at have told me they would rather employ an expensive supply teacher who is reliable, is flexible, can follow a plan at short notice and has good behaviour management, than going through an agency and getting someone they don't know just to save some money. All the admin officers told me they don't take the cost of a good supply teacher into consideration.
If you work part time in teaching you will pay so much less tax.
If I was in your position I would go with the charity job and a couple of days supply which would enable you to keep up to date and have a current teaching cv should you wish to return to teaching full time when your children are older.

PureQuintessence Thu 24-Jan-13 12:28:52

I just read that you could do tutoring.

This is actually quite well paid, in London the going rate is £40 per hour, and my sons tutor who used to be a secondary school teacher, has 3 students three days per week. (Cash in hand wink ) She taught in an independent secondary, and most her students are children sitting the 11+ for entry into the independent sector.

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