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Mumsnet is putting me off becoming an English teacher...

(42 Posts)
WorriedEnglishStudent Sat 15-Jun-13 21:26:34

I'm 20 and have just finished my first year of studying English at a good University. I'm not entirely sure what I want to do career wise in the future, but I've always thought teaching might be a suitable option.

I have always been told that I would make a good teacher. I like giving presentations and leading others. I like children and would enjoy sharing my passion for literature (although I appreciate that appreciate that there will be many students who stubbornly hate the subject...)

After reading through the comments of another AIBU thread I feel a bit worried. I've suffered from depression and anxiety in the past and a lot of people have said that teaching is probably not a suitable career if you are already prone to stress/low mood/lack of esteem.

AIBU to consider teaching as a profession? I have no idea what I could do instead. I know I'm young, etc, but I'm getting closer to an age where I need to start looking for a "proper job" and it worries me.

WorriedEnglishStudent Sat 15-Jun-13 21:27:34

Oops, some typos in there! Don't tell the university! wink

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 15-Jun-13 21:32:15

Teachers are just normal people like everybody else - plenty will have experienced depression/anxiety. It doesn't preclude you from teaching.

Besides being self confident generally speaking is not the same as being confident in a classroom. Some massively extroverted people simply cannot do it. My dp is a teachers and he said things like being totally confident in a classroom setting is skill you pick up (quickly) with practice,which you get on the PGCE course placements.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 15-Jun-13 21:32:37

So Yanbu to consider it at all!

orangeandemons Sat 15-Jun-13 21:33:30

Wee ell, if you have low self esteem and anxiety, then I would say not for you..

This is just so so wrong though, as a good teacher wants to help kids, but that is immaterial any more. What counts is how well you perform under very intense and degrading observations and scrutiny, and what you produce.

Enjoying the kids is a by product these days rather than the raisin d'être.

UniqueAndAmazing Sat 15-Jun-13 21:36:12


teaching is a wonderful profession and really rewarding.
of course there'll be horror stories, bit don't worry.
your pgce will tea h you how to handle things amd if you engage the kids there's no reason why you need to be anxious.

orangeandemons Sat 15-Jun-13 21:36:48

Raison d'être. Damn ipad

Armi Sat 15-Jun-13 21:40:55

I love teaching. We're up to our necks in shit at the moment due to that lovely Mr Gove but the actual teaching bit is fantastic fun. Why not arrange to pop into a school (perhaps the one you used to go to) for a few days' work experience?

It is stressful at times but all jobs are. Give it a whirl.

HollyBerryBush Sat 15-Jun-13 21:41:33

Teaching, I've always thought, is like being an actor, you are on stage for 5 hours straight, trying to captivate and enthral your audience.

Give it a whirl you might love it - but it's not the children - its the deadlines and the red tape and the mind boggling pursuit to Ofsteds ever changing frameworks that cause the most stress.

Morgause Sat 15-Jun-13 21:42:52

It's the best job in the world. Retired now but would do it all over again if I could.

TheYamiOfYawn Sat 15-Jun-13 21:44:33

I hated teaching and wasrubbish at it. I know several people who worked in schools for a year or so before doing their PGCEs, as learning support assistants. If you could get a job like that for a year, it would stand you in really good stead, and give you a realistic idea of what is involved and whether it would be the career for you.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 15-Jun-13 21:46:50

My DP did some amdram stuff whilst at uni,it got him used to performing in front of an audience. He also said that given it was uni stuff it also got him used to performing in front of audiences who weren't afraid to say/show how much they didn't like it/found it boring grin

But in all seriousness something like that might be helpful to you?

Arisbottle Sat 15-Jun-13 21:51:48

Teaching was my second career and it was the best decision I have ever made. I often don't recognise the teaching horror stories I read on here.

I laugh every day and constantly have to pinch myself that I am getting paid to spend the day blabbing on about a subject I loved enough to spend years studying to a group of fab people.

My family is much happier since I went into teaching.

The worst that can happen is that you hate it and leave.

MagicHouse Sat 15-Jun-13 21:52:13

There always seems to be lots of stress in the profession, and an ever increasing workload. I also suffered anxiety/depression in my twenties (a while ago now!)...... but basically I love my job! It's really rewarding. The best bit is getting to know lots of little individuals, finding out what they're best at and helping them to feel confident about themselves. If you love what you're actually teaching, then you can have a lot of fun as well as the stressy bits!

If literature is something you feel passionate about, then you'll have a lot to offer sharing that passion through teaching. I'd say give it a go!

HooverFairy Sat 15-Jun-13 21:53:51

I agree with Morgause - best job in the world! I've suffered anxiety, low self esteem and difficult home circumstances in my 10 years as a teacher so far, nothing keeps your mind occupied better than classes full of kids. It's the best medicine smile. Gove is making things very difficult and the hours are odd compared to other jobs. But, if you're organised and enjoy being busy then do it. Training and NQT year are hard, just pick your first post carefully and you'll be ok. You won't know until you try it! Good luck smile

Arisbottle Sat 15-Jun-13 21:54:39

I think the holidays do a lot to relieve the stress, I don't find the job particularly stressful but often when I find it becoming stressful I realise that it is just a week to a holiday.

I think there have been two periods in my life where I found teaching stressful, I went through a time where I fantasised about crashing my car or going into hospital so I could have a break. However that was around the time of a very difficult pregnancy , problems with my son and a miscarriage. However I was projecting that on to my job.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 15-Jun-13 21:56:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Arisbottle Sat 15-Jun-13 21:58:21

I am part of the humanities department and I wonder if RE had a greater workload, they have so many classes and like us in history are marking lots of essays.

Not that it matters.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 15-Jun-13 22:03:16

I had a very bad time last term. I was definitely ill through stress. However, there was a clear reason for it, and now that has resolved, I am back to loving it. It is a fabulous job, where you get to have a real and observable influence on the lives of young people. If you can hold on to that, then Gove et al lose some of their sting.

Rosieeo Sat 15-Jun-13 22:06:48

The teachers I see suffer are the perfectionists. It's a job that never ends and you could work 24/7 if you wanted to. However, if you can enforce work/life balance then you'll be fine. It's a great job. I'd second the school experience though, do TDA still arrange the visits? Try this: SEP

SuffolkNWhat Sat 15-Jun-13 22:07:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teacherandguideleader Sat 15-Jun-13 22:46:50

You like children which is a good place to start. Teaching is however a vocation - I knew when I was 12.

I have suffered depression / anxiety and it doesn't make it easier - I am a good teacher and (without wishing to sound big headed) am very much liked by students. However, it only takes one person to say something negative and it really affects me.

If you're thinking about it, get into schools now, it is the only way you'll be able to evidence.

teacherandguideleader Sat 15-Jun-13 22:47:19

Evidence = decide!

I love teaching but it is hard work so you should be sure about it before doing your pgce. Most courses will expect you to have spent time in schools before applying so why not arrange some work placements (observations rather than teaching iyswim) now so that you can decide if it's for you?

Arisbottle Sat 15-Jun-13 22:52:35

It does not need to be a vocation, wasn't for me , certainly at the start, and I seem to be doing OK and more importantly so do my students.

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