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Complete career change. Teacher?? Doctor? Pharmacist?

(42 Posts)
thinkingoutofthebox Fri 14-Aug-09 15:06:22

Hi all.

I am completey confused about where I want my career to go. My degree is in Communication studies and English and I have worked for about 3 years in the pr/journalsim field before getting married and having kids. I have a dd 6 and ds 4, and as of september I will have ME/WOMAN/CAREER back! and I really want to do something i'm passionate about. Trouble is, I am passionate about alot!

My character is such that I hate doing the same thing day in day out. I love working with children, I love educating both adults and young children. I think out of the box.

There are two methods of teaching that i'm interested in Reggio Emilia and Philospohy for children. Whereby I would like to take these concepts to schools and nuseries, however I have been told it's best if i had nvqs and a PGCE for teachers to take me seriosuly. I also want to teach in FE college 'effective communication' maybe one evening a week. Again more qualifications needed.

So the point here is that my life would be very varied but the income will totally depend on me selling my services then carrying them out...alot of hard work and a bit nervous about how much money i will bring home each month. But could do supply teaching to make sure I bring in a wage until things are up and running. there could be huge job satisfaction, variety and opportunity to travel and take these teaching methods to other countries (tavel is high on the agenda! feesible? I don't know but on the wish list!)

Then a completely diffeent passion of mine and regret was that I never followed the medicine route. I worked as pharamacy assistant for 5 years while I was at college and uni and passed my exams with flying colours with not too much effort because I always 'got it' I loved and understood pharamacy. But i followd the arts route at uni.

But am I too old for pharamcy/doctor? will too much tme be taken away from the kids? I have no science a levels. will I be able to travel? would i travel anyway with kids so young? will i get bored if things get monotoneous?

Am i just too confused to do anything??!

randomtask Fri 14-Aug-09 15:12:19

I don't know anything about pharmacies and doctors but DH has just got his PGCE. He's very much a natural teacher and used to lecture/tutor in Uni's so found it easier than most of his peers. However, it very much meant I had to 'pick up' family/house things for the year, not see him a lot of evenings as he was working and he also did 'funny' hours as it included an evening a week (plus some of his placement schools weren't very close) so DSS lost out on Daddy time and we couldn't have done it without MIL picking DSS up from school everyday. Most of his peers were very stressed and those that weren't doing it because of their love of young people/teaching dropped out.

So, do it, it's wonderfully rewarding and it's a great thing to do but, remember it affects your whole family not just you (something I had to drum into DH at times)...

Good luck making your decision!

thinkingoutofthebox Fri 14-Aug-09 16:27:28

Thanx for your reply. did he do his pgce in post compulsary education?

have things calmed down now that he has completed his course?

The idea behind adult teaching was that I would always be ther during the day to drop and pick the kids up from school. ???

randomtask Fri 14-Aug-09 16:40:46

We thought it'd be great if he was a teacher as he'd get DSS after school but unfortunately DSS's school don't do after school clubs and DH kept having to stay late to talk to his mentor and stuff. Sometimes I got home before him and I work til 5.30 at the earliest.

He did his PGCE as a secondary school English teacher. He was in a bit of an odd situation as he used to lecture in performing arts and there weren't many jobs locally (he moved back home after his first wife died so left his job to look after DSS too). So, he did an English MA the year before last, then PGCE started 3 days after his dissertation was handed in. It means he can now teach anywhere and he was more interested in government funded schools.

Things are calm at the moment but he starts his first proper teaching job in a few weeks (and first proper paid job in 5 years) and we know it'll be manic. He's already lesson planning and constantly reading books he'll be teaching next year. It's fine but, once again, it's putting pressure on the rest of the family. We know once he gets a year down the road, he'll know what he's doing and things will be calmer. But bear in mind, DH is the most calm, laid back, easy person that I know (most people including his mentors comment on it) which means if you're not so calm it'll be more difficult.

I don't want to put you off as I know it's a fabulous career and DH really enjoys it but it has put pressure on our relationship and we only got married last year!

Niecie Fri 14-Aug-09 16:44:08

How old are you at the moment?

I saw a programme on the telly a while ago about a scheme for people with non-medical degrees to fast track train as doctors. Have you heard of such a scheme? I couldn't tell you what it is called but you would probably find it with a bit of googling.

Anyway, they had people who were around 40 starting on this course and it wasn't too old. I assume you aren't as old as that.

Could you enroll for a science A level or two this September as it is too late to get on any degree courses this year?

oneplusone Fri 14-Aug-09 16:55:54

thinkingout, hi. I am going to be of no help to you other than to say i am in the same boat. I want to start on a completely new career once my youngest starts full time school (in a year from now). I have got a law degree and am a qualified solicitor and worked for 10 years before having DC's and becoming a full time SAHM. Now it's me time like you say and i am veering towards becoming a psychologist/psychotherapist. But i feel daunted at the prospect of completely retraining and starting all over again at the bottom. I am 39, by the time i can even start retraining i will be 41 and after 5 years of studying part time i will be 46!

