Does anyone NOT want to leave teaching?

(51 Posts)
TaintedAngel Thu 28-Jan-16 12:01:34

Just that, really.

I have my first PGDE interview next week, but reading the posts on MN has really made me doubt if going into teaching is a wise decision. I haven't read many positive posts about teaching - it all seems to be people running for the hills, or wishing they could get out, and discouraging people from getting in to teaching.

Are there many teachers on MN who don't want to get out? Would you encourage people into teaching? I'm in Scotland, if that makes a difference...

teacherwith2kids Thu 28-Jan-16 12:08:46

a) Scotland is, slightly, more sane than England.

b) Secondary is definitely more sane than primary

c) I love my job. But I did go part time in order to stop it from being my entire life.

d) Teaching tends to attract slightly perfectionist, 'well behaved', diligent character types - the ones who were good pupils in their own time at school. They are therefore their own worst enemies when it comes to managing their adult workload - the job, and senior managers, don't manage your workload at all, so it has to come from you. The job does become 'more possible' if you are more ruthless about 'good enough', however much this goes against character...

TaintedAngel Thu 28-Jan-16 16:25:45

Thanks, Teacher.
It is primary I am going in to, and I had heard Scotland is slightly less manic than England, which has eased my mind ever so slightly!

I think I am the exact type of person you are talking about. At uni, I would put literally everything I had into whatever piece of coursework was due, and would go into a meltdown if I wasn't devoting all my time to it. I can see how easily I could let teaching swallow me whole.

PicInAttic Thu 28-Jan-16 20:12:36

Teacher inEngland here. Have no intention of quitting as I love my job.
Would totally agree with d) above. I am hardworking, effective, well respected (I think!) and involved in lots of things (Y6 teacher, Dep Head, Governor, doing a Masters, involved with LA moderation etc and totally nosy and into everything) but I am ruthless about only working when I say I am. I work 7:30 to about 6, Monday to Friday, but rarely take anything home or do weekend work. I am a firm believer in 'good enough'. I also recognise how to protect and manage my own mental health and am ruthless (that word again - I am nice, honest!) about doing so. I don't believe anyone can be a 'perfect' teacher long term so would suggest you find ways to manage your perfectionist tendencies before you start. Then, enjoy! Even with all of the crap - and there is a lot - it can be the best job in the world. Good luck.

almapudden Thu 28-Jan-16 20:16:16

Me. But I teach in a private school.

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Thu 28-Jan-16 20:18:10

I think it all depends on how good you are at controlling a crowd. That is the key. Are you good at projecting a "firm but fair, not taking any shit" personality? Because if you're not, it doesn't matter how well you know your subject because you'll find it hard to keep 30 children quiet long ebough to teach them something.

That was what made me get out. I didn't have the personality for it and the best thing you can do is be honest with yourself.

Roseformeplease Thu 28-Jan-16 20:20:16

Teach in Scotland (Secondary) and bloody love my job.

ktkaye Thu 28-Jan-16 20:23:52

Me. But it depends on the school I think - I've heard some real horror stories that make me think if I was in that position maybe I would leave. Perhaps that's more about leaving the school than the teaching though.

It's not the teaching bit that's hard (well it is, but it's also wonderful) it's all the other stuff that goes with it that can be a total drag. As other posters have said, it tends to attract perfectionist types, and it really is never ever a job that can be fully 'done'. Funnily enough I've been having a chat with my teaching mentor today about allowing things to be 'good enough'. It's something I find really hard but it's easy to burn yourself out. I work 7.15 - 6 and am slowly getting better at realising that that is enough and to down tools. Please don't be put off, there are so many plus points, especially if you have supportive colleagues and management to help you through the rubbish.

TheTroubleWithAngels Thu 28-Jan-16 20:56:29

Scottish primary teacher and very happy too.

Obviously there are bad days as well, and Scottish education is by no means perfect, but I love my job.

kaitlinktm Thu 28-Jan-16 21:00:32

I don't know that I'd agree with this:

Secondary is definitely more sane than primary

mercifulTehlu Thu 28-Jan-16 21:01:52

I've been a teacher for 20 years but only done very part time or been a sahm for the last few years. Dh is a deputy head and is desperate to get out (has just been prescribed meds for stress). And I am applying for TA jobs because I can't stand the idea of going back to full time teaching. It's a mug's game. If my kids said they wanted to become teachers I would be horrified.

mercifulTehlu Thu 28-Jan-16 21:02:45

Jeez, I can't imagine what primary must be like if it's less sane than secondary sad.

HeiressesGiltnor Thu 28-Jan-16 21:05:59

I love my job. Primary school teacher in a private school.

The 'good enough' rings true for me too. You cannot be perfect every lesson every day. It's a balancing act.

My teacher friends in the state sector work slightly longer hours than me - till 5:00/5:30 every day but we all do the odd bit of marking infront of the TV and the odd hour on Sunday's prepping. It's manageable for me.

Find a good school with good management and you'll be ok! Good luck. Best thing I ever did was jacking in my city job to do my PGCE!

