Pros and cons of teaching(30 Posts)
I'm thinking of retraining as a teacher - I'm 35 with two young children and wondering if this is stupid or a good idea.
Other option is to train as an Ed Psych but that would take a lot longer and would require me to move cities, which would obviously be difficult now.
I've been working in an education related role since I left uni but this has mostly been working 121 with clients that I largely only ever see the once. It has however given me a great deal of expertise in educational testing and working with children with SEN. (Sorry to be vague but I don't want to post anything too identifying.)
Primary or secondary? If secondary which subject? It makes a difference. Have you read through the staff room section, gone into different schools to observe and spoken to teachers? Read the article below. I am a secondary teacher and I am well aware that my primary colleagues work longer hours.
Or come and join us in FE. You may well be qualified to teach health and social and you can do you PGCE as you work.
In your situation a "pro" would be going into teaching after you have had children, rather than before. If you have the work ethic to get through training and NQT year whilst also having a family life, then it's right for you.
My problem was that while I was happy to give over such a large chuck of my life to teaching before I had a family. I just wasn't prepared to after I had children. I may go back when my children are older and need me less.
Some of the best and most committed teachers I know started teaching after having children, not before.
It would have to be primary as my degree is in psychology - I hadn't really considered FE, I'll look into it.
I did part of my PhD research (in psychology) when pregnant with my DS and then completed the write up when he was a toddler but that wasn't regular hours, which I realise is very different to teacher training.
Pros: it's fun and enjoyable and if you find a nice school and a supportive headteacher it can be a great career. The summer holiday is nice too.
Cons: term time is utterly utterly exhausting and the amount of preparation and marking is relentless. You can't get away for a weekend away without having prepared a lot of the following week. You can never have a holiday at non-peak times. Some kids can be appallingly rude. Some parents can be unbearably arrogant or bullying.
I think being an Ed Psych would be good. I'm not sure if I've only known seem to have a spectacularly easy life or if they all float around having coffee breaks and taking months to write up any reports. Every report they write appears to say "chunk down all parts of the curriculum" (really?!!!!) "check he understands instructions (ooooooohhh!!!) and "seat him near the front" (gossshhhhh!!). I've only known 6 Ed Psychs but none have helped.
Most teachers are looking to get out of teaching. Before deciding to become a teacher you should spend some time in schools (applications for a PGCE would require this), and talking to the teachers there about their workload.
It is not a family-friendly job despite the holidays, and the training years are brutal with a high drop-out rate.
Agree with pp - it is not a family friendly job, despite the holidays, although that is the obvious pro. It's difficult to get part time (if that was what you were looking for) and so that means you'll be unlikely to be able to do school pick-ups and drop-offs.
I know many who are looking to get out, and if I could find something else, I'd seriously consider it. The utter stupidity of some of the bureaucracy is beyond me, and I swear some of it is purely for the sake of creating workload, not for any other obvious purpose. The last few weeks I've started to realise that for me, teaching is a huge black hole for time and energy - and I have little of either. It can be rewarding, but sometimes the thought creeps in that this is at the expense of my own DC. Didn't mind it as much before DC.
If your username is linked to where you live then have a look at the Worcester secondary PGCE course. I completed this several years ago, teach psychology at a secondary school and I am an in-school mentor for trainees. Might to worth considering.
I have been teaching for 25 years. It has never been harder. The work load is horrendous. It is exhausting. It is not family friendly.
I would not recommend it.
I got out. I can't describe how much better my life is now I'm no longer a teacher. I wish I'd never gone into it. Rude teenagers ungrateful parents unhelpful senior teachers feeling like you're being picked at constantly by everyone
Agree that it's not family friendly at all, despite the fact that it looks like it should be. Major pro is having the holidays at the same time as dc, but term time is crazy and hopeless if you want to go to your own dc's nativity play/carol service/phonics workshop/meet the teacher etc etc.
For the first time this year I feel I'm just about afloat.... But I'm only teaching 2 days a week and 1 hour of that is covered by a visiting PE teacher.
What I'll do when they turn us all into academies I don't know, as it's going to be the end of the ethos I love in my lovely school.
Teachers are quitting teaching in their droves. I read a comment on a similar thread saying that going into teaching in the current climate would be like seeing people fleeing a burning building and deciding to run into the building.
Pros- salary is reasonable at my stage.
Cons- everything mentioned above.
I'm VERY lucky in that I work in a very supportive school where I'm respected as a professional but even then it's still a tough line of work to be in.
Why would it have to be Primary? A level Psychology is very popular these days.
I would definitely go for the ed psych route over teaching. The pros for me are that I enjoy working with children and I'm interested in education. The cons are quite simply that the strain of the work is making me ill. Another con is that my heart isn't really in it anymore - I see too many children who are also stressed or bored by the education system we have. Just thought of another con - I am stuck at the top of my pay scale and simply can't put in any more work than I do so my salary for someone of my age and experience is quite low. The school where I work is lovely and we have some room to be creative with our teaching but in many schools now you are just towing the line so it can all feel mindless at times.
I'm not at all close to Worcester unfortunately - my username is a Rik Mayall/Bottom reference. I think my MIL trained at Worcester though back in the 70s.
I've looked into the EP training a bit more - closest uni is Sheffield which is commutable (if I get up at the crack of dawn) and the placement work would be done more locally. I need to give it some thought and see how I could juggle things to make it work. It's very competitive though so chances are I wouldn't be offered a place anyway.
If you are prepared to miss great swathes of your children's childhoods, then yes, go ahead and do it.
Fid you have a previous thread/ There was a very similar one not long ago.
I retrained from another profession - sorry to say I add to the chorus of 'Don't...just don't...'
I left too. I'd enjoyed teaching for the first 18 years, and then got very jaded for the final 2.
I'd not recommend it either. Sorry.
Sadly I wouldm't recommend teaching to anyone. I still enjoy aspects of my job but largely feel overworked and undervalued. I'' worried about how I will cope now that I have a baby on the way. I know the holidays are excellent but I have zero work life balance during term time, school just takes over everything.
Been teaching for donkeys years...almost 30 I guess. Can best be summed up now as 'I love my days...I hate my evenings'.
Love my job. Love my classes and my subject, am passionate about teaching. Am in a super school and my days are fabulous.
Unfortunately the rest of my life is also given to the job. Spend roughly 3 hours every evening marking, planning is constant as SoW/curriculum/assessment/goalposts are constantly changing. Every weekend I spend far too many hours catching up on marking books, or admin tasks, or planning/producing resources for next week. Every holiday far too much time is given to desperately either running on the spot to catch up - or trying to get planning in place so I'm ahead of myself and the next term is not as frantically stressed. PPA has been cut to the bone - more is expected of us all the time. And all this needs to be done in your own time...the hours I work, despite being a hugely experienced (and pretty damn good) teacher are ridiculous. Probably 65/70 hour weeks. Although my salary is good I suspect if I work out my hourly rate I may sob brokenly. I give all my time, and all my energy to other people's children leaving very little left for my own (still have two in school/at home). I would not recommend it if you have young children.
Read the TES forums - very interesting to see views and threads from people at all stages of career and also all levels - eg nose in the HT forums.
Also consider this article from yesterday.
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