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Give it to me straight, DP is considering training as a primary school teacher

(70 Posts)
OlfactoryFresh Thu 21-Jan-16 10:18:34

DP is 40, and has been on the periphery of education for most of his career, facilitating youth workshops, teaching after school clubs, lecturing in FE, being brought in to secondary schools to deliver specific modules that the school can't, that sort of thing.

He (and I) are fed up with the freelance lifestyle and, as he is particularly enjoying the primary school after school clubs he is teaching, the obvious thing to consider is training as a primary school teacher.

So, my question is, is teaching in a school really as hellish as we hear? The whole point of this would be to get a more 9 - 5 (ish) existence, with a decent reliable salary. There's no point making the change if he'll be working evenings and weekends.

Yout thoughts please!

exexpat Thu 21-Jan-16 10:23:19

I think most primary teachers would laugh at the idea of it being a 9-5 job. A friend of mine in his 40s recently trained as a primary teacher but quit during his NQT year because the hours he was working were ridiculous, and his head teacher told him he basically had to choose between the job and his family.

OlfactoryFresh Thu 21-Jan-16 10:49:05

Yes, that's what I'm worried about, that I'll be encouraging him towards something that on the face of it could be more stable, to find we never see him and it's hideously stressful.

ImpYCelyn Thu 21-Jan-16 11:00:35

4 days a week. I'm secondary, but I've dropped to 4 days, taken the pay cut and mark and plan on my days off, means my evenings and weekends are normally free. But you don't get free evening and weekends doing it full time. Dh is a teacher too, and works full time, he does work late at night and early in the morning. He works 20 mins away from home, but his alarm goes off at 5.30 - latest. Today he was up at 5. He came to bed at midnight. But we love our family holidays. Dh has a very good salary, and our jobs are secure.

OlfactoryFresh Thu 21-Jan-16 11:08:49

Yes, I'm sure the holidays are a real draw if you have kids and are both teachers. I'm not a teacher, and am self-employed, so wouldn't be able to just down tools for 6 weeks in the summer.

This is all good info, thanks for responding.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 21-Jan-16 11:42:29

What about teaching core subjects in Prison - that's completely 9-4, no extra outside hours?

Primary teaching is definitely longer hours if you're the main class teacher.

Consider also non essay subjects at secondary like Maths. My friend is a part time maths teacher, only works 3 days a week in school in central London - very little marking for him, no extra responsibilities.

And consider FE, which I used to do. I taught two afternoon courses, nothing outside (about £25 an hour)

Tanaqui Thu 21-Jan-16 11:50:23

Does he have a degree already, so he would just need a PGCE (or equivalent)? That's a full on year, so would nqt year be. After that you can repeat stuff you've done already so it gets easier! A big school with shared planning can make it easier too. But he will need to plan and mark- I can do 8-530 in school, mark at lunch if free, and then just need 2-3 hours on a Sunday afternoon, but I've been doing it for donkeys!

OlfactoryFresh Thu 21-Jan-16 11:55:10

Thanks Laurie.

The prison idea is an interesting one, would he need a PGCE or similar for that?

He definitely doesn't want to do secondary, he does some work in a secondary at the moment and it's not for him.

He has a lot of FE experience, but there is very little work in his subject, plus the freelance work he used to do in FE settings has now pretty much been swallowed up by people with a teaching qualification.

OlfactoryFresh Thu 21-Jan-16 11:56:28

Sorry Tanaqui, didn't see your post.

He will complete his degree this summer.

I'm a bit horrified at the 2 - 3 hours on a Sunday thing! shock

LaurieFairyCake Thu 21-Jan-16 12:04:24

No, prisons have more leeway. Actually dh finished his pgce while working at a prison before he went into schools.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 21-Jan-16 12:05:00

And it's not as well paid - think the local young offenders category C prison is £22 an hour.

noblegiraffe Thu 21-Jan-16 12:05:30

My friend is a part time maths teacher, only works 3 days a week in school in central London - very little marking for him, no extra responsibilities.

I'm a part time maths teacher 3 days a week no extra responsibilities and I have shed loads of marking and work most evenings and hours at the weekend. I'm also in school 5 days a week teaching because of the timetable.

Tanaqui Thu 21-Jan-16 12:17:20

Well I keep my evenings free so that is the trade off- you have to plan and prepare at some point!

OlfactoryFresh Thu 21-Jan-16 12:20:53

So, if a primary school teacher is on site from, say, 8.15 am to 5.15 pm, would they still need to do work in the evenings and at weekends?

Tanaqui Thu 21-Jan-16 12:21:55


PurpleDaisies Thu 21-Jan-16 12:23:07


mouldycheesefan Thu 21-Jan-16 12:24:00

Our teachers generally are in site 8am to 6pm and then do marking and assessments, reports, parents evenings, plays, etc in addition

Teaching is one of the worst things of you want 9-5 it sounds like he hasn't a clue!

OlfactoryFresh Thu 21-Jan-16 12:26:52

Urgh! Why does anyone do it?! It is the holidays that make up for it? Or does the passion for teaching outweigh the hours?

My job sometimes requires 9 hours a day without breaks, but it's something I really enjoy, I don't think about it when I'm not at work, and it doesn't intrude into our home life.

Lots of food for thought here.

Finola1step Thu 21-Jan-16 12:27:13

Yes, absolutely.

NQTs are often in by 7:30 and leaving at 6pm. Maybe an hour or 2 of marking in front of the TV. Then a few hours at the weekend.

If he's going to do it, then go for it. But be prepared that it will need to be the core focus of your lives for the next five years. Then it will start to ease off. Unless of course he takes extra responsibilities.

OlfactoryFresh Thu 21-Jan-16 12:28:05

Steady on mouldy, 'not having a clue' is a bit much. I did say that he'd been on the periphery of education for a while and was considering a change.

OlfactoryFresh Thu 21-Jan-16 12:29:12

... posted too soon. Didn't say he was an expert on teachers' hours and timetables.

Finola1step Thu 21-Jan-16 12:32:44

Given your DH's experience, he might want to look into Learning Mentor work in primary schools. Less pay than teaching but less hours and stress.

OlfactoryFresh Thu 21-Jan-16 12:39:55

Do you know anyone who does that, Finola? Had a look online and it looks like it pays about £14K, is that right?

Terrifiedandregretful Thu 21-Jan-16 13:23:05

When I was full time I worked 7.30 to 5.30 on weekdays, then about 6 hours on a Sunday. In my NQT year I worked most of Saturday and Sunday. I never work in the evenings at home though, I am too exhausted! I'm now 4 days a week so I get a two day weekend and work 1 day Fri-Sunday for 2-4 hours. It's much more manageable. I could work double that at the weekend easily but I am getting better at setting limits.

Finola1step Thu 21-Jan-16 13:26:20

I was a teacher for 19 years and know many Learning Mentors. This was however in London where pay is much better. So the salary would depend on where you live. If you are near a big city, then look at Learning Mentor salaries there.

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