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Thinking of leaving teaching for good

(28 Posts)
Floral89x Thu 12-Mar-20 16:21:06

I am an NQT, but haven't managed to get a job offer yet, and I am working as a Cover Supervisor at the moment.
I've been in education for 8 years in different settings. I taught TEFL abroad to adults which I absolutely loved, but they only offered zero-hours contracts so it was hard to live on.
I taught TEFL to large adult classes in England but it was difficult as all the students were from different cultures with different expectations. One Chinese lady said there was too much oral work, and refused to come back to my lessons so they replaced the teacher and I lost 3 weeks of work (even though nobody else complained). This could have been resolved if the student had spoken to me rather than rushing to the manager.

I have been a TA which I really enjoy, but I cannot afford to rent a flat and run a car on the pay, as well as save anything.

I'm now a cover supervisor and just don't think i'm any good. I'm not in a great school, 2 of the department are currently signed off with stress, and we are rated inadequate.
I don't enjoy it because it's exhausting, we are not allowed to sit down, we are expected to constantly walk around the room. So if you have a 5-lesson day it's 5 hours of walking.
We have just been told that we are issuing too many detentions, and that if we sanction a student, we must always telephone the parent, but who has the time to do that.
I am also a part-time tutor and feel that's the only thing i'm good at and enjoy.
I don't think it would be better in a good school. The behaviour may be better but there will still be a heavy workload and unrealistic expectations.
I don't think i'm an angry person but I find myself shouting over large classes because they are so noisy. Vast majority of the kids aren't bad kids, it's just a very stressful environment.
It requires so much energy, I just sit in bed most evenings, Friday nights I literally pass out at 9pm.
The pay is absolutely terrible too.
Anyone managed to go into tutoring full-time ? Does it sound like i'm just not meant to be a teacher ?
I'm thinking of going into a customer service or admin role and tutoring on the side.

OP’s posts: |
TheReluctantCountess Thu 12-Mar-20 16:26:58

I have a friend who quit teaching at the end of his nqt year. He is an outstanding teacher, but the school treated him terribly, and he didn’t feel able to try another school. Now he runs his own tutoring business, making more money than he would do in the classroom. Ironically, he is now teaching a lot of the kids from the school he worked in - they haven’t found a decent replacement!

Floral89x Thu 12-Mar-20 16:33:51

That's a shame his school treated him that way, i'm glad he's been able to set up his own business. I'd love to set one up, don't know where to start.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Thu 12-Mar-20 16:40:01

Does someone sit in your classroom and monitor that you keep moving??? How odd. Most people deliver a lesson and then check understanding by speaking to the students as they work. I know this is a bit simplistic but as a TA you surely knew what teaching was about?

Always remember it has a pension scheme and being a self employed tutor does not.

BubblesBuddy Thu 12-Mar-20 16:41:48

You start a business in tutoring by advertising and getting clients. If you get more clients than you can teach yourself, recruit more teachers. That’s a business. Being a sole trader is a business. It just has more risks than teaching.

damnthatanxiety Thu 12-Mar-20 16:42:00

What subject do you teach? I thought there was a terrible shortage of teachers with positions unfilled for months or even years.

CheriLittlebottom Thu 12-Mar-20 16:44:06

Get out before you get a teaching role and end up reliant on the salary. Right now your outgoings are low, so now is a good time to do something else.

Floral89x Thu 12-Mar-20 19:56:24

It's MFL.. I just don't think i'm a very good teacher. I"m not terrible, i'm just not up to the standard that seems to be expected to work in schools.
The SLT walk past and they have made comments about how the good teachers are 'not sat down', and that people should be walking around, it's a bit silly I agree.

Yes I knew what teaching was about, but you can't know for sure until you actually do it I guess.

OP’s posts: |
Floral89x Thu 12-Mar-20 19:58:41

I don't believe in all the different strategies that teachers are expected to employ in lessons, I find having to constantly discipline students too stressful. I do give a lot of praise and rewards to students doing the right thing, i'm just not prepared to work silly hours every week.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Thu 12-Mar-20 21:02:46

You’re not working as a teacher, you’re working as a cover supervisor? How can you decide that you’re a crap teacher when you’re not actually teaching - and you’re not being paid to teach.

Surely with MFL there are teaching jobs around in better schools as it’s a shortage subject?

Floral89x Thu 12-Mar-20 21:24:56

You are right, but I am on long-term so I am doing all the teacher stuff, there are but every time there are several of us at interview. I was told last time that I wasn't as creative as the others, but that I definitely knew how to plan a lesson.

I think i'm just lacking in confidence for whatever reason, and feel that a lot of the kids don't like me.

I know that some do like me as they want to sit in my room during lunch, ask me when they have got me again etc which is great, but some who groan when they see they have me, make sick noises when I walk past etc.. I think i'm just really lacking confidence.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Thu 12-Mar-20 21:31:40

I am on long-term so I am doing all the teacher stuff

Bloody hell you’re not a cover supervisor you’re a supply teacher and being taken for a total ride. Sounds like the school you’re in is shit.

