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to think teaching isn't the idea career for mums?

(217 Posts)
alisunshine29 Wed 27-Feb-13 14:25:10

I'm studying for a degree at the moment and had planned to complete my PGCE afterwards but since speaking to the mum of DD's friend I've changed my mind. She's a teacher at the same school as her daughters and they go to breakfast club from 8 and after school club til. 6. She said they are in bed for 7 and then she has a couple of hours more work to do every night, plus a days worth at the weekend. She gets to attend nativity etc but only because they're at the same school otherwise she'd miss those events. AIBU to think a 9-5 job might actually be more practical?

chocoholic05 Wed 27-Feb-13 15:01:32

I have three teacher friends who job share so work part time. They feel that way they get the best of both worlds. On the days they aren't working they can take to and pick up from school they get school hols off and can usually make it to school plays either cos its their not working day or by swapping with their job share partner. However I see your point re working fulltime as a teacher

Fluffy1234 Wed 27-Feb-13 15:01:52

I don't think YABU but then who ever said teaching is an ideal career for a mum?

DonderandBlitzen Wed 27-Feb-13 15:02:21

Yes i think your friend has given a realistic description.

chocoholic05 Wed 27-Feb-13 15:03:44

I have three teacher friends who job share so work part time. They feel that way they get the best of both worlds. On the days they aren't working they can take to and pick up from school they get school hols off and can usually make it to school plays either cos its their not working day or by swapping with their job share partner. However I see your point re working fulltime as a teacher

chocoholic05 Wed 27-Feb-13 15:08:23

oops really didn't mean to post this twice!!!

chocoholic05 Wed 27-Feb-13 15:17:55

If your not a mum you don't know how you'll feel when you become one. You may decide to be a sahm for a while be a supply teacher or part time or any number of things like private tuition etc. You can't know for sure what you'll do in the future til you become a mim iyswim!

cantspel Wed 27-Feb-13 15:17:58

I want teachers who go into teaching because they have a vocation for it not because they want a job that will fit around their childcare requirements whatever the hours they are working.

KatAndKit Wed 27-Feb-13 15:22:40

Many teachers finish work before 6pm (obviously sometimes there are parents evenings and also meetings after school till 5 once a week). However, those teachers who do go home at 4.30 only manage this by doing a couple of hours work at home once their kids have gone to bed and most teachers also have to put in quite a bit of planning time at the weekend. I taught before I had my baby and even as a single person without children, I was working quite long hours in termtime. If you have children and you are a teacher it is important to be very efficient and organized (not like me then!)

Teaching was never supposed to be a career for mums. It is for people who want to teach children. Many of those people happen to have children of their own and make the demands of their role work either because they want to or because they have to. Obviously there is the option of taking on a part time teaching job although this will reduce your career progression opportunities and also your income.

Fluffy1234 Wed 27-Feb-13 15:23:35

Cantspel i agree. It's quite depressing to think teachers may have gone into teaching to fit around their children and not for a love of teaching.

Lueji Wed 27-Feb-13 15:28:17

What you want is a job that allows you flexible time and to work from home (say when children are ill), or that you can sometimes take your child to work.

Mine is not too bad in that respect (research institute with some teaching involved).
But it also requires me to travel away sometimes.

brainonastick Wed 27-Feb-13 15:35:13

Cantspel and fluffy - don't be silly, everyone has personal reasons for choosing a job, as well as professional ones. Just because someone thinks it might fit in with their family, doesn't mean that they are not dedicated or brilliant at their job.

That kind of thinking is what leads to typical 'women's' jobs like teaching, nursing, caring, being totally undervalued.

cantspel Wed 27-Feb-13 15:45:02

No they are undervalued because women go into teaching as they want a job around their children rather than a carer in teaching so people begin to think of it as a mothers role. Hence why men are so under represented in primary schools.

brainonastick Wed 27-Feb-13 15:54:22

I disagree.

Men are under represented because teaching has historically been seen as a women's job.

Because it has historically been seen as a women's job, it is undervalued (actually, less undervalued in financial terms than it used to be).

As you can see from the thread, teaching does not fit around the children. And even if we assume that it does fit in around children, and assuming that this is one of the reasons women chose teaching (because women are wrongly assumed to be the ones who have to worry about childcare, not men), then that still does not mean that these women are poor teachers. Correlation does not equal causation.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 27-Feb-13 15:57:20

I was going to say that doesn't sound quite right to me cant. Besides the majority of the female teachers in DS1's school don't have children. Brains explanation is far more likely.

