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Leaving teaching?

(6 Posts)
Scattymum101 Sat 17-Oct-15 22:01:12

I went into primary teaching at 23. I loved it. I loved the kids and making a difference, got a permanent job and was doing well. I then went off on maternity leave and came back to a new boss with expectations of 60-70 hours a week of work. I couldn't do it and be a mum and so dropped to four days a week and managed to 'hang on' by my fingernails. I'm off on mat leave again with dc2 and due to go back in January. I feel hollow at the thought of going back.
I can't afford to drop any more days but I can't do it anymore. I can't take the paperwork and parental abuse and expectations of being perfect and constant observations and always being criticised.
I just don't know what I want to do now. I'm devastated as I love 'teaching'. I just hate all the stuff that comes with it and don't know if I can do it anymore.
Has anyone else left teaching and what do you do now?

ErnesttheBavarian Sat 17-Oct-15 22:14:29

I'm a TA in a private (sort of international ) school where I also teach ESL. I absolutely love my job compared with teaching in a very demanding school. I look forward to going to work, have great fun with my colleagues despite being miles older than them. I often fret and feel frustrated about just being a TA when I am a qualified teacher, and occasionally feel frustrated at just being the monkey not the organ grinder. OTOH I have 4 children and need to look after them and my house, I can skip in at the same time as the kids and leave at the same time too. I don't have any of the boring or difficult stuff. So I have really all the best bits of teaching without any stress at all. I was off work as SAHM for 14 long years and really wasn't sure if I wanted to work with kids when I returned to work, but I'm in a lovely school with lovely staff and lovely kids and I really enjoy my job.

I'm really sorry you are in this position. It's miserable being stuck somewhere where you are stressed and want out. Especially when you don't know what else to do. I really failed massively to think of an alternative. Luckily in a different school and different role it has worked out and is such a positive change.
Best of luck xx

bellysqueak Wed 21-Oct-15 22:08:38

I've just left teaching.

Last year I retrained by taking a career conversion masters. Take a look at some uni's if you're interested. Mine was in computing, but there are others available for different careers.

I've been at my new job as a software developer now for 3 weeks and it's brilliant. Expectations are reasonable, I have time to complete my work and I don't have to rush around at a million miles an hour. I'm not expected to work at home or at weekends! On top of that I have an hour for lunch, I went and met a friend today and had lunch in a cafe!

I thought I'd miss the teaching or the kids at least a bit and on the first day I was worried I'd go a bit stir crazy in a chair all day. But I can honestly say I underestimated how good a move this has been. It's amazing!

I can't believe how positive the world outside of schools is and it makes you realise just how unreasonable the scrutiny, the targets and the expectations are. My advice to everyone would be to leave, the grass really is greener!

Scattymum101 Wed 21-Oct-15 23:02:31

Thank you. Just looked into career conversion courses near me but not sure I have the qualifications to do one.
I may give it a year or two before making the decision to leave as I really feel I need to be completely sure before getting out but I can't see me doing this til I retire. I think it would kill me!!

bellysqueak Wed 21-Oct-15 23:27:42

You'd be surprised how little you need, so don't be intimidated by that.

My degree was a 2:2 in philosophy and theology (I can't think of anything more useless for a job) and I got onto a computer science course. Nobody on my course had any programming experience but that's kind of the point of a career conversion.

My choice wasn't for everyone, but with teaching experience you could be a strong candidate for something like social work (my wife does adult social work, helping the elderly with their care needs, so doesn't have to deal with the difficult children's cases you hear about in the news). Also there's very little required to do business, accountancy etc. It just depends what you're interested in.

I chose this route because I knew in the field I wanted to go into that it would be important to be able to tick the bit of the person spec on jobs which said related degree. Not all jobs are like that but it can be difficult to get one with decent pay without some sort of qualification.

One consideration is that this sort of choice can be expensive, you may need to take a pay cut or go part time for a year to get a qualification as well as being able to pay for it. You may also be starting at the bottom of the ladder again when you restart.

I personally can't recommend leaving teaching enough, I think it's insane what teachers have to do even in nice schools to work in. However, you may only get one shot at starting a new career, mainly because of the costs, so think carefully about what's a good fit for you.

Scattymum101 Wed 21-Oct-15 23:47:26

Degrees work a bit differently in Scotland. I hated my degree and chose to finish after three years instead of four meaning I didn't get an honours degree but what's classed as an 'ordinary' degree. I was on course for a 2:1. I think you need an honours degree to get on any of these things.

Yeh now probably isn't the optimum time for me to switch careers with two young kids and trying to move into a family home but it's good to know I have options further down the line

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