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Want to study to become a teacher, but have 3 young children

(27 Posts)
patjoseb Thu 03-Mar-05 12:26:09

I have 3 young chldren, 5, 3 and14 months and am going to be studying soon to become a teacher, is there anyone out there who can give me some advice on how to juggle it all. Also, what about childcare? Can't decide what to go for. Help!

wordgirl Thu 03-Mar-05 12:50:58

Hi patjoseb! I have three children - older than yours though - 6, 9 and 11 and I started a primary PGCE last September. The bad news is I only lasted half a term . Everyone told me it would be hard but I didn't actually realise how hard it was until I started. I got really stressed (and I'm normally the world's most laid-back person) and felt as though I was neglecting my own children.
I don't want to put you off - other people manage it so I'm probably just a bit crap but you will be in for a very tough year (if it's a PGCE you're going to do)
You will need good childcare and lots of support from family etc. Good luck with it all and I really hope it works out for you.

patjoseb Thu 03-Mar-05 12:56:20

Thanks for that wordgirl! I know it's going to be hard, but all I can do is try.
My main ambition is to be a secondary school teacher, may have to put it off for a couple of years. Not too kean on leaving my youngest

threadkillingstrawberry Thu 03-Mar-05 12:56:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BellaLasagne Thu 03-Mar-05 12:59:11

Again, I don't want to put you off as well but I started a PGCE with the OU (part-time and flexible - brilliant) BUT gave up when it came to the serious school placements as I couldn't juggle the childcare needed to manage a full term full-time (i.e. having to be at school 30 mins drive away by 0830 every day). I think the only way to do it is if you have reliable and committed family nearby who will childmind every day, or get a nanny (£££££!).

You will need full-time and reliable childcare, and infinite energy and patience.

Good luck!

Chandra Thu 03-Mar-05 13:05:05

P. Is there any possibility to do it part-time? If you find it too easy you can switch to full time next year. Part time study usually requires a minimum of 14 hrs per week.

In terms of the child care... I have completed a MA recently and yes, the university provided subsidised day care but the subsidy amounted for less than what I would pay for a couple of days per month so it was really neglegible! I'm planning to start sudying again in October and I'm thinking to study PT for a year while DS is old enough to get a free place in school as otherwise I can't afford the nursery without cutting back from other things I rather won't.

patjoseb Thu 03-Mar-05 13:17:06

I have plenty of support from family, but none of which could actually help with childcare. Partner works mum lives in Birmingham, and mil works! Considering a nanny.....

bee3 Thu 03-Mar-05 13:34:16

As Bella says, the early morning childcare is often the most difficult. A friend of mine with 2 children (6 and 8) is currently doing a Primary PGCE. While on school placements she had to find emergency early morning childminding help as she realised that she often needed to be in the school by 8.15am, which meant leaving home at 7.45pm. This isn't actually much different to how it will be once you are working as a teacher. My ds was always the first dropped off at Nursery as the doors opened at 8.00am

I used to tutor PGCE students, and many people do manage it with children, BUT it is seriously hardwork, in terms of workload and juggling family. Good luck, it can be a fantastic career, so I hope you find a solution

chloeb2002 Fri 04-Mar-05 10:01:10

id suggest if you can afford a nanny get one.. im a nursing student and have a 2year old and a single mum and i can declare it is very hard work... the biggest trouble is juggling openening time of nursery and time on shifts on placement and getting to uni for early lectures. It is tough but it comes to an end and i will be quailifed before DD starts school which i feel is better becasue I think school openings are even less flexible because of school openings being shorter.

loudmum Fri 04-Mar-05 10:20:09

my dh is training to be a primary school teacher and he is doing it part time on a distance learning course which works well with the childcare as he is a SAHD -- well that and a student!! This way takes 18 months rather than 12 but is easier to balance.... there are a lot of colleges that do it this way.

He has to work 2 days per week for a total of 15 weeks this year and then has to do 8 full weeks in school next year... child care for that bit will be interesting! The school he works at is 15 minutes walk away...but the next school could be upto 1 hour away... so far all his courses placements have been very close to home for everyone on the course

Ameriscot2005 Fri 04-Mar-05 10:44:28

I did my PGCE when I had 2 young children (neither at school/nursery at the time).

I honestly didn't find it hard (had just left an American Corporation, so wasn't fazed by the PGCE).

I used a childminder near my home. I would caution against getting childcare at the college, because this might not be very handy when you are on school placements - and it would be pure luck if the college and your schools were in the same area.

My PGCE hours fitted into a normal schoolday, and I had plenty of free time to do research and assignments. I did very little at home - maybe just a little (yawn) reading.

otto Fri 04-Mar-05 11:04:17

Isn't it now possible to train on the job, rather than doing a pgce? That would mean you would be in the same place for the entire time and presumably you would have to be there only during school hours.

Hulababy Fri 04-Mar-05 11:07:49

This site is the Government's canteach site which shows you all the different routes into teaching.