Fluffy1234 Wed 27-Feb-13 16:01:24

I completely understand ( I mean really understand having studied gender, race and class for three years at university) why teaching is seen as a 'women's' job and along with the 5'c's is undervalued but I don't see how my thinking undervalues it.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Wed 27-Feb-13 16:03:14

I disagree. What other jobs can you leave at 4 or 4.30. I teach and tend to go in early, and leave early except on meeting nights. I get to spend a few hours with my 2 dd's in the evening and I then I start work after they're in bed. What other job has this flexibility plus the holidays are great. My Dh does the morning drop off.
However I do miss getting to see sports day, navity although I've been lucky that twice they coincided with my planning free lessons and the head let me go. I'm not sure i'd want to train to be a teacher with young kids at home as the first few years are hard. Also I've avoided any management posts since having kids as its too much of a commitment.

brainonastick Wed 27-Feb-13 16:05:07

Fluffy - it undervalues it because you are assuming that the women can't choose a job that fits in around children and also have a love of that job. That you can't do both.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 27-Feb-13 16:09:13

None of the teachers at our school go home before 6 pm. Many stay longer than that. Most of them arrive at 8 am. They all do some work at the weekends.

There are jobs that have better hours.

I don't think many people go into teaching because it fits around children. Most teachers i know do not have children, or they have older children and teaching is their second career. Those people have all chosen it as a vocation, as far as I can see.

I think it's such an intense job, to do properly, that to do it full time would be hard for me.

I disagree with you, cantspel

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 27-Feb-13 16:11:45

There is no perfect solution to wanting to/having to work and having children. Whatever job you have there will be a compromise somewhere - often it is you as a person. Inevitably balls will get dropped at some point.

CrapBag Wed 27-Feb-13 16:18:19


I think if you are already a teacher then have children it is slightly different as you already know what the job entails etc, however all the teachers that I know all have said about how much work outside of school there is and many of them really dislike the job.

I know someone who is doing a PGCE, with small children. She is tearing her hair out and struggling big time. Ultimately she is doing it for the holidays and what the pay will be in 5 years time. I don't think she has ever had a burning desire to teach but she sees it as a job that fits in with family life, it doesn't at all and I think she is unrealistic about it. I think people who don't know really don't realise how much there is to do outside of the 9-3.30 school hours. DH trained to be a teacher and he hated it and never actually did it, mainly because of the amount of work outside. There are plently of jobs that don't actually require you to do mountains of work at home, which is ultimately what DH wanted.

manicinsomniac Wed 27-Feb-13 16:20:22

welllll, it can depend but I think YABU.

I got pregnant as a teenager at university and knew I'd be a single mum. SO I decided teaching was the only way ofrward tbh.

I made the conscious decision to apply to private schools so I could work in a job which, although it requires well over 60 hours on site during term time, allows me to give my children a private education for almost nothing, provides total wrap around care in term time (they can even sleep here if I'm working very late and freuqently they need to!), gives me accomodation in an aflfuent area for almost nothing and gives us the whole holidays to ourselves. When I have to work during the holidays they have the run of acres of school grounds to play in while I do it.

Teaching was honestly the only job I could think that would make parenting feasible for me at all.

JudithOfThePeace Wed 27-Feb-13 16:42:27

I agree with what you say about teaching - when I was teaching, I was out of the house 8-6:30, worked every evening and weekend and most days in school holidays, just to do my basic job description. I think public perception of the job is often seriously wide of the mark.

However, I can't imagine a 9-5 job is any better. Many still involve additional time and the childcare headache of the school holidays must be hideous.

Full-time work of any description is bloody hard to work around children and no job is 'ideal'.

exoticfruits Wed 27-Feb-13 16:48:01

I agree with Judith. The advantage of teaching is that you have the same holidays (providing they don't go to a school across the county border) and that is worth a lot.
The best idea is to get a teaching job share and not do full time.

TeamEdward Wed 27-Feb-13 16:49:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MammaMedusa Wed 27-Feb-13 16:56:16

I think you can't have any job without sacrifice. Our household works because I work mornings and DH usually works afternoons and evenings. My mother comes toward the end of summer term to stay every year and my dad just before Christmas every year. So between us we can usually provide one adult at each required school event. Even so it feels a juggle at times!

I think if you have gone into teaching before you have children and have a couple of years under your belt, then you can probably find jobs/hours, etc, to suit you. I think it would be a tough profession to start when you already have children, especially if you are hankering after lots of time with those kids.

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