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Teaching as new career?

(33 Posts)
Toastandstrawberryjam Wed 20-May-15 13:24:41

Are you a teacher? Could you give me some insider knowledge on it, are you pleased with it as a career? What are the bad points?

Have had it suggested to me as a change of direction and am mulling it over but need to know more!

ladymalfoy Wed 20-May-15 13:28:02

Head over to The Staffroom thread in Education.

YetAnotherBeckyMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-May-15 13:57:51

Hello OP

We are just shifting your thread to The Staffroom.

holmessweetholmes Wed 20-May-15 14:24:28

Toastandstrawberryjam - I'm afraid that if you scroll through the threads on the Staffroom board on MN, you will find that not many teachers would recommend teaching as a career right now. I could give you a loooong list of reasons why, but the threads speak for themselves.

Teaching was all I ever wanted to do since I was about 12. Now I, like many many others, am desperate to get out of it. Most teachers like kids and like actually teaching. But the rest of it...

SawdustGirl Wed 20-May-15 15:24:21

There are lots of problems in teaching at the moment, but that isn't enough to put everyone off! My sister is teaching and loves it, despite the paperwork/hours/government/SLTs/etc. I'm in school at the moment as a non-teacher and about to start my PGCE in September. In Primary because I am a mad person.

Be open-eyed to the many challenges and problems, but don't be frightened off if you've really thought about it and want to do it!

leccybill Wed 20-May-15 23:26:55

In the current climate, I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. And it is only going to get worse.

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 20-May-15 23:33:17

I've just left teaching after 10plus years. So many of my colleagues have done the same or are trying to. It's awful at the moment and realistically won't get better for the next 5 years. I also won't bore you with the reasons why it's got a lot worse recently, just ask anyone you know who is a teacher!

On the other hand, if you are really really dead set on it as a vocation that you are desperate to follow up, then perhaps you shouldn't let the current situation put you off. Especially if you want to be in it for the long haul.

Toastandstrawberryjam Wed 20-May-15 23:38:37

I don't know anybody who is a teacher to ask. I would imagine it will take me 4 years to qualify (making me 45) would I be classed as "too old" then?

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 20-May-15 23:39:53

Do you need to do a degree first before doing a PGCE?

Toastandstrawberryjam Wed 20-May-15 23:41:27

I would do yes. Or I was looking at an education degree as it was primary I was more interested in.

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 20-May-15 23:43:26

I don't think you'd be too old at 45, plenty of people come into it after other careers. Also, by the time you've done your NQT the situation might be improving!

ravenAK Wed 20-May-15 23:50:35

I've been teaching for 16 years (2nd career - I'm 44).

I'm off to teach abroad from September, because I like teaching, & what's currently going on in the UK isn't it. A catalyst in this decision is that my own dc are approaching secondary age & need pulling out of the mess - so we're all off to an International School in forn parts.

OP - no, honestly, I wouldn't invest 4 years of your time for a teaching career in the UK in your 40s. Might be different if you were early 20s & taking a punt on things improving, but no, I wouldn't start from where you are now iyswim. Sorry sad.

mrsmilesmatheson Thu 21-May-15 06:20:32

I'm a primary teacher and I love my job. It's the only job I ever wanted to do and I trained pretty much straight from sixth form, have been "in" for 13 years now.

I could list many, many negative things about the job. And it differs from school to school. I consider myself lucky to be in a fab little school and to have a permanent part time post.

I've known quite a few people enter teaching later and not many of them lasted long. I think the people still teaching now are either young and have lots of time and energy, older and well paid who can't afford to leave, or, people who are in lovely schools not experiencing some of the worst of what is happening at the moment.

What is it about teaching you think you'd like?

Can you afford to train for 4 years to earn a pretty modest salary? The removal of the pay scales and the introduction of performance related pay mean there is no guarantee of earning more as you gain experience.

If you do decide to train, consider doing a separate degree in something that would be otherwise useful, then doing a pgce, these are fine for primary as well as secondary. I did a 4 years honours teaching degree and now find myself untrained for anything else. I'm currently training as an accounting technician alongside my part time teaching post as I don't want to teach forever.

Also make sure you spend some time in schools volunteering, try and get into whole class sessions, not just one to one or small groups...

icklekid Thu 21-May-15 06:25:01

Just to address balance I teach primary and love it! Yes a lot has changed in the 8 years and not all for the better but find a school that actually cares about work life balance can make a big difference. I now work part time after having ds and love it even more wink

Springintosummer Thu 21-May-15 06:31:02

Don't go for an education degree if you want to teach primary as unless you have massive experience of otherwise working with children in education you would be very unlikely to get a place on a teaching course. A degree in English, maths or science would be preferred.

