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Anyone left university permanent R&T to retrain for primary/secondary teaching?

(10 Posts)
MarasmeAbsolu Thu 15-Dec-16 12:40:57

Interested to hear if anyone made the transition from a university R&T position [lecturer/sen lec/prof] to teaching in primary or secondary?

Considering myself (am in life/health sciences), but quite unsure whether it is a case of grass greener - would appreciate insight!

Rosieposy4 Thu 15-Dec-16 22:22:50

I did so, but via a career break first.
I had tenure, and three under 5s.
Resigned, was sahm for a bit, had another baby, then did heaps of free lancing etc before deciding to do secondary teaching.
The pgce year was quite grim, the lecturers telling us how to teach when they could not do it themselves and i already had the experience they had.
First year was dire, was in really tough school with zero support, then moved and have loved it ever since.
Knackered and full of cold atm, but only have to survive one day then 2 weeks off. Kids are funny, engaging, ask interesting and unusual questions. Enjoy it so much more than role innuni where i was leading a team of researchers and lecturing a bit, getting very little lab time, and not really any quality time with the ugs.

MarasmeAbsolu Fri 16-Dec-16 00:12:04

Thanks Rosie!
I am doing pretty much this - leading team, teaching quite a bit at PG level and spending my time on admin and paper/grant writing. I m just really worried of "jumping" as getting tenure and promotion was such a big deal.
How does the workload compare?

BackforGood Fri 16-Dec-16 00:18:45

Not exactly, but dh is a lecturer and I am a teacher. At one point (when dh was on temp contracts, and thinking he wouldn't get his next one) he did a couple of days shadowing in a Secondary, and almost ran screaming from the building by first break on the first day grin.
Could NOT get his head around the tiny % of his time he would actually be doing anything to do with (his subject). He was running a youth group at the time, so well used to teens, but teens in a school situation seemed different. Speaking to staff, seeing what I did (Primary), shadowing for a couple of days made him 100% certain it was not something he wanted to do. It's not about the number of hours worked, it's about the % of time spent actually doing your subject as far as he was concerned. This was a pretty good school too - ranked highly by Ofsted, really good pastoral support, really good snr management support, etc.

Would it be a possibility for you to book a couple of days leave and go and shadow in a school before doing anything else - to see a bit more what it's like and to talk to staff doing it?

MarasmeAbsolu Fri 16-Dec-16 19:55:26

Thanks BfG - yes, I need to do this.
Truth is - I am fairly senior, and the %time I spend on my subject is actually quite small too - I have become a paper shuffler and a funding hunter sad

NoBetterName Sat 17-Dec-16 13:24:14

I did this about 4 years ago, MA. Permanent position at a RG university, health science, established research, own lab and heading a research group. However, a senior colleague (bat) was undermining me at every turn and I was getting depressed to the point of crying every day before work. The money was good, the job was secure etc, but I had to get out for my own mental health. I also felt that I was becoming a paper-writer and funding hunter, only to hand over the money to some post-doc who would do the work less efficiently than I could do it myself. I hated being stuck behind a desk every day.

I got a place on a PGCE and have been private tutoring ever since (the politics in school being no better than the politics at University and I couldn't envisage doing that again on significantly lower pay). I now run my own business, have a couple of employees too and whilst being self-employed means my income is less secure, I love what I do and earn the same as I was earning at University. I'd never go back to academia now.

yeOldeTrout Sat 17-Dec-16 13:28:01

can you afford it? Wouldn't salary as a NQT be a lot less than as a senior lecturer?

Rosieposy4 Sat 17-Dec-16 20:46:59

Salary is less as an NQT but decent teachers still move up the bands quickly enough.
Workload is different, sometimes much more, sometimes less
Balances out over time, you will be used to mega busy weeks ( i was always last minute dot com for grant applications and having to burn the midnight oil to meet application deadlines) and jsut factor them in eg exam week for all years so 300+ papers to mark plus a parents evening the same week, however i am now off until 3/1.
I would def think about it

MarasmeAbsolu Mon 19-Dec-16 11:55:58

Thanks NBN - that's very interesting. Exactly the same boat here. The bat also rings a bell (ivory towers times?)! My own bat left, so this aspect is not pushing me out of the door anymore.
Yes, NQT would more than half my salary. We can afford it though, I think.
My worry remains the workload and politics - and I might be better off staying off schools if they are the same than academia?

On the other hand, I think i'd enjoy the teaching focus with a group I'd be truly and wholly invested in (I like the "entertainment" part of teaching). What I hate most is (like most people) admin. And it is all I do right now.

It's a tough dilemma - jumping ship at my stage is very rare, as so few of us get to this point. I'm torn!

NoBetterName Mon 19-Dec-16 13:22:31

MA, yes the bat from the ivory towers days smile.

I think it surprised a lot of people when I resigned, as you say, not many people (especially women with children) reach that level and it's considered to be a very prestigious job. However, I wasn't enjoying it and couldn't envisage spending another 30 or so years doing the same thing.

As I say, I now have my own business (and I examine for one of the major exam boards). It's been hard work, but I've never regretted it.

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