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To want to go back into teaching in a state school?

(65 Posts)
Crossroads2 Sat 06-Jun-15 19:41:42

Please tell me if I am being unreasonable.

I am currently tutoring children at a very good rate (£60 London area). I wouldn't usually share such information but it helps explain my predicament.

I always aspired to become a Headteacher but left those dreams behind when our four children were born. They are now all in school and my old dreams have come back with force.

I really want to go back into the classroom and try to achieve my aspirations. It would be hard with four small children - I know that.

My husband is not happy at all and I also understand that. I am bringing in good money and would be exchanging it for pressure, lots of hard work, less family time and less money. My husband says in comparison it would be like taking up a hobby. I also want to go back into state schools, not private. Again, my husband says it would be like choosing to work in an under-funded NHS hospital rather than a Bupa hospital. I enjoy the diversity and I wouldn't get a senior position in a private school.

Schools are currently in full flow looking for new teachers for September and I really want to apply. But I'm not as it's caused rather a lot of heated discussion.

Would I be mean to chase my dreams? I guess I owe it to my family to just work for the money. Do you agree?

Clobbered Sat 06-Jun-15 19:45:07

I honestly don't know why you would choose to do this to yourself. You have good money coming in, and the opportunity to be around for and support your children. What's so great about being a Headteacher, if you earn less money and have to sacrifice the wellbeing of your family?
I suppose you could give it a try and always go back to tutoring if it didn't work out, but you would probably find your husband saying (or at least thinking) "told you so".

winewolfhowls Sat 06-Jun-15 19:47:48

I wouldn't. Thousands of teacher's are trying to escape for a reason!

Grass is always greener remember (and im jealous your job sounds fab)

Crossroads2 Sat 06-Jun-15 19:49:19

Can I just say that I love the children I teach. I spend at least half a day planning one session for them and love seeing the progress they make. I just read my last sentence and it made it sound like I just do it for the money which would be dreadful. It's just that money is sadly the key factor here.

Cantbelievethisishappening Sat 06-Jun-15 19:49:21

Again, my husband says it would be like choosing to work in an under-funded NHS hospital rather than a Bupa hospital

What a strange comparison. Has he ever been a teacher? I will so no based on that little nugget
Depends..... are you likely to feel resentful later on if you don't? yes it is hard but it does not sound as if you are getting much fulfilment at the moment. Would you be happy to tutor indefinitely? It should not be just about money either unless of course it will lead to hardship if you did go back into teaching.
IMO it sounds like your husband may be more concerned about the impact on him TBH

funchum8am Sat 06-Jun-15 19:49:56

If your DH is so keen for someone to be around for the children, could he look into a career break or go part time? Heads are paid very well and while it is very demanding, you would presumably start as a main scale teacher and work up from there. Or could you go back part time and increase to full time and management posts once your youngest is at school? You only get one life and I completely understand why you want to work in a state school. I feel exactly the same way and can't wait to get started once my current (and last) mat leave is over. DH is going part time, though I realise not everyone has that option.

noblegiraffe Sat 06-Jun-15 19:50:51

How would you arrange the substantial amount of childcare that you would need to cover the hours outside of school-time that you would be working? Both before and after school?

I'm a part time teacher with two children, there is no way on earth you could persuade me back into full time teaching.

cardibach Sat 06-Jun-15 19:50:51

I've recent,y ,eft state education to teach in an independent school, which I never thought I would do. I did it because the pressure on staff in state schools is relentless and counter productive. There are too many initiatives which don't help children and judgement of teachers is based on the wrong things. Bullying is rife because the jobs of senior staff depend on certain data points being reached. Fewer and fewer people working in the system want to be Heads now, and those who are often find it impossible to maintain their own integrity - those who do often do so at the expense of their careers. One year's poor results (results measured in ways which take little of the context into account) can mean dismissal for a head and no possibility of resurrecting their career. Don't do it.

Theycallmemellowjello Sat 06-Jun-15 19:50:51

I think you should definitely go for it. There's a lot more to a job than just money: interest, community service, and ambition are all important too. I presume that he has a career. why is he allowed to pursue one and you not? I think he is unreasonable and controlling to stand in your way. Of course it is unreasonable to force someone to stay in a job they don't like just because it is more highly paid.

MixedMessages Sat 06-Jun-15 19:51:34

I think you should where possible follow your dream - some women thrive in stress and status of a job. Nothing wrong with that smile

I'm curious as to how tutoring gives you more family time - surely you tutor during the time you'd otherwise be with your DC?

KohINoorPencil Sat 06-Jun-15 19:52:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

twentyten Sat 06-Jun-15 19:55:25

Is there a compromise here? School part- time/ job share? There is a desperate shortage of heads- is your experience current/ relevant ? Could you volunteer in a school 1/2 day? Be a governor at your children's school?

