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thinking of retraining as a primary school teacher - any advice?

(12 Posts)
SarfEasticated Tue 13-Oct-09 17:40:36

Hi all,
just wondered if any of you could give me some advice of training to be a primary school teacher.
I'm 42 year old mother to a 2yr old daughter and have been a graphic designer/production manager in publishing for the last 20 years.
I was made redundant in Feb and have not been able to find anything suitable since then, so have been thinking about retraining as a primary school teacher.
Have any of you gone into teacher training as a 'mature' student and are they likely to want an old bag like me!
What do you think makes a good teacher? I'm volunteering to listen to some of the children read in my local junior school for a closer look, but is there anything you think I should know!
Thanks in advance

cornsilk Tue 13-Oct-09 17:45:07

My ds retrained as a 'mature' student and has done really well. Her previous experience really helped her in her role.

pofacedandproud Tue 13-Oct-09 17:49:51

I can't remember where I heard it [probably here ] but apparently there are many more primary teachers than secondary teachers, and secondary teachers are very much in demand. Don't know if that helps.

primarymum Tue 13-Oct-09 17:57:50

I was a "mature" student and started teaching when I was 43 and I wasn't the oldest on the course by any means! However primary teaching is increasingly competitive , hundreds of applicants for a post is quite common in many areas. It's also very hard work, be prepared not to have any life at all for a long period, it might seem as though we work from 9-3.30 and have long holidays, the truth is most teachers will tell you we work long hours ( I work from 7.45 to 5, bring marking home and work at least one day at the weekend as well as most days ( although not as many hours) during the holidays) getting on a course is also pretty tricky, you need plenty of work experience in schools, as a volunteer/helper.
having said all that, it's also the best job in the world!

Kelloggs36 Tue 13-Oct-09 18:50:40

I have just completed my NQT year and am in a temp job until Christmas. There is nothing available at the moment at all - hopefully they will pick up soon, but even in the Summer when there are usually loads of jobs, there were hardly any - it was dead! I'm crossing my fingers that I can get a perm job to start January.

I second the long hours post! Today I started at 8.10pm and finished at 6.05pm and I still have lots of marking to do! It is never ending!

cat64 Tue 13-Oct-09 18:59:51

Message withdrawn

SarfEasticated Tue 13-Oct-09 20:01:41

cat64 Well embarrassingly enough one of my reasons was that it would fit in around my LO, but the long hours would probably mean I wouldn't see her during the school term anyway!

Kelloggs36 Thanks for the info about the job market, pretty dispiriting for you I would imagine, hope things improve for you

Thanks everyone else for your replies, I'll do the voluntary work and will speak to the teachers about their experiences.

Thanks again

londonartemis Tue 13-Oct-09 20:37:21

I don't think there is an age limit, so don't worry about being a latecomer to the profession. I think schools are happy to accept volunteers/observers in house once you have registered with the Training and Development Agency for schools (which oversees teacher training in England) and there are taster days too at the teacher training colleges so you can see if it is really for you.

bamfusina Tue 27-Oct-09 21:05:59

It sounds stupidly obvious but really enjoying spending time with children - not just your own - and liking the real variety of the primary school day/week/year are important. Voluntary work is a great way to get a feel for whether you'd like to do this as a career.
Don't expect it to fit in very well with a family (apart from the obvious school holidays). I've been a primary teacher for 12 years and part time for 4 since having a child. It's hard if you don't have backup for child illness etc. and the rigidness of the teaching day means there's little flexibility for your own family. Generally term time you are in work a minimum of 8-5 and working at night to keep on top of marking etc. Part-time jobs are rare and usually negotiated on return from maternity leave. Having said that I believe experience of the wider world really helps in the job and age is no barrier at all. It might not be possible but if you can volunteer for a whole week it would give you a clearer picture. But although financially I wish I earned more, I don't think I will look back aged 80 and wish I'd done anything else. Good luck!

murderonthemidnightexpress Tue 27-Oct-09 21:13:50

SarfEasticated, don't know where you are but I'd second what kellogs said, certainly as far as Scotland is concerned. I'm not a teacher, but I have a friend who left her job at 37ish to retrain, but when she completed her NQT year couldn't find anything. Applied for a job in Cumbernauld (not exactly Hampstead, let's just say wink) and there were over 650 applicants for one post. She's got something p/t at the school she was working at but it sounds a bit grim.

hercules1 Wed 28-Oct-09 09:14:16

Can you not do secondary?
You need to get some experience as already said.

It's great for holidays. THat said I will be going into work today whilst dd is at a friends house.

Defintely not family friendly during term time. You will never see school plays, sport days etc of your own children. Never pick up/drop off from school.

I have never known where my childrens classroom is on parents evening - the only parent not to know each time.

hercules1 Wed 28-Oct-09 09:14:56

When I trained a few years ago there were people of all ages (secondary). 42 would be no big deal.

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