I keep wondering whether it's worth it and i will be too old to actually get a job once i have completed my studying. But I am passionate about psychology, am always reading books about it at home and find I just want to learn more and more, which surely is a good sign?

But i also loved studying law, it was only when i actually went into practise that i found i did not enjoy working life as a solicitor at all. It is an interesting subject to study but not so great to practise mainly because of the way law firms are set up etc. I am worried that psychology will be the same, i will love studying it but will not enjoy working (don't even know what sort of job i would want or could do either hmm).

Sorry, no help to you whatsoever, but like you, i am in a bit of a dilema.

weegiemum Fri 14-Aug-09 17:00:12

I am a teacher. the PGCE is a hard year, and (looking back 15 years) the NQT and couple of future years are hard - you certainly don't work school friendly hours!!

No idea about pharmacy.

Dh is a GP. Its 4 years min at Uni 9-5 or on the wards 9-5. Then the Pre-registration (which has changed since he did it so probably not 96 hours a week any more - but still hard going). Then post-reg training in whatever field you choose - his was GP - which was 2 years in hospital posts plus a year in general practice - all then had compulsory on-call, not sure how it would work now - I think GP trainees have to do some on-call for experience.

He now works a 4 day week though out the house 8 - 7.30, with one night a week and one weekend day a fortnight on call (our choice - the money is good!!).

You have some fab ideas of what you want to do - I really do think so. But you have to decide hwo much time you are prepared to put into it, if you decide to go for it.

As a teacher, I am currently retraining in adult /post compulsory ed, and Adult Basic Education, and that is hard enough with 3 kids at school (age 5, 7, 9).

thinkingoutofthebox Sat 15-Aug-09 00:44:23

Thanks all for your comments.

I am 32 at the moment niecie. and my degree is in Communication studies with English

oneple...yes it is a dilema when ther are two things you love but have to make achoice. I have found coming on here is helping me....even if i'm just seeing my thoughts is black and white in text, i'm actually thinking out loud rather than swishing things around in my head.

randomtask thanks agian into the insight of reality!!

weegiemum. What my idea was, if i went the child teaching route, to be more freelance and take the two methods I was refering to an introduce them to nurseries and schools and provide training and maybe even set up groups. in your opinion would I be able to do that without a pgce? because if so I won't actually bother with it and just train in regio emilia and philosphy for children. With this'freelance' way of work I could kind of choose my hours. I just thought if i had to do a pgce then i could supply teach for extra cash.

The idea behind doing a pgce post comp was that I could teach in the evenings after the kids are back from school and i've had a bit of time with them before i go off to work.

I've been reading up on pharamacy and I still am interested in it but there's one comment i read somewhere 'do you just want to be counting pills all day'?? and it kind of threw me, when I was a pharmacy assistant, it was all about helping people. Again I would locum and choose not to work everyday.

Niecie. Yes there is a course at St georges hospital london. they specialise in training mature students and have a access course for 1 year in order to gain the science qualification. It actually works out cheaper than doing 2 a'levels and is supportd by the london school of pharmacy.

BuffyTheFluffySlayer Sat 15-Aug-09 00:48:27

What about the Graduate Medicine course at St Georges? It's designed for graduates with any degree, you need a 2:2 or higher and have to sit an entrance exam, you fund the first year (student loans) and get a bursary for the rest. At the end of the 4 years you are a doctor.
I want to do this!!!

thinkingoutofthebox Sat 15-Aug-09 00:58:00

sounds so simple!!...can't be their website and revies over and over again!

thinkingoutofthebox Sat 15-Aug-09 00:58:35


BuffyTheFluffySlayer Sat 15-Aug-09 01:01:44

It sounds simple but the exam is really tough, three sections, takes all day.

BuffyTheFluffySlayer Sat 15-Aug-09 01:03:54, it's the same course at Nottingham, same entrance procedure, same exam, choose both or either Uni's as they are working together.

I'm going to apply next year. I have sat the exam before and missed the cut off by a few marks (I was ill though).

thinkingoutofthebox Sat 15-Aug-09 01:18:39

good luck!!!

I still haven't decided what to do.

Couldn't I do that access courses and study reggio emilia and philosphy for children at the same time. The other two aren't difficult and then during the year when i have to make an appliction for either a pgce or pharmacy, make my decision then? at least I will have the ball rolling.

and that way I would know which one i like more. or is that going to be impossible?

BuffyTheFluffySlayer Sat 15-Aug-09 01:19:46

Do some work experience, this will help.

bloss Sat 15-Aug-09 05:39:06

Message withdrawn

plusonemore Sat 15-Aug-09 07:42:27

dont know where you are based but we do a version of reggio in our foundation stage and we have a dedicated philosphy room. I am returning back after maternity leave in sept and am teaching P4C one day a week (have done level 1 course and am doing level 2 soon hopefully) I love P4C but I agree with bloss that you need other teaching experience too to make the best of it

thinkingoutofthebox Sat 15-Aug-09 10:20:38

Thanks bloss and plusonemore, I thought this would be the general consensus among teachers. the HT at my DD's school said the same. and suggested I gain classroom experience and maybe even do an NVQ this year while I apply to do a PGCE next year.

