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Retraining as a teacher with youngish dc. Thoughts please?

(32 Posts)
onemorecakeplease Fri 28-Apr-17 17:48:47

I currently work as an early years practitioner in a school nursery and I really love it. I was a childminder for two years before this while my dc were young.

I have two dc 4 and 7

The headteacher wants me to consider undertaking the one year degree conversion to primary teaching.

I really love the idea as I've always thought of doing this, but everyone so far has come out with loads of negative experiences. They say it's far too stressful and I will struggle with the job and two young dc.

What I don't want is to qualify and then find I can't cope.

What are your experiences of teaching with young children please? Is it doable?

Thanks in advance

rollonthesummer Fri 28-Apr-17 17:50:38

When I had young children I taught part time-that was the only way I could cope. In fact part time now is the only way I cope.

It is now a shit job and I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy. If you like your current job-stay in it.

MrsT2007 Fri 28-Apr-17 17:52:17


Mine are 8 and 4 and I'm part time and only just sane.

Qualifying and NQT years are utterly mental. Normal 'experienced' teachers do 50-60hr weeks.....

onemorecakeplease Fri 28-Apr-17 17:52:21

Wow that's honest thank you.

What makes it so hard would you say?

jellyfrizz Fri 28-Apr-17 17:57:37

What makes it so hard would you say?

This thread might give you some pointers:

Heirhelp Fri 28-Apr-17 18:04:17

How many hours a week would you be happy working? Primary school years typically do about 60 hours a week. It will be more in the first few years.

onemorecakeplease Fri 28-Apr-17 18:08:10

Thanks. Will read that now

Wonderpants Fri 28-Apr-17 18:11:49

I'm doing PGCE, I am unlikely to do nqt. I've not had time nor head space to sit and listen to my children for weeks and it breaks my heart. I believed I could do it despite the warnings: I knew how to manage my time! I work 15 hours a day, including weekends. I'm just hoping to survive the last few weeks so I get the qualification to show for the work and tears. It is the toughest thing I have ever done!

MrsT2007 Fri 28-Apr-17 18:17:55

People underestimate the sheer effort it takes to 'perform' 6 hours a day at the front of a classroom, then add the prep, marking,'s a really, really hard job.

I was a corporate monkey before teaching. Both parents were teachers. I knew the score. But it still didn't prepare me.

Christmas disappears in GCSE mocks. Easter in GSCE revision classes. It's relentless.

Teaching isn't a job. It's a lifestyle.

onemorecakeplease Fri 28-Apr-17 18:21:01

Oh my goodness. Wow that sounds insane.

Perhaps I will look at a TA role instead or specialist support.

I do so love working with the nursery age children but I'm desperate to get a career on the go again. And a decent salary.

Previously was a bank manager before dc so am used to long hours and pressure but it sounds like a walk in the park compared to the horror stories I am hearing about teaching.

onemorecakeplease Fri 28-Apr-17 18:22:54

Wonderpants did you get an financial support for the PGCE - bursary etc?

Needs to make financial sense too I suppose before I leave a paid job to start.

MrsT2007 Fri 28-Apr-17 18:28:12

Be prepared for the fact the bursary can be a lot more than NQTs get as well.

It can be the BEST job in the world. It really can.

But it's utterly incompatible with having your own young children. Wait til they're older.

onemorecakeplease Fri 28-Apr-17 18:29:18

I think I will wait.

Until they start secondary school maybe.

Is it easier to manage teaching a subject in secondary do you think?

user1463172942 Fri 28-Apr-17 18:36:44

I'm going to go against the grain. I did my pgce with 2 young children and whilst pregnant with my 3rd.

I had 6 months out and then did my NQT yr full time, but have been part time ever since. (0.7)

It is very hard work but it you are uber organised (and I mean with a capital O) it's doable. You have to be really strict with yourself about every task you do and if whether it adds value to the children's learning. I now mentor students and NQTs and see so many stay up all night laminating beautiful resources that will be used for 10 mins of 1 lesson then complain they are exhausted by the workload.

The holidays are amazing. It's real quality time with my own kids. I estimate I work about 1-1.5 days per week in the hols, but often when the kids are in bed at night.

It sounds like you already know your school, you will get a feel from the staff room chat whether the head's demands are more than other schools.

It does depend what you are used to. I used to work in banking. Way more stress (although more pay to be fair) but only 25 days hol a year, lots of working away and the kids are much nicer than the bankers I used to work withgrin.

It will be harder than what you are currently doing but the pay will be higher and your future prospects greatly improved career wise... if that's important to you. I often think having s better income removes work from other aspects of your life e.g. Have a cleaner, eat out more etc.

FWIW I love my job. I think lots of teachers do, but it's more likely to be people who are unhappy posting about it in a forum.

Of the 12 teachers know my school I would say 6 really like the job, 3 hate it and 3 are so so about it.

user1463172942 Fri 28-Apr-17 18:38:09

I have also NEVER worked a 60-70 hour week. Except perhaps the week OFSTED came. Typically45-50

user1463172942 Fri 28-Apr-17 18:40:32

When I was full time that is. I reckon I average 10 hrs per day. So I am currently contracted for 3.5 days per week, I do about 35 hrs per, term time only of course. Then bits in the hols.

onemorecakeplease Fri 28-Apr-17 18:48:39

Thanks you User

onemorecakeplease Fri 28-Apr-17 18:48:52

Thanks you?!

user1463172942 Fri 28-Apr-17 18:53:49

No problem grin

It's a big decision but I'm genuinely very happy with my work life balance and my kids are now 9,8 and 3 and I'm a LP.

ninnypoo Fri 28-Apr-17 18:56:26

If this is EYTS I wouldn't- you're still paid as an unqualified teacher but doing a qualified teacher job and it'd be harder to find a position if you move schools as most employers are looking for people with QTS for long term flexibility. If it's a QTS qualification (PGCE etc) then that's different.

MrsT2007 Fri 28-Apr-17 18:56:35

Secondary you would need the subject degree.

I think secondary is just different. Firstly you're dealing with teenagers (who are mostly lovely but typically teenage!) and you will have a huge number of classes if you aren't core subject.

They get marked less often but there's more pupils and a huge amount of data wrangling.

Primary....the kids are (probably) nicer. Marking load is huge and daily. Only 30-ish to get to know. Great if they're lovely but at least with secondary you only see the class of doom a certain number of hours a week.

Personally I think I'd find primary drive me insane. I prefer the older kids. But that's just me.

onemorecakeplease Fri 28-Apr-17 19:02:13

Yes PGCE for primary teaching

Thanks again for opinions they are all very helpful

Runningissimple Fri 28-Apr-17 19:12:30

I trained when my kids were 4, 7 and 10. It was bloody hard work. I did Gtp and have been working full-time as a secondary English teacher ever since. It's bloody hard work but very rewarding. I ring fence family time and never worked weekends after my training year. This week I've worked about 60 hours but I get holidays when I work from home and now my kids are 7 years older. I figure I'd always have worked pretty hard, whatever the job. It's how I'm built.

Give it a go. The training year is horrific but then it gets incrementally easier (until they change the GCSE or you get promoted smile )

Runningissimple Fri 28-Apr-17 19:14:05

And now my kids are 7 years older it's more manageable.... Please don't hammer my grammar. I'm writing on a phone after a large glass of red. I do know how to use a comma grin

Runningissimple Fri 28-Apr-17 19:15:53

I'm also a lone parent

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