Do you join teaching from industry and regret it?(48 Posts)
I'm considering going up my job as a H&S Manager for a large multinational having previously worked in government (so I do get bureaucracy!) - I look at the job my DC's teachers do and I think it looks such fun - yes I realise that there is the planning/paper work side but the bit with the kids must bring loads of joy.
So I mentioned my plan to a couple of teachers and they've showered with me with a tirade of 'do you relises's' - is it really that bad? Are you glad you've left the boardroom behind? I'm thinking of primary, it really can't be that bad can it?!
I wouldn't know, I've always been a primary teacher and it is indeed a lot of fun.
The children can give you a lot of joy, but there is also a lot of frustration and sadness in the job too.
The paperwork is a bastard though, constantly changing and much of it considerably pointless.
Loved teaching but as each year goes by and the demands become more and more unreasonable I would give it up in a heartbeat if I could find another job with similar hols to fit in with family life. Sadly this is the only thing keeping me in the profession!
I have only ever been a teacher (and still love it after 25 years), so have no idea whether it is "better" than working in an office. However, I would definitely urge you to go in and do an extended period of voluntary work or if you could, get a job as a TA in a school before you make a decision - it may turn out not to be the job you thought it was.
You won't have time to pee when you want, you'll prob sit on your sofa to watch a film while thinking how you can get x to write better, while filling in the latest bit of paperwork next to a Dh feeling neglected, and work will pervade your private life, but you may also wake up every morning looking forward to your day knowing something at some point will make you laugh!
The training year will be really intense, so if you have dcs make sure you have help with pick-ups, homework, etc..
But as time goes on some aspects become more automatic and less time consuming.
If you're a naturally organised person it will be less stressful!
Def agree work experience or Ta work is a great idea.
The problem is that non-teachers see a "fun" lesson (fun for the children!) and fail to see what the teacher is having to do behind the scenes.
Take a science experiment for example. You may think of a fun idea, and the children may love it, but you won't be enjoying the experiment, you'll be assessing whether each of your 30+ children has achieved objectives Sc1 2a, b, c. What are you going to do about the pupils who are not achieving Sc1 2d? How are you aiding the SEN pupils? Do you have visual prompts for children who don't speak English? Are the children systematically recording their planning and results, and thus will you have enough evidence at the end of the term to accurately assess whether they are a level 2a or a 3c? Etc.
Those who think teaching is all reading stories and fun experiments and roleplay and games are overlooking what teachers spend the majority of our time doing. Even fun lessons come with a high level of paperwork and responsibility with regards to what the children are actually achieving. Are they making progress? Could you prove it to management/Ofsted/parents/whoever?
That being said, I love being a teacher. It's just a shame that so much of the joy gets sucked away by paperwork and levels and expectations.
I was in industry for 8 years before teaching. I made the switch after having two children, basically for not having to travel and for holidays (OK, shoot me!).
The PGCE is a pretty easy year compared to the job I came out of. At its peak, I had a 50% timetable, so had plenty of time for planning and doing tasks required by the course.
I can't say I enjoyed my first job very much. I could do everything fine, but the daily grind of lesson after lesson with low level disruption got to me. I also found staff dynamics to be quite disturbing. I went on maternity leave in my second year with no plans to return. At this point, childcare for three children would not be covered by my salary, so it was a no brainer.
After a further 8 years at home, I decided to return.
I really enjoy my job now. I have responsibility within school, so it's not all teaching. I think what I learnt in industry helps me in school. It was how I learnt 'how to work', which is quite different to how many schools work. So many of the skills are transferrable, such as problem solving, time management, communicating, strategic development.
I think it is really good for schools to have a diverse staff - a mix of people who have gone straight into teaching and those who have had a different job for a long time.
I would say that if you are interested in teaching, do some work shadowing in two or three schools. You will get a good idea of what it is like.
DH used to work in industry and decided when we had kids that he wanted to be a teacher, getting home every might to see dcs etc (rather than going to work 4am Monday and coming home 9pm Thurs).
He spent a year as a TA and loved it. Started his PGCE. Still loved it. Got to his last placement and asked for a voluntary Desire to do it better. Part way through his resign he realised that he loved being in the class room, loved small group work, loved helping kids understand what had baffled them and hated the crap that came with being a teacher. He's now retraining to be a TA.
Badgercub, I had a parent take a child out of Y6 for a second holiday and demand to know what we'd be covering whilst they were away, so that her child missed nothing and could continue being an alpha.
So I gave her two weeks planning, with sensitive stuff deleted and her child's tasks highlighted.
Oddly enough, she decided that a lovely scrapbook and account of the Caribbean trip would be an acceptable alternative.
I retrained after 6 years in industry and am now 12 years into teaching. I have never regretted the switch, but the training and first year are really tough. I agree with badger in that observing a lesson is far removed from planning,delivering and assessing the outcome of one, the actual lesson is only 20% of the whole process.
When you have worked in an adult environment, it takes time to get used to spending your day with younger people who don't always have the social skills or concentration to listen or be compliant. If you are poorly or sad you still have to perform to 100% in the classroom. You can't pop to the loo, or get a drink. The workload is phenomenal.
BUT every day is also challenging, amusing and heart warming. You learn a tremendous amount about yourself. You learn to multi task to gold medal standard and push yourself. I'd never change back.
If you go for it, I would advise you to choose a training provider carefully, some are much better than others, and definitely observe a few days first. Good luck!
