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Is it worth it?

(20 Posts)
hercules Tue 18-Jan-05 21:02:43

I am in my 4th year of teaching in a fairly tough school and I can barely remember thelast time I was really able to teach. It's all classroom management and as I'm parttime I have mainly low ability classes.
I always thought I would never consider the private sector but I don't enjoy my job anymore and yearn for a different type of challenge.

Any thoughts?

nailpolish Tue 18-Jan-05 21:05:19

hercules im a nurse and always believed in the nhs. for several reasons 2 yrs ago i changed jobs and now work for the private sector, have never looked back

i know its not the same, but sort of (?)

hercules Tue 18-Jan-05 21:06:09

I think probably quite similar. thanks for reply.

happymerryberries Tue 18-Jan-05 21:16:54

Sympathy, sympathy. I'm reasonably lucky this year and I only have one awful class, and one poor class behaviour wise.

It gets you down doesn't it? The daft thing is that these are the kids who need most help and support and their behaviour means that they can't get it, because you spend all your time trying to get them to behave.

I know that there are some great parents who's kids go off the rails, but most of the kids like this that I teach either have parents who don't give a damn or who believe that their kids can do no wrong and fail to support the school. You feel like tearing your hair out, don't you?

hercules Tue 18-Jan-05 21:19:32

I have phoned home, sent letters, parents evenings etc. I have found no affect from phoning home, no response from letters sent home and parents not turning up for parents evening. Those who do respond say there's nothing they csn do.

janeybops Tue 18-Jan-05 21:20:42

Oh sounds so familiar!

And I can see why you might think that! However, I have taught in both rough and 'nice ' schools/areas. They have their own problems too. They were state schools so not sure if private would be different.

Yorkiegirl Tue 18-Jan-05 21:31:26

Message withdrawn

pixiefish Tue 18-Jan-05 21:47:38

loads of hugs hercules- know where you're coming from. I'm having problems at shool at the minute as well- I've resorted to seeing it as a means to an end and 2 days working allows me to stay at home with dd for the rest of the week whereas I'd have to work in another job full time to get the same money. Also hols will suit when dd is older

Caligula Tue 18-Jan-05 21:55:25

Hercules, one of my best friends is the deputy head of a very posh private school where about 30% - 40% of her intake have an eating disorder.

The reason she went into the private sector was because she wanted to teach, not to be a social worker, psychiatrist, security guard, etc.

In the main, there's no doubt that her working conditions are better than what I've heard of many state school teachers, but the problems are different. She has very abusive parents to deal with, but they're abusive in a coherent, structured, legalistic way, where they leave her in no doubt that she's their servant, they're paying her bloody good money to get results, and if they're not forthcoming, that must be her fault.

She also has the psychiatrist job - some of these children feel so terribly starved of love, I know that's an awful cliche and I don't want to start any controversies about ambitious parents etc., but bulimia and anorexia is absolutely rife as it's the only way these girls have of controlling their over-structured lives. There's also a massive drug problem, but again, it's just not "in-yer-face".

She gets straight A's nearly all the time though and the satisfaction of enormously motivated pupils. But I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are still problems, but just different ones (and sometimes, just as heartbreaking ones - a couple of years ago she had an attempted suicide from one of her best pupils), and it's really which sort of problems you feel better at dealing with which would decide what sort of environment would suit you. And I agree with Yorkiegirl, it might just be a change of school you need, rather than of sector.

hercules Tue 18-Jan-05 21:57:14

thanks caligula. I guess the grass is often greener.

hercules Tue 18-Jan-05 22:02:59

What about grammar schools?

Levanna Wed 19-Jan-05 01:57:48

Hercules, It's awful to feel this way in any job. There's no point in being where you are if it is making you unhappy. It can be a struggle not to let feelings like that interfere with work. On the other hand, I hope my DD's are lucky enough to have a conscientous and caring teacher such as yourself when they go to school. We don't live in a 'nice' area, many parents don't seem to 'care' (used loosely of course!) but some of us do though we wont be able to afford private education. I have no idea of how teaching qualifications work, but would you find a different age group more satisfying to teach maybe?

happymerryberries Wed 19-Jan-05 07:36:41

What sort of support are you being from your smt?

Awful classes are awful, but it isn't quite so bad if you are getting good support from the smt. Can you talk to your hod or hoy? Are there any members of staff that have a 'better' time with these kids (doubtful I know), if so can you observe them?