If you want to teach, keep looking around for jobs, the market starts picking up soon.

Floral89x Thu 12-Mar-20 21:37:38

I have complained twice and now I have been told that all the planning is online, I just need it to print it off. So that helps, but still need to mark, assess set homework etc.
I'm now ensuring that I don't work outside of my paid hours as a result.
I think the problem is that many students completely disregard languages, and it's only obligatory to study at GCSE for top sets, so many bottom set students could not care less as they know they will be dropping it soon.
We run several language clubs but nobody ever turns up.
However I think even paid as a teacher and in a decent school I wouldn't enjoy it, just too much pressure to get good results, learning walks, book scrutinies, constantly being told you aren't good enough, expected to ring several parents per day etc..
It's a shame because majority of the kids are good kids on an individual level, the classroom environment just makes it very stressful and I find myself shouting often.

OP’s posts: |
Pinkyyy Thu 12-Mar-20 21:51:41

Have you looked into being in a pastoral role?

Floral89x Thu 12-Mar-20 21:56:18

That would be good as long as the pay is higher. However i'm worried I just don't have what it takes to be respected by the children, I don't know if they would take me seriously in such a role (depending on what it was).

OP’s posts: |
Freemind Thu 12-Mar-20 22:37:55

You need to find another school. Ask your pgce tutor to help you, or any of the teachers you trained with as they might be able to suggest schools to apply to. MFL is tricky, but you have need to complete your NQT year if you can, so that you have the chance to see if it is the career for you. The right school makes all the difference - and experience in a supportive environment can transform a teacher at the start of their career. Can you look further afield for a job?

WaterOffADucksCrack Fri 13-Mar-20 22:12:20

So if you have a 5-lesson day it's 5 hours of walking. Do you have any mobility issues or something like that which you can speak to your employer about? I've done my time as a carer and I'm now a manager. Obviously it's a physical job but the reason I made the shifts 6hrs instead of 12hrs like many care jobs is so people's minds and body's don't get tired.

The SLT walk past and they have made comments about how the good teachers are 'not sat down', and that people should be walking around, it's a bit silly I agree. Are you sure they don't mean they want you to stand when addressing the class so they can see and hear you clearly and they'd like you to interact with students such as going to them if they have questions or walking around to check people aren't struggling rather than just sitting there whilst the students do their work. I've given seminars, presentations and provided training etc and wouldn't sit down to teach.

BubblesBuddy Sun 15-Mar-20 08:59:07

If you have a MFL degree you could find other work. I find it difficult to believe you didn’t know about assessment, marking and discipline. Even I know many DCs don’t respect language learning. Even bright children are conditioned to believe it is not important.

You are teaching a shortage subject. You could look to work in a prep school maybe? Fewer difficult DC. Get through this year by doing what you have been asked. Then look for an easier role.

grafittiartist Sun 15-Mar-20 09:06:57

A different school would help- that attitude isn't across the board. Lots of schools respect their staff and trust them more.
Are you in a union? Do join one- as you should definitely not be planning, marking, assessing. The behaviour management bit like phone calls possibly.
I have worked for leadership that didn't trust staff, and leadership that did trust staff. The difference in my confidence was amazing!
Good luck

Darbs76 Sun 15-Mar-20 19:41:53

I think if you calculate all the unpaid hours marking at home teachers probably get little more than the minimum wage. I don’t know why anyone goes into it. I mean I’m glad they do, but it’s really poor pay for a lot of pressure

BubblesBuddy Sun 15-Mar-20 22:30:50

It has good opportunities for part time working and good pensions and holiday pay. Going it alone as a tutor means no sick pay. No holiday pay. No pension contributions from an employer and you pay all your contributions yourself.

I cannot see why people think this is easy! Teachers become Heads. Most around me at secondary level are on £100,000 plus. Try earning that as a tutor. It’s a profession with a decent salary structure if you keep going. I have friends who love it. However no job is a walk in the park and most people have to with hard these days. At least teachers get a good pension and have other employment benefits.

noblegiraffe Sun 15-Mar-20 22:51:26

It has good opportunities for part time working

Not true. The percentage of teachers who work part time is below the national average.

BubblesBuddy Mon 16-Mar-20 09:19:05

I do not believe that in terms of professional jobs. It’s very family friendly and every single one of my teaching friends who has asked to go part time has done so. Better to keep good teachers rather than lose them! Always the case in schools I know! Obviously zero hours workers skew stats. Would you rather be one of them with no employment protection or pension worth having?

BubblesBuddy Mon 16-Mar-20 09:21:00

Average uk stats mean very little when people have multiple jobs! Bits of work here and there. Do celebrate what teachers do have instead of thinking others have more. They don’t.

winewolfhowls Mon 16-Mar-20 21:10:45

Teaching is absolutely not family friendly. You can't take off time when your kids are ill, likely you can't go to concerts, take your kids to sports after school. More expensive holidays, hard to get kids to school or nursery because you have to be in work by eight. There's many jobs that are the same, or worse for family life but certainly teaching is not family friendly!

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