I echo the poster above, it will cost you £9,000 a year in university fees alone to train before you even think about living costs.

The average primary teacher works 60 hours a week while NQT (newly qualified teachers) will work longer and still everything you should be doing will not be done. On a £21,000 a salary this works out at less than minimum wage.

Try contacting some primary school's explain the situation and ask if you can come in and observe and talk to staff there. Remember the school day it like the top of the iceberg in terms of workload and generally they will show you the mots experienced teachers and less challenging children. Don't forget to ask lots of questions to find out what it is like.

Teaching can be amazing but it depends on a lot of external factors which you don't have control over.

Toastandstrawberryjam Thu 21-May-15 06:50:57

Thanks for all the input. I need to think long and hard. I've done a lot of unpaid working in schools (still do one day a week) and also some work in a special needs school, so I have a bit of an idea of it. But not a lot I will agree.

Not sure I can do an English/maths/science degree without a levels? Whereas with an education degree I could?

HagOtheNorth Thu 21-May-15 07:01:29

What qualifications do you have already?

Toastandstrawberryjam Thu 21-May-15 07:06:12

GCSEs. Nothing else.

Well I have a string of qualifications for my current job but they aren't transferrable to anything else unfortunately.

Shinyandnew1 Thu 21-May-15 07:09:48

I loved it when I first started, but I wouldn't wish this job on my worst enemy.

HagOtheNorth Thu 21-May-15 07:10:41

So why teaching?
What exactly do you think are the key reasons you want to enter the maelstrom that is primary education? Just because your friends have suggested it? Are any of them actively teaching primary ATM and giving you an insider's point of view?
Have you thought about !:1 TA work using your SN experience?

Springcleanish Thu 21-May-15 07:13:04

Honestly, I'm 41 and it would kill me doing my PGCE and NQT year at my age. I'm planning an exit as I can't see myself having the energy needed at 60plus. 50 hour weeks are the norm in term time, so far I've left school at 6:45, 8:30, 7:00 this week, starting at 7.30 each day. That's not through bad planning, it's meetings, extra curricular etc. tonight I won't leave until 6:30 again. No breaks, as seeing kids or more meetings, reports etc. it is relentless and tough.
On the other hand, I love it, when I'm there. It's scary knowing the work life balance is only going to get worse though.

Toastandstrawberryjam Thu 21-May-15 07:24:27

Why teaching? Well it was what I always wanted to do but ended up taking a low paid job to pay mortgage at 18 and having children instead. I'm not sure what I can offer, i guess I think I know a fair bit about children and have always been very involved in their education. I like helping in school, although I fully get that's not the same.

TA isn't going to cut it money wise. I have about five years to get a proper career in place or else I'm totally screwed in terms of money. There are other things I could do I'm sure but not really explored other avenues yet.

HagOtheNorth Thu 21-May-15 07:50:31

You lie children, want to be involved in their education and need a decent salary.
You might have to think of a few more relevant pointers before you'll even be considered for a place on any of the courses.
Do you have enough paper qualifications to get a place on a teaching degree, or are you thinking of Schools Direct-type entrance?

Toastandstrawberryjam Thu 21-May-15 07:59:24

Schools direct entrance only works if I already have a degree doesn't it?

Obviously if I sat down and thought of reasons I could think of them but right now in the middle of a messy divorce my mind isn't working on full power. It's more a case of panic mode!!

mrsnewfie Thu 21-May-15 10:28:34

OP, I really feel for you. It sounds like you have a lot going on at the moment.

As others have said, teaching is not a particularly good career to be in at the moment.

However, I think if you find a school that values work life balance, it is possible.

I left a hideous school last year. Think big academy chain in around South London. It absolutely crippled me and had an awful effect on my children. I left to pursue childminding but I'm a glutton for punishment and I'm returning to teaching in September. I guess teaching is in my blood and I just can't stay away!

The difference this time is that I have found a wonderful school, who immediately said that they make staff well being and family a priority. They will therefore try to minimise pointless workload. Well, what a breath of fresh air!

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that there are schools out there with realistic, non bullying heads. If it's the career you always wanted, don't let your age put you off. Just be picky with the schools you choose if possible.

Good luck. Xx

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