In my awful class I have ended up making them all sit alone (not ideal I know but otherwise they bicker and fight non stop). I also use a large amount of dull written tasks (again not ideal I know) . That keeps them calm enough for me to do some 1:1 teaching when I can, whole class work is simply impossible as the kids cannot interact with each other in any 'normal' positive way, that level of social skill is beyond then

ghosty Wed 19-Jan-05 07:48:00

Hercules I couldn't agree with Caligula's post more. I have worked in both state and private (but primary aged children) and I think they both have their downsides. The pressure from parents in Private Schools can be terrible (the other extreme from having no replies at all from parents) ... I had a mother crying in my classroom because she was worried about her son's achievement in Science and how was he going to get on in the future ... He was 8 years old FFS!!!!!!!!!!!
There is early burn out for teachers in private schools too because of the pressure for exam grades ... (even at 8yrs old ... I kid you not!)
I must say that I have had my best teaching in the private sector because children do seem more keen to learn .... but the staffroom and tradition can be stifling ....
Sorry, I am waffling ...
Look at all your options .. like the others say, it may not be private school you want but just a change of school.

ks Wed 19-Jan-05 07:53:20

Message withdrawn

KatieinSpain Wed 19-Jan-05 07:56:37

Argh - it is all coming flooding back. Hi,Hercules. How is it going? I did a year at a very tough school but just found it so soul destroying that I stopped sleeping on Sunday nights and I am usually a person, who sleeps anytime, anyplace, anywhere. I used an Australian book on class-room management, something like "breaking the tough class", written by the same guy, who wrote "the golden rule" - sorry, can't remember the exact titles. I found loads of inspiration from him and used lots of his ideas.

However, at the end of the day, I resigned. I went into the private sector and yes, although it had its downside - long hours, over-interested parents (if there can be such a thing) - I must say, I loved the two years there. I also noticed that just before the holidays, when I looked round the staffroom, the teachers didn't look so grey and shattered.

I would second the great advice from all the others. Go look with an open mind and if something comes up, try it.

Do you fancy a new thread - horror stories from Friday afternoons when it is raining and windy ?

Hulababy Wed 19-Jan-05 09:26:18

(((hugs))) hercules. It's tough. I know exactly what you mean though. I work in a tough school too and agree that it is all classroom management, with so little proper teaching.

Keep looking in TES. The right job will come about eventually. Might be private, might not. You never know and I wouldn't count anything out TBH. I worked at a really good state school and it was a world apart from what I do know. It's like two different jobs. There I taught. It was fun, challenging in a different way and rewarding. That's what I miss now.

Hang in there and keep looking for those new jobs.

Have to admit that I am now getting out of school teaching completely for a bit. Moving over to work 3 days a week at the prison. ASAP too - no later than Easter allbeing well. Actually also applying for an Advisors job there - no teaching in that, more one to one reviews, etc. Need a break.

As I say, don't rule anything out. Soemthing will come up.

Moomin Wed 19-Jan-05 20:52:27

i agree with happymerryberries about support from smt. imo it shouldn't be you that has to do all the running round, sorting parents' meetings, etc. in a good school there should be a system of referral for problems pastorally and in each dept. i work in a city school in b'ham and our catchment certainly isn't affluent by any means but our pastoral and discipline system is so strong that, for the most part, the kind of behaviour you're describing just isn't tolerated day in day out. we all moan about the kids, of course, and we all have off-days but i am also sure that if a kid is a huge disruption there is a solid system to fall back on.
what i'm saying really is to agree with many of the wise words on this thread - the right school maybbe private or state - keep on looking and good luck!

Tommy Wed 19-Jan-05 21:11:43

I felt like that in my last school - to the extent that I was being treated for depression and all sorts. I handed in my notice (with no job to go to) Fortunately DH (P as he was at the time!) was able to support me and I figured that if couldn't find anything I could always do supply. I eventually got a very part time job at a sixth form college which was such a different, much more positive experience and another part time job as a project worker for a charity going into schools and stuff which was different but very interesting. I was suddenly also offered jobs all over the place which was great for my self esteem even if I couldn't accept them! I'm now a SAHM but I am so glad I bit the bullet and got out of my last school - takes a lot of courage (and a supportive partner)
Good luck - I really feel for you and am so glad I'm not in the same situation anymore

hatstand Wed 19-Jan-05 21:51:05

Hercules - i can't speak directly from experience but my mum taught at some really rough schools - (priamry age) in the end she switched to special needs teaching, with profoundly disabled kids. She's retired now but she loved the work (still does the odd day supply and gets invited to nativity play etc). I think it was emotionally very draining - there are some kids she can't talk about without a wee tear welling up, but I know she found it extremely fulfilling. I think she was often moved by the parents, and - it being one of the few speical needs schools in a big city it had a complete social mix.

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