Thanks for all those responses - I had planned to spend some time in schools.
I think in every job today the paperwork is a killer. Every job I've ever done would be better without the constant justification of what you do to faceless people in a white tower somewhere. I hadn't really considered the TA route - I will go and look into that.
justonemorethread 'You won't have time to pee when you want, you'll prob sit on your sofa to watch a film while thinking how you can get x to write better, while filling in the latest bit of paperwork next to a Dh feeling neglected, and work will pervade your private life, but you may also wake up every morning looking forward to your day knowing something at some point will make you laugh!' - this is what I thought it would be like and what I thought the teachers I know would say. They have all been so negative - It does make me sad and slightly worried about my own DCs teachers - if they dislike the job so much how can they keep doing it every day? I think that's a bit wider than my opening question.
lizzie - how do you go about picking a good training provider? What makes one good?
Yes I did and have never regretted it, although I teach secondary and I get the feeling that we work less than primary and are generally treated better.
I don't do much paperwork , yes I work long hours but I did that in my previous job but now I have 13 weeks holiday . Much better sense of work life balance and I am happier . Yes I earn less but I don't care.
If I need to nip to the loo I do if that is an important consideration .
I used to work in the pharmaceutical industry which is incredibly highly regulated. I remember when I started being when people complained about the amount of paperwork related to teaching because I found it liberating to be less scrutinised and not have to record what I'd being doing for every 15 minute block I was at work.
I couldn't go back to working in an office. Teaching is demanding and exhausting and in the first couple of years especially it just takes over your life. But it's never dull, and I never spend the day looking at the clock counting the minutes like I did when I was sat in front of a computer the whole time.
I love the teaching, but there is an awful lot of crap that comes with it. I think that the school you end up teaching in can make a big difference. I teach in a middle-class outstanding state school with excellent results. I have friends who teach in poorly managed schools teetering on the brink of special measures and know that I could never cope with what they put up with. So you need to be careful in your choices.
loler There is a list of training providers produced every year by the University of Buckingham called The Good Teacher Training Guide.
I worked in a male orientated, high pressure industry for 15 years before I went into teaching. I for one did go into it with my eyes closed (thinking that it would suit my home life better and there was no way I could realistically afford full time childcare for 2 children during the holidays in my current position).
The teaching itself, the young people (I have worked in a school in a very deprived area and currently in a high achieving school), my subjects - I love beyond expectations.
I can even put up with the paperwork!
The problems I feel are undermining the profession and make we question if I should carry on is bureaucracy. For instance, we are currently awaiting the phone call and therefore SLT are running around like headless chickens, telling us we need to be doing x, y, z in every lesson no matter if it fits with the topic, the student's learning styles etc.
Before you make this very life changing decision, I concur with others who say go and shadow in as many different schools as possible - the sink school, the very high achieving school, primary, secondary to ensure you make the correct decision re the profession and the age you would target. You also need to think about your subject area; the curriculum is changing and some subjects will very quickly become obsolete whilst others will be in demand
I was a journalist for many years before I was made redundant and turned to education as I had long cherished a dream of teaching.
Finally this July I gained QTS (I did it through the GTP route and would recommend it except it is being phased out!) and am now 3 weeks into my first job.
Yes it is tiring and yes there is a lot of planning (just 4 lessons of next week to do in detail now!) but i\ am really enjoying it.
As giraffe says, I never look at the clock thinking "how long" except sometimes to think ooops, only 10 mins to the bell, better pack away the scissors and glue and do my plenary!
I'd def recommend going into schools and talking to teachers. I teach secondary btw, had a place to train for primary but I am glad I chose secondary.
I agree with badger, the Good Teacher Training Guide would be useful. Also, you could ask the providers which you are considering what their post course employment rates are, how much time you would spend on placement (this varies greatly), how far away their training schools are from your home, how much time you would have with your tutor in college and a mentor in school.
I completely agree that your eventual enjoyment of the job will depend on the school you work in. I spent several years at a high achieving state grammar school with lovely, well behaved pupils, but the management were feckless and the majority of staff jaded and unsupportive of each other. On paper it was a dream, easy life sort of job but I grew increasingly miserable. I moved to an inner city non selective (ie for those who did not pass 11+) with lovely but very challenging students, but the management are effective and the staff really supportive. I love it, but there are tough days!
I think a lot of teachers can be a bit "venty" because it is an intense, challenging environment. And we worry that people think " ooh lovely, 12 weeks holiday and you finish at 4pm!", so we're keen to point out the realities. But to answer you question about your DCs children, although we moan, and although it does take over your life, we are still teaching because it's brilliant as well. The high points are worth the low points.
I'm thinking of doing a pgce (secondary) as dh is a copper and works completely unpredictable hours. I need a job which fits in with the dc. I have a first class honours degree and a masters in the subject I would teach.
My reservations are the same as yours. I have talked to friends, teachers of 35 years, acquaintances and many have said the same ie don't waste yourself on it. It would work in so many ways and I think I'd be good at it. But the number of people with firsthand experience of it telling me not to touch it with a barge pole, really worries me.
And dh joked this morning that we could have a race to redundancy/pension being taken away/nervous breakdown. I didn't laugh funnily enough.
I'm a teacher but in deciding to return trying to work out whether it really will fit in with my DC. I will never be able to do a school run, never be able to see a school play, or assembly etc ...
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