"Your initial teacher training (ITT) develops the skills and knowledge you need to teach effectively, laying the foundations for your future career. There are several teacher training routes, all of which lead to qualified teacher status (QTS). There will be a route to suit you.
All training routes include significant experience in at least two schools. The minimum time spent in schools varies according to your training route. It will be at least 18 weeks.

The training routes are in four categories:

postgraduate routes: train to be a teacher after completing your degree;

undergraduate routes: study for your degree and train to be a teacher at the same time; and

employment-based routes: train to teach while working in a school.

assessment-only - if you already have classroom experience you may wish to be considered for an assessment-only qualified teacher status route. "

sandycheeks Sat 05-Mar-05 10:41:12

Hello patjoseb, I can't offer you any advice on how to juggle three small children and a PGCE course, but I will be in the same situation as you next year. I have two children a 3 year old and an 8 month baby. It's going to be hard work, and lets face it dh will have work out how some of the domestic equipment works. Everyone I have talked to has warned me how hard it is going to be, but I'm pig headed and I like proving people wrong, it gives me more motivation! I explained my situation to the university before my interview, and they still accepted me, they obviously have fath in my ability to juggle life and work!

fisil Sat 05-Mar-05 11:35:14

What subject? If it's a shortage subject you should have the upper hand with schools. Find a school near you that does the GTP and see if you can negotiate a part time contract, if that helps. Also with the GTP you get paid (only £13,000) so that should help you towards childcare. I cope with school hours because dp is prepared to do the morning drop to nursery. That means I can get in at 7 and so leave at 4:30. On a GTP you will probably be able to leave a little earlier. It is an exhausting job (I'm off right now cos I couldn't cope with toddler, bump & job!) but I love it.

fisil Sat 05-Mar-05 11:36:02

Oh, and get a cleaner. £20 a week is more than worth it and totally changed my life!

debs26 Sat 05-Mar-05 11:39:09

are you doing it post grad? I want to be a teacher but am doing a degree first and then i can specialise and do the one year thing. degrees are loads more flexible in my experience as uni has been really understanding about missed lectures and stuff

ChocolateGirl Wed 09-Mar-05 14:21:56

fisil, what is a GTP? Sorry if I've missed something, I've skip-read lots of this thread. Thanks!

fisil Wed 09-Mar-05 14:25:41

GTP is the graduate training programme. You train in a school for a year, your timetable gradually builds up through the year. There is no guarantee of a job there at the end of it (although it is how we recruit these days!). It is a very flexible scheme - we started two people at Xmas who we are pretty sure will complete the course in 2 terms, whereas a couple of years ago we had someone who only just passed and was still needing a lot of support in June. Just be careful, though. Some schools see it as a way to get cheap staff and just give them a timetable and throw them in the deep end. Check that any school you apply to has a proper structured (but flexible) scheme.

If you are interested I can give you more info on how to find a place to suit you.

otto Wed 09-Mar-05 14:31:28

Fisil - I have a degree in social sciences but not Math's O' Level. Would I need to get this before I could apply to train?

fisil Wed 09-Mar-05 14:37:06

Otto, not entirely sure. I have taught maths GCSE to members of staff over the past few years, but I think that they were all people who were waiting to go onto the scheme. Are you thinking of secondary? I'm sure you could make out a case that you would do it that year. Alternatively, if you are competent at maths you might find a college willing to enter you for this May/June, or if you are OKish, you might be able to enter for November. And whatever they say, there are ways to do GCSE maths without having done the coursework.

But the short answer is that yes, you will have to get GCSE maths before you can attain qualified teaching status (QTS)

otto Wed 09-Mar-05 14:48:02

Thanks Fisil, I thought as much. I haven't really given this much thought. It's something for the future, so I have plenty of time to go to evening classes.

happymerryberries Wed 09-Mar-05 15:26:26

I did my PGCE with the OU and workd it around the children when they were smaller.

Echo what others have said. Get your child care in place asap....remember you will have some parents evening so make sure you can be covered for those as well. I used a nursery with some childminder back up.

You have to have GCSEs in English and maths to teach any subject. You also need science if you are going to teach in primary.

Also get a cleaner if you want to be able to see the floor at the end of the day.

madmumof4 Sat 12-Mar-05 21:28:15

I am doing my nurse training and I have 4 children. If I can do it anyone can. When I was doing my nursery nurse course I had one child who was a baby/toddler, ther other three were in school. For children in school after school clubs are brilliant. For the baby/toddler I put mine into nursery. Nursery is good for mising and socialising with other children. If you want more one to one care then I would suggest a childminder or a nanny if you can afford one. Make sure that your childminder is registered and that way you can claim childminding costs back. For my nurse training there is NHS childcare costs when I was doing my nursery nurse course the college covered the nursery costs.

I hope this is of help and good luck on your course, it will be all worth it when you are qualified.

sansouci Sat 12-Mar-05 22:15:43

I'd be very interested in doing this with OU. Can anyone tell me more about it? Of course I can google OU but I would like to hear more about how you manage with little ones at home (although not all the time!) and other "gory details" that OU wouldn't be able to supply.

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