However plusonemore (i'm based in harrow, london btw) when i spoke to SAPERE. (everyone else, this is the body that trains you in Philosophy for children (P4C))and explained my ideas to her, she said I could become a SAPERE trainer, which covers me for teaching adults and if I wanted to work ith cildren I could set up my own group. do u think people would pay money to send their child to a private p4c class? bear in mind i live close to areas where people have soooooooo much moeny they would pay any amount of money for any activity if you told them it would better their child! But I don't want to do it to get peoples moeny, ireally beleive P4C enhances children. The lady also said that many SAPARE qualified people are going into nursing homes and working with old people.

My worry is that if doing a PGCE and the one year NQT...i'll end up stuck in one place and the idea of freelancing will go down the pan. Any ideas??

thinkingoutofthebox Sat 15-Aug-09 10:46:21

also any ideas about doing both the access course in medicine and reggio emilia and p4c this coming september then make a decision later??

plusonemore Sat 15-Aug-09 16:23:43

Interesting...when I did my course with SAPERE I found it useful to be able to talk about the implications for it fitting in with the curriculum, but come to think of it I'm not sure that the trainer was a teacher (he was an amazing person btw) I love P4C and know the benefits, parents may well pay for the sessions although it is a bit hard to explain it without seeing it so you may want to offer them the chance to observe a session or 2? IME children dont mind being watched during the sessions (I have done many sessions for groups of visitors to watch- I'm in the west midlands so prob a bit far for you to come!)Not sure how it would work with older people but an interesting idea!

mamadoc Sat 15-Aug-09 20:44:30

I am a doctor (you'd never guess would you). I love my job- it does have the variety and people contact you want BUT to start from where you are will be a really hard slog.
I would not want to go back to being more junior now I'm older and with a family mainly because of the hours and the exams.
Medical school I think would be doable but life as a junior doctor is not easy even since the hours reduction. There are less hours but still lots of shifts, nights, w/e and evenings. You have minimum 5 years post qualification (more if PT) of very antisocial hours, low status and still having to pass more exams which you study for in your own time and finance at your own expense. It will impact badly on your family. You should consider carefully if you want it that much.

thinkingoutofthebox Sat 15-Aug-09 21:18:15

thank u. my spelling has been atrocious! so much for wanting to be a teacher! It's just that i have so much to say and am trying to get it written fast.

plusonemore i have been to a session at my dd's school and that's when i was hooked.

You see that's my point you didn't know if ur trainer was a teacher, so is it really that important?? the next level 1 course is october 2nd and 3rd. I think I will go on it regardless of which career choice i make, as i can use these skills at home to. what do u think?! here's what i thing that i have definately decided, that if i go with the medical route I would go with st georges graduate medcial programme. as i would have the first year to decide what medical route to go with, be it pharmacy,doctor etc. so that's one less decision to worry about now. Second thing. I'm more concerned about antisocial hours and family impact now while they are still in primary and eventually junior school. So that's the next 5 years (is med school very antisocial or will i be able to do the school run at least twice a week?). ds will be in secondary school in 5 years and ds in seven years. I kind of have the idea that when they are 11 years plus they will be less likely to feel bad with my hours of work/study?? and at that point i will be at post qualification. can i do this all part time?? Your opinions on my way of thinking? am i living in cukoo land?

overthemill Sat 15-Aug-09 21:35:33

interesting thread. i'm about to start training to teach post compulsory ed and this would be a career change - hoping to cover existing area of 'expertise' plus adult basic skills. never jeard of sapere before but it looks really interesting. thanks!

pearleyes Sun 16-Aug-09 11:42:47

To apply to St George's 4 year MBBS course you have to have a degree and sit GAMSAT.

St George's don't take graduates onto their 5 year MBBS or foundation courses.

mamadoc Sun 16-Aug-09 11:44:10

The idea of doing the 1st year of the St Georges course to help decide sounds good.
medical school is 9-5 and can be quite flexible so I think that wouldn't be a problem.
Post qualification you can request flexible working (part time) but may not get it if your children are older- Its guaranteed if your youngest is <3 in my area and of course the training will take twice as long.
Post qualification you have 2 years foundation (used to be junior house officer) and then 4-8 years speciality training depending on what area you want to go into. The foundation and at least the 1st few years speciality will be resident on call at the hospital ie away overnight and a lot of antisocial hours.
During this time you will have to pass membership exams to your chosen speciality. In my case 3 sets of exams.
Medicine is very hierachical and you will be bottom rung dogsbody for a few years. I am 1yr off consultant now and only in last yr have I had much independence or say in anything.
I'm not trying to put you off if medicine is your dream and I do love my job now but a lot of it is not enjoyable at the start. I wonder if you are going to get more satisfaction more quickly doing the teaching although it is more risky. Medicine is still a safe job you'd never be out of work and it pays well.

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