Magicalmrmistofeles Sat 06-Jun-15 19:56:10

I think if you were asking should he go for headship instead of tutoring you would get very different answers.

Do what's right for you - you need to be happy and fulfilled to be a good role model for your children.

KohINoorPencil Sat 06-Jun-15 19:57:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Duckdeamon Sat 06-Jun-15 20:21:11

Do you mean £60,000 a year tutoring! That is indeed good money. How much of a pay cut would we be talking, quite a big one presumably, not just 10 or 20%.

If you leave the tutoring and classroom teaching doesn't work out how likely is it you'll be able to return to tutoring at that kind of income?

If your DH has worked longer hours and progressed his career while you do most of the childcare AND bring in £60k I'm inclined to think he's being unreasonable, but can see his point about the economics (though not about the state/private thing).

ilovesooty Sat 06-Jun-15 20:25:21

How long has it been since you were anywhere near a state school apart from as a parent?

fiveacres Sat 06-Jun-15 20:30:32

I don't think in theory there's anything wrong with applying for some teaching posts with a possible view to headship in the future but it is something that needs thrashing out as a couple.

tumbletumble Sat 06-Jun-15 20:33:52

YANBU at all OP. Follow your dream. I can totally imagine that private tutoring is boring compared to teaching in a school.

partystress Sat 06-Jun-15 20:46:15

I took more than a 50% pay cut when I moved into teaching 6 years ago. Until this year I had no regrets - it is the most rewarding job I could ever imagine. But this last year I have felt very selfish: my DH's job is at risk and we can't manage on my salary alone; I don't have the time I would like for my own DCs; teenagers are more expensive than I would have believed possible and we are struggling even with my DH still working. I could live with all that if the job wasn't becoming nightmarishly pressured....

The new curriculum and the complete and utter lack of clarity about how we will be measured mean that Year 6 will become even more of a pressure cooker with nothing but maths, English and 'science' being drilled into children. I work in an honest school, where we follow the rules on testing, and I feel like a total mug. The cheating I have heard of this year is unbelievable - except that if you dangle the sack over headteachers and forced academisation over schools, then I guess people will make the choice to leave children thinking being told the answer is the norm in tests.

The pressure on Y6 will have to filter down to younger children too. And when you have the farce of 6-year old fluent readers being forced to 'revise' phonics in order to pass the phonic screening, you have to weep. Against all my principles, I think I will look at the private sector next year, where there is still a chance of educating the whole child. Think very hard OP.

noblegiraffe Sat 06-Jun-15 20:50:47

I think those people telling you to follow your dream probably aren't teachers.

How about this letter from Vic Goddard (head from the Educating Essex programme) to Nicky Morgan?

passmorespedagogy.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/a-letter-to-the-secretary-of-state/

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Sat 06-Jun-15 21:09:59

Depends if you can afford it as a family. With 4 small kids in the London area unless your husband is a seriously high earner or you guys have inherited wealth/property then I suspect not.

In which case the economics win out unless your health is at stake in my view.
I'd love to do a 4 day week but I can't afford the salary cut. Not exactly my dream but any other choice has big financial impact on us. It's life.
Think about what else you could do if anything for more personal reward.
Any local heads happy to be shadowed for a couple of days? Might be a real eye opener.

If money is really not an issue then go for it!

mineofuselessinformation Sat 06-Jun-15 21:20:42

If you're really conflicted, would it be possible to try part time? Unless you've recently worked in a state school, I would suggest this as a sensible half-way compromise.
But, if you were a friend of mine and I was being frank, I would say don't do it.

Crossroads2 Sat 06-Jun-15 22:52:39

A lot of great advice. Many thanks!! Lots for me to think about. My husband doesn't have a career. He works in a very dull job because it pays very well. I think that's why he thinks I should be doing the same.

I have probably run out of time anyway. As one poster says, I haven't taught in a state school for a while now and I've hit the big 40. It's a shame we often realise we should have gone down a different path when it's too late.

notmyusualMNname123 Sat 06-Jun-15 22:54:52

The Headteacher at my DD's school is the mother of 4. It is do-able.

Good luck flowers

indigoteeshirt Sat 06-Jun-15 22:59:24

Think you're over-reaching. focus first on getting the classroom teacher job and sustaining your practice sufficiently over a 3 year period that you can achieve good to outstanding in the 3 observations you'll have each year, and good to outstanding test results for your pupils, then you will have the credibility to apply for a second in department.

In that context, if you're going to do the job properly you're working 12 hour days and using holidays to catch-up or write new curriculum documents.

You have 4 children?

Do you think your ambition is more about escapism?

Carefull that with your tutoring job and 4 children you're not valuing what you have. With tutoring you can really teach without being pulled in so many directions as you are in the classroom - and a working mother.

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