MsMermaid Thu 28-Jan-16 21:08:22

I Love my job. I'm not looking to get out of teaching at all. I teach Maths in Secondary, so it's probably one of the sanest in terms of workload. I can mark a set of books in just over an hour, whereas I know my colleagues in English take more like 3-4 hours to mark one set we mark more regularly though

I'm also in a school where they trust us to get on with the job ourselves. I do know that in some other schools you are expected to hand in/ have a file of lesson plans for each lesson; we aren't expected to do that, just plan and teach in whatever way suits us. I quite regularly find that the only written planning I have for a lesson is the title of the lesson and a page number; obviously I have other resources when necessary but I don't always write them down.

CharleyDavidson Thu 28-Jan-16 21:10:52

I love my job. Primary in Wales. 18 years experience, although part time for 14 (4 days a week since having my kids) and thinking about returning to full time from next year or so.

I am a firm believer in good enough and working smarter, not harder or longer. I prioritise things that will imact the children I teach when I have to choose how to spend my time. My school isn't too unrealistic in terms of expectation of paperwork. We have lots of the resources that have worked well in the past saved to dip into, so that cuts down on planning/prep time and we are well resourced in terms of whiteboards/laptops etc, which also helps.

You do have to be good at crowd control, keeping your calm in tricky and chaotic circumstances, and always coming across as fair no matter what.

leccybill Thu 28-Jan-16 21:16:52

I love my job. I'm a supply teacher after many years in a full time role. I'm enjoying rediscovering a work life balance.

seven201 Thu 28-Jan-16 21:19:31

If I'm honest I wish I hadn't changed my career to teaching (secondary) 5 years ago. Children are no longer children but data. That's not what I went into teaching for. I really hate marking and it is endless (and involves various different coloured pens)!

I don't think primary is necessarily less sane than secondary. It really depends on the school.

Lizzylou Thu 28-Jan-16 21:28:04

I am an in Secondary, coming up to midway of NQT year. I love the actual teaching, the children and my subject. I understand the "good enough" thing, I try to plan all my lessons as if anyone could just pop in and observe (and they can, it is learning walk central, but they tend to leave NQTs alone), and I really enjoy planning lessons. Marking is a PITA but not insurmountable.
It is all encompassing at the moment though and I am in a constant state of guilt that I spend more time focussing on other people's kids and not enough on my own. I daresay as I get more experienced, efficient and build up more resources this will ease a bit. But I thought that the NQT year would possibly be easier than my training year hmm OOH how wrong I was!

TheTroubleWithAngels Thu 28-Jan-16 21:39:19

YY to 'good enough'. That applies to behaviour too- it usually isn't personal (in primary). It took me quite a while to realise that.

kaitlinktm Thu 28-Jan-16 21:52:50

we all do the odd bit of marking infront of the TV and the odd hour on Sundays prepping

I wish (sigh).

Robertaquimby Thu 28-Jan-16 22:00:36

Secondary teacher in Scotland. I enjoy it and recommend it to others. It sounds like a very different job in England at the moment.

DanyellasDonkey Thu 28-Jan-16 22:05:08

I'm teaching in Scotland too and really enjoy my job (most of the time). Admittedly I have a 5 minute walk to work and am currently working in ASN which some people think is an easier option than class teaching. They are usually people who have no idea what my kind of work entails. Having said that I am now expected to do some areas of work which, when I startedm we were told were not in our remit.

I think we are better off in some ways than teachers in England, but of course there are good and bad things in everyone's job.

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 28-Jan-16 22:15:57

Primary NQT here in state school in England. I absolutely agree about the 'good enough' comments. I think I perhaps was a perfectionist type of character and had I gone into teaching as my first career, then I would have been as overwhelmed and unhappy as some of my perfectionist colleagues are. As it is, I trained at 40, with 2 young dcs and as a lone parent. 'Good enough' was the only way to get through my training year.

I also agree that it really depends on your school. I don't think I'd have lasted 5 minutes as an NQT in one of my placement schools. The expectations and hoop jumping were just way too onerous. As it is, my school is relatively laid back and supportive.

TaintedAngel Thu 28-Jan-16 22:40:49

Thanks so much everyone. I'm loving reading all the replies, and it is giving me plenty to think about. I am in my mid 20's, with no DC as of yet, though will be starting IVF when I can shift some weight to meet the criteria so I don't have to share my time with DC at this stage.

My only worry about the job is the amount of hours that is realistically needed to even do a 'good enough' job. It seems even those who have learned to accept the good enough philosophy still end up working 60hr+ weeks just to get by, which I am really not sure if I would handle long term, especially having fibromyalgia, so I get fatigued easier than most. Lots to think about!

Hiddenwarrior Thu 28-Jan-16 22:47:20

I have a sis whi wants to teach. At first I tried telling her NO please choose something else. But now I think leave her let her make her own mistakes because you only see what it is when you actually do the job otherwise she'd regret her whole life thinking I wish I tried it.

I don't want to leave teaching. I actually love and enjoy teaching but the paperwork, constant meetings, doing work till midnight aswell as sacrificing any time I have for myself, my family and friends is forcing me to leave. There's so much never ending work etc etc...I wish I could run a mile and I am going to do so for sure...SOON....

Also anyone who thinks yay atleast you get school holidays....yeah u do but theres always work to be done/prepared/marked during those holidays....

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