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An underpaid teaching job

(9 Posts)
wonderwoman21 Thu 11-Dec-14 07:29:35

I think I am here to share this experience with you lovely ladies (and men of course).
I have an interview for a teaching job, teaching my favourite subject to adults (have two degrees and can teach law as well as psychology). So this is a psychology teacher position.
However, the wage is below minimum wage; that's how I see it. It is for only two hours a week, one evening and is temporary for just 10 weeks to cover sickness absence.
They expect you to be more qualified than an astrophysicist! No joking there and they want you to prepare lesson plans and a scheme of work (so it would be all new from your own creation) using their very thorough templates. So your lesson planning for each hour could equate to approximately two hours (you have to do marking too) and consequently you would be below minimum wage. They do not pay for any of your planning work and most likely they would keep all your lesson plans for someone else to use in the future!
So I thought...should I do this? For all my life I have done work for a pittance and sometimes nothing (despite all my qualifications) and I hate exploitation of both myself and others...I didn't want to condone that in any way by accepting such a position (if I got the job).
But I thought money was money and we all need it. However, I suffer from mild agoraphobia (which I cope with well but nevertheless, anxiety features in my life everyday). And the interview is in a huge building in the middle of the city centre which is every agoraphobic's nightmare! I could have coped with where I would be actually teaching.
I think this was the final nail in the coffin so to speak. I have to turn the interview down.
I just wondered as to your thoughts...

MaybeDoctor Thu 11-Dec-14 07:36:51

It could be the foot in the door to a better post?

As an ex-teacher myself I don't think it is unreasonable for you to prepare your own lessons, but there should be an overall course specification in place.

What is the actual wage? Unspoken out of hours work always goes with teaching, which is mostly why I gave it up!

FishWithABicycle Thu 11-Dec-14 07:40:23

There are a lot more people with psychology qualifications than there are jobs requiring psychology qualifications. By supply and demand, they can probably get away with paying terrible wages and will fill the position.

wonderwoman21 Thu 11-Dec-14 07:56:22

Yes I completely agree with you FishWithABicycle. They will fill the position.
MaybeDoctor, I know too about the unspoken out of hours work. They were prepared to pay £15 an hour. Once you take into account all the lesson planning, scheme of work, marking...well, you know the score.
Sadly, not a foot in the door. It is all through a tempiing agency. If I thought it could lead to better things... but no. My other half was on the wage they propose (once taking into account all the prep) 17 years ago and he isn't as qualified as me. That kind of sticks in the throat a bit!

Solopower1 Thu 11-Dec-14 07:59:47

Maybe go for the interview anyway, just for the experience?

Talk to someone else in the department to get an idea of what sort of support is available, ie course books, previous materials (what was the previous teacher doing - can you talk to her/him?).

All the teaching jobs I have ever done have worked out as under the minimum wage. At the moment, I am teaching at a university for about £3.00 an hour, if you take all the materials development, lesson planning, marking, tutorials, emailing students etc into consideration - we all do it.

It's a huge problem. No university could afford to pay us for what we actually do. (However, we do get holiday pay (35 days a year), sick pay, a pension and a certain amount of job security). In your case, it's a temporary cover, so on the plus side, you get to know another institution and might find more work there (if you want it) in the future. On the negative side it would be hard work, but only for a few weeks. Presumably, once you have written the course, you would only have to adapt it for future use there or elsewhere.

If you enjoy teaching and find it rewarding and challenging, as I do, I would go for it.

The agoraphobia, however, is another matter. If it is bad enough to stop you doing any job, then don't go for this one. If you think you could handle it, why not at least go for the interview?

Good luck (whatever you decide).

wonderwoman21 Thu 11-Dec-14 08:40:24

I like what you are saying solopower1, though I can't talk to the teacher as they are off sick. Also, not working for an institution but an agency, so the likelihood of more work seems unlikely in this case. I think the problem is my agoraphobia; it is a shame because the actual teaching won't be taking place in the building I am having the interview but I just don't think I can't go to this place as it is huge and I have to go alone.

Solopower1 Thu 11-Dec-14 09:04:36

There are a lot of online, distance courses these days. You could maybe look for jobs with the OU, but also find out which unis and colleges in your area run online courses. You would probably need to go in from time to time but might be able to do the bulk of your work from home.

MaybeDoctor Thu 11-Dec-14 09:25:34

Thinking back to when I was out of work, yes, I would have done it if the hours didn't require childcare and I also had some childcare time to do the prep.

Can someone accompany you to the interview building?

wonderwoman21 Thu 11-Dec-14 09:32:42

Thank you to all of you. I am still considering it, despite everything.
However, no, there is no one to accompany me to the interview or the building. I don't know, I can see me still trying to do this somehow! :-)

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